Acclimating your new snake

Acclimating your new snake

Stress is one of the biggest factors that contribute to feeding problems and illnesses in snakes, so it is important to take the right steps with your new snake to assure that it acclimates to its new home and begins feeding successfully in your care.

Before purchasing a snake, you should have its home set up and ready to go. We recommend having this done at least a week before you bring your new snake home so you can make sure the temperature and humidity are where they should be. This gives you time to adjust settings and correct any problems if needed.

Once your new snake is in your possession, you should give it a quick once over to make sure it is healthy (we guarantee that any snake we sell will be healthy and mite free). A snake with a good body condition will be plump, the skin should be taut with no sagging or folds and the scales should be shiny with no stuck shed and no mites. The mouth, nose and heat pits should be clear of mucous and debris. There should be no wheezing or crackles when the snake breathes.

Once you’ve confirmed that your snake is in good condition, place it in its new home and leave it completely alone for one week. You can clean the enclosure as needed and check on the snake to make sure it is acting normally, but you should not handle or feed the snake for a period of one week. Once the week is up, offer a meal. (Offer the meal in its enclosure. It is a myth that feeding in the enclosure causes cage aggression. Removing the snake from its enclosure to feed is stressful and can cause the snake to not eat). It is best to first offer what the snake has been eating with the breeder and switch to your prey of choice once the snake is eating well.  If the snake successfully feeds, give it a period of 24 hours before you begin handling. If the snake does not feed, wait another week and try again. If your snake does not begin feeding, or any other problems are noted you should contact your breeder as soon as problems are encountered.