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RE: New to venomous

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Posted by: herpcagemaster at Sat Apr 16 10:12:47 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by herpcagemaster ]  
   

I have a Mottled Rock Rattlesnake and can speak with a little bit of experience as far as keeping venomous snake. I've also kept the fast elapids such as Dendroaspis angusticeps, Oxyuranus scutellatus canni, and Naja annulifera just to name a few. Going back to the Rock Rattlesnakes, my first was a wild caught adult female from the Ozona/Sonora area of West Texas and we found her and five others in one night by searching along the rock cuts. Mine is a really nice light colored specimen. She had very good body weight on her when we caught her. I keep her in a monoflo rack which is like a 28 qt. rack accept the monoflo boxes are deeper which makes them better for venomous snakes, in my opinion. I believe that deeper boxes are safer for venomous snakes. At first she was tricky to get feeding. She only took one wild brown frozen thawed mouse over the course of a few months and then she didn't eat at all during the winter season. I think that was related to the fact that in the wild, she would have naturally been in hibernation mode. When the weather started warming up, I offered a live hopper mouse which she gorged down with a quickness. She ate another hopper mouse a week or two later. Now I have her feeding on frozen thawed hopper mice and she takes them with no problem at all. The caging setup is simple. Just a platic storage monoflo box in a rack with heat tape. I also provide a water bowl with fresh water at all times and a hide box. I use newspaper as substrate since they are a dry desert species of rattlesnake. I have never known them to thrive in a humid, moist, or wet cage setup. Overall, I think this species is easy to keep. I wouldn't mind getting a male and trying to breed them. I hope this helps you out.

Start with something that you like. If you always use a snake hook to move the snake out of it's cage before you clean or fill water and never touch the snake and keep a safe distance, you will be fine. I think venomous bites happen more so when the keeper sticks their hand in the cage while the snake is still inside the cage and when they try to touch the snake with their hand. Bad idea! I've had one bite from a 3' Crotalus atrox 4x to the face and I'm not proud of it. The bite wasn't a result of improper handling, it was because at the time, I didn't have cages or racks. I was just using Sterlite containers with nontransparent lids and breaking safety protocols. The hospital bill was over $250,000. With that said, invest in the proper cages or racks. They aren't really that expensive or hard to come by. You can check out www.protekcaging.webs.com for the proper cages and racks.


   

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