at Sat Sep 6 10:59:59 2014 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by bmwdirtracer ]
Your thoughts and words are very much taken in the best way. I'm absolutely hoping for an interchange of ideas and information.....after all, we have a responsibility to the spectacular and unique species we keep!
I agree that "spot cleaning" has a very limited use, for Drymarchon. I completely clean the cages, every weekend, including laundering the carpet, and disinfection of the cage. Nonetheless, a "spot clean" with disinfectant wipes works pretty well for getting the mess cleaned out immediately; and the carpet is extremely easy to just remove, hose, and launder.
But yes, I have a need for the aesthetic value, even though my snakes are not really ever seen by many people. My snakes have live plants in their cages, sand-painted hideboxes, and branches for climbing, even though couperi is quite terrestrial. Call me an indulgent father.....
I'll never be able to prove that the snakes appreciate it, but we both know that they're one of the most highly intelligent species in the world....so, maybe?
I actually find the upkeep of the cages very easy: I just completely cleaned all 4 couperi cages, including changing the carpets, scrubbing waterbowls, watering plants, etc, and it took me ~45 minutes. (The cages are big BoaMasters; right now, each snake has half of a 6'x3'x30" tall; the eldest 2 snakes will each get their own full 6x3 this year. (They are 2012 snakes, about 4.5 feet right now)
As for peat/sphagnum moss, my experience with it for use with snakes has been minimal, but my familiarity is from it's use for plants: the actual pH value runs less than 4.0, which is HIGHLY acidic. Just because snakes often ingest some loose substrate on occasion, and because the inside of our hideboxes are quite damp, I thought it best to use a less reactive/acidic material.
Regarding the eyecaps, I very much agree with your temperature regimen, and keeping the snakes well hydrated and humidified. I also have two waterbowls per cage, because my older girl likes to crap in the water - so I make sure there is ALWAYS a clean bowl available. I have not had the eyecap problem often, with my couperi...the eldest male has had the problem twice. Robert Bruce informs me that couperi does commonly have this issue.
But decades ago, when I had hundreds of snakes at any one time, and worked with a couple of zoological institutions, I learned the lessons of making sure that snakes always had a complete shed. The eyecap thing can become quite dangerous to the snake, if it's not addressed.
Anyway, I look forward to our continued discussions, and hope for other lucky Drymarchon owners to join in!
Um, how do I attach photos on this forum?
All the very best, Chris
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