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mulch vs newspaper

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Posted by: 53kw at Sat Apr 7 13:48:22 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by 53kw ]  
   

I vastly prefer mulch over newspaper. I can pluck stools (herpers have very different conversations than other folks) out easier and just replace mulch removed with stools.

The snakes can get a good grip on a mulch substrate and move without slipping. I have not gotten a reply when asking a snake which it prefers but I suspect the snakes like moving over mulch better than moving over newspaper.

To control mites and other undesirable insects, mulch can be sprayed with Provent-a-Mite just like bark slabs, although I wouldn't let sprayed mulch get wet for fear of re-activating the pesticide. I keep a moist box in my indigo cages anyway, and the rest of the substrate is dry.

There may be some slight ingestion of mulch bits when a captive indigo eats, as they drool a bit when chewing; also when feeding meals like fish or chicken parts that are moist. I find that snakes are very good at spitting out unwanted substrate that gets pulled in with a meal.

Keepers who just don't want to use mulch might consider using Kraft paper, available on large rolls from the paint department at local home centers. Painters use the paper for masking and draping things they don't want paint on. Brown Kraft paper is stiff and has more surface texture than newsprint paper, and may offer a better grip for a moving snake. It's large enough to be cut or folded into sheets that cover the entire cage floor with a single unbroken sheet rather than overlapped newspaper sections. I've used Kraft paper for snakes in quarantine and also for savanna monitor lizards. To create a more absorbent subfloor, you can install a sheet of Kraft paper over a few layers of newspaper.

My instinct would be to include a good number of furnishings like heavy branches and rocks if using paper so the snake has plenty of objects to grab as it moves around. If you include a moist box and lots of furnishings, it probably reduces the significance of whether you use paper or mulch.


   

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