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Author Topic: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?  (Read 2705 times)

Offline weasleish

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Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« on: September 01, 2013, 10:12:28 AM »
Does shedding mean your snake is healthy? I always thought they only shed when they got bigger too.

Offline boxhead

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2013, 01:09:11 PM »
If it wasn't healthy then it wouldn't eat and grow. Stands to reason one would think.

Offline weasleish

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2013, 01:30:46 PM »
If it wasn't healthy then it wouldn't eat and grow. Stands to reason one would think.

It doesn't eat or grow

Offline Bare Coight

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2013, 01:41:02 PM »
I think I see where you're coming from weasleish.......does a fully grown snake need to shed and for what reason if has stopped growing? I would imagine that like human skin, a snakes skin must also have a certain shelf life, after all, skin is just the body's barrier to the outside world. Where-as humans are always sloughing off dead skin cells, a snakes skin by nature is obviously different and must come off in one piece. So I would assume that even a fully grown snake that has finished growing would still require to shed dead skin cells once in a while........I would say it's still the behaviour of a healthy snake.....make any sense? Cheers, Bare...... ;D

Offline weasleish

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2013, 04:02:13 PM »
Kind of but not really. My snake is maybe 5 years old. Eats next to nothing, maybe 6-10 day old chickens a year, is really small, but looks good. So really what i'm asking is.

Does a shed mean a snake is healthy?
Do they only shed when they are growing?
Do you get 'pygmy' or 'runt' snakes?
Does it matter if my snake stays small?

Offline Snowman

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2013, 04:07:21 PM »
Eating 6+ day old chicks doesn't sound right at all. Perhaps you need to look at your heating. In particular ambient temps. Heat cords and mats are great, but if the ambient temps are too low your snake won't feed. My personal preference is a diet of rodents with day old chicks used as an alternative. Though when you look at the nutrition charts there doesn't seem to be much difference between DOC and adult mice.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 04:19:29 PM by Snowman »

Offline Wing_Nut

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2013, 04:36:29 PM »
There isn't anything wrong with growing snakes slowly, but 6-10 day old chicks seems quite wrong. I think that kind of feeding would definitely result is very slow growth rate. Even with quite broad heating range carpet pythons here feed pretty well. I judge my feeding based on accurate shed records. I like snakes less than two years old to shed around 8-12 weeks and older animals around 12-18 weeks. The older they get the less often they shed. As Snowman suggested a good look at heating and evaluate the husbandry of the animal and it should eat more. I have personally not encounter an south west carpet python that didn't like eating once established. As a comparison, I have a 5 year old female carpet whom I fed day olds to yesterday and she took 8, and was still looking for more.


Offline Tafkas1

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2013, 05:59:02 PM »
What kind of snake is it? what sex is it? and are you feeding it until it refuses and if it is refusing have you tried leaving 1 or 2 in the enclosure overnight?

Offline weasleish

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2013, 08:14:11 PM »
Female swcp. Have to leave them in the enclosure with her overnight. Sometimes she eats, sometimes she doesn't. Ill try get some heating mats I think. She is tiny though, but still friendly and cute. Never been a good eater since the day I got her. If she does eat, it'll be one day old, then maybe a second during the night.

Offline Snowman

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2013, 09:07:53 PM »
Female swcp. Have to leave them in the enclosure with her overnight. Sometimes she eats, sometimes she doesn't. Ill try get some heating mats I think. She is tiny though, but still friendly and cute. Never been a good eater since the day I got her. If she does eat, it'll be one day old, then maybe a second during the night.
What are you measuring the warm spot with? Can we see some pics of the set up?

Offline weasleish

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2013, 06:49:31 AM »
Thermostat from a decent dimming one. Being winter it's not getting up to ideal temps, but the lowest i've seen at the hot end is still 25 degree's. Thinking i will up the bulbs to a higher wattage to get more heat out. When i had her in a smaller enclosure with a shit thermostat, she was getting 36 degree's hot end, and 26-28 degree's cold end at times (fluctuated a bit). She ate a bit then, so maybe she just likes it hot...

Offline Wing_Nut

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2013, 08:52:31 AM »
She doesn't like it, she needs it. My suggestion to you is to give your snake a warm end of 33 degrees (no cooler) 12 hours a day and a cool end around 24-26 and offer her food every 5-7 days slowly increasing the food intake.

Wing_Nut


Offline Tafkas1

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2013, 09:20:10 AM »
I keep my basking spots at around 40 degrees, as long as you can keep the cool end at ambient. If your getting temps as low as 25 it's not surprising she is reluctant to eat.

Offline weasleish

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2013, 09:12:51 PM »
Always thought as long as they we're minimum 25/26 it was fine. Learn something new every day with reptiles. Will bump up the temps and see how she goes.

Offline Bluetongue

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Re: Does shedding mean a healthy snake?
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2013, 08:06:45 PM »
Australian pythons have a preferred body of 28oC or 29oC.  However, their body operating temperature does vary according to specific activities. For example, it goes up when trying to digest a meal and goes down when inactive and attempting to conserve energy.  So a generally applicable thermal gradient that is acceptable and easy to remember is 25oC to 35oC. Experienced keepers who closely observe their individual animals, may adjust this. Night temperature should drop to around 5oC less but not much more 

Even if you are cooling a snake over winter, you should still have the same temperature gradient in the daytime but for a reduced number of hours each day.

I like Bare Coights and Wing Nuts explanations of shedding.

Growth rate is related to eating rate; and shedding rate is related to growth rate. If you want to use shedding as an indicator of health then it is the shedding rate that is important, not the fact that it does shed.

Where a young snake does not receive sufficient food overall (either amount or frequency) stunting of its growth potential will occur.  It is not possible to say at this stage whether or not your snake will be stunted.  Get the temperatures up and a decent regular feed into and where it goes from there. From what you have described I would say only that its ultimate size may be affected.

Blue

 

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