Saturday, December 22, 2012


Why yes, yes I do weigh my snakes.  I'm completely Type A, I know.

Anyway, this afternoon seemed like as good a time as any; since Sarah finished her shed (and she ate while in blue!), I figured I'd weigh her first.  When we got her she weighed a whopping 16 grams to Slither's 14, so today's weigh in showed Sarah at 36 grams and Slither at 23.  They both definitely put on weight since their last weigh-in.

I'd never weighed Lucy and Scales, and I don't know what they should weigh, nor do I have their exact hatch dates, but they both look great.  They've each shed completely, are eating a f/t rat fuzzy once a week, and they're defecating.  Lucy weighed in at 192 grams, and Scales threw a whopping 212 grams on the scale!  Granted, he's got major sausage butt so I'm betting he'll drop some once he "goes"again.

Speaking of Type A Snake Issues, each of the snakes has a chart.  Slither and Sarah's charts are on a piece of notebook paper in the Gum Zombies room.  We log their weights weekly, barring shed issues, and also record their feeding and sheds.  Scales and Lucy's charts are on an Excel spreadsheet on my computer.  I log their feeds, defecations/ urate passings, sheds, and now also their weights, all by date.

So far, so good.  Everyone's eating, digesting, eliminating, shedding, and gaining weight.  And outside of Sarah, aka The Snake from Hell*, they're all pretty friendly to boot.  I can't really ask for much more :)

*Actually, she's not at all awful and once I've got her out of her tank handled for a couple of minutes she calms down beautifully.  She's just a bit thrashy, especially when freshly shed.  But she's also the only snake we have that's bitten me (didn't even break the skin, hehehe), so she comes by her moniker honestly.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


We have been in shed-central for the past few weeks.  First it was Slither, the Gum Zombie's anery Kenyan sand boa, who went through what I think must have been the longest shed cycle extant but came out of it beautifully shiny and perfect.  Then Lucy (our female cinnamon ball python) went into blue, took a bath, and shed out about a week ago.  Next, Lucy's cohort Scales, a male of the same morph, went blue and surprised us with a minimally fussy shed in one beautiful piece.  Finally, there's Sarah.

Sarah is my female Kenyan sand boa, and if there was ever a snake with the intellectual capacity to hate anything, it's her... and that's saying something considering sand boas in general are a rather primitive species of snake.  She's a little pistol, and there's nothing that makes her more miserable than a shed.  Normally Sarah lurks below her substrate.  When she goes blue, though, all bets are off.  She's on top of it, laying there as if she's near death.  She stares fixedly at the walls of her vivarium, refuses to enter her humid hide (Slither spent the majority of his shed sitting in a tiny tub filled with damp sphagnum moss), won't eat, and is in general a mass of misery until she's done shedding.

I swear, she's got the reptilian version of PMS.

Adding insult to injury, last time Sarah shed it was an incomplete job.  Her skin came off from her neck down, but she had a "cap" of shed stuck on the top of her head and over one eye.  Yipes.  So that resulted in two days worth of forcing her to hang out in a humid hide for an hour each day until the shed softened enough to be carefully pulled off with a pair of tweezers.

And no, she didn't care for that either.

So here we are again with her, at Shed #2.  Plus it's Feeding Time at the Zoo tonight, and as I mentioned previously Sarah doesn't like to eat while she's in blue so unless she somehow managed to shed today, she'll be an awfully hungry snake come December 27th.

As a side note, the Gum Zombie has kept both Slither and Scales' shed skins, enshrining them as if they were holy relics.  My snakes' shed skins, however, he immediately claimed to donate to his science teacher.  The hope is that this time Sarah will shed in one fell swoop and I can start my own skin shrine.

Ahem.  Or not.  I'm pretty sure his science teacher will have another opening...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Feeding Time at the Zoo

Note:  If this entry is disjointed, I'm blaming the raging cold I managed to develop and am fighting right now.  Also, we went to Repticon Saturday and, miraculously, managed to come back with no new snakes!  My self-control is beyond comprehension.  Okay, it might have been somewhat enhanced by Brent's repeated chant of  "Baby, we don't need any more snakes right now" :P

Thursday nights at our house are officially Feeding Time at the Zoo.  I'm doing well with it now (a snake's gotta eat, yanno?) but the first time we fed the sand boas... well, let's just say it wasn't my most shining moment.

One reason I'd never had snakes before is because of the whole feeding issue.  I'd heard of snakes eating frozen/ thawed rodents and that seemed more palatable to me, but still I didn't get around to snake ownership until my younger son went on his We Must Acquire a Snake lobbying streak.  And even then, we were totally doing frozen/ thawed.

Thankfully, the sand boas eventually cooperated with us.  What I hadn't counted on was how much even frozen rodents could skeeve me out!  I swear, I was jumping and shrieking as I tried to fish the little things out of the baggie.  It was insane -- I mean, I'm an adult, right?

You couldn't have proven it that evening.

Finally we got those little suckers thawed (I just kept repeating "Small, poo-filled chickens" to myself) and went in to feed the snakes.

They were having none of it.

What?  I'd been told this would work like magic!  So I tried to pick up Sarah's pinkie again with the 12" long tweezers and kept dropping it because my hands were shaking so badly.  Yup, so skeeved out I could barely hold on to one, tiny defrosted rodent with a pair of tongs.


Fortunately Brent was there and he worked on getting everyone to eat.  Meanwhile, I bravely fled the room when Sarah's mouse kind of... uh... exploded.  It didn't seem to bother her.  And Slither took for-freaking-ever to eat but eventually he, too, downed his pinkie.

I'm happy to say the next weekend I did much better.  I fished the pinkies out of their bag with neither a heebie or a jeebie and got everything thawed without so much as a whimper.  Sarah ate marvelously, and Slither continued his trend of being a bit of a picky eater.

Now since we've added Scales and Lucy to the mix, I have a new level of "heebie" and "jeebie" to deal with.  Thus far they're eating frozen/thawed (both ate last week, hooray!), but their food is fuzzier than the sand boas' and it's harder to trick myself into seeing it as a chicken.  Hopefully I'll get over it, and fast.

Well, I'm off.  Once again it's Feeding Time at the Zoo and I have rodents to warm.  Wish me luck.