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Husbandry and Basic Care General stuff about keeping and maintaining cornsnakes in captivity.

How to keep an active snake enriched
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Old 06-10-2022, 01:30 AM   #1
schnekkie
How to keep an active snake enriched

My little corn snake Krtek, (who I got a DNA test done on and it came back female!!) is very active. Her enclosure is a bit small but I have a nice big one on order with Animal Plastics and it should arrive in 3-4 months. I let her roam my dining room table whenever she wants out, and have lots of boxes stacked on it with little snake openings cut into them, some branches, a damp hide, and other misc items on the table. Last night she spent 6 hours roaming the table and also the living room and foyer, because I let her down and supervised as she explored. She wasn't ready to stop but I had to go to bed. She threw an adorable little tantrum while I tried to collect her. It's like having a toddler who eats mice. Tonight she's out and about again. My question is, is this enough? Are there more things I can do to make her world interesting? Is it as simple as rearranging the stuff of the table? Or putting some of the boxes on the floor along the wall and letting her find them in new places? Are there snake climbing toys? Snake puzzles? Are there smells snakes find interesting? Textures they seem to especially enjoy? Any tips would be appreciated. Thank you!

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Old 06-10-2022, 11:49 PM   #2
Caryl
Sounds like your girl is a lucky snake. And I love the description: "like having a toddler who eats mice." That's pretty great! Changing the boxes and such around is fine. You can add textures like maybe a handful of plastic bead necklaces, or a small pile of clothing. If it's your clothing, she'd smell your familiar scent, too.

I'm a fan of letting them be active in a safe way. If you have a chance to take her outdoors, they all seem to enjoy that. If you have a place she can get down on the ground and be easily visible or a bush she can safely clamber around on that's a plus. It's not necessary though. She'll just enjoy all of the new scents and sights. Just holding her outside is a treat. If you put her down, do be sure to check the area very thoroughly. Little ones can vanish in the grass pretty effectively. They will also make directly for any type of hole, which is obviously a terrible idea.

I don't know of any snake climbing toys, but there are some lot of ladders and such made for birds which are great for snakes. You can build things out of Lincoln Logs. Duplo blocks or Mega Bloks are great for building and rebuilding. You can also provide her with plants in her viv, real or fake. I just bought a bunch of cheap fake plants at Family Dollar for mine. Any sharp spots where a wire press through gets a dab of hot glue and it's snake-safe.

One other thing that comes to mind is a water bowl or a pan or something where she can swim. Those cheap aluminum pans work well. Some corns love swimming, others don't. If you give her a chance, you'll find out which category she falls into. Do be prepared for splashing. They can zoom around pretty fast in water and slosh it around. Also, it's highly possible she'll poop in the water, so don't use you favorite casserole dish.

It sounds like you're having a good time with your new snake. That's really terrific! Don't forget, we would love to see pictures!



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Old 06-11-2022, 02:18 AM   #3
schnekkie
Caryl, thank you so much, I love this little snake and these are such great suggestions! I never thought about bird ladders, but I'm sure she would love that. And the plastic beads is a great idea. She really seems to investigate everything thoroughly. She will squeeze my pencils, move them around, turn objects over, everything except put them in her mouth, thank goodness. She was, understandably, so scared when I first got her, and she's shed a couple of times which took her away from interacting, but now that I've earned her trust she's blossomed into such a bold yet gentle personality. I don't know much about reptiles but worry that her little searching mind will get bored, so I'll keep mixing it up for her.

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Old 06-11-2022, 09:22 AM   #4
Caryl
I love that you're enjoying her so much. It's always great when humans really care about their creatures. I'll say again, your pretty little girl is lucky snake.

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Old 06-13-2022, 03:22 AM   #5
schnekkie
Thank you, that's so kind. I really love this little snake. She's such a little queen. I worked on her playground a bit, adding string and making it more climbable. She spent a little time tonight investigating it, then focused on ... learning how to get down onto the floor, which she figured out but then she fell into my trap, which just was my open purse on the floor. I put the snake filled purse back up on the table. She stayed in the purse, though. I think she was a little salty, but I am impressed by how intelligent she is. She really works a problem. Now she's back in her enclosure, in the purse. They're both in there. I'm going to have to screen off my floor vents so she can't climb down into them in the event that I lose track of her. I hope she doesn't lose interest in being on the table top.

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Old 06-14-2022, 12:43 PM   #6
Caryl
Your photos remind me of the obstacles AKA enrichment toys that my students liked to build for the classroom pets. I especially your last photo, the one with the "great escape!" Lol

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Old 06-20-2022, 05:27 PM   #7
schnekkie
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caryl View Post
Your photos remind me of the obstacles AKA enrichment toys that my students liked to build for the classroom pets. I especially your last photo, the one with the "great escape!" Lol

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She seems much more interested in getting down off the table now that she knows how to do it. I need to figure out how to screen off my heat vents so I don't have to worry about her getting into them. Right now they're the most enticing, perfect size for her. She made a beeline for one the other night when she reached the floor and seemed pretty upset when I intercepted her. Or, she stopped exploring the table top when I returned her to it, anyway, and sat still, staring at me from one of the hides. Who knows what she smells in the vents. I don't currently have mice, that I know of, but I know the previous owner of the house dealt with a rodent problem.

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Old 06-21-2022, 01:06 AM   #8
Caryl
Oh gosh, those vents could really be a problem! If you can lift their covers out of place you could cover them with flexible nylon screen. You could glue it to the interior edges and replace the vent cover. The screen is easy to find at hardware or home improvement stores, especially going into summer. Just an idea.

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