In the first installment of Morelia tip of the week we are talking about getting lazy males in the mood for breeding.
Male combat can be very effective in getting a reluctant male carpet python in the mood for breeding but you maybe worried about
your male getting hurt. Well one way to get around this problem is to spray them with water containing the sheds from other males.
- Get the sheds of a few male carpet pythons and put it in a bucket of water.
- Use a funnel to funnel it into a spray bottle
- Spray it around the cage.
I also have rubbed the shed of another male onto the back of the male that I am trying to breed. I have also put the shed skin
straight into the cage.
I hope this tip gives you something for getting those lazy males going. Until next week.
Mite treatment and prevention brought to you by Owen McIntyre from Rogue Reptiles.
Everyone (even if they don't admit it) has had a run in with reptile mites. I have heard of several different methods of trying to rid a collection of mites and way to prevent them from returning.
First is liquid Ivermectin its a cattle and swine dewormer and can be purchased at most tractor supply or farm equipment companies. You can mix it in a spray bottle at a mixture of 1CC of ivermectin to every liter of water. You can up the does of Ivermectin if it is a strong infestation. The spray can be used directly on the animal its cage and actually used in drinking water as a way kill off eggs and internal parasites
Second is Nix solution, Nix is a child's lice shampoo that can be bought at CVS and Walmart as well as many other stores in the pharmacy department. This is a very strong solution and can be deadly to the animals if not done properly. To mix the solution simply add the shampoo into a large bucket and then pure in water until the bucket is full. Then transfer the solution into a bin for soaking. The two ways nix can be used is either soaking or dipping your animals. For soaking you actually have to soak the animal twice. First you soak the animal in warm water for a little bit to allow the animal to drink its fill of water. Then place it in the tube of nix solution DON"T ALLOW THE ANIMAL TO DRINK THE NIX. The second is to simple dip the snake into the solution and take it out. This is a good method for retreating animals after a reptile show to prevent mites.
Third is of course Prevent-a-mite spray, In my opinion it should only be used in extreme cases, it is only to be used on caging and supplies NEVER THE ANIMAL. You should bleach out the cage and then spray the Prevent-a-mite in an "X" on the top and bottom of the cage. Then let the cage completely dry before you put the animal back in the cage. Prevent-a-mite can also be used to make a barrier around a mite infested cage to stop the spread.
A good way to prevent mites is to have one or two (or ten) Off pest strips in various places around the room. This prevents mites from spreading and from coming in your collection in the first place.
Here is a tip for snakes that knock over there water bowls.
Pro-biotic Treatment - Acidophiliz+
With a small collection I'm incredibly picky about the health of my animals and every fecal is scrutinized for abnormalities. Ever have a snake come out of cooling and produce a really weird poop? Gelatinous, wet and really smelly? Well that's probably because it has been months with out food. When a snake's gut flora and fauna is inactive its balance can become out of wack. Realigning that balance can make the difference from a snake rebounding quickly in the spring or becoming sick with high levels of generally normal pathogens.
So, here's my tip. Acidophiliz+ is a pro-biotic designed for pet use. Originally used for dogs in cats it has recently been formulated for herpetological uses. Lizard breeders have always had their fingers on the pulse when it comes to digestive issues and nutrition. Us snake owners have had it easy, feeding whole prey nullifies supplementation. But one has to realize most of us feed frozen thawed a practically sterile food. All animals require a certain level of pathogens in their system to help with the digestive process. Acidophiliz+ attempts to replace the gut flora with healthy microorganisms.
It comes in either liquid or powdered form. I use liquid just for my application. Every month or so when I go in for a water change I add 2-4 drops of the solution into my bowls. So where's the proof this stuff works? Well, since starting my pro-biotic treatments I've noticed a few things. My snakes digest very quickly. If I see a lump in them two days after a feed its rare. When they poop the feces are smaller and drier. They go more regularly. It also helps to stimulate appetite in my lizards, and my carpets are always hungry!
Now the appetite stimulant is an interesting side effect that can be used to your advantage. The yogurt technique became common last season. The idea is that the healthy bacteria in the yogurt will jump start the gut flora and get stubborn feeders to go. Well, Acidophiliz+ in theory will do the same thing without the risk of dairy. There's a reason why baby snakes poop weird when eating pinky rodents, tons of milk in those things which is not digestible by most animals. Not only that, you don't have to force-feed yogurt down delicate snakes. There is nothing wrong with the yogurt trick. Plenty of people have had success with that technique, but I think this can be a safer alternative. I have no proof on success with babies. I do plan to try it with my clutches this year and will let everyone know how it goes!
One thing, snakes don’t necessarily like the smell of the stuff. It's bacteria after all. So be careful not to over do it. Too much in a bowl of water can cause a snake to be reluctant to drink. A few drops in a bowl of water are all you need!
Where to get it? And how much does it cost? You can find it on online bearded dragon supply stores. Beautifuldragons.com is my favorite because all proceeds go to a reptile rescue. Or you could go to Beardeddragon.co, which has everything you could ever need for home veterinary treatment. Its roughly $5-10 dollars for a few ounces, but remember you're only using a few drops at a time!
I plan to play with supplementation more and more with my snakes. It's something I think we are missing as snake keepers. Don't be afraid to experiment!
- Zach Baez