misting snakes

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Bryan Hamilton
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misting snakes

Post by Bryan Hamilton » August 4th, 2015, 4:20 pm

How many of you mist your snakes? It seems really uncomfortable for the snakes. They react pretty negatively to what I imagine feels cold.

Any ideas on making the process more pleasant or is even necessary? I mist when my snakes are going to shed or seem otherwise dry.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: misting snakes

Post by Kelly Mc » August 4th, 2015, 5:51 pm

I mist all of my animals environments in the morning and at nightfall.

The amount I mist depends on taxa and how quickly I want it to blow off.

I often focus on a certain area, or just the walls.

I think in many instances the extra moisture provides a respite from the chronic dryness that our heating gear imposes in a closed system.

I think spraying directly on the snake is perceived as rainfall and that in nature they are cued to rainfall before it happens and seek shelter or position from being trapped non locomotively or other ways in heavy rain that could be a survival deficit. It of course would vary from taxa to taxa but I have noticed even tropical animals dislike suddenly being inundated in water.

Hand sprayers are the most jarring, and unnatural mechanical way of delivering moisture - even chameleons are frightened by the staccato .

I use a Flo master pressure pump sprayer as one can control the water from powdery fine and faint, all the way in grade to a stream and the duration is steady, I find animals that are frightened by hand sprayers are not by pump sprayers.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: misting snakes

Post by Kelly Mc » August 4th, 2015, 7:10 pm

One of the reasons I use stone and cork is because of misting. Sometimes I will mist more heavily focusing on those and afterwards they come out and thread around flicking the surfaces. Because snakes can live without being misted it is easy to forget that they have evolved experiencing moisture differences, condensation and evaporation for millions of years on a daily basis, so neural stimulus is involved.. I think tho bins 'hold moisture', activity is thwarted by the uniformity of situ - I don't use them for my adults but have mossy or peat lined humidity stations accessed at will and I never have bad sheds. this includes ball pythons ive set up for people who keep them in large glass encl, and these snakes aren't as sedentary as is often stated, moving quietly from one cubby to another at will.

simus343
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Re: misting snakes

Post by simus343 » August 4th, 2015, 10:33 pm

Depending on how cold the water is, that could be a likely factor to negative reaction as well based on taxa. Really any reptile that comes to my mind would react "suboptimal" to ice-cold water. Also large drops vs a fine mist can make a difference too. What may seem like small droplets to you, comparatively on size, is a lot large to a snake.

My water I spray my snakes and beardy with is room temp. It reaches this by sitting in the room for a few hours in my spray-pump. Water about 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

My beardy, she loves the water. She drinks it as it rolls onto her nose. My snakes react more negatively to the water, but in that case I am spraying the sand to maintain moderate moisture to allow burrow shape to hold.

Do your snakes drink from standing water or are they species that prefer to drink droplets/dew? My snakes drink standing water. I typically soak key points that I notice burrowing and allow it to percolate and spread into the rest of the substrate.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: misting snakes

Post by Kelly Mc » August 4th, 2015, 11:37 pm

Yeah I think many agamids have the same intrascale labial wicking thing that beardeds have, and maybe other scrub / desert lizards do as well, and that's how they get a periodic drench of hydration.

I have a sonoron gopher who's got a big water crock (I change water daily) its very accessible but he will raise his head and drink from a rough string of drops from the sprayer, and isn't at all spooked by it though I don't do it often.

I leave my sprayer in my animal rooms and the temps around the mid seventies. Tepid.

Misting, and water presentation is one of those details that case by case the act of providing it is one of the pleasures of keeping. I'm sure other genres of cultivating living things have their equivalent. Whether its snakes, frogs, horses or roses.

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SurfinHerp
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Re: misting snakes

Post by SurfinHerp » August 5th, 2015, 9:31 am

Hi Bryan,

I have a collection of mostly So. Cal. native reptiles. I never mist them. Instead I maintain some humidity in the substrate, primarily by overflowing their water dishes. About once a week I stir-up the substrate to even out the moisture levels, then perhaps overflow the water dish again to create an area with extra moisture. I rarely see them drinking from a water dish. It seems like they get almost all of their water from their food.

When one of my snakes is getting ready to shed, I moisten the substrate under its preferred hide using a small watering can. This works really well for me.


Regards,

Jeff

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Kelly Mc
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Re: misting snakes

Post by Kelly Mc » August 5th, 2015, 9:36 am

one note about applying moisture in aspen predominant environments is that moist aspen does support a type of mold, that appears as a dingy grey tinge to a dark charcoal color deeper down in undisturbed (moist) layer. A lot of people may have noticed a mold like this in a margin around water bowls occasionally.

It also favors the cooler aspects of the space, for instance the aspen against a wall with a UTH wont be affected, as the temp blow off thwarts the moisture constant needed for the spores to sustain themselves, and warm temperature is not favored by the mold.

But there are ways around it like having other surface values and media in the enclosure. I rarely use just one kind of sub any more in an enclosure and its such a simple way of infusing a little tactile diversity for the snake.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: misting snakes

Post by Kelly Mc » August 5th, 2015, 10:17 am

Surf n Herp I would like to clarify my comment wasn't at all in critique of your input we were posting at same time

I don't stir my sub though, as they are networked with tunnels and carved out compartment the snakes made. I will change it wholesale for grade or by section and its interesting to see how they choose an area to defecate - the more long term the snake in an environment - the more exclusive the site, although it can change or become two sites, there is a pattern that is interesting to note but not that unusual among many animals. It also makes finding and removing the stool easy.

I hear a lot of speculatives about snakes and drinking water. I have my thoughts on it. I change water daily because it ensures that when they do take a drink, it will be free of microbial life. That microbial life exists in wild water features doesn't make me feel its ok for my captives. Ive flagyled enough WC reptiles back in the day to know nature doesn't play favorites per phyla and microbial life seeks its seat of life where it can.

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reptologist
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Re: misting snakes

Post by reptologist » August 5th, 2015, 10:55 am

I regularly mist my parrot snakes. Their reaction is very predictable. I have not experienced any negative response from them. They tend to take that opportunity for a quick drink. It is not their only water source but they seem to enjoy it.

Jimi
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Re: misting snakes

Post by Jimi » August 5th, 2015, 1:04 pm

These quotes all resonate with me, and might apply for you too, Bryan:
The amount I mist depends on taxa and how quickly I want it to blow off.

I often focus on a certain area, or just the walls.
I use a ... pressure pump sprayer as one can control the water from powdery fine and faint, all the way in grade to a stream and the duration is steady, I find animals that are frightened by hand sprayers are not by pump sprayers.
I leave my sprayer in my animal rooms and the temps around the mid seventies. Tepid.
Are these all GB rattlers you're dealing with? Even rattlesnakes that respond positively to rainfall in the wild (e.g. banded rocks) act like you're trying to kill them if you spray them. My experience, anyway. Other taxa (e.g., arboreal pitvipers) instantly go into "hurry up & get a drink" mode when bodily or facially hit with spray. They almost never react negatively, they seem to crave it. So - what taxa, and how are you delivering the water?

cheers,
Jimi

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Kelly Mc
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Re: misting snakes

Post by Kelly Mc » August 5th, 2015, 3:36 pm

Edited Oh shoot Jimi im sorry I misread your post as a direct query to Bryan.

Deleted it to not derail.

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: misting snakes

Post by Bryan Hamilton » August 5th, 2015, 5:07 pm

Yeah Jimi these are GB rattlesnakes. They do react to the spray like its ice water. I do try to keep the water at room temperature but I figure that feels cold to an ectotherm. I have never seen any of my rattlesnakes drink water, even when I've let the water bowl go dry for a few days. Not true for some of my Sonoran Mountain kingsnake. Mark Hazel figured out years ago that kingsnakes will readily drink, even after capture and processing.

Thanks for all the advice. This forum has a lot of excellent contributors. I especially appreciate how detailed Kelly thinks through these issues.

I think I'll switch to crock water dishes. I used these years ago and switched to plastic thinking plastic was easier to clean.

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