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Home Made Hides

Posted: February 4th, 2020, 11:01 am
by Kelly Mc
Are the best! Anybody want to share?

Re: Home Made Hides

Posted: February 5th, 2020, 4:54 pm
by VICtort
I make them out of PVC pipe, in various diameters since herps have preferences and many snakes like to cram in tight. Use an end cap, but do not glue it, they jam on tight enough as it is and you can loosesn for thorough cleaning with a dowel or similar. They are durable, easy to make, light and reasonable cost, easily cleaned in soapy water and/or disinfectant. You can expand use by making pipe systems and putting under the substrate, sort of like those hamster habitats popular years ago? Yes, I know they are not real pretty, but practical for me. I need to keep things simple and labor saving. Also, easy to extract a specimen if needed, often they remain secure in hide while I clean surroundings. This is often not true for attractive but problematic natural hides like hollow branches, cholla cactus, cactus boots, etc. I have made similar hides for free from water filter cartridges, see if friends have when they replace in reverse osmosis filter systems etc.

In quarantine situations, I often use disposable hides such as paper roll tubes, which friends thoughtfully save for me, also various boxes. Home made hides are an effective way to reduce costs and avoid the sometimes unnecessary commercial products. I do like the commercially made ones with water bowl included however, yes, I know is off topic...

Good luck ,Vic

Re: Home Made Hides

Posted: February 6th, 2020, 12:00 pm
by Kelly Mc
Hi Vic! Thank you for responding.

I do concur that given our limited substrate materials, which dont receive or enact the pack of natural biome impacts, that the nice sturdiness of the pvc is great substitute for the clean labyrinths of nature.

Re: Home Made Hides

Posted: February 6th, 2020, 9:37 pm
by Kelly Mc
Another plus I can see is the lightness of PVC - I have known of freak accidents that have occurred with pre made hides, there was a series also that had sharp shards per molds and irregularly formed bases, they did not lay flush and were a hazard due to the weight. Once a lady called the place where I worked that her Fl Kingsnake of 20+ years was caught in the hole of its commercial hide - I told her to come and she called me again from her car, as she had the snakes tank in the back seat and indeed it was tightly cinched at the second quadrant, in the entrance of the hide it had lived with for most of its adult life. I was able to break it, using a towel, pliers and a hammer, and there were other times I had encountered same type of circumstance, with a sand boa and a corn snake. In each of these the snakes had the hides in there enclosure for long periods of time, from when they were smaller individuals and were habituated to their use.

It was difficult for me sometimes being in a position where I didnt like some of the products I was supposed to sell. It caused much tension with my employer. I would flat out tell people not to buy things.

I tried to make up for it by selling as much cork bark as I could.

Thanks again for responding Vic, You cross my mind every time I think of Indigos. And other times too, we should keep in touch.

Re: Home Made Hides

Posted: March 5th, 2020, 4:14 am
by Kfen
I really like they PVC idea. I have used PVC pipe cut in half for small aquatic turtle hides, but never the full tube for snakes, I'll have to change that. I like that idea for an aerial hide for arboreals too.

Not a hide, but something ive just been working on. It's a nest box for pancake tortoises. I used some styrofoam pieces to take up space, two cans of spray foam, grey drylok, and brown and black acrylic craft paint. I wish I had the skill to make fake rocks look like real rocks that some people you can find online, but this is definitely better than the blue kitty litter pan with bricks around it I was using.
Rounded edges scraped off. A Dremel or grinder would have probably worked better than the oscillating tool I had.

Re: Home Made Hides

Posted: March 7th, 2020, 3:10 pm
by Kfen
Speaking of PVC (also not a hide but I've decided to turn this thread into all cage furniture. :D Hope you don't mind Kelly)

I bought some used cages awhile ago one of which came with this PVC perch. Someone did an excellent job making it look like a vine. I believe they made the twist and color using a torch or heat gun. I tried to replicate it but fell pretty short on both attributes. Maybe with a little more practice.

Re: Home Made Hides

Posted: May 22nd, 2020, 7:30 am
by Kelly Mc
I can dig it! I always love seeing and reading about your work.

Lets do it with the cage furniture, I'm holding back in discussion as I'm at a kind of turning point with wanting to explore some materials and adhesives ive been wary of before, you are inspiring as always Kfen.

Re: Home Made Hides

Posted: August 28th, 2020, 9:36 am
by Kelly Mc
Hm I think maybe its a good thing it didnt turn out. Heating finished plastics to an extreme is well documented to produce toxins of quite the variety.

For what its worth i have an actual peice of twisted vine thats been in viv for 6 years now that gets regularly misted, with a blow off period between, under lights . its held up well, in said conditions. though it definately is not a hard wood type.

Twisted vines are very light and easy to manipulate and suspend. They have nice colors and textures.