texas ratsnake

also its not a Big Deal but it really bothers me when posts get passed around on social media Wildly misidentifying various animals

one of the biggest offenders is the first two photos being passed around as a baby crow:

which are a corn crake and a buff banded rail respectively, unlike the true wonderfully ugly and much more interesting reality that is a baby crow:

or the one “albino black mamba” photo thats actually just a pissed off leucistic texas ratsnake (theres no known images of an albino black mamba)

chevrille  asked:

Hey, I know you don't publicly talk about it but can you privately tell me how you keep your green rats? I have a trio coming and wanna make em something nice when theyre done with qt. Thanks!

Sure! There’s a ton of factors that would shake out different answers from me, so let’s go over them. And what the hell, let’s make it public for now.

The primary things we need to know is if they’re WC/CB, and their general age.

If they are young (which imo is the best case scenario), I really recommend not making a display until they’re older, and definitely house them separately. Since this species can be really easily spooked off food, into getting sick, etc, it’s best to keep them to the bare minimum paper towels, any hides, and waterbowl in a tub/rack to start them off for at least a couple years. I’m keeping all of mine in ‘growout tub style‘ until they’re chowing on small adult mice.

If they are WC adults, I’d keep them on paper towel even in their display. Treating their parasites is a lifelong task that you gotta keep an eye out for constantly (ie, constantly inspecting poops), and even if you shotgun as many meds as you can in the beginning there’s a really good chance something bizarre will survive that you need to catch later. I’ve finally switched my LTC silver male Fenris to reptichip, but he’s been healthy in my care for 4-5 years now (and I still poop inspect).

For WC animals you’ll need a slightly-smaller-than-expected cage, as enclosed as possible. In these cases I use fake decor and the background is just a window cling image, so I can put the animals into holding tubs, break down the cage to bare glass and really scrub-sanitize everything once a week or every other. Keeping things as clean as you can really goes a long way in the longevity of field collected gonyos. You can still make the cage look nice! But it’s just a matter of carefully planning how you make it work.

Now, if you’re absolutely sure you’re getting CB/CH adults, I tend to lean towards what their setup was previous to your ownership so they can settle in as easily as possible. If they were living in breeder bins previously, keep them in that for a year or two until they’re super duper comfortable around you and the household workings, and then begin planning the display (though some super high strung ones will never move past this phase and will always live best in a tub format. You need to play it by ear and respect what the animal is most comfortable with). If they were previously in a display, then you can go ahead to the really fancy display phase.

So lastly, if you have confident CH/CB adults you bought or grew out, you can basically go hog wild with whatever cage design you want, at a little larger than the WCs will ever want. They use climbing features about as much as texas ratsnakes; Jen and Lo currently will take maybe five minutes every other day to do a lap around the cage and then back into a hide. A far cry from how green tree pythons work, so you don’t really need to worry about branch gradients, but I’m currently playing with providing an RHP as the main heat source to encourage them going up there. I also keep their displays as sealed up as chondros, and mist them down like chondros.

Other people can debate these methods to death I suppose, but that’s the basic rundown of how I’ve gotten some success with this species. Hope that helps, lemme know if you have any questions!

flickr

Auryn by Julian Rossi
Via Flickr:
Leucistic Texas rat snake.

4

I have a cellphone now which means I have a camera I can pretty much take on the go! This makes taking snake pictures much more convenient than lugging my big old semi-functioning camera around to work. So I apologize for the quality, but I hope you’ll enjoy the influx of photos.

This is probably my favorite kid from work. He’s easily the prettiest scaleless snake I’ve ever seen. Most of the others are more red or peachy, but he’s got stunning oranges and yellows with black saddles. He also has a very nice head shape.

He’s very inquisitive and kind of fussy in some ways. For instance, he never takes his food off the tongs. I have to make sure he smells it then gently set it down and check back 10 or so minutes later. After which it will usually be gone.

He also loves making an absolute mess of my hair if given the opportunity.