Stuck shed can be a concern for any new
ball python keeper. For those encountering stuck shed for the first time, it is
common to hear others suggest soaking your ball python in warm water. When we
take a look at ball python behavior, Ball pythons would not naturally sit in
bodies of water, but instead find a burrow in the ground which maintains
humidity. Furthermore, being placed in a body of water can be very stressful to
the animal. Instead, it is better to make a Snake Sauna which raises the humidity
level to remove stuck without placing your snake in a scary situation.
Aside from natural behavior, it should
not be necessary to soak your ball python. Ball pythons require a constant
humidity of at least 55%, using a digital hygrometer to measure. If the
humidity is any lower it could risk dehydration of the snake. Dehydration,
soaking in a water bowl, and stuck shed are signs of incorrect husbandry and
should be addressed as soon as possible.
Supplies: Home storage bin with locking lid,
preferably without ventilation holes Coco husk chips (or your favorite water
holding substrate) Water proof, digital thermometer Warm water (90-95 degrees) Large towel
Grab your home storage tub and make sure
it’s clean. A tub without holes is preferable because it will be better to keep
the humidity in. Ball pythons do not have a quick respiratory rate and locking
lid bins are not air tight, so a suffocating snake will not be a concern.
Fill the bottom of the tub with 1-2
inches of coconut chip. The coco chip should be slightly moist before starting.
Next, grab some hot water. The water
should be 90-95 degrees, be sure to measure it with your thermometer so it
doesn’t get too hot!
Fill the coco husk approximately halfway with water and
place the lid on the tub immediately.
Go get the snake, place it in the tub,
and replace the lid.
Then throw a towel over the top. The towel will help to
make the snake feel secure and hidden.
Leave the snake alone, in the box for
15-20 minutes. As the snake moves through the coco chips, aided by the
humidity, it should rub off most, if not all, of the stuck shed.
After the time has passed, remove the
towel. You can see how the warm water raised the humidity and fogged up the
tub. That’s good news, it means your sauna is working!
Next you can check on the snake.
the stuck shed should be rubbed off, however if there are still some stuck
pieces you may want to add a little more hot water and try again for another 10
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