Reptile Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
well here goes nothing (everything?).....

Hi, newbie here...


i've recently found this forum and at last have the potential of some impartial advise, without there being a sale behind the recommendations:)
having read several posts here i can't help thinking my poor snake may be suffering from poor housing conditions,
although the regular eating and shedding pattern would suggest otherwise?
i hope you can spare the time to read my ramblings,
and spare some of your valuable time to comment on some or all of my newbie questions.
many thanks in advance,

THE BEASTIE, NO NAME:( either Sid or Nancy or maybe Fluffy 2, all very original eh?
HEY, how about FATTY?, i hope not!
he / she is a Nelsons' Milk?
male / female?
approx 16 months old, 920mm long and 25mm diameter at it's thickest,
although the head seems quite small in comparison at 16mm wide x 12 high, but im no expert.
i've no idea of the weight yet, but can find out if that's important or helps with any diagnosis.
all dimensions are approximate, has anyone tried measuring a snake, easy eh? :)

how much larger can i expect it to get and when would i consider the growing phase as complete?


it's been shedding regularly about once a month.
the original feeding programme supplied by the seller was,

1 pink for 10 feeds, then 2 pinks for 10 feeds.
the repeat for fluffs,
then repeat for small mice.

may be a little generic, but was working.

he loved pinks and fluffs, but doesn't really like small mice, not sure why, could it be the texture, the size or the smell/taste, i've had several batches, they all smell the same.
so has been eating several fluffs in a sitting every 4-5 days.
i kept trying small mice from time to time, but almost all of them ended up in the bin.
i don't want to over / under feed, but have never been unable to find a guide anywhere that tells me how much a snake should be eating compared to it's size and weight, all seems to be a bit of a dark art.
i've been advise recently, to try again and get it eating small mice, and have just started a one small mouse every 8 day cycle. the first one went okay. from my point of view that didn't look like enough, so i offered another a few hours later, but in the morning it was uneaten, so in the bin it went.
is eating too well or not enough?

are we on the right track?


have a few questions regarding the habitat and living conditions of my snake, as it is considerably bigger than when he arrived.

should my snake climb, it likes to given the chance, or is it just trying to escape:)
all viv on the market are quite tall, probably for the climber out there.
for a snake that spend most of it's time under cover, that seems like a waste. it also looks a little strange too,

what size viv should it be in now / when he/she finishes growing?
what size heat mat should i have?
what temperature should it be set at?
do i really need a night setting?
water bowl size?

something to climb / clamber over?
other decor?

regarding a hide, would this one work?
where would the heat pad go? how would i maintain a gradient?

there maybe more questions, but you've probably had enough already.
that's if your still here.
$h!t they've gone! :(

oh well, perhaps someone else will make it this far?

best wishes for 2007 everyone, and happy snaking




6,229 Posts
Phew that wa sa long post! :lol:
I will try and address all of your questions (sorry if I miss any!)

Firstly your snake looks to be in very nice condition, so you must be doing something right! As for the fluff eating.. you say he did eat a small mouse but you felt it wasnt enough.. if he wouldnt take a second then I wouldnt worry, 1 small mouse is enough for now. I would personally go back to feeding a small mouse once per week. Dont worry if he doesnt take occassionally, its nothing to panic about.

Adult length for nelsons is about 3feet - so he is a good size already. As an adult he will want a 3foot viv probably (you could get away with smaller but he should appreciate the space) - theyre usually 3ft x18" x18" but you can get them at 15" depth and height too from some places.

Decor wise he should have at least 2 hides, one at the warm end of the viv and one at the cool end. You can use anything from the caves you mentioned to cork bark or terracotta flower pots! His waterbowl should be large enough for him to soak in, but neednt be huge.

Some snakes do like to climb, it can be quite individual. You can put a branch from a fruit or beech tree (or a false one from the pet shop) in the tank if you like to give your nsake the option of climbing.

Heating wise a ceramic heater would be better than a heatmat for a full-sized viv. This will need to be plugged into a suitable porcelain socket (available from rep shops or maplins) and on a pulse thermostat. The hot end should be around 82F with a cool end in the mid 70s.

You can use heatmats (they should cover a third of the viv floor) but you will have to construct a false floor to cover it, thus preventing burns. Even then they do not heat as well as a ceramic.

Hope that helps a little!

1,090 Posts
I agree with all Pendlehog said :D

I have a similar sized pueblan milk and find that smaller meals work better than larger ones. Larger feeds just seem to end up with mine sitting around, getting fat.

A small mouse or decent sized rat pup every week should be fine. Yours looks a tiny bit plump but nothing to worry about as long as you don't overfeed from now on.

5,284 Posts
Gary, Gary, Gary, My New Best Friend. A Normal Nelson Milksnake Keeper Too! I Have A nelsons Milksnake, 16 months-ish too (CB05) And Its pretty much identical, maybe a bit smaller or bigger, give or take, Although i think smaller. I'd Say About 70/80cm's. And shes Chunkying Up.


I Sexed Mine By Popping, But i wouldn't advise. If there are any reptile shops breeders or even where u got the snake from if experienced, then they should be able to sex your snake, either being popping or probing.

And He/She Defernetly looks like a nelsons. Mine is below.


She Is Housed In A 2ftx1.5ftx1.5ft Vivarium (Pictures Below) This Would be suitable all the way through life. They should only reach max about 4ft, But Average is about 3/3 and a Half feet.

As For Cimbing, Mine was a kean climber at the starter, often finding its way up the back and along the uv tube (UV light not necessary) But I used to have sticks up the back to bottom front. But she never really climbs much, just sneaking under the Aspen (if you dont have this substrate, i reccomend it, as the cloubrids love it an dits natural looking).

Heat Pad Under Substrate if Wooden Vivarium, if Glass aquairum then underneath. If glass (Put card on 3 sides of the cage so it doesnt get stressed)


Mine is small Mice too, And fed every 7 days. I could push 2 in, but i don't. Not for now, As Winter, and would be a slimmer chance of catching in the wild, Aswell as money side of things (Sssh :p) Aslong as your milksnake is eating and defecating fine, then it should be grand. Every 5 days at 16 months i think you should feed every 7 days (My feeding day is sunday) She is a right sneeky bugger when eating, she has 2 quick nibbles then wolfs it down. NEVER heard of a problem feeder Milksnake.

Mirage My Female Nelson's;

How His Vivarium Was Before, With Branches;

And This It Now (Also, Try and find the little tinker in the picture ;):p Good Luck)

And A Other Without Hide-And-Seek

And You can go through all of my photo's on my photobucket;

1,502 Posts
if u measure the shed, you need to minus bout 20% of it too get a more accurate length of the snake as the skin stretches as it comes off.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.