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ive been working on a caresheet.....here is what i have so far:

Royal Python Caresheet
Latin and other names: Python Regius, Ball Python:-
The name often used by them and the american word for them is `ball python`...This name refers to the propensity of the species to coil into a tight ball when they feel threatened.
In the wild
Royal Pythons are found in west africa,their natural habitat is open forest or savanna grasslands,with low tree density.They are crepuscular, active around dawn and dusk
They eat a variety of things in the wild from amphibians, lizards, other snakes, birds to small mammals.
General Information
Size and Growth rate:-
Hatchlings range from 10 inches-17 inches, Adults typically range from 3 - 5 feet in length, Though in the wild they have been recorded reaching more than 6 feet long.
Lifespan:-
A captive, Healthy Royal Python can live between 20 - 30 years, The oldest on record for a captive Royal Python is 47.
Buying a Royal Python
Captive bred juveniles are the best choice for a first snake.The snake should have a rounded body,And shouldnt have a `pronounced` backbone or any rib definition.The skin should be clear and free from injuries or burns...always check the belly.
If all of this appears to be ok, Ask to hold the snake, The snake should not be `cold`, If it is ,its likely the shop or breeder has cooled the snake ...They do this to aggressive snakes because the cold slows and calms them down , As soon as you get it at its right temperature it could be an agressive snake...it is a trick breeders have used before.They should be at the same temperature to you or slightly warmer.They should feel muscular to hold, Not limp.A good indication to a healthy Royal Python is to hold near the tail/bottom end of snake and the snake should be easily able to lift its head all the way to your hand, If it can it is in good shape.
Then follow these steps:-
1. With one hand, Hold the snake behind its head, While supporting its body on a table or use your other arm to hold it against your body.With the other hand, Gently pull the skin underneath the lower jaw to open the mouth of the snake.Look for a presence of bubbly mucus - which is a sign of respitory infection.
2. While you have got the mouth open, Look for signs of stomatitis, Areas of gums will be covered with `cheesy` looking matter.In some cases red,rew and injured areas will be evident.Avoid buying a snake with these symptoms.
3. Make sure the eyes are clear, If the Roayl Python is in shed eyes will appear cloudy or bluey.The eyes should not have any scaring on them.
4. Examine the vent (opening to the cloaca),The anal scale should be flat against the body and should be clear from fecal matter.
5. Check body for lumps, Check backbone, Gently rub along the spine, Any depressed areas could mean injury to the spine, Collapsed areas along the sides are signs of broken ribs.
6. Check for mites, Mites are tiny, Bead like athropods...They also look like sesame seeds.They are usually present in the rim of the eye and the eye itself.If the Royal Python is badly infested with mites, You will also see them on your hands and possibly small white flecks on the snakes skin, This is mite fecal matter.
Mites are a pain to treat and it can be an expensive job to get rid of them.If you have other snakes...DONT buy a snake with mites.Always wash your hands between handeling diffrent snakes.
Taking your Royal Python home
If you have intentions to buy, Before you go to get your snake, You shoud prepare something to transport the snake in.You should try to lessen stress, You can use styrofoam coolers, Or a cardboard box.In cold weather or long journeys you should use a heatpack to provide heat, These are usually 5 pounds for a pack of 3 from boots and superdrug and other pharmacy places...They are used to treat backpain.Or you can order them over the internet from places like Livefood UK and other reptile stores.Make sure you make a few air holes.You can also use an old pillow case, Tied securely for short journeys.
Checklist
Make sure you have the following before you bring the snake home:-
Vivarium or housing-with either vivarium lock or secure lids
Substrate - also see substrate later on in caresheet
Heating and Lighting
Thermostat and dimmer stats
Hides
Food
Lightguard
Thermometers
Housing
All housing wehter Vivarium, Plastic tub or tank needs to be secure...They are good escape artists.
For a juvenile Royal Python the minimal size vivarium should be 18 inches long x 10 inches wide, For small adults, It shoud be atleast 24 inches long x 12 inches wide,Butlarger is better, For large adult Royals 36 inches long x 12 inches wide is minimum.However having a ft Royal in a 6ft vivarium will stress the snake out, And will probably stop feeding and can also become snappy and aggressive.
Substrate
Newspaper is the easiest,cleanest and cheapest and good for monitering feces.You can also use Shredded Cypress bark, Aspen shavings, Orchid bark, But do not use anything with cedar in it, As cedar is toxic to reptiles, Word of warning.....Using these substrates could mean your snake ingests when feeding, Unless you feed in a seperate container.I personally reccomend newspaper.
Lighting
Snakes need 13-14 hours worth of light in the summer months and 10-11 in the wointer months and cooling period.If you are using a bulb to keep the ambient temperature right at night - use red bulbs as snakes cannot see red.For day time a standard bulb is ok.Be sure to use wire lightguards to protect against thermal burns.
Heating
Heatmats are mainly used, And canbe placed under the vivarium or inside...but you must use a thermostat, So you can monitor the temperature the heatmat is at, And prevent burns as heartmats can get really hot and does kill snakes.
If you want to use ceramics instead of using a lightbulb, These are equally as effective.You will also need a guard around the ceramic bulb.
You need a good thermometer, Either an analog or a digital thermometer, So you can keep an eye on the temperatures.These are a `must-have` to correctly monitor the right temperatures.For precise readings you can also use an infra-red temperature gun.
Tempatures should be:80 - 85 F (27 - 29 C) during the day, with a basking spot of around 90 F (32 C). Night time temperatures can fall to around 75 F (23 -24 C)
Dimmerstats:-
Dimmerstats are another option for heat control, They will monitor vivarium temperatures and increase or decrease temperatures as needed.
Water
Your Royal shoul always have access to clean, Fresh water, You can use pretty much anysize water bowl, Theymay even enjoy a soak in it from time to time..They do have a tendancy to use as a toilet, So keep an eye on it so you can clean it out.
Humidity
A quick spray once or twice a day should provide good humidity. When your snake is in shed, You need to up the humidity.Spagnum moss placed in a vibarium will provide extra humidity during the shedding process.If you dont provide extra humidity your snake will have a `bad shed`, So be sure to raise humidity during shed.
Hide box
Royal Pythons are secretive, Shy snakes and need to feel secure, So providing atleast one hide will make your snake feel safe and secure.You can use exo-terra caves whicjh canbe bought in reptile shops and also over the internet.Or you can use a cardboard box, The hide needs to be tight and secure.Cardboard boxes can be thrown away when soiled, Plastic ones are easy to clean, But cork bark and wooden hides can be hard to clean and can harbour fungus.Crumpling and balling newspaper and placing in the vivarium also makes the Snake feel secure...This is a good trick for non-feeders.
Cleaning
Spot clean in the vivarium daily,If using newspapersimply throw away and replace.Once a month- unless needed before- completely clean out the vivarium.Make up 10% bleach to 90% water and clean the vivarium, Wash with just water afterwards and allow to dry before putting the snake back in.Wash hide, Waterbowl and other accesories once a week to prevent bacterial build up.
Feeding
Royal Pythons eat mice and rats in captivity, And are easily bought from local reptile shops and some `good` petshops or over the internet from sites such as Livefood UK .It is illegal to feed your snake live rodents, In extreme cases exceptions can be made in order to save the snakes life, But dont broadcast it if you need to do it.Feeding live can cause big injuries to your snake.
A hatchling Royal Python will start on mouse `fluffs` and when adult should feed on adult medium/large rats.A general rule is you can feed a mouse or rat that is as wide as the widest part of the body and you can also go a `bit` bigger.It should leave a slight bulge in your snakes belly.Avoid feeding chicks as they lack nutrients, Also try and get your royal feeding on rats as soon as possible as they are more nutritious than mice.
Non-feeders and feeding tips
To encourage your Royal Python to feed, Try these tips:-
Firstly make sure its fully defrosted, Warm the rodent either using a heatmat or by using a hairdryer.
Try strike feeding using tongs or you can leave the rodent in the viv, and the snake can eat on its own.
If your Royal Python is not feeding, Dont offer food for weeks, Then try again, Try feeding at night with all lights out and also leave the rodent in the vivarium overnight.
Royals will often not feed when in the shed cycle, do not handle before/after feeding as this can also cause non-feeding and regurgetating.
Tuna oil or tuna juice can also stimulate feeding...dip the rodent in the juice then offer to the snake.
Assist/Force feeding
Assist feeding or force feeding is a last resort option only, And only if your snake is loosing weight.Check your snakes temperatures,enviroment and general health before doing this, Also try and seek help of a snake keeper who is experienced at force feeding, Prior to trying on your own.
You need a small `fuzzie` mouse, Defrosted in water - warm water.Small foreceps and a steady hand, Also a friend to help hold the snake might help.
To assist feed:-
Get the mouse and hold the mouse just behing the ears, With your fingers or foreceps, Gently use the nose of the mouse to prod the snake into opening its mouth, Then place the mouse head down the snakes throat so the head starts to disapear down the gulet, Water can be used to lubricate.Gently place the snake down, Hold its mouth over the mouse, And release your grip, Hopefully your snake will begin to swallow the mouse, Keep your movements minimal, As if the Royal is startled it could spit it out.
Force feeding
soak the mouse in water to lubricate, Place the mouse head down the throat, Whilst been gentle, Carefully massage the mouse down a few inches and put the snake down.
Offer feeds in-between force feeding to see if the snake will feed for itself.
EvolutionRPM
to be added:- morphs,genetics,health problems and breeding
Written by Laura aka Admin.
Feel free to use this care sheet, But please state the origional author





what other things do you think i can add?going to do genetics and health....anything else?
 

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It looks good to me :smile:. You could mention times not to handle (like when feeding or shedding)...sorry if you did include this, I mostly skimmed :oops:.

Another idea might be to put it through a spell check? I don't mean that to be rude, there's just one or two typos. But it looks very helpful over all :smile:

Edit: I just saw the bit that does cover that, sorry :oops:
 
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