Pets & Animal Reptiles

How to Care for a Baby Black Rat Snake

    • 1). Place a 10-gallon aquarium in a quiet location in your home. Baby black rat snakes are sensitive to their environmental conditions and should be kept in an area where they will not be disturbed to minimize stress on the snake.

    • 2). Place a reptile heating mat under one side of the aquarium and ensure that the temperature remains around 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

    • 3). Fold old newspaper to the dimension of the aquarium base and place in the tank. Newspaper is a cheap, disposable substrate that is easy to change as needed in order to maintain a hygienic environment for baby black rat snakes.

    • 4). Place a small snake house in the aquarium on the opposite side from the heating pad. Baby black rat snakes are exothermic and regulate their body temperature by moving between the basking site and their house as needed.

    • 5). Fill a small water dish and place in the center of the aquarium. Ensure that the water dish is large enough for the baby black rat snake to soak in. Rat snakes will often soak in water before they shed their skin to facilitate a complete shed.

    • 6). Put your baby black rat snake in the aquarium, secure the lid and cover the aquarium with a black cloth to allow the snake to acclimate to its new surroundings. You can remove the cloth after 24 hours to see how the snake is doing.

    • 7). Change the water every two to three days to maintain a fresh supply of water for the snake at all times.

    • 8). Feed the snake as many baby mice as it will eat once each week. Once the snake starts to feed, the number of mice consumed should steadily increase with the size of the snake.

    • 9). Remove the snake from the aquarium and place in a plastic container with a secure lid anytime you notice the snake has defecated.

    • 10

      Change the newspaper and wash the inside of the aquarium with a mild bleach solution to disinfect the enclosure. Rinse with fresh water, dry, and place a clean sheet of newspaper and the cage furnishings back into the aquarium before you re-introduce your baby black rat snake.

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