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How to Take Care of a King Snake

Learn how to take care of a king snake in this Howcast video about pet snakes.


A king snake is a very good choice as a pet for the experienced and the inexperienced, and the reason why is not only are they beautiful, but they're a much more docile snake. They can grow to be six to seven feet long. They can live sometimes 15 to 20 years. It's important to know this, because when you get this good-looking guy you've got to be ready to take care of him for a good 15 years.

Now pink snakes are carnivorous and they'll eat mice readily. When they're smaller you'll go with pinkies, and a good easy way of figuring out how to feed and how much to feed is to find the thickest part of the snake's body, and this width should be the width of the bait that you feed. It should not be more than this. It's a good gauge to try to figure out what size you should feed your snake.

A king snake and milk snakes, some of them have these beautiful bands, can sometimes resemble coral snakes which are poisonous. A coral snake which has yellow, red, and black bands, the yellow always touches the red. For your milk and your kings, the black will touch the red.
So that's a good way of figuring out whether you've got to run or not. If you see a snake that looks like this, but has yellow touching red, you better dread and get on your way. If it's black and red it's this friendly old king snake, and you don't have anything to worry about.

Now these guys you can find anywhere in the United States and in Mexico, so they're very easy to take care of. For the terrarium they require a heat gradient of about the mid to high 80's down to even 75 degrees. They can be shy and they like hiding spots. So it's very important to make sure that we have a hiding spot in the terrarium. Very important, otherwise they'll really be stressed. And it should be just big enough that they can fit in where the sides of the snake will touch the sides of the hiding spot. A pot for plants, cardboard box, anything will do, but it's very important.

For humidity, they do very well in about 50 to 60%, and the easy way of controlling that is having a water area, a little basin that has a little bit of water, just enough to where it covers the snake. That will control humidity. It also helps this little guy with his digestion and going to the bathroom, and it also sometimes can be very helpful in times of shedding, because it'll keep things moist and make the skin easier to shed. I hope those are some good helpful hints for you for taking care of your king snake.

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