How to take care of baby snakes? Now of course, this isn't a baby king snake, but he just didn't want to let go of me so we're going to let him enjoy what we're going to talk about. The first thing that we really need to understand with taking care of baby snakes is is number one, they need a nice, small, confined, safe spot. What we want to do is and what really works well for our neonates, our young snakes is a plastic container about the size of a shoe box, a little bit more. And what we have to do is is we have to set up a small heat gradient. Remember that snakes are ectothermic, they're cold-blooded.
So it's nice to have our small baby snakes on a shelf, where we can have a little heat pad underneath one side, that will heat up to the high 80's, and then on this other side, even though it's a small box have that where it'll get to maybe 75 to 80. Now people will ask, "Well, how do I know that the heat is just right?" And I think one of the easiest ways of doing it is if you put your snake in that small container and you notice that the snake is always up front where the heat is not, well that's a good indication that that baby snake is too hot over here.
So it's a good idea to lower the heat down on this side and what you'll find is that they'll move from the cooler side to the warmer side. If you notice after that that he's sitting more where the heater is and doesn't go to the cooler end, well, what that tells you is, well, it's not quite hot enough. Snakes don't read the book. So what we want to do is is we want to follow. Now if you have the proper gradient where it's high 80's, low 90 here, 75-80 here, what you're going to find is is you're going to see that snake through the day in different parts of that small little box, so then you know that you have a proper temper gradient.
Now baby snakes will eat maybe twice a week and then as they get older, you'll find that they'll start to where it goes from twice a week to once a week or every five days or so. They should stay nice and rounded, have good color and gloss to them. Although this isn't a baby, just put this into a smaller package, and that's very, very important. They should be active. They should be clear. Now for substrate, for baby snakes you want to make sure that you have something that you can clean readily.
So paper towels, wax paper, butcher's paper it's a very good thing to use as flooring, because you can peel it away. You can see how much we're going to the bathroom, which is very important because if we're not going to the bathroom, it's not a good idea to feed, because you may have an obstruction or a slow bowel. And by using paper when that baby eats it's not eating substrate, which is really important. If you put a bait in there and he goes after it and there's chips or sand or something like that, they'll eat that along with the bait, and that is very dangerous, so especially for your young ones, you need to keep things very clean.
The other nice thing about using the proper substrate the paper towels and the wax paper and all, is you can take a sample to your veterinarian and make sure that you have the stool sample checked, because it's very important to make sure that they don't have internal parasites and things, and those are some helpful hints on taking care of baby snakes.