There are all kinds of pets that are acquired by families depending on their tastes. The most popular pets that we can highlight are dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, or birds (parrots or parakeets). However, some people love to have snakes as pets.
Not anyone is suitable to have a snake at home, especially if children or people fear these animals live in that place. It should be noted that many other people are willing to take care of a snake, and that is why they must know everything related to the attention of this type of animal and the possible risks that may exist. Also, not all snakes can be pets, as most of them are usually poisonous.
One of the most popular and non-venomous snakes to be a pet is the Kingsnake. Its easy-care characterizes this animal. They are beautiful snakes that have different color patterns on their bodies. Some of them can be black, white, yellow, and even the combination of those colors. These snakes usually have a size that varies between 80 cm and 155 cm and can weigh between 1.3 kg and 2.2 kg.
They have a fairly calm personality compared to other types of snakes. However, if it is very stressful, it may try to bite you but will not pose any danger as they are not poisonous.
Kingsnakes as Pets
As we have said before, Kingsnakes are non-poisonous animals that have been considered as excellent pets throughout the years. They are easy to care for and can live for approximately 20 years in captivity. That will depend on the quality of life they have and the care that people offer them. Furthermore, these snakes are very popular in the United States of America.
It should be noted that the Kingsnakes are considered wild animals since they have instincts when hunting, biting, sleeping, or exploring a particular environment. Also, they are constrictor snakes.
One of the most critical aspects you should know is that the annual mating period for these snakes is from March to August. Females of this breed tend to lay nests with several eggs ranging from approximately 3 to 24. It will lay its eggs in a humid place, and it will take about 2-3 months to hatch. This data is interesting in case you have two snakes, a female, and a male.
Feeding the Kingsnakes
Like other snakes, Kingsnakes love to eat. These types of snakes like to eat frozen mice. It is necessary to clarify that before feeding them with this food, you must thaw them. It is recommended for baby Kingsnakes.
As they grow, the food portion should be larger. During the pet’s adolescent stage, it will need to eat one or two mice for 2 to 7 days. It is also recommended to feed it with small and large prey so that it can digest them better. When your snake has fully grown, you should give it more than two large mice or prey. You must take into account that the size of their food will depend on the development of your pet.
Controlling food portions is essential as Kingsnakes are the most prone to obesity among all pet snakes. We have previously emphasized that this animal’s preferred food is rodents, but that does not mean that they do not eat other types of animals. Other great foods for Kingsnakes are birds (and their eggs), turtle eggs, frogs, lizards, and even other snakes of the same size.
An interesting fact is that Kingsnakes can eat poisonous snakes without anything bad happening to them as they are immune to the venom.
We should mention that these snakes kill their prey through constriction. That causes the other animal’s blood flow to stop and end up dying. However, it is not recommended that your pet snake have the opportunity to eat live prey since, at some point, it can become stressed and aggressive. The best you can do is feed it with rodents or any other food mentioned above as long as it is dead.
A terrarium is an excellent option for your Kingsnake to live and feel in its natural environment. When creating a terrarium for your pet, make sure that it has a top lid with small holes so that your snake does not escape and that they are large enough for air to pass through.
Get a large terrarium right from the start to remain a perfect place when your snake has reached its maximum growth. The most recommended would be a 60-gallon terrarium.
The substrate you should choose for your Kingsnake terrarium is coconut fiber. It is excellent for retaining moisture, avoiding any toxic agent that may affect your pet’s health. It should be noted that this substrate can have a high price, which would be a problem for snake owners with few economic resources. In those cases, sanitized sand is usually another great option.
Temperature is another crucial aspect for your snake to live properly. You should try to offer a temperature similar to that of its natural habitat. Kingsnakes generally withstand high temperatures during the day and low temperatures at night.
It is recommended to provide your pet with a temperature that varies between 24 ° C and 30 ° C during the day. At night you could set the temperature to approximately 21 ° C. You can even divide the terrarium into two sections in which one presents the hot temperatures and the other the cold ones. Also, be sure to provide enough moisture for them (not much).
Kingsnakes Shedding Skin
This natural process is very common in reptiles. It indicates the growth and development of the animal. It is a good option for you to know the characteristics that your pet will begin to present before shedding its skin.
Generally, Kingsnakes will present dull eyes (with white colors), and their skin will turn bluish, losing a certain bright. These characteristics indicate that your snake will shed its skin. During this time, it is recommended to increase the humidity of the terrarium up to 80% to facilitate the process.