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Thread: Going bioactive

  1. #11
    Never shed
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    Country: United States

    Re: Going bioactive

    Elisabeth:
    "Eastern" is a very general term for a very broad range of Garter subspecies. If I understand correctly, you got your three Garters 3 months ago. You weren't the breeder so either somebody else bred them for you or they are wild-caught. Either way were you able to confirm a specific locale of origin? That is important. Easterns range from the Canadian province of Ontario to Florida. The latter might brumate 1 month a year while the former might brumate 8 months a year. If you want to provide optimal care you should look into the ancestry of your Garters. Brumation is largely endogenous, and keeping a northern Eastern awake most of the year, or a southern Eastern asleep most of the year, will not bode well for either.

    I'll assume that your three Garters all have the same temperatures, humidity, and exposure to the diurnal cycle. That's very unnatural. And the fact that your Chapala is trying to brumate is not at all surprising, given that it has had ~12 hours of day + ~12 hours of night since dinosaurs were pooping in puddles. Your avatar indicates that you are in USA. Regardless of your location in USA you've had <12 hours of daylight since September 21, and each day is getting shorter and shorter. Chapalas would best be provided with an artificial light source during Winter months in USA, but no so for your other two Garters.

    Be careful with those Facebook groups. They're fine for photos, but most of those people don't have a clue what they're talking about.

    When you say "immediately tried to brumate"... the brumation process for northern snakes starts weeks before they are actually in brumation. What do you mean "food baby she went to bed with"?

    Bioactive is not the healthiest nor cleanest. The ultimate bioactive environment is Nature, where snakes defecate and immediately move far enough away from it so that there's no chance of them breathing in the odor. This is why (part of the reason why), that when wild snakes enter the hibernacula they have been fasting for weeks. Once several feet below the ground, in relatively tight quarters shared with several other snakes (sometimes thousands; read about the Narcisse Snake Dens) they can't afford to expel any noxious waste.

    The healthiest/cleanest bedding is paper towels. I've been breeding for much of the last 40 years and have tried every substrate available; nothing is as efficient as paper towels in absorbing waste and, more importantly, allowing the location of waste to be quickly determined so that it can be removed. All of those set ups with the plants and the rocks and the water falls and the bells and the whistles... they're all aesthetically pleasing to humans but do nothing to enhance the quality of the snakes' lives.

    Nikki:
    About finding Garters in 40ish degree or colder weather. That means a hibernaculum is nearby.

    40 feet up in a tree is a favorite den spot? When? This time of year they are more likely to be 40' under the ground, at least below the frost line.

    When do you watch them come out of the tree trunks; breeding balls way up in the tree? That sounds very odd.

  2. #12
    "Preparing For Second shed" NikkiSixx's Avatar
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    Re: Going bioactive

    Quote Originally Posted by Manitou View Post
    Elisabeth:

    Nikki:
    About finding Garters in 40ish degree or colder weather. That means a hibernaculum is nearby.

    40 feet up in a tree is a favorite den spot? When? This time of year they are more likely to be 40' under the ground, at least below the frost line.

    When do you watch them come out of the tree trunks; breeding balls way up in the tree? That sounds very odd.
    Yes, in a tree, way up in it. They have a den below in some old tree roots below the frost line. In the spring we go there and watch them come out, they come out right by the base, to all the way up high in the trees. I have pictures to prove it. I am still looking for the pictures of me in the tree taking pictures of a breeding ball that was up there. But Here is the picture to prove temp and a snake in hand. We go early spring to find them. Once it warms up, we don't go back to that spot.

  3. #13
    "Preparing For Second shed" NikkiSixx's Avatar
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    Re: Going bioactive


  4. #14
    "Preparing For Second shed" NikkiSixx's Avatar
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  5. #15
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    Re: Going bioactive


    I'm not doubting that they've been out in 40F, I've seen them sunning themselves on a calm day in the mid-30's. But it's an indication that there is an underground retreat nearby (aka hibernaculum) so that when the sun drops and night temps fall below freezing they can return to safety and not freeze to death. They will remain in the vicinity until night temps are above freezing for several consecutive nights then they will disperse.

    During Autumn they begin returning to that area, dropping below the frost line at night and coming up during the day to sun themselves and finish digesting the last of their Summer meals.

    This brumation has been going on since before Homo sapiens existed and we can learn from the process and mimic the process for our captive Garters.

  6. #16
    "First shed, A Success"
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    Re: Going bioactive

    Quote Originally Posted by NikkiSixx View Post
    Yes, in a tree, way up in it. They have a den below in some old tree roots below the frost line. In the spring we go there and watch them come out, they come out right by the base, to all the way up high in the trees. I have pictures to prove it. I am still looking for the pictures of me in the tree taking pictures of a breeding ball that was up there. But Here is the picture to prove temp and a snake in hand. We go early spring to find them. Once it warms up, we don't go back to that spot.
    That's really cool. I totally believe that.

    My eastern and plains garter are very arboreal in the limited height of their 40 breeder. I stack cork rounds and branches and they are very adept at climbing and prefer to be perched up high rather than on the ground or on or in their ground-level hides. The temperatures are accurate for their ground-level hides and basking spot; they just prefer being up higher.

  7. #17
    Never shed Elisabeth83's Avatar
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    Re: Going bioactive

    Quote Originally Posted by Manitou View Post
    Elisabeth:
    "Eastern" is a very general term for a very broad range of Garter subspecies. If I understand correctly, you got your three Garters 3 months ago. You weren't the breeder so either somebody else bred them for you or they are wild-caught. Either way were you able to confirm a specific locale of origin? That is important. Easterns range from the Canadian province of Ontario to Florida. The latter might brumate 1 month a year while the former might brumate 8 months a year. If you want to provide optimal care you should look into the ancestry of your Garters. Brumation is largely endogenous, and keeping a northern Eastern awake most of the year, or a southern Eastern asleep most of the year, will not bode well for either.
    Shoot... im not 100% sure of the Eastern girl’s lineage, but I know the breeders are located in Florida. So I would cautiously assume that she’s a local subspecies. I know she was captive born but not sure if captive bred. I would ask the breeders but they don’t seem to speak English too well and they haven’t even gotten back to me on when her birthday is yet (yes I celebrate my snakes’ birthdays, I’m lame okay ). So I don’t have high hopes of hearing back from them on much of anything. My eastern and my wandering now only seem to be interested in eating once a week, whereas they both used to eat every 3 days. They’re not shedding as often either. So maybe they are just now getting ready to brumate? Or just getting older and not growing as fast...or both? My wandering is a half yearling now and I don’t think my eastern is that much younger, maybe 5 months old.
    My Chapala is still eating like a pig with no signs of slowing down.

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