& Milksnake Captive Care
for detailed care sheets
"Kingsnakes and milksnakes
are some of the most beautiful snakes in the world and are very
popular and easily kept in captivity.   Moderately sized and
usually quite docile, these snakes appeal to the beginner as well
as to the experienced herpetoculturist.
The scientific name for the
genus of kingsnakes and milksnakes is Lampropeltis. Lampro
is derived from the Greek word for "shiny" and peltis, Greek
for "shields." The name is a very accurate descriptor of these snakes
with their glossy, smooth, well-defined scales."
taken from the site of  Melissa
I've covered the basics here. Snakes are very
easy to keep as well as being very enjoyable. If you need more detailed
information you can email
me, or visit anapsid.org
- Temperature gradient ranging from
76F (low end) to 86F (high end), nighttime drops into the
- Use thermometers to accurately gauge
- NEVER use a hot
- Provide clean water at all times.
This will usually provide enough humidity, and you might often
see your snake bathing in it.
- I use a Rubbermaid container with
a hole cut in the top to provide the snake a sense of security.
- Hide Boxes
- Your snake will need somewhere it
can "hide" in order to feel secure and lead a stress free
life. The absence of stress is vital to its health.
- A plastic flower pot base with an
appropriate sized opening cut into one side works very well.
- If you choose to make a "natural"
looking vivarium for your snake, make sure that you research
the snake's place of origin in order to make a natural vivarium
that mimics the snake's natural surroundings.
- I use newspaper on my larger snakes,
and plain paper towels on my smaller ones. I find it easy
to clean, and messes are very easy to notice at a glance.
- If you prefer to use a "natural" type
substrate, again research the serpentís natural local for
the appropriate type.
- If you cannot AVOID BARK or any other
types of SHAVINGS, them you need to feed the snake in a SEPARATE
enclosure. Bark and wood chips can easily be ingested by the
snake during feeding, causing serious or FATAL problems. (Use
only untainted aspen shavings as cedar, redwood, and possibly
pine are toxic)
- One of the first things people naturally
want to do with their new snake is to handle it. Ideally,
the snake shouldn't be messed with in any sort for a week
or two. This gives the snake plenty of time to accommodate
to it's new surroundings and begin to feel secure. Try and
give it as much time as possible to make the adjustment. Most
serpents can live in excess of 10 years, so there'll be plenty
of time for handling in the future.
- You also need to watch for parasites
and/or worms in the stool of the herp. And be sure to Quarantine
any new acquisitions for 90 days to avoid the spread of disease.
- I feed my snakes pre-killed
whenever possible. Kings and Milks will readily take thawed
rodents of the appropriate size, which makes keeping them
that much easier and enjoyable.
- These guys are also great to have
around if you have another, finicky snake. My smallest king
is known as my "disposal" unit. She gets fed last just in
case anyone else decides they aren't hungry.