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  • [Misc] Soft hides?

    So this question comes from a response to a spilled water bowl that turned into an experiment with my collection.

    A while back, I put bigger water tubs in with my 2008 and 2009 BCIs, and over a couple of weeks I had to clean up numerous spills. As part of my immediate response, I placed a large towel over the animal and on the floor of the enclosure. I noticed if i walked away for thirty minutes to give the towel time to soak up water the animal would curl up inside the towel and remain relatively calm. So because I don't have large hides for these monsters at the moment, and they seemed to like the towel, I have been placing a large towel over the animal in the enclosure and they seem to be very happy with the added security. Also, as a bonus I can simply pick up the entire towel (carefully) with the snake inside to remove for cleaning.

    I had thought about using make shift hides with shipping bags for my smaller animals. Before proceeding, I thought I would get the collectives opinion to ensure I'm not overlooking something critical?

  • #2
    Re: Soft hides?

    The thing you'll want to watch out for with cloth or paper or anything soft is feeding time. If they catch it on their tooth or a wet rodent sticks to it, the snake can pull the whole thing in their mouth and it will be very difficult for them to pass it. Aside from that, I don't see any issues.
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    • #3
      Re: Soft hides?

      Originally posted by natieb View Post
      ...watch out for with cloth or paper or anything soft is feeding time. ...
      Right I was aware of this, my thought was to remove it 24hrs prior to feeding. I have to remove and clean the towel every so often anyways for sanitation.

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      • #4
        Re: Soft hides?

        I've thought about doing this but I know my girl will poop on it and I don't know how to clean the poop off before throwing it into the laundry. I wouldn't use it as a replacement for a hard hide but as an alternative hide.

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        • #5
          Re: Soft hides?

          My largest adult female Dumerils boa is 7-8 feet long, thick, and has a few "blankies" (old towels) that I use for hides. She loves them! And if she messes on one I just take it outside and drop any solids into the grass, and then run it through the washing machine the same way you'd do with soiled cloth diapers - HOT water, ammonia, soak, double rinse/spin, etc.

          I do remove it while she eats and put it back once she's settled down - and for a week afterward all I see is her nose. She's very adept at getting herself under it so she's completely covered.
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          • #6
            Re: Soft hides?

            Originally posted by bcr_229 View Post
            you'd do with soiled cloth diapers - HOT water, ammonia, soak, double rinse/spin, etc.
            Yeah... I'm the guy who throws my towels in with my gym clothes and my work clothes.
            I'll have to figure out how to do that for her. lol Just need to find some more nice towels.

            EDIT: My cleaning tub/travel tub has a towel in it and she will bury herself in it if I leave her alone for over 5 minutes. It doesn't even get disturbed by her. She just disappears. It is the fact that I know it is locked that she is still in there. I clean that towel once every couple months because she isn't in it often.

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            • #7
              Re: Soft hides?

              I really like this idea. My Dumerils Boa is a little over 6ft and she's so thick that any sort of hide just doesn't work. She likes to bury herself in the shavings but after a few days they get so packed down she can't do that anymore. I'm definitely going to give this a try : )
              “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -DA
              www.outworldreptiles.com

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              • #8
                Re: Soft hides?

                Sounds like a pretty decent idea to me.


                -Sean in NoCal
                “Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood – the virtues that made America.”
                -Teddy Roosevelt.

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                • #9
                  Re: Soft hides?

                  Originally posted by Zaphod42 View Post
                  I really like this idea. My Dumerils Boa is a little over 6ft and she's so thick that any sort of hide just doesn't work. She likes to bury herself in the shavings but after a few days they get so packed down she can't do that anymore. I'm definitely going to give this a try : )
                  You may want to switch to paper, otherwise the shavings can stick to the towel and end up clogging your clothes washer.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Soft hides?

                    Originally posted by walla2GSP View Post
                    Right I was aware of this, my thought was to remove it 24hrs prior to feeding. I have to remove and clean the towel every so often anyways for sanitation.
                    I see nothing wrong with towels as hides/substrates, as long as you never feed the snake on them (as already mentioned)...they're certainly comfy! But why take the towels away 24 hours prior to feeding? That could
                    only make the snake nervous? And some snakes, maybe not most boas, but some others might be too nervous to eat after spending hours in a bare cage? I can't say I'd enjoy doing the "laundry" but I've used indoor-
                    outdoor carpets before (mostly for the BCI I used to have), and while I didn't enjoy hand-washing them, I have to say my boa loved the traction. And you can take a piece of that stuff & roll it into a tunnel for your snake
                    too, another type of "soft hide". (many ways to attach it) I washed the backless nylon carpets in the tub or large laundry sink, btw.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Soft hides?

                      Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
                      ... But why take the towels away 24 hours prior to feeding?...
                      Mainly because I don't wanna get bit. I feed the entire collection on Saturday for the most part so Saturdays are a "no handling" day for me and the snakes have become accustom to this quickly. Because everybody is in feeding mode on Saturday I don't do anything excessive that day if I can avoid it. I have a big girl in my collection that to date has never bitten anyone (she is the one in the classified on here), but on saturdays she will strike at her door if I get my hand too close to it, I have only had her for a few months. I haven't been bitten by an adult snake (knock on wood) for a few years now and I would like to keep it that way if I can, if not for my hands sake for the health of the animal.

                      I suppose I could take it out in the morning carefully but it just seems like more risk than I'm willing to take at this point.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Soft hides?

                        Originally posted by walla2GSP View Post
                        Mainly because I don't wanna get bit....
                        Oh, gotcha! I see where you're coming from...a little "self-preservation" is a real good thing! LOL

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                        • #13
                          Re: Soft hides?

                          To be clear, the towel I use only covers a third to half of the enclosure. I feed f/t and I tease the boa away from the towel. While the boa has the feeder wrapped I remove the towel since the snake is too busy with the feeder to care about what I'm doing. The boa gets a clean towel after a few hours or the next morning, depending on how long it stays foody.

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