View Full Version : aspen or walnut shell as snake substrate?

09-02-2009, 02:47 AM
for those that keep snakes, what would you recommend as a substrate, would you recommend aspen or walnut shell as a substrate?

this is for my display tank, otherwise i normally keep them on paper towels.


09-02-2009, 04:17 AM
Out of the 100 or so snakes we keep, I'd say that about 90 of them are kept on rabbit pellets. I discuss the pro's and con's here (http://www.cornsnakes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47758). I find them a much safer and cheaper alternative to any other type of substrate, especially for hognose snakes.

09-02-2009, 11:33 AM
Rabbit pellets is an interesting suggestion for Hogs. I, at one time, experimented with a type of horse pellet bedding that worked very well other then when it got wet it turned to powder. Currently, because of how cheap it is (ie FREE) I use finely shredded paper. Hogs don't seem to mind and do burrow in it. I've also successfully used Aspen as well.

09-02-2009, 06:06 PM
Rabbit pellets have been a great substrate for my purposes.

They are great to burrow in, they clump like cat litter when defecated upon, they are cheap, and best of all, they are safe if ingested.

The two biggest problems with them is that they can get moldy if in a humid environment and they can be drying to particular species of snakes, meaning, they can draw out moisture and cause shed problems if a moist hide is not present. This is why I no longer use them for our Ball Pythons, Mandarin Rats or South American Hogs, due to shedding issues. But our Western Hogs, Kingsnakes and Corns all do very well on them and they rarely have any shed issues.

While I won't say that rabbit pellets are for everyone or for every species of snake, I would suggest that they are worthy of experimenting with and they are definitely safe as I have a kingsnake that I've kept almost exclusively on rabbit pellets for over 15 years and she's still doing well, albeit rather old and slow. ;)

Also, buy them at a feed store rather than a pet store as they are far cheaper at a feed store. If you witness any bugs or beetles coming from them, switch brands or stores as I had this problem for a while when I was buying bags from a certain store and the problem went away after I started buying them from somewhere else.

09-03-2009, 04:52 AM
thank you everyone for your inputs. i might try rabbit pellets, calcium sand, or walnut shells.

09-03-2009, 07:58 AM
Calcium sand and crushed walnut shells are not easily digested (walnut being not digestible at all) if ingested. I would discourage the use of those two.

09-03-2009, 02:25 PM
i guess that's left me with rabbit pellets then. thanks

09-03-2009, 09:09 PM
I do know a hognose breeder that used calci sand for his whole collection. If you use it I would try and get them feeding in a cup or in a seperate container and remember that calci sand tends to dry out the animal.