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jsrocket
11-22-2005, 03:19 PM
Who knows a lot about heat packs?

I recently got an order of snakes, which arrived well packed, but dead. This could have been due to a number of reasons, but I can't help but suspect the heat packs. They were porous, and filled with an organic substance.

My hunch is, they generated an oxidation reaction (to provide heat), sucking up all the available oxygen in the container.

I could be wrong on this, but would like some input.

SPJ
11-22-2005, 04:20 PM
It's possible. Was the box sealed tight? Any way for airflow to get in? Heat packs do eat up the oxygen to work. As soon as they are exposed to the air, they are activated.

jsrocket
11-22-2005, 11:38 PM
Yes, the box was sealed pretty tightly.

The BoidSmith
11-23-2005, 08:29 PM
Jim,

In my opinion the oxygen depletion due to heat packs is overrated. As long as the box is not taped in every corner thereís enough air circulating. Iíve never had a DOA using 40-h heat packs in boxes with not even one hole in the cardboard, as long as the flaps on the sides are left un-taped for air circulation. Today I received a shipment in a sturdy cardboard box lined with solid 1 inch thick Styrofoam (those used to ship medical supplies). The lid (which fits perfectly in place for a tight closure) had six small holes made with a pencil. The outside dimensions were 15"x15" by 10" high. Two 40-h heat packs were taped to the bottom. On top of them a polyurethane sheet (mattress) served as cushion and separated the heat packs from the snakes. The box contained 9 ball pythons (5 babies and 4 sub-adults) in their respective bags. Crimped newspaper filled the rest of the box. All snakes arrived in great shape, and the temperature inside the box was perfect. There was not even one hole in the cardboard box. In my opinion what kills reptiles this time of the year is shipping them when the conditions are not right (Less than 20F) and/or the use of regular Styro-lined boxes. For this kind of weather we need heavy duty boxes, even recycled ones available at most pharmacies or clinics. They might not look so fancy like the brand new ones that have separate Styrofoam panels but they certainly do the job, and deliver the snakes safe and sound. When in doubt about the temperatures, donít ship. It is the shipperís responsibility to determine when itís safe to ship the snakes. If the buyer screams and shouts because he wants them delivered explain to him why not. If he still insists refund his money and forget about that deal. No reptile should suffer the consequences of a faulty shipment.

Regards.

jsrocket
11-24-2005, 08:52 PM
Dan,

Thanks for your insight. When I said the snakes came recently, I meant this Fall, when it was still pretty warm out. I don't think excess cold was the reason.

I was wondering about the different types of heat packs, though, as I have seen 2 different types; those in sealed plastic containers, and those in porous "bags" (similar to a giant teabag).

I assume the ones in the sealed plastic do not use up any oxygen, but was wondering about the porous ones. That was the type used in this shipment.

dragonflyreptiles
11-24-2005, 10:38 PM
I have always worried about heat packs.

I think think they should be at the bottom (as heat rises) and a slit in the bottom styro and tape to provide the air the pack needs to activate.

There are also those times when it is fall and it is 80 at the shippers and much lower at the receivers end, heat pack or not? It could cook them on one side or keep them warm to to other....

Xelda
11-24-2005, 11:18 PM
The best place to position a hot or cold pack is on the side, not the top or the bottom. This will allow your animals to thermoregulate to some extent.

DAND
11-25-2005, 06:02 AM
When I said the snakes came recently, I meant this Fall, when it was still pretty warm out. I don't think excess cold was the reason.


Where did they originate from? If it was warm where they started from it could have been too hot with the addition of a heat pack or packs.

Also, the size of the box in comparison to the size of and/or number of heat pack(s).

The type of aniamls could also be a factor. Some would handle the heat better than others.

The location of the heat pack(s) could have been an issue. Where were the heat pack(s) located in the box? If the animals were in direct contact with the pack it could have been way too hot.

Was the heat pack covered in any way (taped or wrapped in newspaper)?

The BoidSmith
11-25-2005, 11:01 AM
Thanks for your insight. When I said the snakes came recently, I meant this Fall, when it was still pretty warm out. I don't think excess cold was the reason.

I was wondering about the different types of heat packs, though, as I have seen 2 different types; those in sealed plastic containers, and those in porous "bags" (similar to a giant teabag).

If it was last fall, then it couldíve been excessive heat (depending on temperatures during transit). The only instance where I could see lack of oxygen being a problem is if the outside cardboard box is taped shut in every possible air inlet. This is probably harder to do than to say. The two types of heat packs you describe are probably one and the same. Heat packs come in oxygen tight, sealed plastic containers when you purchase them. Oxygen is needed for the chemical reaction that generates heat to happen so before their use you have to remove them from the wrap and shake them well. It is then when they look like a large ďtea-bagĒ as you say.

Regards

jsrocket
11-25-2005, 11:08 AM
They were Cal. kings, going from Fla. to MI. The box about 12 x 12 x 4". Two heat packs. I'm starting to think they may have overheated.

The BoidSmith
11-25-2005, 11:19 AM
I mean if I was selling 100% guaranteed het. I do not need to tell the customer what I would do if they turn out not to be het. There is no need. (anyone else follow what I am trying to say?)

Exactly! None of the well known and established breeders will have that clause in their ads. To announce the buyer will be getting his money back if they donít produce the visual morph is to state there is a chance they will not ever produce it. The other statement that I find ridiculous in those guarantees is the second breeding attempt clause. Let me state that there might be some that are using it with good intentions but it doesnít sound good at all. If you start with babies, you are stating the guarantee will be in effect after maybe 6 years have gone by. After 6 years: 1. The seller will still have to be reachable; 2) You will have to demonstrate to him that those are in fact his snakes (hopefully you kept picture IDís); 3) Both snakes have to reach breeding size/age; health problems can happen and maybe you loose one or even both; 4) You will have to be skilled enough to have them breed for you (not everyone does it); 5) This one is most tricky one: you will have to prove to the seller satisfaction that they mated, laid, and the offspring is all normal. Not just for one breeding season, but for two. How in the world can anyone do that?

The BoidSmith
11-25-2005, 11:27 AM
Thatís definitively a possibility. Were they in deli-cups? If the heat pack gets in contact with the deli-cup during transit it can raise the temperature even further. Sorry to hear about that.

The BoidSmith
11-25-2005, 11:29 AM
Sorry for the above post, wrong thread!

The BoidSmith
11-25-2005, 11:31 AM
Thatís definitively a possibility. Depending on ambient temperatures two heat packs might have been too much for that size of a box. Were they in deli-cups? If the heat pack gets in contact with the deli-cup during transit it can raise the temperature inside even further. Sorry to hear about that.

jsrocket
11-25-2005, 12:24 PM
Yeah, they were in deli cups. I think the heat got 'em. In hindsight, they would have been better off with NO heat packs at all.

The BoidSmith
11-25-2005, 01:49 PM
You are probably right or maybe just one heat pack. The other problem is that the deli-cups, although they help maintain the humidity, will not let the heat dissipate if by any chance one gets in contact with the deli-cup.

Regards

Whitewater Reptiles
12-14-2005, 11:50 PM
I'd agree that the heat got them, also the heat packs don't deplete the oxygen they just react to oxygen. But heat will kill fast. I had a delivery this spring with two heat packs in a 11x17x7 box. The heat packs were laying on one bag and cooked them and most were okay in the other bag.
Mike Derks