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View Full Version : Keeping snakes in the same cage


Astara
11-05-2006, 09:26 PM
Hi, I posted this in the Corn Snake forums, but maybe you guys might have some insight into this too:

I currently own an Okeetee Corn Snake that's about a year old (it's still rather small). It's in a 10-gallon cage right now, but I will probably buy a bigger one soon.

I have been thinking about getting a Western Hognose, and I was wondering if I can keep the two snakes in the same enclosure. Does anyone know if this would be all right?

aliceinwl
11-05-2006, 10:50 PM
In general, snakes are best kept alone. Cannibalism is a big risk. Hogs in particular are known to be enthusiastic feeders when they're hungry. The movement of another snake in the cage when the hog is excited by prey or the scent of a prey item on a cagemate along with other stimuli can all lead to cannibalism. Unless breeding, hogs are best kept alone.

I definitely would not try to combine a hog and a cornsnake. Hogs are rear fanged and even if the corn is too large to be consumed, it could suffer damage or death from a bite. The hog may even see the corn itself as a meal; I don't know enough about corns to be able to tell you if the reverse would also be true.

Western hogs are very personable little snakes and I really enjoy mine. I think they would make a highly enjoyable second addition. Babies are pretty small, so if space is a concern you can start out with a small cage (I have my babies in small Reptile Ranches) and upgrade when they are larger (or when the corn vacates the 10). They seem to be slower growers than snakes like kings and corns. There are a few that can be stubborn feeders so try to get one that is already accepting mice.

-Alice

TripleMoonsExotic
11-05-2006, 11:20 PM
Here is a link to the thread in the Cornsnake forum...

http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=89981

:)

Blue Gorgon
11-06-2006, 08:38 AM
I don't believe any species of snake should be housed more than one to an enclosure except briefly for breeding purposes.

First, if one snake gets sick then the chances of the other getting sick is lessened considerably. If someone regurges when you're not home, or has something wrong with his fecal droppings, you'll know for sure which one it was. If they're sharing an enclosure, you can never be sure and have to pay to take 2 or 3 snakes to the vet instead of one! And buying another enclosure is generally way cheaper than vet bills!

Second, snakes are solitary creatures by nature. They don't get lonely or like company. What may look like cuddling together is actually dominance behavior and stresses the snakes, which makes them more susceptible to illness and going off feed, etc. They compete for the "best" spots by piling on top of each other. So even though they might not be biting each other they're still fighting in a way. Usually one snake ends up being the dominant and more healthy one, and the other is the more submissive and ultimately miserable snake. And I like my snakes to be as happy and stress free as possible, no matter how cute the piling can be.

And third, but least likely, is the possibility of cannibalism. I've been amazed at how that can happen even with snakes like corns or ball pythons, snakes you'd never expect to eat each other. It's rare, but it can happen, and I'm an alarmist by nature and prefer to play it safe.

So, even if you gave them a whole lot of room you'd likely still find them often in one corner sulking together over who's the top snake, or find you have to take all of them to the vet over one illness, or worst case scenario... find yourself with one very fat snake with somebody else missing.

If something *could* be bad for my snakes, I prefer to avoid the risk altogether. It's safer and easier in the longrun. Hope that helps!

Cat_72
11-06-2006, 10:47 AM
I have to agree.....while it *can* be done, for the most part it is better to be safe than sorry, for all of the reasons already listed by others. I believe those that house snakes together successfully are the exception, not the rule, especially when dealing with 2 different species of snake.

darkbloodwyvern
11-06-2006, 04:20 PM
I have only heard of same sized corns successfully living together without cannabalism. My friend has a small cornsnake which she plans on putting into a large cage with her other larger corn someday when they are the same size. That makes me pretty nervous just thinking about it. I don't often hear about adults eating each other, but occasionaly they do eat each other, how can you gauruntee the corn not eating your hog? In my experience, corns will eat just about anything when they are hungry, whether that means other reptiles or already dead food.
There are way too mnay people online posting pics of their corn who ate another corn, for me to think housing them with other snakes is ok. It may save you a little cash in the shirt run, but think how horrible you would feel if one of the pets you paid good money for dies? The risk alone isn't worth it for me.

Razaiel
11-08-2006, 08:27 AM
I have to agree with the others - no snakes should be kept together, only for breeding. My female hognose used to be kept by our local garden centre and they kept her in with the male - one day they came across him partially inside her - they managed to get him back out again and he survived. And like the others have already said, a runny poo? whose is it? a regurge? whose is it? Plus the risk of contamination if one snake has something contagious.

TripleMoonsExotic
11-08-2006, 09:52 AM
I have to agree with the others - no snakes should be kept together, only for breeding. My female hognose used to be kept by our local garden centre and they kept her in with the male - one day they came across him partially inside her - they managed to get him back out again and he survived. And like the others have already said, a runny poo? whose is it? a regurge? whose is it? Plus the risk of contamination if one snake has something contagious.

Yikes, that's a scary story! At least both snakes survived! :)

Astara
11-08-2006, 03:49 PM
Thanks for the replies, everyone. I didn't realize there were more risks than just cannibalism (that's the only one that I thought of myself).

I appreciate all the advice. Thanks a bunch!