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Caring for Milk Snakes

Types of Milk Snakes

There are over 25 different subspecies ( types ) of Milk Snakes that occur in North American, Central America and  South America. The most common, easy to care for and attractive Milk Snakes are the Pueblan Milk Snake and Sinaloan Milk Snake. The adult size of Pueblan Milk Snakes and Adult Sinaloan Milk Snakes  is 1.2 m. These snakes will eat other snakes including members of their own species and should be kept separately.  Albino Sinaloan Milk Snakes are available in South Africa. The Apricot Pueblan Milk Snake is a really attractive morph were the white bands are replaced with orange. I have noticed individual  variation in pattern with both Sinaloan and Pueblan Milk Snakes and no Milk Snake looks exactly alike.

Housing

Baby Milk Snakes should be kept in small plastic terrariums that make them feel secure. Small adult Milk Snakes can be kept in Exo Terra Faunariums and larger adult Milk Snakes can be kept in glass terrariums or wooden display cages. A cage measuring 60cm x 45cm x 45cm is big enough for a large adult Pueblan Milk Snake or Sinaloan Milk Snake. A hide box must be provided at all times. Plastic plants provide visual barriers and make the cage look attractive.

Substrate

Corn Cob bedding or Coco Husk makes an ideal substrate. Milk Snakes enjoy burrowing and often hide under the substrate.

Heating

Place a heat pad in your Milk Snakes cage to provide a basking spot of between 28-30 degrees. The basking spot helps digestion, increases appetite and increases activity levels.

Feeding

Pueblan Milk Snakes and Sinaloan Milk Snakes will eat frozen thawed rodents their entire lives. Baby Pueblan Milk Snakes and Sinaloan Milk Snakes are quite big and will usually take pinky mice without problems. Adult Milk Snakes can eat small mice. These snakes will eat pre killed mice without a fuss. A couple of baby Pueblan Milk Snake and Sinaloan Milk Snake that I recently purchased were feeding on live pinkies before I got them. A day after purchase I dropped a pre killed frozen thawed pinky into each baby Milk Snakes cage. All the baby Milk Snakes ate the pre killed pinkies within less than 2 minutes, most took them within the first few seconds of putting the pre killed pinky in the cage. From the last two sentences you can see it is unnecessary to feed these snakes on live food.

Handling

Pueblan Milk Snakes and Sinaloan Milk Snakes are fast moving and active snakes. Babies will often musk when handled. With regular handling musking should stop.  Do not handle your snake during a shed phase. Do not handle your snake for  2-3 days after it has eaten to avoid regurgitation.