Now that you’ve made the choice to get a second snake you need to decide what snake you want. We’ll start with the most obvious reason first and look at the process from that perspective.
- Stick with what you are familiar with
- There’s a lot to be said about staying with what you already know. Pet snakes are no exception to this principle. You’ve already done your homework and the one snake is thriving so why not get another one. After all you just have to double up on what you are doing now, right? In some respects yes, but in some no. For example just because they’re the same species of snake doesn’t mean you house them together. It doesn’t mean you neglect a quarantine period to ensure the 2nd animal being added to your collection is healthy. On the other hand your familiarity with what you are doing and (I’m going out on a limb here and assuming) reasonable amount of success with it will make the next one that much easier to take care of.
- Start breeding your snakes
- I don’t think there’s any snake owner who hasn’t gotten that little glimmer in his eye thinking about the possibilities of breeding. I certainly have, and I’ve talked to enough snake owners to know it’s pretty much universal. So you get a snake to mate with the one you currently have and you’re ready to go, right? Not quite. First you need to learn how to get them to mate, when to mate them, how large the female needs to be, and a whole host of other things. That’s the easy part because after you get them to mate you then have to prepare for the delivery either of eggs (oviparous) or babies (viviparous). If your snake is the type that lays eggs you then have to care for the clutch of eggs for the duration of the gestation period. Which means you’ll most likely need an incubator (homemade: video below or store bought: significantly more expensive)
This isn’t an article about breeding snakes, or bringing eggs to term so we’ll jump forward to finding your new snakes homes. With a ball python you can expect to get 4 to 12 eggs in a general clutch. Assuming all the eggs make it you’ll need to be able to home all the snakes (or take care of them yourselves). 4 to 16 snakes might not seem like a lot, but suppose you have a Boa Constrictor and it gives birth to 30 live babies. Then the numbers start adding up. Think in terms of dollars and cents and being able to adequately care for the snakes after they are born. This isn’t intended to discourage you from breeding your snake, but instead it’s just a little advice to be ready for what you will have to deal with.
- Learn about a new species
- I fall into this category. When I get a new snake it’s so I can learn about that particular kind. There’s no substitute for hands on experience in anything you do in life and snakes are no exception. A new snake you’ve never worked with makes you start from scratch and learn everything all over again. To be clear I’m not suggesting that you forget or ignore what you already know, but instead I’m saying that you learn if it’s applicable to the new species of snake and if so how. A word of caution. Be realistic about what kind of new pet snake you get. If you’re experience is with a corn snake for example don’t be stupid and go out and buy yourself a full grown reticulated python or a venomous species. Get something that challenges you not something that will cost you your life because you weren’t ready for it.
I’m sure I’ve missed plenty of stuff about choosing a second snake so if you have suggestions/ideas/comments leave them below.