If you are like many other snake keepers you’ll quickly find your one pet turns into several pets. When this happens you’ll often discover you simply don’t have a big enough dresser to keep their habitats on and you need to find a space in your home that can be dedicated to them. Sometimes it will be a specific corner of one room, other times it will be a closet, or a room all to themselves. In this article we will discuss what makes a good snake room.
A dedicated room for keeping your snake’s in needs to be more than an empty space. It needs to meet certain requirements in order to function properly.
- Appropriate size
A snake room needs to be large enough to hold your entire collection as adults. It also doesn’t hurt if it allows for expansion of your collection as well. On the other hand it shouldn’t be too large as this will prove more difficult to maintain. Most people keep more than just snakes in their snake room. They also keep all the paraphanelia that goes along with collecting snakes in it. Not to mention they often have a habit of spontanesously causing different types of reptiles to appear. My own snake room for example has suddenly started collecting pairs of Tokay Geckos.
- Power outlets and reliable circuitry
Various pieces of equipment that help keep your snakes alive and healthy require power. The more snakes you have the more equipment will need to use that power. If you have electrical circuits that can’t handle the load you’ll find yourself having all kinds of problems. You also need to make sure that there are an appropriate number of outlets and they are conviently located in the room.
I made the mistake of turning an old walk-in closet into my snake room. It wasn’t until after everything was moved in that I realized there was no outlet in there. When I ran an extension cord to the nearest outlet it tripped the breaker. Needless to say that didn’t become my snake room. Had I bothered to look I would have seen that there were no electrical outlets in that closet and wouldn’t have tried to set it up there.
- Ability to maintain the temperature
Because most snakes that people keep as pets require specific temperature ranges you need to be able to heat and cool it as appropriate. It’s not a big deal to keep one cage appropriately heated (or cooled) even when the room it is located in isn’t anywhere near that temperature, but when you have dozens of cages it becomes much more difficult. It is best to have a room that you can keep at a uniform temperature and then use a product like heat tape to tweak the temperatures. My snake room stays around 80 to 83 degrees at all times. I don’t need special heat lamps to do this, just a space heater set appropriately.
During the summer because of how the room sits in my house I’m able to unplug the space heater most of the time and the room holds the appropriate temperature. When it needs additional cooling I just open a window and set a fan next to it. It doesn’t take any additional effort to maintain the temperature.
- Convience for the keeper
The snake room needs to be conviently located. If you have to get in your winter clothes to walk across the yard to your shed that you’ve turned into a snake room you might not think it is such a good idea in the middle of a -10 degree night because you’ve just realized you forgot to take care of something important. More than just distance needs to be considered for a snake room. Not many homes are built with a room dedicated to pets. Consider what the actual, or original intent of the room is and decide if you can sacrifice that intent. If you can great, but if not or if you believe you’ll need to use it as intended soon then you should look for another room.
- Consider you own collection
You need to keep in mind what kind of snakes you keep and what kind you expect to keep in the future. A room that is appropriate for a corn snake collection is often not the same room that is appropriate for a reticulated python collection. On top of the type of snakes you keep consider what others snakes you are likely to get and how large you are likely to let your collection grow. If you’re going to buy 12 dozen breeding pair of ball pythons and put them in a spare closet you might well find yourself relocating sooner than expected if they start hatching out eggs.