As it is Kiba’s first time to hibernate at the age of 2 years I prepared him for the last 4 weeks which means:
- no food
- less light/warmth
His last feeding day was at 28th of October, 2012 – the usual interval of light starts at 8am, ends at 1pm, starts again at 2pm and ends at 7pm.
I turned that down over the last 4 weeks to a length of
- 1st week: 4 hours – 8am-12pm, 2pm-6pm
- 2nd week: 3 hours – 8am-11am, 2pm-5pm
- 3rd week: 2 hours – 8am, 10am, 2pm-4pm
- 4th week: 1 hour – 8am-9am, 2pm-3pm
until I finally shut off the light completely yesterday.
As he got less light/warmth by then he wasn’t really active already and I could handle him really well while getting water for his bath (to get rid of any possible food leftovers in his body). Actually snakes do take baths, but not forced ones. He did not enjoyed the way I was putting him into the water nor did he liked the way of my hand putting water on him while he was out of the water itself – experience on its own: bathing a snake…. I managed (I wouldn’t recommend to do that “for fun” – I had a reason for doing so!). Drying him was easy: get a clean towel, let the snake slide through it while going back into terrarium. Done.
So now he’ll be without light (except usual daylight as I can’t avoid that) for the next week before I turn on the lights again.
This is called a short hibernation.
The usual circulation takes longer: usually 60-75 days. As I do not wish my snake to die through low temperatures and my apartment is not suited for that period of time and has a huge drop and raise of temperatures in every room I chose to let him stay in his usual place: the terrarium.
I am well aware that the drop of temperature was done over a long time, but as it is my first time with hibernation as well, I wanted to be sure not to drop the temperature/light too fast – especially as I needed to know how much warmth the light bulb actually creates, which i found out with a temperature meter that saved minimal and maximal temperatures as well as air humidity while I was at work.
That saved me a lot of guessing and made the calculation easier. However… the risk of my precious snake to pass away is still given: virus, bacteria, some sickness I’m not aware of or simply the cause of him not eating for that time at all (meaning: being too weak to survive).
Anyways… I cross my fingers until next Sunday when I turn the lights back on and will check how he’s doing.