Housing More than One Snake Per Cage
Housing Two Snakes
If you already have one snake and you're looking at getting a second snake, or you just want to reduce the cages and house both of your snakes in the same enclosure, you want to think not just twice, but several times before you actually do it.
There are some snakes that are known cannibalists. They eat other snakes, of their own species and other species as meals. Most colubrids, such as corn snakes, kingsnakes, and milksnakes, which are three of your more popular snakes, are highly prone to eating other snakes. So, in this case, it's just not ideal to house two corn snakes in the same cage.
You will talk to many people who say, "Oh, I've been doing it for years, and I've never seen any problems." But, they haven't seen problems yet, which doesn't mean that they never will. If they never do, then it just means they got lucky. It's your decision if you want to gamble on your pets, as to whether or not you'll get lucky like the other guy did.
Risks of Housing 2 Snakes Together
If you are hard- headed and bound to house more than one snake per enclosure, consider the risks first.
- Spreading diseases, internal parasites, mites, and other illnesses
Generally, spreading disease, parasites, mites, and other illnesses, is going to be caused by introducing a new snake to an already existing one without properly quarantining the new snake. When you get a new snake, you want to house it in its own enclosure for at least 30 days, 60 to 90 days is optimal, and in many cases, it's actually ideal that you house the second enclosure in a completely different room, especially in order to prevent the original snake from contracting mites.
You just want to ensure that the new snake does not have any illnesses or potential health concerns that can pass to the snake that you already have.
Housing Snakes Together
If you're thinking, "Well, I'm not housing snakes that are known to eat other snakes together, so it must be ok." Think again. Even though it may be rare, snakes that are generally docile and typically don't eat other snakes, they still can and will if the opportunity rises. For instance, ball pythons rarely eat other snakes, but as seen by the autopsy pictures below, they can and will.
If you're going to house more than one snake in an enclosure, consider the following tips.
- Never house two male snakes together.
- Never house two snakes that have a size difference; you don't want to house a young snake with an adult snake.
- Never house snakes that are different species together; don't house a ball python with kingsnake.
- Do not house a male and a female snake in the same enclosure, unless you plan on breeding the snakes. Even still, it's recommended that your remove the male from the enclosure after the snakes have mated to prevent any potential complications.
- If you see the slightest signs of bullying or stress, separate them into separate cages quickly.
- Never feed the two snakes in the same enclosure together; make sure that you feed them separately.
So by following this logic, you don't want to house an adult ball python with a young red tail boa, even though they may be the same or very similar size, and even though they're not known cannabalists. They have different husbandry requirements, and you just don't know what may upset one or the other, and you'd hate to go home with only one snake in the cage, when you know you left the house with two there.