Bairds Rat Snake Caresheet

 

Background Information
Bairds rat snakes are a small american colubrid. Only reaching 3 - 4ft they are found in Texas and Mexico. Their colourations vary slightly depending on their locality. Texas bairds tend to be silver bodied when older where as Mexican bairds go a sandy orangey peach colour. Mexican bairds come from quite arid regions so their colouration helps them to blend into their surroudings making it harder for predators to spot them out in the open or on the rocky outcrops. Both localitys when young have brown saddles which change as they grow older, often joining to form a long stripe going down the entire snake. The brown stays more apprent in Texas bairds where as with mexicans it fades a bit more into a light grey.

Level of Experience

Beginner

Habitat

Rocky wooded areas, scrub plains, rocky outcrops

Life Span

15 years could reach up to 20

Active Time of Day

Crepuscular

Natural Prey

Rodents, birds, lizards

Terrestrial / Semi Arboreal / Arboreal / Aquatic / Fossorial

Terrestrial

Reproduction

Mate: Spring
Lay: Summer

Clutch Size

4 - 15

Breeding Weights / Length / Age

Males: 160g+ / 3ft / 2 years of age
Females: 300g+ / 3ft / 3 years of age

Brumation Time

2 - 3 months

Brumation Temperature

10 – 15 ‘C

Incubation Time

60 - 83 days

Incubation Temperature

25 – 29 ’C

 

 
Captive Requirements and Welfare
Bairds rat snakes are quite placid snakes and don't grow large either meaning a big enclosure isn't needed. Depending on how large your bairds grows will define the size of its enclosure. A candiate to being a first snake, bairds rats are good handlers not majorly different to great plain rats or corn snakes. Wooden vivariums are preferable for this species as it retains the warmer temperatures they have than glass housing. They do like to hide away and although not classed as arboreal they will often head towards elevated areas, like the rocky outcrops they would come across in the wild to shelter.

Vivarium size

30x30x30cm for hatchling
2 - 3ft x 1.5ft x 1.5ft for adult

Daytime Temperature (cool – warm)

24 – 30 ‘C

Night-time Temperature

18 – 22 ‘C

Heating / Lighting Equipment (on timer)

Spot bulb or controlled ceramic heater during day, room temperature at night

T8 2% Natural sun Arcadia UV tube

Substrate

Most Natural: Dried out LR desert bedding
Alternatives: Aspen, wood chip

Hides

2 at minimum: one on each side to give security and allows thermoregulation

Decor

Hilly areas allow the opportunity to climb and aids in shedding

Water

Fresh water topped up when needed clean out water bowl every few days to prevent slime build up. Having a large water bowl may be useful as this snake is known not to be shy for spending time in water.

Food (Feeding)

Pinkies when young then increase the size appropriately. Always place in a separate box for feeding to avoid substrate ingestion. Bere in mind about feeding smaller prey items.

Cleaning

Spot pick weekly, full clean monthly