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Kingsnake/ Milksnake

Scientific Name: Lampropeltis spp.
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Size: Up to 6 feet,
depending on species
Diet:Carnivore
Handling Ease:Good

FOOD

  • A kingsnake’s (milksnakes) diet should consist of a whole food item (feeder rodent), fed weekly.
  • The size of the whole food item should not be bigger in circumference than the circumference of the snake.
  • If using frozen feeders, it is important to thaw the feeder completely, using warm water (not hot), never microwaving (causes hot spots). Tongs may be used to entice the snake to strike.
  • When feeding larger live whole food items (small rats or larger), the feeder should not be left in the cage if the snake does not eat it within 15-20 minutes. Feeder rodents can severely injure and even kill a snake by chewing on them.
  • It is not necessary to feed the snake in a separate enclosure, but will not harm anything if you choose to do so.

Caging & Environment

  • A minimum of a 10 long tank with screen cover OR a small reptile glass habitat.
  • Reptile Bark/Reptile Sand substrate mix (blend them 50/50)
  • 50w Basking Light with fixture (or a light that will provide a basking temperature of 83°-88°)
  • Hide cave
  • Branch or climbing platform
  • Large Water bowl (large enough to soak in)
  • Spray bottle for misting
  • They should be misted at least twice weekly, but daily while shedding.

Behavior/Handling

  • Kingsnakes and milksnakes tend to be very squirmy as babies, but calm down nicely with regular handling.
  • Kingsnakes and milksnakes should be housed individually. The “king” part of their name refers to the fact that they will readily feed on other snakes, including venomous snakes.
  • Important: do not handle snakes immediately after feeding. It is best to give them 24-48 hours to completely digest their meal before handling.