What We Hope to Accomplish with our DIY Reptile Enclosure Snake Board:
At Zen Habitats we wanted to create a snake tactile board, sometimes referred to as a snake jungle gym. We are hoping to provide some environmental enrichment for our ambassador snake species by giving them time outside of their terrarium, providing different textures to explore, and climbing opportunities to build muscle mass.
DIY Snake Board Shopping List:
- 4’x2’ Board (melamine or PVC, plywood and particle board are likely to splinter and we don’t want to hurt our snakes!)
- 1” PVC piping cut to various lengths
- 1” PVC caps
- 1” PVC elbows
- PVC glue
- 1” diameter drill bit
- Shelf-liner or vet wrap
- Paint Roller
How To Build The Snake Board For Enriching Your Snake’s Habitat:
- Step 1 - Mark out and measure where you want to attach your PVC pipes
- Step 2 – Drill holes into board
- Step 3 – Apply PVC glue to caps and elbows and screw pipes into place
- Step 4 – Attach your various textured objects, however you feel fit
Other Enrichment Ideas for Snakes
Some great snake enrichment tips and ideas provided by the amazing snake behaviorist; Lori Torrini include:
DIY Reptile Enclosure Puzzles, Mazes and Hides
Some of the best things to use for this are empty boxes, empty paper sacks, empty plastic containers, paper or plastic cups, tubes made of plastic or cardboard, crumpled up paper, or anything safe for the snake to climb through, in, around, or on.
Providing Mental Stimulation
- Providing mental stimulation to your pet is probably one of the most important forms of enrichment and is called either behavioral or cognitive enrichment. Animals have the ability to become bored and when that happens you can sometimes see negative effects, like behavioral changes or even illness.
- Encouraging climbing, burrowing, balancing, moving from one location to another, swimming, gripping, grasping, etc. within their enclosure
- This can be accomplished by adding objects of various heights, sizes, shapes, and textures to the enclosure.
- This can include novel objects, varying colors, varying contrasts, movement, light, target training, station training, and objects the reptiles can see moving around or that they can cause to move, such as balls.
- Food enrichment
- This is easily done via mazes or puzzles, which can be created with empty boxes or other containers, hiding food inside the snake terrarium or a separate space, presenting food as a reinforcer during training sessions, freezing food in ice cubes (if appropriate for the species), placing food in water, creating movement of the food, or feeding live (if appropriate, safe, within personal ethics, allowed by the facility, and allowed by law).