Snakes shedding is an amazing process, I actually caught our snow corn snake (Storm) shedding his skin and had to record it.
He is 5 years old and lives in his 5ft x 2ft vivarium, he loves to explore so we give him the extra space he needed.
Why Do Snakes Shed Their Skin?
First all snakes shed their skin and so do lizards. A snake shedding process is for the reason of allowing further growth of their scales.
When young the scales are tiny dependant on which type of species and how long they are likely to grow.
The shedding cycle for a snake happens when the old skin will no longer stretch any further, the snake naturally loosens the skin, this causes the eyes to go cloudy blue and the colouration of the snake to go dull in colour.
Another reason for shedding their skin is removal of parasites, snakes can only bathe in water but have no way of removing parasites from some areas of the body, the shed layer of skin will remove 90%+ of these when the shedding process is completed.
When Do Snakes Shed Their Skin?
There is no exact time schedule on how often or frequent each species of snake shed. But long and fast-growing snakes will shed their skin more frequently than smaller species.
When young, snakes will all shed more often than an adult. a lot of grow for snakes happens within the first 2 – 3 years of their life.
Up to year one, a corn snake can shed over 4 times easily. Whereas we have an 8-year-old corn that will shed 1 – 2 yearly.
This is because of the scales are growing at a rapid rate and the skin becomes tight and needs to be shed in order to keep growing.
Other reason for shedding, is the female will often do a pre-egg laying shed, this is a good indication to breeder that the female will give birth to her eggs soon after.
snake shed skin identification
What does it look like, snakes shed is like a clear plastic when it dries out, this takes typically a day or two?
But just after shedding their skin, the shed has moisture in and is very flexible. This is because of the snake much loosen the skin, making it more robust to come off in one piece.
Though snake shed does not always come of in one piece, it can tear and rip. If you have a pet snake that keep shedding in parts and some is stuck to the body.
The humidity of their enclosure is likely to be too low during this time, causing the skin to dry before the snake can complete their shedding process.
How To Help a Pet Snake Shed
Shedding can prove to be a stressful process for a snake.
It takes between 5 – 10 days from initially going into shed to the removal of the skin.
Ways in which you can help the snake during this time is:
- Try to leave your snake alone, let them rest and focus entirely on shedding their skin.
- Add some more humidity to the caging, this does not mean 100% the enclosure as this could cause R.I (raspatory infections). It is best to get some moss put it into a tub with a hole in which will create a high humidity area within the enclosure.
- Spraying the caging lightly with water, we opt to use room temp as cold water could stress your pet snake.