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I am ... very happy with your plans, the organization that you have put into it and I am extremely happy with the response I have gotten from you when I have encountered a problem.
It sure does save money. At the same time it allows me and others like me to experience making the cage for our animal (animals) that we care so much about. I think that when someone takes the time to sit down and make something like this for their animal it really shows how much they care for them and respect them.

With your plans you can also alter the cage to each and everyone's specifications, or needs. I think what you are doing is wonderful and I want to thank you again.

Robert Hansford


"This is going to make an 11 year old and his lizard Rex very happy".


Spent $108.00 at Lowes, another $65.00 at Home Depot buying things that Lowes didn't have..... Spending time with my son in a hardware store.... PRICELESS!"


"Overall, the best thing I have found from the cage designs... is that:
They work!!!!

They allow you to view and touch your Iguana from all sides, This is a must!

Once you have the material list you don't go back to the hardware store.

Just follow the instructions and it comes out perfect.

Your maintenance will be much easier.

Your iguana will thank you

Once again, you will have built something cool. "

Regards and best to all our Green Iguana friends, Lance and Joey Portwood Glidden, Texas ".


"Very well thought-out designs"



New snake cage, sensing and temperature


Mark, I have another question for you. Rickter is the snake that belongs to a children's museum. His home is now seven feet by two feet by three feet tall. Should give him space to grow for quite a while. While away on Safari he was measured and found to be 6 1/2 feet long (not 9 as originally thought).

Anyway he returned yesterday. Found a lovely log to curl under. He is ready to shed (eyes clouded over)and the return may have been bad timing. He won't be fed until shed is complete. When he had been in the new cage for about 30 minutes he stretched his head to check things out (don't know if he can see with his eyes clouded) but then he opened his mouth wider than I thought possible. He remained that way for what seemed like a minute. Is that a smelling or sensing gesture? Many days have passed since cleaning or finishing the new interior. New rocks, new substrate, new branches. Cage is 70 to 72 degrees. That may be cool.


Snakes vision is limited with clouded eyes - that's why it's a good idea not to stick your hand in when they are clouded - they are a little defensive and nervous.

I think the 7' cage is good and will probably last him until he's about 9-10' long. I suspect the open mouth was a sensing gesture as they do smell with their tongue and it may well allow a greater degree of sensing. I have heard of this behaviour but not witnessed it. Good thought.

The temperature is possibly a little too cool. It should be about 75-85 but ideally you would have a temperature gradient in the cage so that it would be warmer at one end and cooler at the other. If it is too hot ie 95, you can also cause stress (that's not to say you cannot have 95 at one end directly under a heat lamp). Watch where Rickter spends his time and use that as to help set your temperature base. The cage should have two thermometers - one at each end so you can get an idea of the range of temperatures in the cage, or alternatively measure it at one end (give it time to adjust) and then measure it at the other end.

The temeperature also depends on what sort of Boa Rickter is. The other thing to do would be to have a heat lamp at one end of the cage so that Rickter can bask under it if he chooses so that he can heat his body up. Ideally this would be on a timer so it turns on in the day and off at night. This will create a greater heat gradient with quite warm area at one end of the cage and a cooler area at the other.

Some snakes will not digest their food properly at low temperatures and I have have had snakes regurgitate their meal a day or so later. Having done this I adjusted the temperature up a few degrees, waited a week or so and tried again to be met with success.

Hope this helps.



Mark Chapple is the Author of "How to build enclosures for reptiles"
Find out how to build these cages as well as arboreal cages. Full color pictures, detailed diagrams and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions.


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