Husbandry/Shed questions

My BP had a bad shed and I’m a bit confused as of why.

His enclosure is always at 60-70% humidity with 88-92 fahrenheit on the warm side / 75-80 on the cool side. He has a water dish that he can curl himself up in, a humid hide, warm/cold hides along with fake plants/rocks/sticks/branches. I am using coconut mulch as his substrate with sphagnum moss scattered around. And despite all of this he has a few scales that are still stuck. The shed he did get off is very broken apart and flakey.

His head has a few patches, down his back has singular scales dotted about and his tail has stuck shed. He got his eyecaps off, nothing stuck in his nose or around his mouth. It’s only on the top of his head, back and tail.

And yes, I plan on gently bathing him to get it off. I’ve just been waiting for him to disgest since he shed on his feeding day and I didn’t want to risk regurgitation.

I will say now that I am a new keeper but I have been researching BP care for about 2 years and still look around at care tips/facts. I don’t know if this is due to my care or if he just had one off shed.


I have a similar problem with my bumblebee bp. He gets it all off though. He just destroys it in the process. Every single time he sheds. Following for thoughts


I just want to put a couple things out there.
Temps should not be that high. Try keeping it around 86-88 (max).
Humidity on a regular basis should be around 50-60%. During shed kick it up to 70%.

It could be possible that it is to hot and the humidity level might not accurate. If the snake is hot, then it might not be retaining the humidity it truly needs.

I would make sure the humidity gage is about the height of the snake, maybe a little higher. If to low it could be picking up the surface and not what is in the air. Unless you have a humidity problem, the sphagnum is not needed. If closer the the gage, it could be a false reading.
Temp should be top of bedding surface temperature, when taken. If using a gage mounted, then put it no more then half way up, or near the surface would be better. In the past I always kept it closer to mid point between cold and hot side. And kept the temp reading in that mid mark. Having a temp Gun works great. This way you can read the surface to monitor.

What is your setup like? Types of material, hardware, and so forth. Any pictures could also help.


In my experience, bad shed is always, without fail, a result of humidity being too low. It could be that your gauge is inaccurate, it could be that you had a downspike at exactly the wrong time, but I would plan to give him a short warm soak to get some of those last pieces off and then bump it up even more than you normally do. I keep my animals in around 80-85% humidity in those days leading up to shed, but my normal humidity is no lower than 60%.


Do you have a heat lamp overhead as well? Sometimes heat lamps can be drying as well… just sayin……:thinking:


I agree with all the above comments.
Also don’t trust one humidity meter too much. All mine are all over the place, take an average or most common reading from a few and trust the results of the animals sheds more than just a number.


Ah wow. That’s relatable. I use those little black square ones and i am really skeptical about their accuracy. Especially over time.


Internal hydration is just as important as external hydration when it comes to shedding. They’ll drink more readily from fresh water. Average ambient humidity where I live is 15%, my rooms run 30-45%. Change water out 2-3 times a week and you shouldn’t see anymore bad sheds.


Oh this sounds familiar-
there’s been just one time my BP had a bad shed, and it was because I fed him without realizing he was In Blue. I heard somewhere- maybe here!- that digesting once they’re in blue can take a lot of moisture out of their skin and they use it on digesting their food, so they can shed badly when they do that. Now Finnley refuses his food outright when he’s in blue, and I wait to feed him until after he has shed.


Wow @athleticshoelace That makes sense! :blush::+1:

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I actually change his water everyday if not every other day just to make sure it’s 100% clean.


That explains a bit. I fed him the day he broke out of his shed. I’ll keep that in mind for his next shed, thank you!


I didn’t even think about getting multiple…
I’ll be looking into getting him some more meters asap, thank you!


I do have an overhead but I keep it dimmed, so I’m not sure if that’s still a risk :thinking:


Just curious, what sort of overhead heating are you using? If it’s a light-producing heat bulb or a ceramic heat emitter, it likely is drying out the air inside the enclosure.

If you want an overhead heating device that will retain humidity better, I’d recommend looking into deep heat projectors. They’re bulb-like devices that screw into a normal heat lamp housing (so would likely work with the housing you already have), and it produces heat without light, kinda like a CHE, but it doesn’t dry things out so much. It’s also supposed to be a more “natural” type of heat that penetrates body tissues better. Don’t ask me how or why, I’m utterly baffled by any and all electrical technology, but I started using a deep heat projector a few months ago, and I’ve really been liking it. I’ve found it quite easy to maintain humidity levels. I pair it with an under tank heater, since the deep heat projector has a relatively narrow “heat beam,” which is the only real downside I’ve found with using it.

Also, while the DHP bulb itself is not especially expensive, they should be used with a dimming or pulse proportional thermostat, which can be a bit pricey if you don’t already have one.


I was thinking the same thing about the overhead lighting @jawramik. Personally, and this is just my opinion, I don’t think BPs necessarily need lighting or extra heat overhead for reasons that have been discussed in other threads. Even low wattage viewing lights emit a certain amount of heat that can be drying to a snake’s skin.

The light you recommended sounds like a good alternative though…… :blush:


I do have a DHP but I usually use that at night. I use a halogen 150w during the day with a dimmer.

Unfortunately I can’t use an undertank heater due to the underside of my tank being hollow(it’s an ecoflex new age reptile habitat) but I 100% might swap him over to the dimmed DHP during the day if that is the case!


Are you using a dimmer instead of a thermostat? Or is it a dimming thermostat? If you’re just using a dimmer and no thermostat, it could very well be getting too warm in there, which could be the cause of the shedding issues. I’d really recommend using an actual thermostat to ensure that your temperatures are staying where they need to be. I know some folks say that just using a dimmer to adjust temps manually is okay, but unless you never leave the house and check temps all over the enclosure with a temp gun every hour, it’s always seemed really, really risky to me.


I use both a dimmer and a thermostat and I don’t leave my house too often. I’m constantly checking the temps so it never overheats