How to care for a green grass snake

Written by kimbry parker
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How to care for a green grass snake
The grass snake (Natrix natrix) is common in the UK. (Gucio_55/iStock/Getty Images)

The grass snake is a small, slender snake that is found in grass, bushes and meadows in nature. This snake can also be kept as a household pet, although frequent handling of the snake is not recommended due to its nervous nature. The green grass snake will not try to bite, but it will try to flee, so holding the snake should be done with caution. Reaching up to 84 cm (33 inches) in length, the green grass snake exhibits beauty and exquisiteness like no other.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Glass or wooden tank
  • Twigs and vines
  • Dried leaves or newspaper
  • Large shallow bowl
  • Water
  • Tank heater
  • Thermometer
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Live crickets
  • Powdered calcium/vitamin supplement
  • Spray bottle

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  1. 1

    Set up adequate housing for your green grass snake. An ideal setting would be a glass tank or wooden cage with glass doors. The snake’s terrarium should be no less than 25 cm (10 inches) wide, 35 cm (14 inches) deep and 25 cm (10 inches) tall. Place several climbing outlets for your snake in the terrarium, such as vertical tree limbs, twigs and plant vines. Line the bottom of the tank with a substrate such as dried leaves or newspaper. Place a large, shallow bowl filled with water in the tank and change the water twice weekly.

  2. 2

    Keep the temperature of the tank between 21 and 27 degrees C (70F to 80F). Add a heater to the tank, such as incandescent bulbs or a ceramic heat emitter, either of which can be attached to the ceiling of the tank. Place a thermometer in the tank to observe the temperature and adjust it as needed.

  3. 3

    Clean the tank once a month. Take out the decorations, climbing plants and trees and substrates. Clean items that can be reused in the sink filled with 95 per cent water and 5 per cent chlorine bleach. Rinse the objects thoroughly in plain water and dry completely before putting them back into the tank. Replace objects such as real leaves and newspaper with fresh ones.

  4. 4

    Leave your grass snake alone for two to three days after bringing it home. This will allow it to get acclimatised to its new environment. Avoid feeding or disturbing the snake for the first few days.

  5. 5

    Feed your snake live crickets every two to three days. Give the snake as many crickets as he will eat in one sitting. Sprinkle the crickets with powdered calcium and vitamin supplement once a week to give your snake extra nutrition. This can be found at any pet shop. Give your snake meal worms, flies, wax worms and moths occasionally to supplement their diet. There is really no specific number of times per week you should feed a green grass snake foods other than crickets. They can survive on crickets alone, so whenever you get a chance to give them other foods, feel free to do so.

  6. 6

    Mist your snake daily with plain water. Fill a spray bottle with lukewarm water and lightly mist the snake to prevent dehydration.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure that the “house” your snake is living in is secured with a very tight fitting lid. Green grass snakes are slim and can fit through very small openings.
  • Choose vines, twigs and branches that are not green to decorate your snake’s home. This will make the snake stand out rather than blending in with his green surroundings.

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