Introduction: Shedding Box

I have a new pet corn snake, and within days of arriving she shed her skin.

It was a fascinating thing to watch, and we noticed that she spent part of the time scratching and scraping against the corners of the hide I had made her.

This inspired me to come up with an enrichment toy that was, basically, nothing but edges and corners to help a snake shed its skin.

Step 1: Design

The box started as, well, a box. I used MakerCase to create a basic cube with finger joints.

Using Inkscape, I added variously-sized holes in each face.

To help avoid mixing up faces, I put the same shape holes in opposing faces.

I also added a bar across the inside of the box, to give a little extra scratching surface.

(The files you need to make your own shedding box are attached to this step, all sized for 3mm plywood.)

Step 2: Assembly

Assembling the shedding box is quite simple, as long as you pay attention to what you're doing.

Start by dry-fitting the parts to make sure they line up. If you are using my design without modifying it, you'll see that opposing faces have the same shape on them.

When gluing, make sure you use glue that will not harm your snake - PVA woodglue is good, and so is cyanoacrylate super glue (as long as you give enough time for fumes to clear before putting it in the vivarium).

Start by gluing together three faces with different shapes.

Then add the second "circles" face, making sure you line up the two rectangular holes.

The plywood is flexible enough that you can then bend them slightly to fit the bar between the circles faces. Glue isn't vital for the bar, but I used some anyway, to add a little extra strength to the box.

Lastly, add the remaining "squares" and "hexagons" faces, making sure that each is opposite their matching face.

Step 3: Using the Shedding Box.

All you need to do is drop the shedding box into your snake's vivarium.

Whether you leave it in there all the time as a climbing toy, or just put it in when you see signs of your snake is getting ready to shed ("in the blue"), is up to you, but I'd love to see photos of your snake climbing through their shedding box.

Comments

author
moen-the-grass (author)2015-08-16

very unique idea for a beloved pet. can you do instructable on feeding, vivarium, etc.?

author
Kiteman (author)moen-the-grass2015-11-15

Hi, it took a while, but I've done a "feeding" instructable:

https://www.instructables.com/id/HowToFeedaCornsnak...

author
Kiteman (author)moen-the-grass2015-08-16

Being a beginner snake-keeper, I'm reluctant to tackle those yet (if I get it wrong, somebody might accidentally hurt their pet), but they'd definitely be on the cards in a few months.

author
myrrhmaid (author)2015-10-16

What a thoughtful snake daddy you are there! I love it! Do you do anything with the skin?

author
Kiteman (author)myrrhmaid2015-10-16

Not so far (especially since she left a special gift on top of the last one...)

author

Lol cool project! But I'm kinda scared of snakes... XD

author

Trust me, there's no need to be scared.

author

I can look at them, but I just don't have enough courage to hold one. :(

author

Zoos will sometimes let you stroke them with a fingertip...

author
audreyobscura (author)2015-08-17

She's beautiful! I used to live with a Corn Snake named 'Spazzo'. One time they shed their skin in my roommate's bike spokes

author
Kiteman (author)audreyobscura2015-08-17

Haha, that's funny.

(And, thank you.)

author
Slime Eel (author)2015-08-16

Very cool idea and a very good snake name. Thanks for sharing.

author
Kiteman (author)Slime Eel2015-08-17

Thank you!

author
guido.freire3 (author)2015-08-16

I do not own a snake but I loved your idea!!! Very nice concept and as another person said, nice name you chose for your nice snake.

author
Kiteman (author)guido.freire32015-08-17

Thank you!

author
jessyratfink (author)2015-08-16

Mikeasaurus' dog is named Elsie. I was confused!! haha

She's so cute! Congrats on the new friend. :D

This is a really neat idea! Much more compact than the big branches I've known folks to use. I've always wanted a snake, but sadly I think the cats would try to eat it and Tyler might never come in the house again. ;)

author
Kiteman (author)jessyratfink2015-08-16

Haha, it took a long time to persuade Kitewife that we needed a snake, and Roger-X is still not happy that his food shares freezer space with dead mice, but she's settling in really well already.

The family I got her from had more cats and dogs than people, as well as two other cornies and a pair of bearded dragons. None of the hairy pets seemed to bother the scaly pets at all - you'd just need to keep the cats out of the room when it's the snake's turn to play outside the vivarium.

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