How Long Does It Take for a Snake to Shed?

It will pull back the old skin by slithering through tight spaces and continuing to rub against coarse materials, eventually peeling off the entire skin inside-out in one, long piece.

The old skin carries with it any surface bacteria previously living on the snake. Depending on the species and age of the animal, a snake will shed anywhere from four to 12 times each year.

Known as ecdysis , the shedding cycle is a regular but stressful part of life for snakes. After a few days of showing these initial symptoms, a snakes skin will begin to change color and get darker. The snakes cloudy eyes will dramatically reduce its vision; one of the main reasons it will frequently hide and lose its appetite.

Shortly before a snake sheds, its eyes will clear up and regain much of its vision. When a snake is ready to molt, it will scrape its face against surfaces to tear a hole. Its new, clean, and shiny skin will display incredibly vibrant patterns and colors!

If there were any surface scars or skin scrapes on your snake, they might disappear after a shed or two. Theyll frequently hide out and rest up until they gain their strength back. Since they were just under a great deal of stress and exerted a ton of effort, snakes also tend to poop more, drink more, and are hungry after shedding.

Three to seven days-Skin changes color and gets hazy-Eyes get cloudy-Snake experiences reduced vision or blindnessSeven to 10 days-Skin may get even darker-The snake is ready to shed10 to 14 days-Eyes clear up and vision returns-Snake sheds its skin14 to 16 days-Snake returns to normal by pooping, drinking and resting-Snake eats again During its shedding cycle, your snake will become moody, cranky, and defensive. Avoid handling and feeding your snake or peeling back its skin. These materials, such as logs, should have coarse surfaces but shouldnt have sharp edges, which might hurt the snake.

Add a shedding box, a humid, and dark place for your snake to hide. Healthy shedding happens when the skin comes off in one piece, including eye caps. While a snake can molt its skin in just a day or two, the entire shedding cycle takes closer to two weeks.

A snake becomes vulnerable during this time because of reduced vision and mood changes. Just remember, shedding is a healthy and natural part of life for snakes. As a snake owner, its important to respect your pets personal space.

Create an environment conducive to an easy and healthy shedding process.

How long does it take a snake to shed once it starts?

The complete shedding process can take between one to two weeks. Whilst it can be tempting to intervene and help snakes shed, the best thing you can do is leave them be. Snakes become easily stressed when shedding, so avoid handling during this time and just visually check their progress.

Can you touch a snake while shedding?

Avoid handling your snake as much as possible just before and during shedding. If you need to handle it, do so gently as the new skin is delicate and tears easily. … Depending on the species, a healthy snake can go for a couple of weeks or more without eating, and larger snakes can go even longer.

How long does it take for a ball python to shed?

Typically, the entire shedding process takes less than 14 days. First, your ball python will go through a pre-shed stage for 1-2 weeks. What is this? During this time, you’ll notice its skin will become dull and darker, its belly will turn pink, and finally, its eyes will get milky and opaque (this is the “blue phase.”

This article was co-authored by Jeff Jensen. Jeff Jensen is a Reptile Specialist and the Owner of The Reptile Zone out of Bend, Oregon. With decades of experience with reptiles and wildlife, Jeff specializes in providing advice and guidance on proper reptile care. As a former science teacher and employee of the San Antonio Zoo and an accomplished herpetologist, Jeffs dedication to knowledge and ethical pet trade practices led to The Reptile Zone being awarded a Mark of Excellence Award by Intrepid Marketing in 2018.

Snakes are fascinating reptiles and owning one is a very rewarding experience once you learn exactly how to care for them. For first time snake owners it can be a worrying time when your snake first sheds its skin. After all, you want to ensure your snake is healthy and all is well with them. You may feel concerned about if they are ok and that the shedding process is following the normal cycle.

Snakes become easily stressed when shedding, so avoid handling during this time and just visually check their progress. Instead, if you want to help aid your snake to shed its skin, you can put a basin of water in its enclosure and an assortment of course materials such as tree branches and stones.

In order for a snake to shed its skin effectively it requires optimal nutrition and environmental conditions.

I just got my very first ball python two days ago, so Im very new to the shedding process. When I received him, he had a bit of shed sticking off of his face, but I assumed it was stuck shed from a previous shedding. Today (two days later) he looks duller, wrinkly and more of the skin on his face is falling off, but its coming off incredibly slowly, and I thought the shedding process happened pretty quickly once it started? His eyes arent blue or anything either. I gave him a soak in some warm water today for a couple of minutes, and the humidity in his tank is around 70%, so I would think he would be shedding quickly if he is in the process of doing so, but its been two days now and only a little bit of the skin on his face has come off…

Why Do Snakes Shed?

There are two main reasons why snakes shed their skin.

Growing

Snakeskin doesn’t expand as the snake grows.A snake must grow new skin to fit its growing body, shedding the old skin, which no longer fits.

Cleaning

After a while, a snake becomes dirty because of all its slithering around on the ground.Snakes are known for collecting and carrying parasites and salmonella.When a snake sheds, it’s practicing good hygiene!The old skin carries with it any surface bacteria previously living on the snake.The new skin is shiny and clean.

How Often Do Snakes Shed?

Depending on the species and age of the animal, a snake will shed anywhere from four to 12 times each year.The fastest a snake will typically shed is once a month.This is relatively common for fast-growing juvenile snakes.

Pre-Shedding

Known asA snake’s behavior may change two weeks before it sheds.Your snake may hide more often than usual and get defensive.It will probably lose its appetite and not want to eat.It may also soak itself in water.A snake also experiences physical changes before it sheds.First, its skin will become dull, and its belly will turn pink.After a few days of showing these initial symptoms, a snake’s skin will begin to change color and get darker.Its eyes will become cloudy as fluid builds up between its old and new eye caps.Depending on the species, a snake’s old skin may keep getting hazier as time goes on.The snake’s cloudy eyes will dramatically reduce its vision; one of the main reasons it will frequently hide and lose its appetite.

Shedding

The actual skin shedding is the quickest part of the whole cycle.If you’re not paying attention, you may very well miss it!Shortly before a snake sheds, its eyes will clear up and regain much of its vision.When a snake is ready to molt, it will scrape its face against surfaces to tear a hole.It will pull back the old skin by slithering through tight spaces and continuing to rub against coarse materials, eventually peeling off the entire skin inside-out in one, long piece.

After Shedding

After your snake sheds, it will return to being a happy camper.Its new, clean, and shiny skin will display incredibly vibrant patterns and colors!If there were any surface scars or skin scrapes on your snake, they might disappear after a shed or two.However, deeper scars will probably remain throughout a snake’s life.Snakes are often quite tired after they shed.They’ll frequently hide out and rest up until they gain their strength back.Since they were just under a great deal of stress and exerted a ton of effort, snakes also tend to poop more, drink more, and are hungry after shedding.

Timeline of a Shed Cycle

Here is an example timeline for a possible shed cycle.

Why Do Snakes Shed Their Skin?

Just like humans, snakes are continually generating new skin cells which replace old ones. The only difference between us and snakes it that we shed our skin cells in continuous small amounts, whereas snakes shed their old skin in in one go which is a process known as ecdysis and can also be referred to as sloughing.

How Often Do Snakes Shed?

The frequency of shedding is dependent on several factors such as age, species, environment and nutrition. However, typically you can expect a healthy adult to shed at regular intervals throughout its life, but shedding will occur more frequently in younger snakes.

Signs Snake is About to Shed

Once you know the signs to look out for, you will know when your snake is about to shed its skin. One of the first signs you will notice is your snakes’ eyes will turn a cloudy, dull, bluish-white colour and shortly after, its skin will appear dull and lighter in colour.You may also notice some behaviour changes, such as increased anxiety and aggression. This is because the snake temporarily loses it vision so is naturally feeling more vulnerable and defensive.