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27 November 2018

Quick Q's with Awesome A's

When we asked our readers for topic suggestions they’d like to see in future newsletters, we received a number of questions that are interesting and could offer valuable information, but were not “beefy” enough to make an entire newsletter topic all on their own. Here are the answers to some of your questions. 

1. Is it safe to reuse packing material? 

Yes, so long as the material is clean and in like-new condition. Boxes should not have any punctures (beyond the required four small ventilation holes) or tears and the insulation panels should not be broken anywhere. The cushioning material inside can also be reused, so long as it hasn’t been soiled. Snake bags and deli cups can be washed and reused. 

2. Does insulation thickness matter?

Absolutely. First off, we require a minimum of three-quarter inch foam insulation. Anything less than that does not provide adequate protection against temperature swings, nor does it provide adequate structural support. Insulation that is thicker than three-quarter inch makes it that much better. The thicker your insulation is, the slower the internal temperature of the box will change and the stronger your overall box will be. 

3. How much space should I allow for the animal in a deli cup?

Not much. You’ll want the animal to have enough space to shift positions and breathe easily, but not so much that they will get tossed around inside during the shipping process. Even animals with "sticky feet" such as geckos or frogs can get dislodged and slammed against the far side of the cup. Whenever I pack up an animal in a deli cup, I fill in the empty space with wadded paper towel. This protects the animal from getting banged around, but is gentle enough to allow some movement. 

4. Will a rectangle container cause kinks in snakes?

Maybe? Anecdotal evidence suggests that square or rectangle containers (such as the sort you might pack a sandwich in) might cause temporary or permanent kinks in very young snakes. It might be that they press themselves into the sharp corners for leverage trying to force their way out and pop a vertebrae or two out of alignment. 

5. Should you feed before shipping?

In almost all cases, no. You should fast your animal for a full meal cycle. For many reptiles such as lizards or turtles, this could mean fasting for a day or two before shipping. For snakes, you should give them about a week, at least, since their last meal, before putting them through the rigors of being shipped. The stress of shipping can cause a great deal of upset to a full stomach, leading to regurgitation and other complications. 

6. Can you pack more than one animal in a single shipment? 

Yes, so long as there is room in the box without anyone being squished or in danger of being crushed. Deli cups stack nicely and keep all the animals safely separated from one another. So long as they fit comfortably inside your box, you can stack as many deli-cups as you like. Bagged animals are another matter. Bagged animals should not be stacked. They should fit as a single layer within the box. Even then, care must be taken when packing bagged animals of different sizes. A heavy, mature python can shift around and inadvertently crush a smaller animal, even though they are in separate bags. You can, however, mix deli-cups and bags in a box…just make sure there is room for everyone and nothing can shift that would put anyone in danger of being crushed. Remember, only ONE animal per cup and/or bag. 

Tons more questions, with detailed answers, can be found on our FAQ pages. And as always, we are only a phone call or email away, happy to answer your questions!  

Please don't hesitate to reach out to Customer Service for any questions or concerns you might have regarding your shipments.  We're here for you! 
Monday - Friday, 7am - 6pm MST


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