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The big move

Posted by Heather McGahagin at 12/5/2011 2:19:50 PM

So it's that time of the year again. End of the semester, and this semester is the end of my college career. Ya know what that means, the being move from one apartment to another in a different state. This year is going to be an interesting one since I'm moving to CT, luckly there really aren't any major restrictions there. The big thing is I'm moving with new animals, so seeing how they deal with the stress is interesting. The main one I'm worried about is my Green Tree Python, but I'm sure it will be fine.

It's awesome because it's a new begining and I'll be able to set up a reptile area in the living room with ALL of my reptiles (my collection has been spilt between me and the man). I have a few extra tanks at my disposal down there so some animals are going to be getting an upgrade.

Other than more or less rambling I'm posting this because I have a small question/ asking advice from all of the more learned herpers. How do you guys move mass amounts of animals? Usually I just put all of the corns in their own container and put them in a box that has a few holes in it for air circulation. Though now I have the GTP, Tortoise, Gecko, Dragon, Corn snakes, and a ball. It's just a bunch of different shape and size animals and containers. I know some people pack them in the foam ice chest and go from there. What has worked best for you guys?

Next time I post a blog I will be in CT and hopefilly will have some pictures to share. =)


 Comments: View Oldest First  

Pope of iHerp and Bread,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 2:26:54 PM  

I just don't move. You'll find this the best solution to all your future moving dilemas.

Posted At: 12/5/2011 2:40:11 PM  

I'm clueless....I moved 3000 miles with ony two suitcases and a carry on....

Heather McGahagin,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 2:43:09 PM  

Nate, if it was that easy I would just stay lol. But I'm getting to be in a more perminant situation. Atleast until I have enough money to buy my own house or something.

Posted At: 12/5/2011 2:53:10 PM  

Congratz finishing school, I'm almost done, thank God!  But as for moving herps it's going to depend on the distance and if you're flying or driving to your new home.

Assuming you're driving and they'll be in the car with you I would put them in plastic containers and/or pillowcases and then keeping them in an area where they won't be in direct sunlight.  Similar to if you're buying from an expo and just driving them home.

I googled ME to CT and it guessed around 6 hours.  I've made round trips with herps for 6+ hours with no ill effects.  They ship overnight in those containers/pillowcases without issue and if they are in the car with you they will not be at unsafe temps assuming your heat works.

A styrofoam cooler is not a bad idea to keep everyone in the same area, but not 100% necessary IMO.

Hope that helps and good luck on your move!

Thomas ,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 3:00:52 PM  

I've moved more times than I have cared to, and it has at times involved moving 100+ specimens. What I have found works best is to bag and/or cup each specimen individually. The bags are knotted and zip tied, and labeled with permanent marker. Any deli cups (I usually only consider cupping juveniles or every small, inactive species) or plastic containers are secured with electrical tape and also labeled accordingly. Depending on the size of the specimens, I sort the bagged snakes into small groups of 2-4 animals (= 2-4 bags), and place them into a larger plastic container (e.g., shoe box, sweater box, etc.). Those boxes are then stacked securely (to prevent tipping over while in transit) inside of a large transport container (e.g., storage box, tool chest, etc.). All of the plastic containers and the large transport containers are equipped with drilled airholes. Also, the bags should be stored inside of the plastic container in a side-by-side fashion (rather than stacked) to avoid injuries.

The time of year also plays an important role. In the middle of the Summer, it is all about keeping the animals cool, and the boxes that contain them out of the sun in the air conditioning. In the winter time, you have to be very careful to keep them warm (or rather, not cold! mid-70s are ideal)).

Moving is always a pain in the butt, and moving with animals can be nerve-wrecking, to say the least. However, if you plan it well and have everybody packaged properly and securely, that stress will be manageable and relatively short-lived.

Good luck in CT!

Posted At: 12/5/2011 3:11:37 PM  

Seconded! Excellent advice, Thomas.

Candace ,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 3:17:39 PM  

+1Thomas!!!  I hope you like your new place and congratz on finishing college!

Heather McGahagin,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 3:41:21 PM  

The biggest pain is having to wait till the morning of to start packing up all of the herps. I'm a super early traveler, leaving on my travels way before the sun gets up. Packing up reptiles and tanks at 3 in the morning can be daunting lol.

Do you think if I bribe Nate with bacon if he's come do it for me lol


Pope of iHerp and Bread,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 3:43:29 PM  

You live too close to Canada for my comfort. And I can't risk you pulling one over on me and offering me Canadian bacon, which we all know is really just another type of sucky ham.

Heather McGahagin,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 5:34:20 PM  

I'm still way far away from canada lol. Just because they flood down here during black friday means nothing!

Lauren ,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 6:29:27 PM  

I've moved way too many times. The biggest move with the snakes was going from Colorado to Utah-- 6-7 hour drive. Not too bad, though I did have Danu lay eggs on the trip... -_-

Generally all of the larger snakes get put into pillowcases, and then all piled into a large sterilite tub I have that has some holes poked into it. Depending on the weather, I've put in heat packs.  The little snakes are in a rack and the rack I had them was small enough to fit in my Honda Element, so I just taped in all of the tubs on the rack and left them in the rack. I did remove water bowls and hides, as well as put some crumpled newspaper (if they didn't have shavings) for them to have something to grab on to. 
I actually tend to pack everyone up the night before-- and keep em in the warm snake room. Even with the green trees, one extra night plus the drive/unpack time isn't going to make much of a difference when they're in a pillowcase (or even in the rack).  

Just make sure everyone is securely locked into their tub or bag-- it sure sucks to have a snake loose in the car. XD

Andrea ,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 7:20:05 PM  

i have moved tons. mostly with snakes. longer trips of 8-12 hours. once about 14 hours. i put all my snakes in pillow cases/snake bags. put them in other containers, styro is ideal, but plastic bins work. i've even moved gravid animals. i moved the leos i had in their own plastic containers. biggest thing imo is to pack them last and unpack them first. get them setup and up to temp as soon as possible. also, zip tie bags and tape containers so you don't have escapees. it should all work out.  good luck with the move and congrats on graduating. 

Heather McGahagin,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 7:30:26 PM  

Thats the one thing I always wondered is would it hurt to pack them all the night before? I've always waited until the day of because I was not sure if that would put them under too much stress. I think it would be fine for all of the snakes, but i don't know about the lizards and the tortoise.

AJ Colubrids,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 7:41:29 PM  

Ive moved many times!  This last trip was about 30 hours, the one before, 26 hours.  I have a small collection but this is how I do it.  I also only keep colubrids but I think this would work for lizards as well.  My adults go into the large gladware containers, and my yearlings/hatchlings go into the small gladware sandwich containers or delis.  I put them all into a large cooler, which then sits on my backseat.  I keep a thermometer in there so I can keep an eye on the temps.  

I have also just bagged everyone and put them in a cardboard box and put the box on the floor.

I usually dont even check on them because I dont want to add any more stress.

Your trip should be nothing for these guys!  Im sure all will be fine... good luck!

AJ Colubrids,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 7:43:33 PM  

Also, packing the night before would be fine, since your trip is pretty short (compared to my trips anyway).  Ive been in transit with my snakes for 2-3 days with no problems so I dont see why you couldnt pack them early.  That way you can get on the road and its less stress for you!

Thomas ,
Posted At: 12/5/2011 7:45:20 PM  

"Thats the one thing I always wondered is would it hurt to pack them all the night before?"

Either way works. I've always packed everything the night before, that way you can just load up and roll out. Keep in mind that you sometimes realize while packing that you're missing something ("Crap, I'm out of zip ties/tape/pillow cases, etc."), which can be extra annoying if it happens on the morning of the planned departure. If you pack them up the night before, just leave them all packed in the herp room at a decent temperature. 

Anna Sitarski,
Posted At: 12/6/2011 5:31:36 AM  

yup bag the bigger things and put them into tubs with holes, I usually line the tubs with some sheets, secure them and keep warm. They should be fine overnight if they stay at good temperatures. In the morning you can just pack them in the car.  Ug this is making me dread moving, when I am ready all my bloods will be HUGE. 

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