Other cage accessories include a hide box, water bowl, and perhaps a branch or stone. Cages that have hiding drawers or rack systems in low traffic areas need not include a hide box. However, for especially nervous or difficult specimens, a hide box may provide the security they need to acclimate and begin feeding. The hollowed out half-logs make excellent shelters. Besides looking aesthetic and being really easy to inexpensively manufacture, they also provide an ideal surface for a kingsnake to cast off an old skin. Waterbowls should be provided on daily basis and kept no more than half-full. Rarely do mountain kingsnakes over-drink or spend too much time soaking. Although many of the mexicanas come from xeric environments, the extra humidity a water bowl provides does not appear to harm them. Certainly the humidity doesn't hurt the pyromelanas and zonatas which inhabit moister environments, often in the proximity of stream beds. Glass culture glasses make better waterbowls than anything else; they have a low height, a heavy base which prevents tipping, a surface that can easily be disinfected, and last virtually forever. They come in a variety of sizes at moderate prices through biological supply catalogs. A stone or branch provides nice finishing touch to an enclosure. They assist with shed skins. But on a less obvious level, they provide an extra surface for the kingsnake to crawl on. A simple branch may increase the animal's stimulation, resulting in more physical activity, which in turn maintains muscle tone. For females, increased muscle tone may have the added benefit of helping to prevent egg-binding.
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