Mexican Black Kingsnakes in general need a very basic set up. How you like to decorate the enclosure besides the necessities is personal choice. The basic items to house a MBK would be the enclosure, water bowl, heating element and a hiding area.
The types of enclosures that are commonly used are aquariums, Tupperware boxes and assortment of reptile caging. Make sure that the enclosure being used have a lid or door that locks. That will prevent the snake from escaping the enclosure. With Tupperware boxes most, collectors keep snakes in a rack system in order house multiple animals in a limited amount of space.
Once an enclosure is selected another item needed will be a substrate. Many items can be used like paper towel, newspaper, aspen shaving, cypress mulch or any kind of reptile bark substrate. I recommend for most people to use aspen shaving or sani chips for their Mexican Black King. Remember not to use any cedar shavings as the oils can be toxic to reptiles.
Next item will be some kind of heating element to keep the snake warm when it needs to thermoregulate. Best item to use will be a heat pad, that will be place on the underside of the enclosure. Heat rock and heat lamps are not recommended but can be used. Reason why we don’t like them is that the heat lamp dries out the cage which further down we will go over the importance of humidity and the heat rock itself must be placed inside the cage which can burn the snake if the temperature of the rock gets too high.
Lastly two basic items like a water bowl which should have clean water at all times and a hiding place for the snake to retreat and feel secure.
Mexican Black Kingsnakes feed on a variety of prey items in the wild from reptiles to rodents. We feed strictly rodents like mice and rats. We recommend to feed Mexican Black Kingsnake in their first year every 5 days and as they get older a regimen of once a week to maintain proper weight and growth. Babies start off on newborn mice and move up to larger size meals as the snake gets larger. The meal should leave a small lump and should not be handled for two days once being fed. That will reduce the chance of the snake regurgitating the meal.
Temperature and Humidity
Mexican Black Kingsnake is a cold blooded animal. They cannot produce heat and need heat for cellular activity and biological process like digestion. MBK prefer ambient temperature around 77-82f and a heat spot of 85-90f. Since most pet snakes are kept indoors in a cooler climate a heating element would be necessary to provide heat.
As for humidity that is something we really find important. With the heating element and ac inside the house taking away the humidity, we highly recommend misting the cage twice a week. That will increase the amount of humidity inside the enclosure. One way you can tell if there is inefficient amount of humidity is when the snake has a dry shed. If proper humidity is maintained the snake should shed in once piece and not in pieces or have any stuck shed on the snake. Other ways to increase humidity is to reduce the amount of airflow in the enclosure.