Animal Type:
Animal Breed:

The Triad of Animal Husbandry

The triad of husbandry refers to the comparison and interrelationship of Space, Composition, and Maintenance when creating a healthy artificial environment that mimics nature.




In The Wild:

What does this animals’ natural environment consist of in regards to roaming range (cubic feet)? Are they subterranean, terrestrial, and/or arboreal. How do they regulate their temperature?


What We Can Provide:

Size of enclosure (cubic feet, height vs width). Must accommodate a thermal gradient.




In The Wild:

What does this animals’ natural environment consist of in regards to substrate (consists of which minerals, etc), natural features, availability and type of water, humidity, sun vs shade, fauna, daily/seasonal differences etc.


What We Can Provide:

Type of substrate (consists of), lighting (UVA, UVB, Infrared), heating (overhead/under), access to water/humidity, day/night temp drops, basking/hides, brumation/hibernation plan.





In The Wild:

How is the natural environment maintained in relation to waste management, fresh water, lighting and warmth?


What We Can Provide:

Given the limited space, how often do we need to replace clean/replace substrate to combat bacteria, fungus, and nitrate exposure. How frequent will lighting need to be replaced. How will we maintain humidity and fresh water. How will we maintain a gradient. How will we support changes to all of the above for brumation/hibernation/breeding.


 Use Cases:

Native Kingsnake



The average range of a wild kingsnake can be well over a mile in its native habitat and vary from the coast through the mountains out to the desert. Given that they are largely terrestrial, that’s about 27 million cubic feet of space. The kingsnake is diurnal meaning it is most active at dawn to dusk in order to take advantage of optimal temperatures as well as the most comfortable sunlight at a Ferguson zone 2. They naturally hibernate in the winter.



There are immediately some limitations identified in relation to range. A typical snake enclosure might be 4ft x 2ft x 2ft or 16 cubic feet which is a lot smaller than 27 million sq ft. This limited space will have an impact or the composition and maintenance of the enclosure.



Southern California’s natural terrain is mostly sage brush with a sandstone/decomposed granite soil. The sand is high in silica, quartz and calcium carbonate. Much of the area is arid with occasional winter and spring showers which support a minimum amount of standing water. The terrain support lots of hiding places in rodent holes, rock outcroppings and shade from the scrub brush.


The advantage to a native animal is in the high availability of natural elements like local soil, rocks and fauna. The local weather should support the natural humidity and seasonal temperature ranges for this animal. Any environmental modification like air conditioning of central heating may need to be accommodated for if it differs too much from the outside environment. Providing natural hides, water, and lighting should be relatively easy to provide given the limited space however care should be given to ensuring a temperature gradient (hot side / cold side) to promote self-regulation and healthy digestion.



Biological maintenance is achieved through spreading waste over a large area and insect activity breakdown. Nitrate is picked up by plants as fertilizer. Humidity and water resources are controlled by weather.



 Due to the small space the animal will be kept in, expect a soil-based substrate to be overwhelmed with biological matter quickly. Spot cleaning will need to be frequently performed. Regular substrate replacement will be necessary to prevent contamination, bacteria, fungus, ammonia, and/or nitrate toxification. A bioactive setup may help extend the frequency of complete substrate replacement; however, the arid environment will make going bioactive difficult and will increase the cost of regular replacement. Consider a lower cost substrate which can better absorb fecal and urine waste, is easier to spot clean, is highly available, and easy to frequently replace.