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Advice on snakes

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by g21owner, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. g21owner

    g21owner

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    Im looking into purchasing a snake. Im not sure what kind though. I was doing a little research and it seems that Ball Pythons are a good starter snake. What do you guys suggest? Also, if you guys could give me a general idea of what costs and maintenance are for a snake and what it would need as far as habitats and heating?
     
  2. highprimer

    highprimer

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    A few things should be considered when deciding on which species.

    How much room do you have for it, and are you in a cold climate, or a mild/hot climate?

    a ball python is a great snake for all experience levels and you can get them in so many color and patterns now that there is one for every taste, and they will only need at most a 3x2' cage as adults.

    There is to much to really layout in one post about the in's and out's of snake keeping, you could join one of the many reptile forums.
    I recommend redtailboa.net, there are snake keepers of all levels and its pretty gun friendly to, many hunters/shooting sports enthusiasts are members there.
     

  3. Lone_Wolfe

    Lone_Wolfe Sandbox Refugee CLM

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    PM geofri, he raises them and has some really nice ones.
     
  4. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

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    eck, ball python. They are not a very hardy species... which some might say doesn't matter if you know how to take care of a snake... which I agree... but newbs should get something more durable IMHO.

    Also, skip the "huge Snake" fancy. Biggins' are a pain to care for properly and it's not fair to the animal if you don't have the time or ability to provide for them. I ended up going to a Borneo Blood python eventually.

    That's all I got, it's been awhile since I've messed with snakes.
     
  5. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

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    I don't like Balls for starter snakes. Of the dozens, possibly hundreds I've cared for both personally and profesionally, most were very poor eaters, especially with pre-killed food.

    Corn Snakes are really great starters IMO. They have excellent temperments, very unique personalities, eat very well, and aren't terribly sedentary.

    Milk and King snakes share many of those attributes, but are usually a little higher strung.

    As far as care, most snakes are very easy. Appropriate sized terrarium, water dish big enough to soak in, and heat lights/ceramic emitters/heat pads to keep the temperature to their liking (this varies by species). Some tropical snakes also may need to be misted to keep the humidity up. Most people feed their snakes once a week, and frozen mice/rats of various sizes are pretty readily availible. Prices can range from $1 each for the smaller stuff up to $6+ each for the really big rats. The size of the food is obviously dependant on the size of the snake.


    I've raised dozens of different types of snakes over the last couple of decades, so if you have any specific questions feel free to ask. I'll try not to get too wordy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  6. Spence

    Spence

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    Snakes are more expensive then I originally thought. They need a really well monitored enviroment or they will suffer. You will need a 10 gallon aquarium as a starter then move it to a 20 or just start with a 20. Remember though that pythons really dont like huge aquariums on average. They can actually eat a lot. Feed them as big as you want them to grow if they have a good appetite. Appetite is a big deal with pythons. They will regurgitate thier meal if stressed. They may or may not accept prekilled food. Important to note: live prey can and will injure your snake. Give them a hide hole and they are pretty happy. They are nocturnal so avoid messing with them during the day. They need a decent heater. I found under the tank heaters to work the best. UTHs work better with a dimmer switch installed. Keep it moist. Buy those earth bricks that swell and expand. They hold a good amount of moisture. The python will need more moisture while shedding. Look into infrared for viewing so you do not disturb it too much at first. Watch for mites which is a sign of too much moisture. I am sure there is more info to share but this is a good starter.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  7. highprimer

    highprimer

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    If you get a captive bred (i.e. non imported) ball python they are extremely hardy.

    If you avoid a 20$ import you will have much fewer issues, not that decent imports don't come in, its just a gamble.
     
  8. highprimer

    highprimer

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    you could always pick a hardy and obscure species

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    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  9. griz7674

    griz7674

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    With all due respect, don't take advice from individuals who have kept a snake here or there. I have raised hundreds over the years and a lot of the advice above is flat out wrong. Here's what you need:

    1) Join redtailboa.net or faunaclassifieds.com
    2) Captive raised ball pythons are very hardy and will eat from day one
    3) ONLY go with an under the tank heating element. It's called Flex watt.
    4) Don't go with a dimmer switch. They fail and cook your animals.
    5) Buy a A419 Johnson control to safely run your heat.
    6) Do not used heat rocks or heat lamps. Ever.
    7) You can deal with your snakes at any point in time. Daytime vs nighttime does not matter.
    8) Glass tanks or aquariums are a waste. Go with a good boaphile or vision.

    Doing it right is not cheap. But, you are providing it with an environment that will make it's life much more enjoyable and make your husbandry much easier. Study up first and heed the above advice. You will be good to go.
     
  10. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

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    Uh huh. Hobbiests, regardless of the hobby, don't need the bestest, fanciest setup to prevent total disaster. Pretty much the only points you have worth a darn are "are hardy", "don't use a heat rock", and number 7.
     
  11. RedHaze

    RedHaze Handgunner

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    Rubber boa! They're actually native to north america... and friendly.
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  12. moncoacp

    moncoacp

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    I would stay away from any of the pit vipers or any member of the cobra family. Cobras are OK if you have a turban and play a flute, but if you are a drummer they definitely don't like that.
     
  13. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

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    Then I stand corrected, I have'nt seen alot of good luck with these little guys... musta been imports or the keepers. I've never owned one.
     
  14. g21owner

    g21owner

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    Thanks everyone. Im kinda partial to the bigger snakes like pythons, but I obviously don't want anything that would get 10-15 feet long. I live in the High Desert in So. Cal so the temps vary greatly, i.e freezing your balls off in the winter and sweating your balls off in the summer. I have enough room for maybe a 3 or 4 foot cage.
     
  15. g21owner

    g21owner

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    Damn I really wanted a viper too. How about Rattlers? We have lots of them around here, so I can get one for free.:tongueout::supergrin:
     
  16. elsolo

    elsolo

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    Check your local Craigslist or Recycler classifieds, that's where I found most of my terrariums, heaters, thermostats, etc. The lifespan on these snakes exceeds the interest of many snake buyers, so there are also lots of adoptable boas and pythons out there.

    After the original equipment investment, food is the major cost by far. Growing snakes will eat 50 times a year, the cost of buying feeder mice and rats is often underestimated. Adult snakes don't need to eat so much, most of mine were fed one big meal per month.

    Keep in mind what you want out of a pet snake.
    Is it just going to be a specimen kept in your home for it's beauty, much like a fish tank?
    Do you want to take it out of the cage and handle it frequently?
    Do you prefer it to just hang out on your lap or around your neck instead of constantly keeping track of where it's trying to go?

    My favorite is just regular dime-a-dozen redtail boas, they are more fun to handle than ball pythons.
     
  17. *ASH*

    *ASH* FURBANITE

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    get cha a few black mambas and play twister with them .
     
  18. finz50

    finz50

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    I highly recommend a cornsnake/milksnake/kingsnake (all the same family) for a beginner, I personally recommend the california kingsnake. I've never owned a ball python, but have friends that had them and said some can be picky eaters, so that's why I personally would stay away from them. Also to second what the previous poster said, get the under tank heater, and I recommend just getting a 20 gallon tank from the get go instead of buying the 10 gallon and upgrading later.
     
  19. g21owner

    g21owner

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    Just got done looking at those boaphile and vision cages, damn those things are pricey:wow:. They do look well made and Im sure they are excellent cages but they are a little out of my price range. Anyone got any pics of their set-up?
     
  20. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

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    The Boaphile and Vision cages are fantastic enclosures, but they're not exactly the best bang for the buck. My GF's current setup is about as simple as you can get, but her two juvenile Corns are thriving just fine.

    10gal aquarium with screen top and clips, 60watt daylight bulb w/dimmer, UTH, water dish, coconut hide, coconut fiber bedding, and a little plant for decoration. The nasty little buggers are just as happy as can be.

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    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010