First time owner, handling.

Discussion in 'Newbies forum' started by 1000Bees, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. 1000Bees

    1000Bees New Member

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    Hello, first time owner here. So I recently got my first snake, a very pretty 14 m/o spotted python called Sasori, and I fed him yesterday so I want to try handling him tomorrow. I've never handled a snake before and while I am looking forward to it I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit nervous. Thus far he hasn't displayed any defensive behaviour but he is very flighty, though now he doesn't immediately book it into his hides whenever I get close. I have a small snake hook but as I said he's quite flighty, I know I need to be slow and calm and I don't want to just grab him if he slithers away. I'm guessing time and familiarity will help him calm down but I am wondering if his flightyness is a sign I should give him some more time to settle? Tomorrow will be a week since I got him so I've stuck to the no handling for at least a week. He shed and ate yesterday no problem so that's a good sign.
    Anyway any tips?
     
  2. jsmith

    jsmith Not so new Member

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    I am in the same place as yourself maybe a couple of weeks more advanced.
    what i did was went into a shop that sells snakes ans handled a few and asked for advice. most are pretty helpful. after i was comfortable i started holding mine a minute at a time and building that time up. mine is pretty defensive but he is only 6 months old so tends to be a bit snappy. i usually just put my hand in slowly and allow him to smell me etc because picking him up. now he only really gets defensive if there is a quick movmeny infront of him which is pretty normal ive been told.
    so maybe start by just having you hand in his enclosure and see how he responds.

    Sent from my SM-N920I using Tapatalk
     
  3. sebii

    sebii Not so new Member

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    I've had my first Stimson's hatchling for a week or so and I'm having lots of luck with him. I've been handling him a little every day and he doesn't seem bothered by it most of the time. Sometimes I can see his body tense and I see him breathing heavily when I first put my hand near him, so I just leave it near him and approach him slowly and touch him a little. Within a few minutes he is no longer recoiling from my touch so I go ahead and pick him up.

    I find if I handle him in the evening or before dawn he is much more amenable to it. During the day he is usually cioled tightly having a nap and doesn't appreciate my stupid presence.
     
  4. 1000Bees

    1000Bees New Member

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    Thanks for the tips guys, it's good to able to talk to other newbies.
     
  5. onelife

    onelife Not so new Member

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    please do not force any handling until he has digested his food and passed it as this normally takes a few days and will pass the urine part first then the poop. It can be very tempting to rush things but let it take its time and he will relax as he grows, enjoy
     
  6. Snapped

    Snapped Subscriber Subscriber

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    If your snake is new, let it settle in for a few weeks to get used to you before handling. It's really important that they feel safe and secure, so that they can eat. I don't handle for 48 hours after feeding.

    If you are worried about handling for the first time, watch a few Youtube videos on "first time handling a snake" or similar to get an idea. Yes, I did that, hehe.
    When I got my first snake (he was a 6ft adult MD) I waited probably 3 weeks, observed his behaviour and then got brave and (yes, I wore gardening gloves and long sleeves, I was really nervous haha :)) and waited until he was out basking and nice and warm and just hooked him out with the snake hook and then held him.
    Just let them slither through your hands so they don't feel trapped, don't hold near their head or tail and don't make sudden movements (another tip is to make sure you don't smell like food, or if you've patted the dog or cat, so always wash your hands before and after handling, preferably with an antibacterial hand gel like Purell etc).
    It's good to have a short 5 minute session, so the snake won't stress, and then pop him back in the enclosure.

    A really great couple of concise and easy to read articles for new snake owners is Doc Rock (Simon Stone) about Snake Empathy and the Art of Handling, Home Sweet Home, and Till Death Do us Part, really great information about how snakes think, what they require and how to keep them happy & healthy. Well worth it, I often go back to check on a few things in those articles and I've got 3 snakes now.

    Here's the links to those for reading http://www.southernxreptiles.com/RA ARTICLE PAGE.htm
     
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  7. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    While I agree with the comment of not handling for a few days after feeding. (Allow the little thing to digest it's meal). I'm not so agreeable to the comment of waiting untill it's been passed. If you feed a hatchie every 5-10 days & it takes 2-3 days to digest newbies would never handle if this were so would they?
    Once the food is digested you are all good to go.
     
  8. Evil_Birdy

    Evil_Birdy Not so new Member

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    Pretend you're a tree. Once the snake is in your hands, he will probably zoom around to try and escape, but don't grab hi. Move your hands to let him keep sliding through them. He will soon settle down. Once he has, stick to slow, calm movements, and always keep in mind that you are nothing more than a branch. You will soon learn what is too fast, too invasive and too scary, and model your handling around that. As others have already said, start with small blocks of time, and then gradually increase the time incraments. Over time he will become more and more tolerant of handling. Flightyness is normal, and will die down with handling and familiarly. Best of luck with your baby.
     
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  9. pythonlover1984

    pythonlover1984 Not so new Member

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    thanks for the link, i look at it myself- as i am pretty new handling snakes myself, just got my baby boy this Monday and saw him eating on Yesterday, i was surprised with it tho; how small he is but he still hold his pray very good- i got an children's python (you can see photos in my portfolio as i just load some lol
     
  10. SKYWLKR

    SKYWLKR Active Member

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    You said it yourself. "Baby".

    My recommendation would be to treat your new baby like a real baby. Ever picked up and handled a real baby not long after its eaten? They dont really like it and trust me, neither will you after a bit!

    Same goes for when they are sleeping. (Yes they do sleep)! You'll notice this by when you are near them, they'll seem to be in a 'trance' like state.

    Have you ever been woken up suddenly by someone prodding you? You get grumpy, dazed and defensive right? If you were a snake, your tongue would start flicking like crazy too, trying to deduce what the hell is going on!

    So when youre starting out learning to handle snakes and gaining their trust and "sense" of you, pick your timing right and it'll be a pleasure for both involved. If they do strike or bite you, it isn't the end of the world. Dont let it put you off handling them, we all get tagged at some point. Even when we do everything right!

    All the advice on here is great to put into your knowledge bank for when, you too, will be able to give advice like we have done, once your experience grows. Well done guys!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  11. Stompsy

    Stompsy Subscriber Subscriber

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    The only thing I would add to all this wonderful advice is that if he strikes and makes contact, try not to flinch too much or you may injure him. He's small and it probably won't hurt very much anyway!

    Good luck!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
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  12. 1000Bees

    1000Bees New Member

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    Hey guys thanks so much for all the advice. So far so good, first time I just held him over his cage, good thing too since he rocketed right out of my hands. I was pretty jittery and I think It rubbed off on him. But my confidence is definitely improving, and he's beginning to trust me more as well. He's actually a very chill snake he'll sit in my hands or wrap around my wrist and he only seems to start squirming when he's had enough. It's so great, snakes are so wonderful and fascinating, it's cool feeling the way his muscles move and feeling how strong he is even though he's only small.
     
  13. Samantha115

    Samantha115 New Member

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    Hi, another first time owner here! I see the topic is not so active at the moment, I didn't find a better place to ask a question. I' ve read some of the articles you suggested above (1. SNAKE EMPATHY and the Art of Handling Pythons), but I would like to hear what other members have to say about using a hook when handling your snakes? I've got GYPR Snake Hook and sometimes I have more success in handling my baby with it, but sometimes it all gets easier with hands. What do you prefer? I believe that it's important to get them used to a hook too, since it's a sort of a 'safe method' to catch a snake without any harm... Happy to hear experienced members :)
     
  14. Mick666

    Mick666 Active Member

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    my tip is when you pick him up, don't hesitate and touch him a bunch of times or he will freak out, just slide your hand under him and pick him up. the shock of a strike is worse than the bite when starting out, (unless it's a big snake). but a yearling spotted will barely break the skin if he bites. When you hold him, let him do what he wants, don't try to restrict his movement just support his weight and don't drop him. don't touch him to close to his head (apart from a chin scratch, mine seem to love that).
     
  15. Snapped

    Snapped Subscriber Subscriber

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    I use a hook to help get two of my snakes out, mostly because one is cage defensive and the other thinks anything that goes in his enclosure is food. The other two I just reach in and lift out, unless they are curled around a branch, if that's the case, I'll leave them be.
    That's the only time I use the hook.
    Baby snakes will get used to the hands, they will get used to your smell, so having it on the hook isn't necessary, but from memory, one of mine used to do it when still a youngster.

    Snakes don't enjoy being handled, but they tolerate it, from my experience anyway. And good advice is to be a tree...don't restrict their movement when handling, unless they are about to fall off your hands. Short positive handling sessions once a day or every couple of days (unless shedding or after a feed) is enough. Some keepers don't handle their snakes at all, but I do prefer to at least once a week when cleaning the enclosure, it gives me a chance to look them over and check for anything unusual, and I enjoy handling them.
     
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  16. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    Don't like using hooks but have come to the conclusion with BHP's at least that its a neccesity, at least with a couple of the larger adults we have.

    Others I have never used a hook for and have no intentions of doing so.
     
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  17. Shane Brown

    Shane Brown New Member

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    I tried this just now and my Stimson python went into a defensive posture (I got him 2 days ago, and yes I have held him a couple times.... with him trying to bite me. Every time he did do a strike I would put him away.) I now know I should wait, but I’ve taken his hide out (because I was going to hold him), I was wondering if he would be fine without the hide for a couple days. Also did your snake attempt to bite you.
     
  18. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    Why are you taking the hide out? That’s the one place it feels safe :p

    Snakes bite for multiple reasons including, hungry and scared..

    Say it’s scared; once you wait a week or so (with hide in) hopefully he’s used to the smells and surroundings. Then get him out for about a minute a day (assuming he’s biting when you get him out) or untill he starts biting and increase that time.

    Some snakes are always bitey and that’s ok
     
  19. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    I'd be getting the snake feeding well before attempting any handling... get 3-4 successful feeds under your belt, with no handling then begin to try taking it out, a minute or so once/week.
     
  20. Shane Brown

    Shane Brown New Member

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    I took it out so I could handle it, but it was defensive so I left it and waited a while, it still is defensive, so I didn’t know if I should aggravate it more to put the hide in or leave it out. I now know that I should wait a week.

    Edit : got the hide almost in, just need to push it a little
     

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