looking to buy small python thats easy to handle

Discussion in 'Wanted to Buy' started by Boa90, Feb 19, 2007.

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  1. Boa90

    Boa90 Not so new Member

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    im not sure what species of small python i would like to get and would like some help in deciding what species to go for id like a species thats inexpensive and easy to handle.
     
  2. speedy

    speedy Active Member

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    where abouts you from
     
  3. Auzlizardking

    Auzlizardking Suspended Banned

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    What is the best First Snake?
    You must first decide a few basic things:
    1. How large you would like the python to be when fully grown
    2. How much are you looking to spend
    3. Is it for show only or is it a pet to be handled from time to time.
    Here is a rough outline of what I think are some of the better pythons for first timers.

    Python Species Size When Grown Average Price Price Low Price High Pet Store Price
    Children’s ....................1.2m ..................$150-$260 ....................$150 ...................$400 ....................$300
    Spotted ....................1.5m ...................$150-$260 ....................$150 ......................$400 ....................$300
    Stimson ..........................1.0m ....................$200-$280 ....................$200 ....................$500 ....................$350
    Bredli ............................3.0m ..................$290-$390 ....................$250 ....................$1100 .....................N/A
    Diamond ..........................2.1m ....................$380-$480 ....................$300 ....................$1200 .....................N/A
    Coastal Carpet...............3.3m ....................$100-$250 ....................$100 ...................$1000 ....................N/A
    Murray Darlings..............2.4m ....................$150-$250 ....................$150 ....................$600 ....................N/A
    Darwin Python.................2.4m ....................$150-$400 ....................$150 ....................$600 ....................N/A

    There are many other pythons available but these are the basics. This is just a rough guide of prices; the high end price is due to locality, colours, and patterns. Morph’s can fetch much higher prices than most other pythons and I have not priced them here as morph prices usually go into the thousands, morph’s are pythons like the albino, or have different markings than normal.
    Some species are available through pet stores, but other reptile specific stores can sell many other species and prices will vary from store to store, and state to state as laws, rules, and regulations differ. Some python can live for more than 25Yr’, so they are a long term pet. Be sure that you can fit an enclosure into your home that can to fit your python when fully grown. It is sometimes more convenient to purchase an older python, as you no they are feeding well, and can see there temperament. But it can be a lot pricier. A hatchy can be hand reared and can grow with you starting out in a small enclosure which can be easier on the wallet for starting out. There end enclosure should be half there length, by quarter of there length, by quarter of there length minimum. Larger the better in the end, as they will appreciate the room when fully grown.

    Purchasing Your First Python

    When purchasing your first python you should take great care in choosing. You should ensure that the python is feeding well, if in doubt, ask to come on a feeding day to see it being feed. This will also show you how to feed the python as well. With your python you should get a feeding, Shedding, and maybe even a defecation history. You would not be out of line to ask to see the parents. You can then see what markings the parents have and there temperament. Also check the snake over and handle it a little, as hatches they may be feisty and bite but it doesn’t hurt, it’s more a shock the first time. If something look’s wrong with the python, there probably is. Follow your instincts with health, regardless of what you are told be the seller.

    What Enclosure do I keep a Hatchy in?

    Hatchy’s are usually kept in Click Clacks. Click Clacks are small plastic tubs available at most Bunning’s, Supermarkets, etc. It is just any reasonable sized container with a locking lid that has no gaps where a python might be able to get out. Pythons are professional escape artists so you must ensure that there are no gaps and they can not force the lid off, you would be surprised by there strength. If they can get there nose into a space they will force there head through and will have no problem getting the rest of there body’s through. You will need to ensure that there is sufficient ventilation by making small holes in the enclosure; I usually just drill a number of strategically placed holes. A heat mat is the best heating for a hatchy/ juvenile in my opinion as it is cheaper, and is less prone to overheating than heat cord, and lamps in a click clack can be very difficult to mount. The heat mat should cover around 1/3rd the flooring of the click clack and not more than half the flooring space. It should also be fastened to the underside of the click clack at one end. This allows a heat gradient, from one end to the other. Your aim should be to have a warm end of approx 30-32 degrees celcius, and a cool end of around 24 degrees Celsius the python can then move between the warm area and cool areas to self regulate its own temp. You will need to use some type of flooring on the bottom of the enclosure, I would suggest absorbent paper, or news paper to start off as it is cheap but professional floorings are available. You will also need at least 2 hides, more if you like, they will appreciate places to hide. You will need 1 hide in the warm area and 1 hide in the cool area. Sufficient water supply is also required. Remember that from time to time they may choose to curl up in there water bowl so you will regularly need to check there water.
    I personally scrunch up some newspaper and then pull it out a little to put in there enclosure so that they can hide in amongst it and slither against it. They are best kept on there own in these enclosures.

    The exception to this is the diamond python because it requires UVA and UVB light (sun light). This can not be achieved through glass as the glass filters out the much needed UV light. Although a diamond python can be kept like this, it requires a regular dose of sunlight each day for at least 1 hr a week, or UVA/UVB producing lights in its enclosure. There temps are much cooler than most other Aussie pythons with a warm end at 27degrees celcius, and a cool end of 20 degrees celcius.

    How often can I handle my python?

    While they are young I would say no more than 15-20min, 4-5 times a week. Over handling them can stress them out to much and can result in feeding problems and death. As they get older they can be handled more frequently and for longer durations. After purchase of a python I try not to handle my pythons for 1-2weeks to let them settle into there new environments. After this time I feed them wait a few days after feeding and then start handling them. Avoid handling them during shedding as it is a difficult time for them, and it can split the shed making it more difficult to shed there entire slough (Old Skin) complete.
     
  4. Chimera

    Chimera Very Well-Known Member

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    If you feel you may be a bit timid in handling a python it may be worth going for a yearling. Most (if not all) pythons will be snappy as a hatchling but will settle down with semi-frequent handling. If they are not handled they may never settle down.

    Having said that I have a childrens pythons that has never even looked like biting even as a hatchy.
     
  5. sparticus

    sparticus Well-Known Member

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    childrens,stimson and maculosus,I have maculosus and stimson and they are great.All of that group are great pythons become easy to handle and don't cost an arm and a leg to buy....
     
  6. Chimera

    Chimera Very Well-Known Member

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    Another shameless plug but if you can get the latest Reptiles Australia. There is a fantastic article called Test Driving Australian Pythons that may answer most of your questions.
     
  7. Tatelina

    Tatelina Very Well-Known Member

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    I was going to suggest that aswell...
    You can get it from most newsagencies (apparently)...if they don't have it ask for it.
     
  8. Boa90

    Boa90 Not so new Member

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    newcastle
     
  9. Boa90

    Boa90 Not so new Member

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    also wondering what size would a tank have to be to house any of thses pythons
     
  10. Auzlizardking

    Auzlizardking Suspended Banned

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    A 900 W x 600 D X 500 H should be fine
     
  11. bigpython

    bigpython Not so new Member

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    Great info there Auzlizardking,;)
    I'm just doing my homework before i decide too.
     
  12. Inkslinger

    Inkslinger Very Well-Known Member

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    I am going against the flow here I usually suggest a newbie gets a well established bigger python.
    Snappy hatchys can grow into bitey big ones.
    We often introduce first timers to Haggis our Olive he tips the scales at 8 kilo and is an absoulte moosh.
    On the other hand I have a Macci that thinks its a scrubbie and I dont think a 4 it will ever change.

    A big python that is a good handler is a real confidence booster too they are not flighty will eat easier to handle more durable, (incase of fright drops) . Recently I sold a quiet large water python to my mates son as a first snake. This water thinks he is a ***** cat you can do anything with him. The Lad is now planning his next purchases.
    I still have problems handling hatchies as I am concerned I could hurt them by accident.
    But thats just IMHO.
     
  13. Boa90

    Boa90 Not so new Member

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    thanks heaps for the help everyone much appreciated i think ill go with getting an older snake sounds like theyll be more easy to handle
     
  14. Jason

    Jason Very Well-Known Member

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    i have some spotted python hatchies for sale and will be heading up that way next week, pm me if your interested
     
  15. gregatglasshouse

    gregatglasshouse New Member

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    Auzlizardking - thanks from another new member for your summary - apprecaited
     
  16. Auzlizardking

    Auzlizardking Suspended Banned

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    My python won’t feed!

    Most pythons will not feed when coming up to a shed, or when stressed. Firstly don’t panic, and don’t stress, pythons can go for prolonged periods without feeding without any long term damage. An adult python can go for several months or more without feeding and younger pythons can easily go for 4-6 week’s. If they are due for a feed but refuse when offered wait another week and try again. If you notice they are coming up to shed it is likely that they will refuse food until the shed is complete. After they have shed they will be very hungry and will often take multiple rodents. If they have gone 2 weeks past there feeding due date and are not showing signs of shedding a few things to try are:
    1. Braining: force a pin or sharp object through the skull of the rodent until juice comes out the snake will quickly pick up on the smell.
    2. Hide and Wait: leave the rodents at the entry to there hide, close the enclosure and come back in the morning. Often the rodent will be gone in the morning.
    3. Chicken Soup/Stock: dipping the rodent in chicken stock
    4. Skink Scenting: putting a skink and the rodent in a container together so the rodent takes on the smell of a skink.
    5. Check your temps
    6. Try leaving it alone for a few days prior to feeding and just place it in the enclosure and leave it alone.
    7. Do not attempt to force feed your python unless you are experienced. Force feeding should only be attempted by experienced vets and keepers.

    What can they eat? Size? Diversity?

    Captive pythons are mainly feed a diet of frozen rodents, mice, rats, and rabbits being the most common. It is advised that frozen or pre killed prey be feed to your pythons as many accidents have happened where the mice or rats have killed or damaged the python. A python can eat prey up to 3 times the size of there head and it is advised to feed them prey approx. 2 times the size of there head. Part of a pythons growth requires that they eat this large prey so that they dislocate there jaws, and the skin at the front of the jaws learns to stretch. A young python should be feed approx every 7-14 days and as they get older it should become less frequent. Adult pythons should be feed approx every 3-4 weeks. Over feeding can lead to pin head syndrome (That is where there body continues to grow but the head does not) and obesity. Obesity in snakes causes many health related issues. This can be very detrimental to there health and a sever diet would be recommended. Some people choose to give there pythons treats from time to time. Chickens, or pieces of chicken uncooked, fish, and raw meat, are the most common.


    Shedding Problems.

    Pythons will shed there skins on a regular basis, it is part of there growth cycle. There are many signs of shedding they are:
    1 White eye’s
    2 Flaky skin
    3 Dry skin
    4 Milky colour
    5 Dull colouring on the skin.
    Most of the time pythons will shed an entire skin complete. From time to time this will not occur and some level of assistance will be needed by the owner/carer. During times of shedding it is advisable that you raise the humidity within the enclosure to assist them. Misting an enclosure with a spray bottle, and moving a water bowl over a heat source should help raise humidity. Sometimes dry flaky skin will remain attached you should not pull it off as you may do the python damage. Using a wet tea towel, let your python slither through the tea towel moistening the snake and allowing the python to remove its skin on the tea towel. If this is not working you can soak your python in Luke warm water. The water should only be slightly above room temperature. Your python might freak out a little at first but let it swim around a little and it should settle down. A plastic fish tank with a clip on lid is perfect. Do not leave your python alone in the water as there is always the possibility they might drown. You can also add something for it to rest on as this may help keep stress to a minimum. Some pythons will enjoy it so much you will have problems removing them from the water. Many pythons will also put there heads under the water and search the bottom of there pool this is normal.

    Sexing Pythons

    Sexing Pythons should only be done by experienced breeders and vets. It is not something that should be attempted by recreational reptile keepers.

    Co-Habitating

    There is much debate on wether or not you can keep pythons together in an enclosure. For most of the Antaresia Species it is not a problem as long as they are of similar size, age, and species. Diamonds, Green Tree pythons, Murray Darlings, and Coastal pythons have also been known to co-habitate happily. This is in no way a guarantee that things won’t go wrong between these species. There are always risks involved in keeping pythons together there are many story’s of pythons turning on cage mates and eating them. Keeping males together may also cause them to fight, and do damage to one another or kill each other. If you do choose to keep pythons together remember to feed them separately and clean them before putting them back into the same enclosure. If feed together they can start eating the same prey, and one may eat the other, it comes down to who gets there jaws over the top of the other first, and they will just continue to eat the other python. Don’t feed your pythons together.

    Real Plants and leaves

    Real tree limbs and rocks make good features and are good for your pythons climb on. They also provide abrasive surfaces to shed against and provide places to sleep, bask, and hide. Things like these need to be treated. Rocks can be baked in an oven to kill ticks, viruses, and bacteria found on these item. You can also treat them with a product known as F10 which is a designed product to treat bird and reptile items. If this is unavailable then a 1/10 mix of bleach can be used, and then rinsed clean with water.


    Illness / Sickness / Health

    There are 2 major diseases that are causing concern amongst the herp community they are OPMV and IBD. Here is a brief description of the symptoms would be. Respiratory problems laying on side/back panting having problems breathing, starry eyed look and convulsions. This is a deadly and highly contagious disease; any python found with these symptoms should be quarantined, taken to a vet and reported. Pneumonia is a more common problem amongst beginner reptile keepers. It is caused by stress, cold, and high humidity. Respiratory problems can also occur and are diagnosed by a clicking or wheezing noise whilst breathing. They will also try to take the weight off of there lungs by lying on there sides, or backs. Ticks and mites also can harm your pythons and would show up between there scales. A regular check of your python should find most ticks and mites. Ticks and mite’s can be easily treated using “Top Of Descent”. Remove the water dish, leave your python in the enclosure and mist the enclosure thoroughly without directly spraying your python. Replace water dish 1 hour after spraying. Repeat process three days later, and again 1 week later to ensure all eggs have been killed.

    Substrate

    There are many different flooring substrates available. Here are a few of the Pros and cons of some of the more common types available.
    Astroturf: Although it is good looking, it can be very sharp, and has the ability to cut the cloaca causing problems for your python. It also tends to come apart over time when regularly washed.
    Newspaper: A very cheap and easy sub straight, easy to replace, lacks in the looks department. Good for large numbers of enclosures.
    Chip Bark: Looks good but tends to smell. Have also seen a few pythons consume some of the bark which can give them a splinter in the gut or cloaca.
    Gravel: Looks good easy to clean, can be eaten by your python though and block there digestive system.
    Marine Carpet: Looks good, needs a bit of a scrub to get clean, but most users of marine carpet switch a new carpet for the old. Highly recommended, but can be costly.
    Breeder’s choice/Kitty Litter: O.K looking very easy to clean and replace. The paper absorbs everything and should do no harm to the python if swallowed highly recommended.


    Book references

    1 The Keeping Series
    2 What’s Wrong With My Snake
    3 Care of Australian Pythons In Captivity



    Mayo Mattinson. highly recommended.



    You can also use Ivermectin (for cattle 10mg/mL) to treat mites on snakes and lizards. Add 0.5ml of Ivermectin (eg; Ivomec brand) to approx 1 litre of water into a spray bottle and shake well before use. The cage can be sprayed and the animal may also be treated.

    Ivermectin can also be administered via Intramuscular Injection @ 200μg/kg.
     
  17. dave8208

    dave8208 Suspended Banned

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    hi there
    i am up in newcastle and have diamonds for sale - dont be misled by all the information above. i have sold heaps in the past and all my hatchies settle down after a while and handle quite well.
    i have a 12 month old diamond from last years clutch and it is a good handler and a good feeder.
    call me and come see what i have - 0412 275 990 or 49663226
    dave
     
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