Aggressive bhp?

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xXFlying

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hey guys, I’m new to this site and semi new to the reptile hobby but have done a lot of research.
A couple weeks ago I bought a 1 and a half year old black head python (female) and was told she handled well and didn’t bite for the 8 months the previous owner had her. When I got her home she was very chill and for the next couple days I could go in and fill up her water, move things around/add things and even pick her up. As of a couple days ago she has been really aggressive and every time I move near her enclosure or try to fill up her water, she gets in a defensive stance, hisses a lot and strikes at me (with an open mouth too). I was wondering why this might be and how I can stop it. I know she might be getting use to the enclosure but it’s making it hard for me to do anything with the enclosure. I have since put a towel over the enclosure hoping that helps. Any feedback would be appreciated thanks.

Additional info:
Heat mat under hide is giving a surface temp of 33-36 degrees
Cool end 23-26
4ft tank
Humidity at the moment is 58%
11588157-A150-4E78-AE71-44A0554C5995.jpeg 4F0AF533-C000-46D7-A5B7-FD834419535C.jpeg 02543C40-4E8C-46BA-A013-B2D290DB4678.jpeg
 

nick_75

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Ok, a few things to comment on. You may have thought you have done enough research but you haven't.
If you'd done enough research you would know that reptiles need a period of time to settle into a new enclosure. During this time you should leave them alone, make sure the enclosure is in an out of the way place and not disturb them unless absolutely necessary. The animal is stressed and is reacting accordingly.

Do you have enough hides? A hide at both ends of your temp range give the animal the ability to thermoregulate and hide.

I'm sorry to take this line with you, but seeing the constant questions on this site posted by new keepers who have not done adequate research before buying frustrates me. Have you bought any literature on the care of Australian pythons?

The internet is helpful but is full of misinformation.

Best of luck.
 

Ramsayi

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It's scared not aggressive.All small bhp's carry on like you have described and is 100% bluff.

It's also very small for an 18 month old animal so it won't hurt to feed it up a bit more than you usually would.
 

Melmy

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That’s a big tank for a little snake. What was she in before you got her?
She’s beautiful, you’re on the right track now to get some good advice and get her settled in :)
 

xXFlying

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Ok, a few things to comment on. You may have thought you have done enough research but you haven't.
If you'd done enough research you would know that reptiles need a period of time to settle into a new enclosure. During this time you should leave them alone, make sure the enclosure is in an out of the way place and not disturb them unless absolutely necessary. The animal is stressed and is reacting accordingly.

Do you have enough hides? A hide at both ends of your temp range give the animal the ability to thermoregulate and hide.

I'm sorry to take this line with you, but seeing the constant questions on this site posted by new keepers who have not done adequate research before buying frustrates me. Have you bought any literature on the care of Australian pythons?

The internet is helpful but is full of misinformation.

Best of luck.

Ok first I want to thank you for your reply, I have done a lot of research but clearly not enough and that is my fault. I do know they need time to settle in and everything and the only time I “disturb” her is if I’m picking up her poo, topping up the water or giving her food. (I try to feed her weekly because she seems very thin and other people have pointed that out too. Also I didn’t feed her the first week). I have a hide on the heat mat and I have one down the other end in the corner where it’s cooler. I have also since bought a heat light for up top to have on during the day. With the last point about literature I have borrowed my friends book on Australian snakes in captivity and will be going over that now. Once again thank you.
[doublepost=1562248987,1562248750][/doublepost]
It's scared not aggressive.All small bhp's carry on like you have described and is 100% bluff.

It's also very small for an 18 month old animal so it won't hurt to feed it up a bit more than you usually would.

Thank you very much for the reply and advice. I’ve been told that it’s small and thin and i even visually compared it to my friends bhp who is around the same age and it’s deffs a lot smaller. I have tried to feed her twice and both times she didn’t eat unless I left the food on the rock overnight which the next morning it would be gone. I think another reason for the behaviour is because I’ve noticed her eyes are a little bit cloudy and please correct me if I’m wrong but that means she is possibly due to shed soon?
[doublepost=1562249134][/doublepost]
That’s a big tank for a little snake. What was she in before you got her?
She’s beautiful, you’re on the right track now to get some good advice and get her settled in :)

Thank you for replying. I figured the tank would be a bit big for her at this age (hence why I have multiple hides) but I thought it would be a good option because of how big they get. I now realise I made the wrong choice and for now should of got a smaller enclosure. Other than that yea, she is beautiful isn’t she, I’m very happy with the purchase and I’m going to do everything I can to learn more about reptiles and give my current 2 snakes a good life :)
EDIT: I forgot to reply to the question you asked about what size she was in before. I don’t actually know because I never saw her previous enclosure but I’d assume it was smaller than my current one
 

Melmy

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Another option is to set up a decent size tub inside her current enclosure - you can use the heat mat you have already.
I’m no expert but that’s what I’m doing with a few of my little ones as I didn’t want to have to buy smaller enclosures then have to upgrade.
 

xXFlying

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Another option is to set up a decent size tub inside her current enclosure - you can use the heat mat you have already.
I’m no expert but that’s what I’m doing with a few of my little ones as I didn’t want to have to buy smaller enclosures then have to upgrade.

Deffs a good idea imo, but yea I was the exact same when it came to having to buy a smaller enclosure then later upgrade.
 

Herpetology

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Just wondering what you are feeding it :) you should aim for a food item that’s roughly 20-25% of the bhp body weight
 

xXFlying

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Just wondering what you are feeding it :) you should aim for a food item that’s roughly 20-25% of the bhp body weight

The first time I fed her I gave her 2 fuzzies (mice), just to see if she’d eat. They were also a day apart from each other and yesterday I went and bought some weaner mice.
 

Herpetology

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The first time I fed her I gave her 2 fuzzies (mice), just to see if she’d eat. They were also a day apart from each other and yesterday I went and bought some weaner mice.
I’d be going for something much larger to be honest, weekly large adult lab mice ATLEAST

If not a small rat fortnightly

Best way to know would be to weigh your bhp and go from there.

Bhp are voracious eaters and will scoff down anything

It could be another reason it’s defensive :p could be hungry


Also to answer your question - yes milky eyes do mean it’s coming up to shed in next week or so :)
 

Wokka

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I would feed 2 x small rats (50 gram) every say 5 days to get a bit of condition on. 2 x fuzzy mice per week is about 20 grams which would not be a maintenance diet for that snake, let alone allowing it to grow. I notice the temp under the hide is 34-36c. Make sure there is an option of a cool hide as well because the warm hide may be too hot.
 

GBWhite

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Hi mate.

Don't take this as a shot at you but that snake is way, way to skinny for an 18 month old Black Headed. I'd adopt Wokka's suggestion and up the size of the food and frequency and feeding regime.

The behavior of the snake is probably a combination of being hungry and being scared and may even be compounded if it is due for a shed.

Some snakes adjust to a new environment very quickly while others can take a week or two (or sometimes a bit longer) to get used to their new surroundings and that's why it's often suggested to let a new acquisition be for a week or two.

A lot of newbies don't realize it but just doing little things like changing the water and cleaning up crap can be a little confronting to a newly acquired snake. Snakes do drink water but don't drink it daily or very often for that matter and get most of their fluid requirements from their food source. A lot of experienced keepers only offer fresh water once a week or fortnight so there is no real need to top it up or replace it daily. It also isn't necessary to remove any crap as soon as it is defecated, in fact again, a lot of experienced keepers that I know will leave any feces defecated by a newly acquired animal in the enclosure for up to a week or even longer before removing it so as to not disturb the critter.

On another note, I don't know for the life of me why people persist in providing heat under a hide for many of the species of snakes kept in captivity. Floor heating is quite an acceptable means to assist a snake to thermoregulate but the purpose of a hide is to simulate conditions in the wild where, once a snake has basked to reach it's preferred body temperature, it finds a familiar cool and secure retreat where, simply speaking, it can curl up to maintain it's body heat until it cools down to a point where it needs to bask again and increase it's body temperature. So in fact, to duplicate this in captivity, hides should be in a cooler area of the enclosure and just big enough for the snake to curl up comfortably. They can be replaced periodically to accommodate the snake as it grows in size.

Cheers,

George.
 
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xXFlying

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I would feed 2 x small rats (50 gram) every say 5 days to get a bit of condition on. 2 x fuzzy mice per week is about 20 grams which would not be a maintenance diet for that snake, let alone allowing it to grow. I notice the temp under the hide is 34-36c. Make sure there is an option of a cool hide as well because the warm hide may be too hot.

Ok thank you very much for that, it was very helpful. Also I have recently added a corner hide down at the cool end for her.
[doublepost=1562302543,1562302310][/doublepost]
Hi mate.

Don't take this as a shot at you but that snake is way, way to skinny for an 18 month old Black Headed. I'd adopt Wokka's suggestion and up the size of the food and frequency and feeding regime.

The behavior of the snake is probably a combination of being hungry and being scared and may even be compounded if it is due for a shed.

Some snakes adjust to a new environment very quickly while others can take a week or two (or sometimes a bit longer) to get used to their new surroundings and that's why it's often suggested to let a new acquisition be for a week or two.

A lot of newbies don't realize it but just doing little things like changing the water and cleaning up crap can be a little confronting to a newly acquired snake. Snakes do drink water but don't drink it daily or very often for that matter and get most of their fluid requirements from their food source. A lot of experienced keepers only offer fresh water once a week or fortnight so there is no real need to top it up or replace it daily. It also isn't necessary to remove any crap as soon as it is defecated, in fact again, a lot of experienced keepers that I know will leave any feces defecated by a newly acquired animal in the enclosure for up to a week or even longer before removing it so as to not disturb the critter.

On another note, I don't know for the life of me why people persist in providing heat under a hide for many of the species of snakes kept in captivity. Floor heating is quite an acceptable means to assist a snake to thermoregulate but the purpose of a hide is to simulate conditions in the wild where, once a snake has basked to reach it's preferred body temperature, it finds a familiar cool and secure retreat where, simply speaking, it can curl up to maintain it's body heat until it cools down to a point where it needs to bask again and increase it's body temperature. So in fact, to duplicate this in captivity, hides should be in a cooler area of the enclosure and just big enough for the snake to curl up comfortably. They can be replaced periodically to accommodate the snake as it grows in size.

Cheers,

George.

Very helpful thank you heaps. I won’t take that as a shot at me because when I got the snake I realised it was skinny and so did my friend. Them photos are from the night I got her so that’s why I wanted to feed her but at the same time I wanted her to settle in abit first. I usually top up the water weekly but I might do it every fortnight while she’s new now. With the heat mat situation, now that I have a heat lamp on top would you suggest I turn the heat mat off? You made a very good point in that closing paragraph that I didn’t know about with the heat mat so cheers heaps for the friendly information.
 
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