FIRST SNAKE STIMMIE - when to start handling?

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Serpentsalem

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Hey everyone!

so I got my first snake today, a stimmie! Just wondering when I should start handling it - I had to pick it up an hour away from my house.. so it was in a takeaway plastic tub, though since I’ve gotten home it’s seemed stressed I think, frozen in the corner really, even when I took the lid of the container there was no movement, not in the ‘S’ position or anything anyway I didn’t want to further stress it, so I’ve but the container(without the lid on) inside the tank set up I have with the heated mat and thermostat. Just wondering if I should let it explore at its own will. Or remove it from the plastic container my self?

thank you.
 

Pythonguy1

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Maybe just let her explore. I'd leave it for a few days before handling just to let her settle.;)
 
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Snookysnek

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We've just gotten a Rough-scaled hatchling and shes doing the same thing. Just leave them be for 5-7 days before handling or feeding.
 

Herpetology

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A week before handling , don’t handle for 3-4 days after feeding

Wondering if u have pics of “tank setup”

A baby stimmsons should not be in a tank, but rather a small tub with a couple hides like you were told
 

Blighty

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Just to clarify, the click clack should probably look something like this:
IMG_20180426_205427.jpg
This was from ages back but should give a rough idea. In this photo, the heat mat was underneath that silly little cave hide. This was before I got into making heat cord tiles and whatnot.

But yeah, you will need to give the little guy some time. In the interim it would help to give us some details so we can make sure you aren't falling into any little mistakes.

An enclosure photo would be helpful, as well as the temperatures you are dealing with in both the warm end and I suppose the cool end (mostly to make sure you do indeed have a "cool" end). Probe placement can be important to. In my relatively short time I have seen the thermostat probes go into all sorts of odd places.
 

Serpentsalem

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A week before handling , don’t handle for 3-4 days after feeding

Wondering if u have pics of “tank setup”

A baby stimmsons should not be in a tank, but rather a small tub with a couple hides like you were told

When I said “tank” it’s not actually a tank it’s a small acrylic tub with air holes I bought from the reptile store near me.
Sorry for the confusion.
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Just to clarify, the click clack should probably look something like this:
View attachment 328358
This was from ages back but should give a rough idea. In this photo, the heat mat was underneath that silly little cave hide. This was before I got into making heat cord tiles and whatnot.

But yeah, you will need to give the little guy some time. In the interim it would help to give us some details so we can make sure you aren't falling into any little mistakes.

An enclosure photo would be helpful, as well as the temperatures you are dealing with in both the warm end and I suppose the cool end (mostly to make sure you do indeed have a "cool" end). Probe placement can be important to. In my relatively short time I have seen the thermostat probes go into all sorts of odd places.
Thank you for your help!!
Mine looks very similar to that.
My heat mat is under the tank and it’s taking up about a third of the tank. I have the temperature at 31. The probe is sitting on the hot spot behind the hiding cave.
 

Sdaji

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Handling isn't a necessary part of taking care of a snake. Once your snake is feeding reliably and settled in, think about handling it if you must. Handling is purely for your own enjoyment. Don't handle until after it's had a feed or two and you've gained some familiarity with it. I basically never handle my snakes, but if for whatever reason I did want to play with them I'd wait until they were about six months old. Not to be fanatical of course, if I want a close look I'll pick one up at any size/age. Of course, your snake your choice. As long as it's feeding and doing everything it should, handle away and do whatever makes you happy.
 

Pythonguy1

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Handling is purely for your own enjoyment.
Absolutely, but its not the only reason to handle your snake for example, my BHP would hiss and strike whenever I went to get him out or even go near his enclosure, but after a bit of handling he calmed down a lot.
 

Sdaji

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Absolutely, but its not the only reason to handle your snake for example, my BHP would hiss and strike whenever I went to get him out or even go near his enclosure, but after a bit of handling he calmed down a lot.

Of all the black-headed pythons I've worked with and the vast majority in various friends' collections, none were routinely handled and none were stressed. They almost all start out as stupid moronic hatchlings which mock strike and flip around idiotically, but the vast majority relax over time. Handling doesn't make this happen faster.

Handle if it makes you happy, but don't kid yourself into thinking it is for the snake; it's just for you (and that's a perfectly valid reason, don't get me wrong).
 

Pythonguy1

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Handle if it makes you happy, but don't kid yourself into thinking it is for the snake; it's just for you (and that's a perfectly valid reason, don't get me wrong).
Your probably right Sdaji, I do enjoy handling snakes, although I have found that handling a stressed snake(adult or hatchling)will calm it down.
 

Herpetology

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Your probably right Sdaji, I do enjoy handling snakes, although I have found that handling a stressed snake(adult or hatchling)will calm it down.
How many snakes have you handled to come to that conclusion :O

A stressed snake would rather hide in a nice tight hole than being fiddled about with
 

Sdaji

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How many snakes have you handled to come to that conclusion :O

A stressed snake would rather hide in a nice tight hole than being fiddled about with

It's pretty funny when people with such limited experience and an inability to intepret it come along and feel like telling others how it's done.

As you say, a stressed snake which flips out aggressively calms down better without handling. If it is handled and calms down it's in spite of the handling, not because of it. What handling will often do is stop feeding bites while handling, but again, this is a benefit to a person wanting to play with a snake, not the snake itself. Snakes that try to kill you with the intention of eating you aren't stressed or unhappy. Stressed and unhappy snakes shouldn't be handled.
 

Sdaji

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Maybe I'm getting stressed muddled up with defensive, sorry.

Contrary to the snake keeper myth, defensive snakes (which according to the dictionary definition also qualify as aggressive by the way) respond negatively to handling, not positively. They do tend to calm down with age which is why some inexperienced people wrongly think they are becoming more tame due to handling. As an example of handling making them more 'defensive'/agro/aggressive/bitey, if you repeatedly catch and handle an already cranky wild snake over a period of months it becomes more agro, not less. If you take it home and put it in a box and don't handle it, it'll generally calm down (because nothing is interacting with it and life is less stressful and scary). If you take it home, put in a box and handle it periodically it will generally take longer to calm down, because while less stressful and scary than a typical wild situation, there's still a big monster picking it up sometimes. Where there can be some positive interaction sometimes is where a snake sees a large animal (whether it's a cow or human, and whether the snake is wild or captive) and that animal wanders around completely ignoring the snake. In that case the snake learns that the animal has no interest in it and so sees it as a non threat. In more relatable animals like birds and mammals you don't need me to explain this: pigeons can become quite calm around people, some will take food from your fingers after enough time to gain trust. Pick one up or try to pick one up and see how its attitude towards you changes!

Simple concept - snakes get nothing positive out of being handled.

Simple concept - a snake which hates people and hates being picked up by people gets no reward from being picked up by people, so they don't respond well to it or want to repeat it. In their mind you wanted to kill and eat them and they made a lucky escape and must be more careful next time.

What handling does is stop the feed response, which most keepers can't differentiate from the fear/defensive response (either way it's trying to bite the person and most people can't recognise why), and clearly this causes confusion. Again, this only benefits the human.
 

Pythonguy1

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Thanks for clearing that up Sdaji, I guess I'v heard to many people say the opposite(that handling helps the snake).
 
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