First time owner, spotted python

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worx0

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Hey guys, happy new year to all


First time owner here, 0 experience with reptiles.
Ive been reading alot about them and how to take care of them. From my understanding it seems a spotted python is a good choice for a first timer.
Feeding, temperature control seems pretty straight forward, however i have one question, and there seems little information about it online.

My python is angry, it strikes at each chance it gets. As soon as i walk into the room he puts his head up and gets into a strike position. He has been fed only few days ago. He is a year and a half, im not sure if he is a baby or not. I have been bitten alot and he draws blood every time. So do they all bite at this age ? Can i get him used to me? How do i deal with it? Should i let him bite me x100 before he stops or? I really have 0 idea. I read alot that they dont hurt when they bite. But let me tell you it does hurt, its like 2 needles going in.

Any advice?
 

Herpo

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As I said in another thread, I think I read somewhere that they got very aggressive for a while at this age. Regular handling is one way to get it used to not biting. Just let it bite you and pick him up, then remove its jaw from your hand. That's what I did with mine, but not everyone can take the bites. They draw a lot of blood but hardly leave a mark.

But if this is due to age, it should grow out of it soon. Good luck, and enjoy reptiles!
Herpo
 

baker

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How is your enclosure set up? How large is the enclosure? How much cover and hides are in the enclosure? When did you get it? How much do you handle it? Is it in a busy area of your house?
All of these questions are important for us to give you any advice on what to do. Snakes do not just get "angry", there is always an underlying reason causing their behaviour. From what you describe it sounds like you do not have enough cover in the enclosure and the snake is reacting defensively once it sees a massive possible predator with no where to hide. Making sure the snake feels secure and safe in its enclosure is a very important step to getting them used to handling.
Yes you can get him used to you, it will just take you time and patience to do so.

Cheers, Cameron
 

ronhalling

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[MENTION=42098]worx0[/MENTION], first "Happy New Year" to you too. Cameron is spot on with his statement about frequency of handling, the more you handle it the quicker it will settle, 1 of my Spotties was a bit like your 1 at first but daily handling for about 30 min each time soon calmed him down. If you are concerned about the amount of times you have been bitten i suggest you obtain 1 of those small telescopic snake hooks and hook it out of the enclosure for the time being, further to that you could use a gardening glove, but in my experience the glove takes away the feeling between you and the snake. As i stated in another post about Spotties : 34 deg C at the hot end plenty of hiding places and the correct feed size for age/size, at 18 months of age it should be around 700mm so hopper rats every 7-10 days should be about right. I hope this is the beginning of a love affair with Reptiles and you are around for a long time to come. :) .................Ron
 

Ironmind91

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I agree with getting a hook. My jungle was a little chainsaw when I got her. I got a hook and got her out everyday. She tagged me a few times but after a while she started to calm down. Now she's a bloody sook haha. She still hates being touched in her tank though. The hook doesn't bother her, but if I put my hand in and touch her she bites. Your spotted could be like mine and be cage defensive. Just guessing though. Just stick with it mate.
 

ViperReptiles

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I own a Spotted Python, he's almost 1 year old. I got him at 6 months and he was pretty feisty when I first got him, but I have not been bitten yet. This is due to the fact that I would use a telescopic snake hook, they great for getting your snake out of their enclosure especially if they are in an area that is difficult to get your hand too. Usually you'll find that within a couple seconds of you holding your snake, it will usually calm down pretty quickly.
Just keep in mind that your hand is pretty big to a little snake like a Spotted Python. It'd be pretty scary for him to see this giant thing coming for him and grabbing him. Regular handling and handling safely and within minimum restrictiveness will make your snake more placid. By minimum restrictiveness I basically mean let the snake move freely in your hand/s.
 

Muzdan

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Hi all. I have a 7 year old Mac, and to this day, if anyone puts their hand in his house... they will bleed! I was warned that some snakes will become 'house proud', it's just the personality of some individuals. I use a hook to wake him a remove him from his house and after that he is easy to handle. I can even take hold of the back of this head to check his eyes after a shed or hang him around my neck and go about my chores with no worries of a strike. the only time he moves defensively is in his house, or if he is having a mozie on the grass and I don't let him know that I'm going to pick him up he might twitch, but still no strike. A comfortable house and regular and confident handling should calm him down soon.
 

worx0

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Thanks guys for all your replies. it helped alot. I am using a plastic container which is pretty big. The ground is like small wood chips. He has a curly wooden stick in there for him to climb. He also has a plant in there to hide. At the moment im using a heat mat only. I only have one thermometer and it usually stays around 28'c and at night goes to 26'c. I hope its not too cold for him. Im reading alot about it and some sites claim that on hot 30-32 and on cold 26-28 but others says anything around 28 is good.

I have another question, since im new and i dont know his behavior im a little puzzled. Ive just fed him and he snapped the dead mice right out of the tongs. He ate it very quickly. However since ive fed him, during day time he is sleeping. All day without a single movment. Then at night he goes crazy.. non stop crawling, climbing to the top of the container. Im a little worried as he is VERY VERY active. Is that normal? He is very active for the whole night. Doesnt stop. He doesnt move slowly at all its as if he is frantically looking for something. How normal is this behavior.

Thanks alot for your help guys.
 

Herpo

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He won't move much in the day after a feed. You wouldn't either, if you'd swallowed a whole chicken! And snakes are generally more active at night, so you can often observe them climbing around when it gets dark. I can constantly here the rustling of mine moving around his enclosure.

There is also the possibility that he hasn't been fed enough an is still hunting, but that's unlikely if you followed all the advice on food.
 

worx0

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Well that was our first feed, i dont know what and how the store was feeding him. But i do know for a fact that in most cases pet stores under feed their snakes to keep them smaller so that they dont have to buy extra enclosures. So i do believe his still hungry which is why ill feed him again soon, 5 days apart for a while.

As for the temp, 26 ish at night and 28 day is ok?
 

Herpo

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Should be, but I'd move it up to 30-32 when you can. Other than that, you're all set it seems.
 

worx0

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Well i just got my self a thermometer that shows only min and max temp, which is pretty cool. So ill chuck that in when he goes to sleep, unless i want to be bitten :)
Thnx Herpo
 

GBWhite

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Hi,

If you haven't got one already then you really need a hide box for it. It will need somewhere that it can hide and feel secure. A plant may look nice but it fails to provide the proper security and surety the snake needs to settle. A hide box may help settle it down. I'd get rid of the wood chip and replace it with newspaper or similar. Not only do you risk the snake ingesting pieces of wood chip during feeding but, depending on the depth, it may separate the snake from the heat source and act as an insulator. Also, unless the heat mat is in direct contact with the bottom of the container it won't provide sufficient heat.

Cheers,

George.
 

Snapped

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I think he needs a hide in the warm end, and down the cool end (they can be as simple as a small cardboard box (I've used boxes from a light globe, muesli bars, tea bags etc) and easily disposable/up-gradable to the next size.
Also, snakes like to feel secure, so having his tub/enclosure where people aren't walking past all the time is good.
I'd also get rid of the woodchips, use paper towel or newspaper. Is your heatmat on a thermostat? Plenty of air holes in the container for ventilation? Are you heating just 1/3rd of the snakes tub?

I'd bump the temp up to 30-32, for his "warm end" of the tub.

Here's some really good reading on reptile keeping by Doc Roc, very easy to follow and around an hour of your time, explains some basic keeping practices, plus will help you understand your snake and his requirements. Chapters 1, 2 and 3 are the basics. Hope they help.

http://www.southernxreptiles.com/RA ARTICLE PAGE.htm
 

5c077y88

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I too have recently gotten myself my first snake, a Blonde Spotted, had her for 7 months and she's just hit 1 year. she was VERY placid when I got her but at 8 months she started behaving like yours is.
She's always defensive and snappy inside her enclosure but she calms down a little once she's out, she started to strangle my fingers together a few times.

I asked for advice on here and found her prey food was much too small, so I've upped the food size and her behaviour has improved.

She doesn't like crawling all over me any more like she used to, now she's timid and very slow. I don't have a hook so I open my door and she comes out enough for me to pick her up, gets sort of excited when the door opens.
I also wear a soft leather / nylon (tig welding) glove on my right hand for the initial contact until she knows I'm not going to eat her, then slowly coax her onto my left arm / hand and take the glove off and handle her every night except for the night after feeding. She's slowly improving. She doesn't like strangers at all. I haven't been bitten yet but my brother and friend have because they approach her like a damn toy.

She also has a store bought hide at the hot end, a small hollow log that I boiled in hot water to kill bugs, and a sunglasses box I cut the bottom off and put an access hole in one side that she loves at the cool end. She's also got a water dish big enough for her to swim in when she sheds. I also handle her at night due to my shift and she gets very stressed (heavy breathing) if I lift her hide off her in the morning.

 

Dan P

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Thanks all. This thread has been a big help with some good tips. I have just brought my Blonde Spotty home. She is great to handle but very cage defensive, so the info provided above has been really good.
 

MANNING

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I have just brought my Blonde Spotty home. She is great to handle but very cage defensive,

Nothing negative mate, if you just brought your snake home I'd suggest you give it some time to settle in. I'd suggest at least a week. Water changes and quick cleaning if necessary. No handling for this time
Make sure it has some good hides to get away to and if need be cover it over (or half)with a towel or the such
 

Dan P

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Thanks Manning. Sorry should have clarified better. Did let him settle in for 6 days before disturbing him, apart from giving him a new hide which he loved. Thanks for the tip though. Finding everything and everyone on this site very helpful
 
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