How did you get started with snakes?

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Python

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I'm totally new to snakes as a pet. So I've asked some dumb questions, hopefully I'll learn more about them as the kind members answer.

But, I'm curious, how did you decide to have snakes as pets? Were you young and just really liked them, or did you get them after becoming an adult? I've been reading that temperatures make a difference to them due to being reptiles. And I've seen comments about baby rats for food for them? Am I getting this right?

So, tell me how you got started. Please.
 

Sdaji

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I was a kid who wanted snakes, so I got myself some snakes.

Temperature is overwhelmingly the most important aspect of keeping reptiles, and is absolutely critical to all reptiles.

Rats and mice are overwhelmingly the most common feed for pet snakes, not just babies. Most snake keepers don't use anything else, or at least use rats and mice as the overwhelming majority of what they feed to snakes.
 

Reptilechick

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@Python if you are wanting to know more about snakes pay close attention to this man above, sure he can be blunt and gruff at times haha and he doesnt really have patience for stupid people, he is by far one of the most knowledgeable and helpful members here.

If you genuinely want to learn, have a read through his past posts, I cannot tell you the amount of times I have been given advice that was totally wrong only to then refer to his methods and advice and get real results.

And if you are a newbie or an experienced keeper alike, take his advice this man truly knows his stuff....
 

Sdaji

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@Python if you are wanting to know more about snakes pay close attention to this man above, sure he can be blunt and gruff at times haha and he doesnt really have patience for stupid people, he is by far one of the most knowledgeable and helpful members here.

If you genuinely want to learn, have a read through his past posts, I cannot tell you the amount of times I have been given advice that was totally wrong only to then refer to his methods and advice and get real results.

And if you are a newbie or an experienced keeper alike, take his advice this man truly knows his stuff....

Wow, I definitely don't remember getting drunk and sending you money, but however much I sent, I'm getting good value!

Guilty as charged about not sugar coating things šŸ˜… I try to be helpful but sometimes a dose of reality is the most helpful thing šŸ˜…

You're spot on about so much information/conventional wisdom/common knowledge in the reptile world being incorrect. I learned that decades ago and realised I'd have to experiment and work everything out or confirm it for myself. There are some good people in our game whose honesty and experience I trust, but for the most part it's worth being sceptical of everything your hear and read.
 

Python

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I was a kid who wanted snakes, so I got myself some snakes.

Temperature is overwhelmingly the most important aspect of keeping reptiles, and is absolutely critical to all reptiles.

Rats and mice are overwhelmingly the most common feed for pet snakes, not just babies. Most snake keepers don't use anything else, or at least use rats and mice as the overwhelming majority of what they feed to snakes.
What were your first snakes, and how did you learn to keep them?
 

Sdaji

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What were your first snakes, and how did you learn to keep them?

Things were different back then. I read every reptile book I could possibly get my hands on, which was about 3 or 4, and none of them were about husbandry. I'd never used the internet, I didn't even know what the internet was at the time. Blue globes I wired up myself as a kid (which wasn't that weird at the time), no thermostat, an enclosure design I wouldn't dream of using these days. Funnily enough, as bad as all that might sound, in hindsight my snakes were in better hands and thrived more than what most people manage with all the advice from the Facebook groups and pet shop 'advice' these days!

My first snakes were hybrid Antaresia sold to me as pure Townsville 'Children's Pythons' (back then all Antaresia were considered the same species, Liasis childreni). At the time I didn't know anything so I believed it until I learned a bit more.

My next snakes were Tiger Snakes. Times were different, I was a kid and sent in the form and payment (a money order from the post office, I think) for my license to keep venomous snakes. I'm pretty sure the rule was that you had to be 18 years old to get the license, but they sent it to me anyway. There were no courses back then (I think it was better that way) and most people who worked with venomous snakes taught themselves as kids in the local swamp. I had no training, no mentor, I just winged it and had a heap of fun back in those days.

The snake community was completely different back then. Most herpers were desperately trying to push snakes to be mainstream pets, and for better or worse eventually they did indeed succeed, and the herp community is now unrecognisable from what it was. I still remember the day I joined this forum, I was a university student running an experiment with geckoes, the was playingon the computer I had the apparatus hooked up to and found APS, and signed up. That was around the time the herp scene was in its most rapid period of change and it was becoming very easy to connect with other herpers online and see how insane they all were and how badly they were keeping their snakes and misinforming each other šŸ™ƒ

Haha, good times.
 

Python

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It was literally 'learning the hard way', and was pretty effective.
You're right, learning resources now are tremendous and way much easier to access. But learning always boils down to love and interest.

I can't imagine you at such a young age having license to keep venomous snakes. But why not, apparently you know more about snakes much better than any other adults during that time.

Thank you for being a huge part of the community.

I enjoyed everything you said about kids in the local swamp, having no training, nor mentor, just winged it and had a heap of fun.

But, I won't do swamp.:)
 

Sdaji

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There were certainly a few adults around who knew how to handle snakes and though they may not have known anything like what we know now, they certainly knew more about snake husbandry at the time than I did at the time when I was still a stupid kid chasing Tiger Snakes around in the local swamp (as opposed to now being a stupid adult chasing snakes around all over the world).

Having said that, even decades ago some of the stuff I was working out is still not widely known or believed. I'm sure our community will always be a peculiar one (I'm exhibit A).
 

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