Questions for a First Time Snake Owner (likely a Stimson's)

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kitallen23

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Hi all!

I have been deeply in love with snakes since my early years, but never been able to own one. I've been very patient and waited for around 12 or so years now, and I think it's finally time! I have a few questions about everything, so I'll use this thread as a question board that I can update when more questions arise (and I'm sure they will)! Any answers will be much appreciated - even if you can only answer one or two of my questions, that will be great. Every opinion helps!

Firstly, about the snake itself. I am hoping to get a beautiful Stimson's Python! From what I hear, they are very well-natured and great as starters. I heard that it makes a big difference whether a snake is land-dwelling or tree-dwelling for when it comes to handling; tree-dwellers will curl around you and get all cosy whereas land-dwellers won't want to stick around. Is this true? And if so, which one best describes the Stimson? This is important to me as I will be handling the snake a lot!

As far as maintaining the snake goes, I'd like to know a few things. It sounds ridiculously easy to own a snake; after building a lovely setup for the guy with water, appropriate size and scenery, all that's left is maintaining the water and feeding the guy once every week (early life) or second week (later life). How often does the enclosure (terrarium?) need cleaning out? Is there any other maintenance I need to consider? And if I were to go away over a weekend, for example, would the snake be fine by itself given it has water and the heat stays on?

A potential problem I have is that I own dogs, who I love and cuddle all the time. A close friend of mine owns rabbits, and whenever she is near a snake, it becomes very interested in her (because of the scent). Would this be a problem with me and my dogs? The dogs live in another part of the house from where the snake will live, but it would be nice to know that the snake won't be sniffing around all the time.

Thanks for reading and for any help :) I'll post more questions in this thread as they come to me!

- - - Updated - - -

Ooh, two more questions!

1. Does gender make a difference (are females friendlier, for example)?

2. I know this sounds really silly, but it's relevant to my current location and situation; I have heard that there's such thing as manufactured "reptile sausages" that can replace the thawed mice/rats. I'm guessing this is frowned upon, but what are the facts when it comes to reptile sausage?
 

Kit_fox

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Hi kitallen23, As far as cleaning goes, clean water bowl every 3 days, change whatever you use as the floor (I have paper) every week and do a real big clean up and wash EVERYTHING once a month (when you do a monthly cleaning, always check that the heat lamp ect are still working)

if you smell like dog, It probably won't matter (my children is ok with me smelling like dogs and chickens ect).

kitallen, I have never heard of reptile sausages, but they might be still real, although I would probably still use mice

dont think gender makes a difference in personality. But I could be wrong.

and lastly, land dwellers are usually a lot more tamer than a green or tree snake ect would be.

hope this info useful,

cheers, jazeew

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Oh, forgot to add that heating should be about 36 at the hot end and 26 at the cold end (probably a good idea to have a hide at each end).
 
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kitallen23

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Thanks so much for the info Jazeew! When you say you use paper as the floor, do you have anything on top of that? Or just the paper? Often I see sand in enclosures, but is this not often used in households?

And in regard to your comment about land dwellers, are Stimson's land dwellers? I hear they are incredibly tame so this would make sense.

I apologise for the amateur questions but lastly, when you say have a "hide" at each end, do you mean a place they can chill out in their enclosure that they can go to if they are feeling a bit too warm/cold? Thanks!
 
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marcus0002

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Hi all!

I have been deeply in love with snakes since my early years, but never been able to own one. I've been very patient and waited for around 12 or so years now, and I think it's finally time! I have a few questions about everything, so I'll use this thread as a question board that I can update when more questions arise (and I'm sure they will)! Any answers will be much appreciated - even if you can only answer one or two of my questions, that will be great. Every opinion helps!

Firstly, about the snake itself. I am hoping to get a beautiful Stimson's Python! From what I hear, they are very well-natured and great as starters. I heard that it makes a big difference whether a snake is land-dwelling or tree-dwelling for when it comes to handling; tree-dwellers will curl around you and get all cosy whereas land-dwellers won't want to stick around. Is this true? And if so, which one best describes the Stimson? This is important to me as I will be handling the snake a lot!

I got a spotted python which is very similar to a stimmie and he is great. Has only ever bitten me twice and hes not big enough to draw blood. Don't be surprised if they stop eating over winter and lose a bit of weight. Mine didn't eat from March until September.
Yes tree dwellers love to wrap around everything. On the other hand my Blackheaded python hatchling just sits on me as he can't really wrap around me.

As far as maintaining the snake goes, I'd like to know a few things. It sounds ridiculously easy to own a snake; after building a lovely setup for the guy with water, appropriate size and scenery, all that's left is maintaining the water and feeding the guy once every week (early life) or second week (later life). How often does the enclosure (terrarium?) need cleaning out? Is there any other maintenance I need to consider? And if I were to go away over a weekend, for example, would the snake be fine by itself given it has water and the heat stays on?

Clean the poo and urine out. If it stinks it needs cleaning. If you get the aspen bedding or similar you can just scope it out with your hands and change the whole lot every 6months to a year. Lightbulbs blow and will need replacing . Some blow in a couple of weeks, some last over a year. Fuses sometimes blow on the microclimate thermostats. Unscrew the top off and take the fuse into Jaycar and get a new one for 90c.

A potential problem I have is that I own dogs, who I love and cuddle all the time. A close friend of mine owns rabbits, and whenever she is near a snake, it becomes very interested in her (because of the scent). Would this be a problem with me and my dogs? The dogs live in another part of the house from where the snake will live, but it would be nice to know that the snake won't be sniffing around all the time.

Thanks for reading and for any help :) I'll post more questions in this thread as they come to me!

If the dogs are bigger the snake is at risk, if the snake is bigger the dog is at risk. Lock one up when the other is out. Problem solved.

- - - Updated - - -

Ooh, two more questions!

1. Does gender make a difference (are females friendlier, for example)?

No

2. I know this sounds really silly, but it's relevant to my current location and situation; I have heard that there's such thing as manufactured "reptile sausages" that can replace the thawed mice/rats. I'm guessing this is frowned upon, but what are the facts when it comes to reptile sausage?

Never heard of it.
 

Kit_fox

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No I don't have any thing on top on of my paper, you can use sand if you want. But if you do, you'll have to take him out of there to feed him because he might swallow the sand as he/she swallows the mouse.

stimsons are land dwellers and spend most of there time in small tight places (eg under a log or rock)

Lastly: yes, i mean a cave or some thing at each end for him/her to chill out in.

cheers, jazeew
 
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Riffherper

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I've never heard of a 'reptile sausage' however I doubt they occur naturally in the wild. Stick with real food items for the health of your reps. If you can't afford rats or mice don't get a snake.
 

kitallen23

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It all sounds great! Because Stimson's are land dwellers, does that make them more difficult to handle?
 
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borntobnude

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As has been said before .. snakes probably Don't like being handled at all , they tolerate it .Some snakes are wriggly, some sit still like a dog . you get what you get !!

I hope you have actually gone out and bought one of those old fashioned BOOK things full of usefull stuff on the keeping of snakes . then sift through a bit of other stuff ( and some rubbish ) on the net

stimsons are a great snake -- 1st or otherwise , most are calm but you get the odd crazy ..like anything .
 

Stuart

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Snake sausages were a con by some folks who were only interested in taking money from the naive. Stick with what's natural.
 

kitallen23

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Great to hear about the reptile sausages - getting some definitive answers is great ;) and thanks for the info 'born2bnude', but on the comment about getting a book: you're wanting me to learn stuff before I get a snake, so that's why I'm here. I plan on doing a lot of research before I get one, but I love snakes so much that no matter what, it will be very well cared for and loved. Obviously there are gunna be some crazy snakes in every species, but finding a species that is generally easy to handle and keep is what i'm trying to do! :)
 

RedFox

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"Keeping and breeding Aussie pythons" by Mike Swan is a great way to start and at only $50 it is very affordable.

Since you are interested in a Antaresia, "the complete children's python", would also be a good book to invest in.

I found I was researching to get my first python, books were a lot more helpful than all the conflicting info on the net.

Obviously feel free to clarify info in here as there are a lot of knowledgeable members on here.
 

Kit_fox

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I found I was researching to get my first python, books were a lot more helpful than all the conflicting info on the net.
Completely agree that books are usually going to be a bit more helpful (no offence to any body here)
 

littlemay

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Clean the poo and urine out. If it stinks it needs cleaning. If you get the aspen bedding or similar you can just scope it out with your hands and change the whole lot every 6months to a year. Lightbulbs blow and will need replacing . Some blow in a couple of weeks, some last over a year. Fuses sometimes blow on the microclimate thermostats. Unscrew the top off and take the fuse into Jaycar and get a new one for 90c.

It was my understanding that while spot cleaning is ok for a little while, full cleans and substrate changes should be done a fair bit more often than annually...? While beddings like aspen are absorbent there always seems to be a fair amount of liquid etc that can't be removed with the soiled substrate.

Perhaps i'm just a clean freak.
 

Kit_fox

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Know how you feel littlemay, I'm a clean freak as well. Which is funny because I have 1 dog (had 2 but one died last year), a bird (who escaped form his cage a couple years ago), 5 chickens (1 died last month at the age of 6 years), 4 guinea pigs (2 died of heart attacks last year), 7 goldfish (but 2 died), and 1 childrens python (who's my favourite).

man, Reading this I just realised how much tragedy I've had in my life...
 
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marcus0002

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Depends on the animal and the enclosure and the climate. Easiest rule of thumb is if it still stinks after spot cleans replace the lot. If you take them outside to poo you can get away with spot cleans a lot longer.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
 

PappaSmurf

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We use aspen for our stimson's & trust me when i say you couldn't wish for a nicer snake.
My wife's little fella is a darling & last night actually climbed out of his enclosure & on to her arm,,,,,,,,,,,,twice & he's only a yearling.
My Bredli on the other hand,,,,,,,,now that is a totally different story.
My advice go the Stimson's & buy the book the complete Children's Python & ya can't go wrong.
 
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