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Thread: Handling??

  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran ogdentrece's Avatar
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    Handling??

    I know when it comes to nippy and aggressive ball pythons, just sucking it up and taking the bites like a man, while continuing to handle them may possibly calm them down over time. But this is mainly because they dont really like to keep striking, they aren't exactly very fast and squirmish, so you can easily continue to handle them.

    But I'm dealing with a young colubrid that is trying to literally JUMP out of my hands onto the floor while continuously biting over and over again, sometimes just biting and hanging on, trying to chew you up into little bits, while struggling and jumping around? Should I even try? Whenever I go in to pick him up, he runs like the wind while biting me twice or thrice, digs around into the substrate and disappears until I dig him out. I guess once he gets to slither around my arm and hand he doesnt take to biting, but he still tries to jump off my hand so I have to keep holding him which makes him bite. A lot. I'm afraid trying to handle him would stress him out too much. But at the same time I dont want him to grow up biting either, and I dont think they grow out of it that easily if I just leave him be until he gets big.
    Last edited by ogdentrece; 10-28-2011 at 10:35 AM.

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    Registered User VEXER19's Avatar
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    How long have you had the colubrid?
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    Registered User VEXER19's Avatar
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    Re: Handling??

    Colubrids are nippy at first. If you just got it then you can let it get used to its habitat for like 2 weeks and try handling again. But most likely it will still nip you. Colubrids tend to be really fast and nippy while young but should grow out of it. They also require a lot of attention so just take it out and keep it moving for a while until it gets its energy out and then try to calmly handle it so its not bouncing off the walls. Good luck.
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    Moved to the colubrid section

    With many colubrids it's about holding tight moving your hand as the snake moves and keep handling on a regular basis until they finally settle down, and yes they will bite and must

    While BP are prone to stress when handled leading to various issues it's not something to be feared with the large majority of colubrids, it will take time and work but eventually it will likely grow out of it especially if you have a young individual on your hand.

  5. #5
    BPnet Veteran TheWinWizard's Avatar
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    Indeed as said. If you don't like the bites try rubber gloves like the ones used with dish washing. They don't like the taste of the rubber. They eventually figure out you're not going to eat them.
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    BPnet Senior Member Skiploder's Avatar
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    Re: Handling??

    Quote Originally Posted by VEXER19 View Post
    Colubrids are nippy at first. If you just got it then you can let it get used to its habitat for like 2 weeks and try handling again. But most likely it will still nip you. Colubrids tend to be really fast and nippy while young but should grow out of it. They also require a lot of attention so just take it out and keep it moving for a while until it gets its energy out and then try to calmly handle it so its not bouncing off the walls. Good luck.

    Colubrids comprise a gigantic group of species - roughly 66% of all snake species are colubrids. It is the taxonomic dumping ground of many animals that haven't been properly classified yet. Some may well end up in other families - like elapidae.

    Therefore you can't make a general statement regarding colubrid behavior. Some species stay very bitey throughout their lives - regardless of how much you handle them.
    Last edited by Skiploder; 10-28-2011 at 11:57 PM.

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    BPnet Veteran Virus's Avatar
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    Good point Skiploader,

    I think we need a specific note to go ff of, and pictures.
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    BPnet Veteran ogdentrece's Avatar
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    Thanks alot guys! Well I have a Chrysopelea on my hands here, Chrysopelea Paradisi, and I have read that it does readily bite but those are mostly on wild specimes; there is very little literature on keeping them in captivity. Well at least now I'd be a little more at ease knowing they get less affected by stress from handling than my BPs. I've had him nearly a month, I did let him settle in for a couple of weeks and start eating before trying my luck with handling. Still extremely frightened and nippy. Its rear fanged and mildly venemous, so I do take precaution and use cloth gloves over rubber ones, although at the moment too small to get a hold of my finger or pierce my skin.

    Some sources do state that this species would more or less remain this way, others say that exposure to handling from young should calm it down. I was just wondering whether its true that certain species or certain snakes with a particular 'personality' would somehow never get used to handling. Are they that incapable of routines, memory and learning? And is it true that some snakes just should NOT be handled due to their nature? Like how I've seen people say that Green Tree Pythons are better off display snakes, and should be handled less.
    Last edited by ogdentrece; 10-29-2011 at 07:22 AM.

  9. #9
    BPnet Veteran TheWinWizard's Avatar
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    Some snakes will remain bitey no matter what you do with them. It is a rather nice looking snake though.
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    Re: Handling??

    Beautiful snake!! Definitely one of the most interesting species out there. I would say that what you're describing is just his natural behavior and it will probably take awhile to break him of it. The "jumping" out of your hands is how they move from tree to tree in the wild, and this instinct combined with him being a baby that thinks the world is out to eat him creates a very flighty snake (no pun intended). I've heard from others that the more fast moving, arboreal colubrids do tend to be a bit more defensive in general, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that they're not meant to be handled or shouldn't be handled. They just require more work, time and patience before they calm down, and, depending on the individual, some never do.

    It sounds like you're going about it the right way, handling often (while still allowing him days to chill out) and wearing gloves. In the end you have to decide if it's worth it to you. As long as you're handling him gently but firmly, he basically just has to come to terms with it on his own and there's not much else you can do. I hope he eventually calms down for you, but even if he doesn't, it's still a fascinating snake to have!
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