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» October 2017

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  1. #1
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    Owning a BTS and getting a kingsnake

    Hey all, first time poster here. Looking to get my first snake, but had a question on what would work best living in the same house as a blue tongue skink.

    I really like kingsnakes in that they seem easy, not too massive, and generally cool. However, I'm concerned about their voracious eating nature, especially as it pertains to other lizards.

    I'm not foolish enough to think that I could have a kingsnake (even a small one like a Mexican Black) near my BTS. But will kingsnakes go aggro even if I handle my BTS, wash my hands, and then go handle the snake?
    The idea that it's always gonna nip at me because it can detect lizard scent is deterring.

    If the above is the cas,e what other types of snakes would be more ideal for hanging out with the lizard, or at the very least not being so aggro?

    I've seen balls in videos that do well near BTS, but Balls are a bit too massive (girthy) for my taste.
    Any thoughts or feedback is appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    John1982's Avatar
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    A king would do fine and is an excellent first snake choice. You'll likely handle it frequently, which is all that's required for 99% of the kings out there to maintain calm and not become chewers. Get a young one and work with it. Expect a bit of defensive striking and musking or, maybe even better for your situation, look around for one that's already on the calmer side. Washing your hands between reptiles is never a bad idea.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Owning a BTS and getting a kingsnake

    Thanks for such a quick response John. To confirm, I'm not concerned about aggression in isolation. But you don't see any concerns with having the scent of a lizard constantly around setting it off?

    So far I'm leaning toward a mexican black king, which would end up being way smaller than a BTS, but still.

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran DennisM's Avatar
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    I see no issue with the lizard scent causing problems with the snake. Plenty of folks, myself included, keep kingsnakes in close proximity to other snakes and don't have aggression problems.

  6. #5
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    Re: Owning a BTS and getting a kingsnake

    Weíve got two kings, and they donít seem bothered by the scent of other snakes in general. I think youíll be fine as long as you wash or use hand sanitizer between animals.

    The Mexican black king is great, one of the mellowest snakes in the house, and has been since a baby. Heís maybe nipped once or twice, I donít think heís ever musked, and a great feeder. My Thayeri-phase king is about the same, a little bit more shy about feeding, and almost always near the door of her half-T8, watching the world. The MBK is also a busybody, but not quite as constantly at the door.


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    0.4 BPs, 0.1 Antaresia, 2.1 Morelia, 0.0.1 Liasis, 1.0 Aspidites, 0.1 Blood, 1.1 Kings, 2.0 Milks, 1.2 Corns, 2.0 Ratsnakes, 0.1 Hognose, 1.0 RTB, 2.1 KSBs, 1.0 Tortoise, 1.0 Skink, 3.0 dogs, 2.1 Human serfs

  7. #6
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    Thanks guys I feel much better now!

    Now all I have to do is determine if it's a MBK I want for sure. So many cool options but I'm determined to only get 1 snake.

  8. #7
    Registered User craigafrechette's Avatar
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    I seriously can't advocate enough for Kingsnakes. My Cal King, Django is my all time favorite snake.

    My boy is housed in the same room with my other snakes, my African Fire Skink and my ferret enclosures and there have never been any issues.

    Based on what you are saying about size a King would definitely fit within your parameters, not too girthy. Django is still growing, but very slowly at this point. He's pretty close to maxed out at about 49" and as of last weigh in (a month ago) he was 676 grams.

    As for feeding response, he's a voracious eater who has never refused a meal and is happy to take any refusals from the other snakes.

    Juveniles can be nippy and will sometimes musk, but will almost always outgrow the behavior with regular handling.
    Django handles extremely well and is an absolute sweetheart. Occasionally, he will rattle his tail, letting me know he's a little unsure of being handled. I just give him a minute and he calms right down and is chill as can be when I do pick him up. He is a jerk when in shed, but considering the compromised vision due to the eyes being clouded over, I understand and just leave him alone while he's in shed.

    As far as handling after handling your BTS, always washing your hands before and after handling reptiles is a good practice regardless. I've handled my King after handling my Skink, after handling my BP, after handling my hognose and after handling my ferrets. Never been a problem in any way. I just make sure I wash.

    But seriously , I can't advocate enough that Kings are great snakes, and great first snakes as well. Husbandry requirements are easy to meet, they are a very manageable size, fantastic eaters and have an alert and curious nature, which makes them enjoyable even when in their enclosures.

    I hope I helped! Good luck and feel free to ask any more questions.
    ...life is beautiful...

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  10. #8
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    All, as you've probably noticed I started another thread dedicated to snake poop smells lol.

    Wanted to ask for feedback here too. Are colubrids that much worse?

    I also want to get a snake that does prefer to drape around your body which some colubrids and balls seem to do well. Again balls seem too big for me in the long run in terms of girth. Do they get to heavy for you to keep them on your body?

    Hognose and kenyan sand boas for example, are off the table because they just kind of lay there flat. I like when a snake wraps around you a bit

  11. #9
    Registered User craigafrechette's Avatar
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    Re: Owning a BTS and getting a kingsnake

    Quote Originally Posted by silentchief View Post
    All, as you've probably noticed I started another thread dedicated to snake poop smells lol.

    Wanted to ask for feedback here too. Are colubrids that much worse?

    I also want to get a snake that does prefer to drape around your body which some colubrids and balls seem to do well. Again balls seem too big for me in the long run in terms of girth. Do they get to heavy for you to keep them on your body?

    Hognose and kenyan sand boas for example, are off the table because they just kind of lay there flat. I like when a snake wraps around you a bit

    Not sure where the poop smell and colubrid info came from, but my experience through the years has been that colubrids, with the exception of hognose, really don't smell much at all.

    Kings are great snakes for draping over you once they are big enough, but that will take a while if you start with a juvenile.
    If you were to go with a male BP, they stay smaller than females, but will definitely be a thicker bodied snake than a King.
    ...life is beautiful...

  12. #10
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    Got it, kingsnakes and balls are good for hanging on you.

    Any other suggestions? Definitely no "big" snakes.

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