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  1. #1
    Registered User Queenofredlions's Avatar
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    Simple snake noob questions

    Hello snake friends! Iím a one week old snake mom and I just have a few small questions and a concern.

    1. I see a lot of people say feed the snake in their enclosure. Iíve come to realize I have aspen bedding. (When the previous owner showed me the bedding he uses, all I saw was ďsnake beddingĒ) then later on here I saw thatís not the best bedding, I also saw a snake get sick from consuming it. My snake defidently swallowed some while he was eating the rat I fed him yesterday. Will he be okay? I had a nightmare he got sick ^^;
    I also have paper bedding in as well (I added more in case he wanted to burrow) cause when I was at Walmart before I got him I wanted to pick up bedding, and I googled what to use and paper came up as one of the better things to use.

    2. Do I need to find a specific vet for him if he needs to see a vet or do most vets treat snakes?

    3. He eats medium size live rats, but my friend went to the pet store under the influence and bought a mouse thinking we could feed Mr. Noodles with it. Is there a chance of him taking interest in it? Is it worth feeding him since I wonít be able to handle him? And after and I fed him yesterday? How long should I wait if itís okay to feed?

    4. This one probably sounds stupid but I gotta know. I always hear that snakes can smell fear. Can they smell other feelings? At least the basic ones they can comprehend?

    ALSO IM STILL LEARNING ABBREVIATIONS ON HERE.

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran tttaylorrr's Avatar
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    Re: Simple snake noob questions

    hello snake friend!!! welcome to the forum! i'm busy atm and can't answer all your questions but i will assure you snakes can't "smell" fear. they CAN see hesitation and see you being weary and use that to strike defensively. confidence is key.
    4.4 ball python
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  4. #3
    Registered User RickyNY's Avatar
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    Yes, feed in his enclosure. I dry the rat with a hair dryer and I don't have to worry about aspen sticking to fur and snake swallowing aspen with rat.

    You will have to find a vet that will treat a snake and that has experience.

    If you feed him a mouse, he might not go back to rats. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    I don't know if they smell fear, but they do sense if you're tense/nervous by the way you move your hands. I mean like hesitation and that makes them nervous as to your intentions. "Is she trying to hurt/eat me?".

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  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran PokeyTheNinja's Avatar
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    Re: Simple snake noob questions

    1. Aspen is okay to use if your humidity is correct without any substrate. Aspen can mold if too wet but you're enclosure should never be wet, only humid. You can use paper bedding if you'd like as well. Of course, always feed in the enclosure. You're snake should be just fine if it was plain aspen.

    2. Yes, an exotic vet is much preferred. You never know when something might hit the fan or when an injury can occur. Most regular vets do not know much about snakes.

    3. I wouldn't give the mouse to your Ball Python in case he decides he prefers mice over rats. Ball Pythons are notorious for being picky.

    4. Snakes have basic emotions. They just don't have the cerebral capacity for emotions like joy, anger, and affection,they are an instinctual animal. I don't now if they "smell" others' emotions, I'd think it would have to do with touch and what the snake is perceiving you as. Handle a snake with confidence and respect.
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  8. #5
    Registered User Queenofredlions's Avatar
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    Re: Simple snake noob questions

    Thanks so much guys!
    And donít worry, I love my snake SO much and I think heís super sweet, lifts his sides for me to pick him up when heís in his enclosure, and I always handle him with confidence! I really want him to trust me.
    Boyfriend is a little weary handeling him sometimes, but that makes sense as to why he seems to want to crawl over to me when heís handling him (:

  9. #6
    BPnet Veteran rock's Avatar
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    Re: Simple snake noob questions

    Welcome! Definitely feed in the enclosure. The biggest issue feeding outside is deciding when to put your snake back in. Mine like to grab a drink of water sometimes and curl up over the belly heat or in a hide. I would not want to handle them after feeding and you risk stressing them which could potentially lead to regurgitation which is not good.

    i’ve used Aspen bedding for 2 years and never had a problem. Yes, your noodle will eat a mouse if hungry but as mentioned above, if your snake is already onto rats try to leave it at that.

    Enjoy your new family member!
    Last edited by rock; 05-12-2018 at 10:46 PM.
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  11. #7
    Registered User craigafrechette's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum.

    Based on your questions I'm guessing you didn't do much (if any) research BEFORE bringing the animal home. Since you were googling what substrate to use while in the store you clearly have a LOT to learn.

    Start here:
    pythons.net/forums/showthread.php?127203-Ball-Python-(Python-regius)-Caresheet

    ...and here:
    pythons.net/forums/showthread.php?31102-Ball-Python-FAQs

    Now on to your questions:

    1) YES, feed in the enclosure. Eating a little substrate won't hurt the animal.
    You've "Come to realize" you have aspen bedding...and you're concerned your snake will get sick because another snake got sick from the substrate??? You sure the other snake wasn't on pine or cedar? Both can make snakes sick...

    2) YES you need a vet that sees exotics, and hopefully is well educated on snakes specifically. Most vets are not very well educated on snakes and only know the tiny bit they had to learn to pass their required courses.

    3) Yes, the snake will probably eat the mouse. Yes, you can feed it to the snake, but you run the risk of the snake refusing rats moving forward.

    4) snakes can not "smell fear" but they are very receptive of fear. They pick up on advanced heart rates, shaky hands, twitchy movements, etc...and will often become nervous themselves because of it.

    Follow up from your comment above: your snake is NOT lifting it's sides for you to pick him up. Quite the opposite.
    It's moving it's body away to tell you it doesn't like being touched or is a bit nervous. They don't want to be picked up. They TOLERATE handling but would MUCH rather be left alone.
    Since you've only had the snake a week, you shouldn't be handling it yet anyhow. Let the snake acclimate to its new surroundings, new smells, environment, etc...
    I strongly advise, new keepers especially, to let their snake settle in and start eating regularly before handling. The snake getting acclimated and eating is most important, you'll have 20 years or more to handle the snake, let it be til it's got three consecutive meals without refusal in him.

    Do yourself AND your snake a favor and start doing some research on the living, breathing animal you brought home.
    ...life is beautiful...

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  13. #8
    Registered User Queenofredlions's Avatar
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    Re: Simple snake noob questions

    Quote Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
    Welcome to the forum.

    Based on your questions I'm guessing you didn't do much (if any) research BEFORE bringing the animal home. Since you were googling what substrate to use while in the store you clearly have a LOT to learn.

    Start here:
    pythons.net/forums/showthread.php?127203-Ball-Python-(Python-regius)-Caresheet

    ...and here:
    pythons.net/forums/showthread.php?31102-Ball-Python-FAQs

    Now on to your questions:

    1) YES, feed in the enclosure. Eating a little substrate won't hurt the animal.
    You've "Come to realize" you have aspen bedding...and you're concerned your snake will get sick because another snake got sick from the substrate??? You sure the other snake wasn't on pine or cedar? Both can make snakes sick...

    2) YES you need a vet that sees exotics, and hopefully is well educated on snakes specifically. Most vets are not very well educated on snakes and only know the tiny bit they had to learn to pass their required courses.

    3) Yes, the snake will probably eat the mouse. Yes, you can feed it to the snake, but you run the risk of the snake refusing rats moving forward.

    4) snakes can not "smell fear" but they are very receptive of fear. They pick up on advanced heart rates, shaky hands, twitchy movements, etc...and will often become nervous themselves because of it.

    Follow up from your comment above: your snake is NOT lifting it's sides for you to pick him up. Quite the opposite.
    It's moving it's body away to tell you it doesn't like being touched or is a bit nervous. They don't want to be picked up. They TOLERATE handling but would MUCH rather be left alone.
    Since you've only had the snake a week, you shouldn't be handling it yet anyhow. Let the snake acclimate to its new surroundings, new smells, environment, etc...
    I strongly advise, new keepers especially, to let their snake settle in and start eating regularly before handling. The snake getting acclimated and eating is most important, you'll have 20 years or more to handle the snake, let it be til it's got three consecutive meals without refusal in him.

    Do yourself AND your snake a favor and start doing some research on the living, breathing animal you brought home.

    Ah there it is. The ďthis noob is asking questions they clearly didnít do any researchĒ.

    just to clarify

    if I didnít do any research before getting my snake I would have had more than 4 rather simple questions to ask. I simply couldnít find THOSE questions that Iíd been asking myself.
    I was getting bedding BEFORE I got my snake, so I guess I did my research before getting the snake. 🙃🙃 (wouldnít make much sense to get it afterward now would it?)
    And yeah actually it WAS aspen bedding, I even saw the post on this forum, thatís why I asked about it. 🙃 id even post a link if I had more than a phone to work with.
    And I think if my snake was that against being picked up he wouldnít relax on me the second I sit on the couch. Heís already 2 years old and the previous owner told me he was fine to handle since he wasnít a baby. I took his word for it. My bad if I was misinformed at the time.

    Iíve done my research (Iíve already even read both those posts you linked (;<) and I can even read properly. Stop accusing beginners of not doing research. Iíve spent hours looking through this forum, and unfortunately, see people jump to conclusions because god forbid someone misses reading something and needs to ask about it. Like do you KNOW how rude it is. Have some faith. Donít brush my hours or research to the side. Thanks.


  14. #9
    Registered User MissterDog's Avatar
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    Re: Simple snake noob questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Queenofredlions View Post
    Ah there it is. The ďthis noob is asking questions they clearly didnít do any researchĒ.

    just to clarify

    if I didnít do any research before getting my snake I would have had more than 4 rather simple questions to ask. I simply couldnít find THOSE questions that Iíd been asking myself.
    I was getting bedding BEFORE I got my snake, so I guess I did my research before getting the snake. 🙃🙃 (wouldnít make much sense to get it afterward now would it?)
    And yeah actually it WAS aspen bedding, I even saw the post on this forum, thatís why I asked about it. 🙃 id even post a link if I had more than a phone to work with.
    And I think if my snake was that against being picked up he wouldnít relax on me the second I sit on the couch. Heís already 2 years oldq and the previous owner told me he was fine to handle since he wasnít a baby. I took his word for it. My bad if I was misinformed at the time.

    Iíve done my research (Iíve already even read both those posts you linked (;<) and I can even read properly. Stop accusing beginners of not doing research. Iíve spent hours looking through this forum, and unfortunately, see people jump to conclusions because god forbid someone misses reading something and needs to ask about it. Like do you KNOW how rude it is. Have some faith. Donít brush my hours or research to the side. Thanks.

    Regardless if you feel you have done the necessary research or not, Craig is providing you solid advice. I would highly recommend listening to not handling your new ball python until heís eaten 3 meals with you, despite how you THINK you are reading his behavior. Be careful not to anthropomorphisize him. Itís an easy thing to do. Why not play things safe and be patient? Youíll have plenty of time to hang with your new buddy later. No need to rush



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  16. #10
    Registered User Kira's Avatar
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    Since your questions have already been answered by others do you mind telling us a little more about your setup? Posting a picture would be useful as well!

    I recommend switching to a cocohusk substrate since it will hold humidity in really well plus is more visually appealing IMO.

    As mentioned it's best to wait until your bp has had a few successful meals before handling them. Waiting is hard but will be worth it to have a snake that is eating regularly. After that you will have 20+ years to handle him!
    Winry-Pastel Vanilla BP

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