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  1. #11
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    I think what everyone said about ball pythons are correct. I personally would not recommend them for someone who never had a snake before, especially if you are a worry type of person. Their feeding strikes are a pain. However, it is doable, ball pythons-once it settled down and eats well-are a joy to have, either in a rack or glass tank. I have mine in a tub but I also met people keeping theirs successfully in glass tanks so it all depends on what you want, what does your bp need, and how much work you will out into it.

    I would recommend king snakes and woma pythons. Many of said that they can be nippy as babies (rightfully so if everything wants you for dinner), but mine are calm and easy to handle. Great feeders, hardy and not too big.

    Another option is to look into lizards. Blue tongue skinks are easy to feed, hardy, easy to handle and they are curious little buggers. I change Homer's decor around his tank every month and he will investigate if something new is added or something old has been moved. They will explore their terrarium, after they finish their long nap (They also like their sleep). I have a bearded dragon and leopard gecko too but BTS, in my opinion, even as a display pet, are more interesting to keep.

    Regarding rack systems, I see both sides of the argument. I use individual tubs, and only for my bp and dumerils boa, because they do better in them. Otherwise, they are in glass tanks or pvc. I think racks are great for certain species who do better in them, and when they are used, I believe the keeper should add something in there for stimulation other than a water bowl and butcher paper.

    I like keeping different kinds of snakes because each species are so unique and interesting in its own right. They are not dogs, cats or lizards. They are snakes, who survived so much and seems to do pretty darn well for a creature with no limbs. So hopefully that answered all your questions.

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  3. #12
    Telling it like it is! Deborah's Avatar
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    Out of the species I own I can tell you that while I love Sand Boas, Hognose and BP they make very poor display snake, you can have the most elaborated display and you will never see them. So what do I love about them, I love their personalities, paint job and snakes have always been fascinating to me, but if I really want to see them I have to spend the time and handle them.

    Now as far as display animal arboreal and semi arboreal species will make the best display animal.

    So it comes down to the owner's expectation really and what matters to them. My only displays are actually not snakes but geckos.

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  5. #13
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    Re: Questions about what you personally enjoy about your animals / just general quest

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
    Out of the species I own I can tell you that while I love Sand Boas, Hognose and BP they make very poor display snake, you can have the most elaborated display and you will never see them. So what do I love about them, I love their personalities, paint job and snakes have always been fascinating to me, but if I really want to see them I have to spend the time and handle them.

    Now as far as display animal arboreal and semi arboreal species will make the best display animal.

    So it comes down to the owner's expectation really and what matters to them. My only displays are actually not snakes but geckos.
    The thing is, they don't HAVE to be good display animals. An attractive enclosure is still attractive, even if the animal only shows up once in a blue moon. The rosy boa is frequently out, and the king is active in the evening. I certainly appreciate it when the corn is curled up on his ledge - overlooking a verdant kingdom of potos - but that lush planted tank is pretty even w/o him.

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  7. #14
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    Re: Questions about what you personally enjoy about your animals / just general quest

    We really LOVE it when someone researches BEFORE they get a snake (or any other pet, for that matter). Far too many just "impulse-buy" & there are so many
    kinds of snakes, that can turn out poorly; some are much easier than others to care for, there's all colors & sizes, as well as various behaviors & habits.

    I've kept many snakes for many years, & I am a fan of housing them in glass tanks as I want to be able to see them, see their behaviors, know if anything is wrong,
    & just enjoy the look of the whole set-up. I also think that for species that don't hide constantly, they become calmer & more used to human presence than a snake
    which is kept in a tub- many of my snakes watch me as much as I watch them. I like to install scenery on the outside of the back & sides both for the snake's privacy
    & overall appearance. My cages are a compromise between natural-looking & practical; I've never attempted bio-active (& never will). I use natural branches & drift-
    wood in my cages for the snakes to climb on (it helps their muscle tone) and I've also found that many enjoy and use platforms attached to the branches, so in addition
    to hides on the cage floor (one warm side & one cool side) I wire a basket into their branches. The rounded bowl-shape of a basket (like you'd find in a thrift store- very
    inexpensive accessory) apparently offers a feeling of security, as I find many of my snakes will even sleep in their baskets. This means I get to see more of them.

    Handling: it's a little surprising to find that once snakes know & feel comfortable with you, they don't have to be handled all the time to maintain that trust. That may
    be in part due to the fact that my snakes see me on a regular basis, even when not handled, so handling is less startling to them, but always remember that the only
    thing that picks up a snake in the wild is a predator trying to eat them. If you "politely" give your snake time to recognize you (by scent!) it really helps. I've taken many
    of my snakes to do programs, many of them "meet & greets" where strangers touch & even hold them, & they handle it very well (no bites ever). I enjoy changing minds
    about snakes (from fear to admiration) & my snakes always handle it like pro's.

    Species I love & recommend: I've kept BPs before but they aren't my thing. I had a wonderful & cuddly BCI (rescue) for many years, but she got bigger than I prefer.
    My favorites are rat snakes: the most mellow are Trans Pecos, they get about 4', and Bairds, they get about 6'. I enjoy corn snakes as well as other U.S. natives: black
    rat snakes (including amelanistic, with pretty orange patterns on cream), Everglades (orange w/ yellow chins), gray rat snakes (patterns/shades of gray), & I currently
    have 2.2 Florida yellow (x Gulf Hammock) rat snakes- the males are about 7' & the females only about 5' (since they keep producing eggs every year).
    If you'd like a small python, one that hangs out on branches (esp. at night) & isn't shy or fussy about eating f/t, look into an Australian spotted python...mine is a hoot & easy to handle, no bigger than a corn snake, & while she needs a warmer cage (& a humid hide to shed well) she doesn't need more than a 30-40 gal. tank.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 11-20-2018 at 06:48 PM.

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  9. #15
    Registered User Dianne's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about what you personally enjoy about your animals / just general quest

    Like many others, Iíve had a fascination with snakes...and lizards and frogs...since I was a kid. I just found them incredibly interesting. Currently all of my snakes (11) are in pvc or plastic enclosures, black with plexi doors. This gives some privacy to the snake, but a large window for my viewing - to see the snakes but also see when the cage needs cleaning. Iíve used tanks and homemade cages in the past and just find the pvc/plastic to be easier to heat and clean. I keep minimalist setups for ease of cleaning - hides, water bowl, and a couple of cages have branches for climbing. Iím thinking about adding more climbing options to some of the other cages for enrichment, but donít know that the snakes will use them. Weíll see.

    I currently have 5 different species: a Colombian redtail boa (Bci), a Colombian rainbow boa, a Solomon Island ground boa, 7 ball pythons, and a corn snake. In general, if you look in all of my cages you will only see my Colombian redtail and Solomon Island ground boas, and sometimes the Colombian rainbow boa. The rest of the cages appear empty. Even so, I enjoy my pets and handle the ones that are more tolerant of it every week or two, though everybody gets a short handling session when I do cage cleaning.

    As for why I have 7 ball pythons and counting? I love the color and pattern morphs, as well as how easy they are to handle. My two newest ones are not being handled much because I am trying to get both eating consistently. Once that is happening, Iíll start short handling sessions. Iím thinking of adding another snake or two, possibly another species that is more visible. Iíve kept a couple of different types of carpet pythons in the past, which were more active and arboreal, so I saw them more. Iím also looking at Childrens, Spotted, and Anthill pythons. Plus itís just fun to window shop.
    Duncan - 1992 0.1 Colombian redtail; Hudson - 1988 1.0 Colombian rainbow; Yang - 2002 1.0 Corn snake; Merlin - 2000 1.0 Solomon Island ground boa; Eli - 1990 1.0 Normal ball python; Buttercup - 2015 1.0 Albino ball python; Artemis - 2015 0.1 Dragonfly ball python; Orion - 2015 1.0 Banana Pinstripe ball python; Button - 2018 1.0 Blue Eyed Lucy ball python; Piper - 2018 0.1 Piebald ball python; Belle - 2018 0.1 Lemonblast ball python; Sabrina - 2017 0.1 Mojave ball python; Selene - 2017 0.1 Banana Mojave ball python

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  11. #16
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    Disclaimer before I say anything, I am by no means an expert & have not kept any reptiles besides my BP, so please take this with a grain of salt lol
    I've heard a lot about garter snakes being good beginner-intermediate snakes, they're handleable, can be co-habbed and are more active than bps so they would utilize a naturalistic enclosure more. There aren't really any fancy morphs but there's quite a few varieties that looks slightly different & I think they're all just gorgeous. And they musk, but I caught tons of wild garter snakes as a kid and was never musked once haha.
    Again, I have never kept any garters so there's a chance I could be totally wrong about this, but I did briefly look into them before I decided on getting a bp & I've interacted with them in the wild, & they seem lovely

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  13. #17
    BPnet Veteran redshepherd's Avatar
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    Having had both racks AND display enclosures (pvc cages) for my ball pythons, I can tell you that the same snakes hide just as much in the display enclosure as they do in a rack. They don't make great display snakes, because their natural behavior is just that as others have said- hiding in a hole for 90% of the 24 hour day.

    "Enrichment" in the trendy sense that's been spreading, is of course nice for the snakes when they do come out at midnight~4am. But even when "out and about", in the ball python sense, is still just laying in one spot... Just outside of their hide. Sometimes with only half their bodies out of their hide. Sometimes they'll move around a bit just to lay in a different spot, waiting to ambush their prey. When they're done laying around outside of their hide, they return to their hide to lay around.

    During the day, their entire bodies are in the hide, including the head. I hardly see them at all, if ever, during the day. Unless they're literally starving or underfed, that forces them to actively hunt for food during the day as well. You'll find they show much more activity when underfed, which is why many newbie keepers want to call their ball pythons "an active species". LOL

    Handling a ball python is really for the owner's purposes and entertainment, so it would not make you neglectful. Do what you enjoy doing! The vast majority of ball pythons tolerate being held and toyed with by humans very well, just naturally calm and tolerant snakes, which is the reason why they're such popular pets.

    This topic of "enrichment/display cages vs racks" has been talked to death over and over, usually by newbie keepers... The reason being, they are partially projecting what they want to see onto their snake, and having never had actual active snake species to compare to. If you want to compare ball pythons to a rock or a snail- sure, they're active! LOL
    Last edited by redshepherd; 11-20-2018 at 10:48 PM.

    Other Species
    0.1 Tanimbar Scrub Python "Pixie",
    0.1 Northern Pine Snake "Genesis"
    0.1 Dumeril's Boa "Vigil",
    0.1 2007 Aru Green Tree Python "Gem"
    1.0 Eastern Indigo "Drogon", 1.0 Blood Python "Magma"
    Ball Pythons
    0.1 Sterling "Drizzle", 1.0 Lesser Butter "Yukon"
    past: 0.4 Ball pythons, 1.0 Russian Rat Snake



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  15. #18
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    great for people with anxiety

    I have some anxiety issues, and I find my snakes very therapeutic. They have a nice gentle squeeze and smooth and delicate touch when they are using me like a tree. I am forced to relax because then that keeps the snake relaxed. There are days when I am stressed at work, and I can't wait to come home and hold my snakes, because I know it will calm me right down. (Wish I could take them to work!!)

    They provide companionship. I have one that loves to be in my bathrobe pocket, which she hangs out in most mornings while I make my coffee. They give you something to connect to. I love seeing them poke their heads out of their hides.

    In many ways they are the perfect pet. I have allergies and after petting the cats I itch and sneeze. Not so with the snakes.

    They are convenient. They don't eat every day. They are quiet, and they don't take up much space.
    Our household pets: a baby albino black ratsnake, a 1 year old banana pastel BP, a 2 year old pinstripe BP, a 6 month old very fancy panther chameleon, a hedgehog, two cats, two dogs, two teenagers, a giant light brahma chicken (lives in the school FFA barn with its friends), and a partridge in a pear tree, all well-loved and cared for.

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  17. #19
    Registered User FollowTheSun's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about what you personally enjoy about your animals / just general quest

    Quote Originally Posted by redshepherd View Post
    This topic of "enrichment/display cages vs racks" has been talked to death over and over, usually by newbie keepers... The reason being, they are partially projecting what they want to see onto their snake, and having never had actual active snake species to compare to. If you want to compare ball pythons to a rock or a snail- sure, they're active! LOL
    LOL yes

    Both my snakes have very beautiful setups. I'm always finding ways to tweak and beautify. The BP could care less. The ratsnake will be quick to check out the new stuff. She reminds me of a cat when you bring something new home. My boyfriend jokes that it's like playing dollhouse for grown-ups.

    I do have to say though, that both our BP's in the house become very active at night. It's fun to catch them crawling on branches and periscoping with the flashlight in the middle of the night. My daughter says her BP, which is kept in her room, will sometimes periscope over too far and bonk softly against the side of the glass.
    Last edited by FollowTheSun; 11-21-2018 at 04:57 PM.
    Our household pets: a baby albino black ratsnake, a 1 year old banana pastel BP, a 2 year old pinstripe BP, a 6 month old very fancy panther chameleon, a hedgehog, two cats, two dogs, two teenagers, a giant light brahma chicken (lives in the school FFA barn with its friends), and a partridge in a pear tree, all well-loved and cared for.

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  19. #20
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    When it comes to keeping snakes, there's "something for everybody"...everybody with an open mind, anyway.

    When I had a large BCI, I was surprised at just how long she was content to snuggle around my waist & watch movies. The hard part was getting her back into
    her cage, lol.

    For those who like active snakes, there are plenty at that end of the spectrum. Coachwhips & semi-arboreal snakes (along the lines of Taiwan Beauty rat snakes)
    & even garter snakes can be lots of fun. I like to both handle & watch my snakes, so the moderately active & very tolerant and curious rat snakes top my list. The
    pituophis family (gopher, bull & pine snakes) are fun too, not gigantic, & seem very intelligent, though they can be restless in cages (they are active hunters!).

    There is every size range and level of risk available too, for those who want to take keeping snakes to another level. The giants aren't for me personally, and when
    I kept rattlesnakes, it wasn't "because" they were venomous, but in spite of that. For someone who has always loved animals but didn't expect to get into snakes,
    it sure has been an interesting journey & I wouldn't trade it for anything.

    There are so many beautiful & excellent kinds of pet snakes that are fairly easy to care for & that stay a manageable size: I agree with you FollowTheSun, snakes
    have a calming effect, & I accidentally noticed that some get really mellow when you sit in a swaying hammock (or rocking chair) with them, so it begs the question
    as to who is calming who? No matter...like many other pets, snakes help us be "in the moment". When I first got into snakes, I had a very stressful job, and
    like you, I discovered that having empathy for my snakes resulted in the same soothing mood that I was trying to bring out in them. Funny how that works...?

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