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Thread: Handling a bp

  1. #1
    Registered User samsonact's Avatar
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    Handling a bp

    Okay I'm asking this question for the future when I get my bp, how often can I handle a bp? And how should I handle it?


    I've read that some people handle their's everyday and their snake is fine, but Iv'e also read that you should handle it only a couple times a week. I would love to have my bp on me 24/7 but that probably won't happen due to their nature. Idk I hope I get a snake who loves being held and loves giving/receiving attention.
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    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Great question. Any new snake should NOT be handled for a couple weeks (sorry, I know it's torture for you) allowing them time to settle in & feed successfully*
    2 or preferably 3 times before you attempt ANY handling. There's a good reason for this: the only thing that picks up a snake in the wild is a predator about to
    eat him, so instinctively, this is frightening and a huge distraction from eating. Eating is the MOST important thing for a snake to survive & be healthy. Handling
    at first will stress your snake & stress is a negative influence on their immune system as well; just being in a new home is stressful enough, & if you over-stress
    a snake, it's more likely they may become ill from whatever they've been exposed to before you brought them home. So take it slow for best results...it's worth
    the better result. Even once you get past the first couple of feedings, don't over-do the handling; your snake will get used to the idea that you're safe to be with
    but it won't happen overnight.

    The better you are at being patient, the more likely your snake will come to relax & enjoy your company. Remember how big we are compared to them...
    imagine how you'd feel if a creature at least 100 times bigger than you were to pick you up?

    Once you do pick them up, I like to keep a snake close to me so they feel sheltered. That's how they feel safest in the wild too, they hate being out in the
    open, because they're at greater risk of a predator finding them.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-08-2019 at 01:03 AM.

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    Registered User samsonact's Avatar
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    Re: Handling a bp

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Great question. Any new snake should NOT be handled for a couple weeks (sorry, I know it's torture for you) allowing them time to settle in & feed successfully*
    2 or preferably 3 times before you attempt ANY handling. There's a good reason for this: the only thing that picks up a snake in the wild is a predator about to
    eat him, so instinctively, this is frightening and a huge distraction from eating. Eating is the MOST important thing for a snake to survive & be healthy. Handling
    at first will stress your snake & stress is a negative influence on their immune system as well; just being in a new home is stressful enough, & if you over-stress
    a snake, it's more likely they may become ill from whatever they've been exposed to before you brought them home. So take it slow for best results...it's worth
    the better result. Even once you get past the first couple of feedings, don't over-do the handling; your snake will get used to the idea that you're safe to be with
    but it won't happen overnight.

    The better you are at being patient, the more likely your snake will come to relax & enjoy your company. Remember how big we are compared to them...
    imagine how you'd feel if a creature at least 100 times bigger than you were to pick you up?
    Thank you for this information it's very helpful. Will the snake be more tolerant when he's an adult?
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  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran Kira's Avatar
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    No snake loves being handled or giving/receiving attention. They simply tolerate it. Handling too often can lead to stress so it's best to stick to 2-3 sessions per week.

    Before getting a snake, be sure to realize that they do not give or seek out affection. I say this because many people anthropomorphize snakes, which is unhealthy because it creates unrealistic expectations and can lead to improper care of the animal.
    Last edited by Kira; 01-08-2019 at 01:07 AM.
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  7. #5
    BPnet Veteran redshepherd's Avatar
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    Ball pythons eat once a week until they become larger. You shouldn't handle within 48 hours after eating. So naturally, it would lead to maybe 5 handling days a week max.

    Each handling session honestly should be limited to 20-30 minutes max, to avoid stress. Or even less handling, if your snake is more easily stressed and stops eating. 2-3 handling sessions a week is pretty much a safe range for most ball pythons, even nervous ones, as long as your husbandry and setup is correct.

    I handle my ball pythons about 2-3 times a week max, 5-10 minutes each. Not that they can't tolerate a little more, but this amount is just fine and normal.
    Last edited by redshepherd; 01-08-2019 at 01:14 AM.

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  9. #6
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Yes normally adults are much more tolerant, assuming they've had good experiences when handled. That's the other thing, I assumed you plan to get a hatchling,
    and they are more delicate and fearful...many more things prey on snakes when they're small, & their eating is not yet established. An adult snake that's been feeding
    a while is less put off by handling when they're "new" to you, but other things (like the time of year) can make them fast.

    In the wild, they become a braver & better predator as they grow to adult size, but they still have natural enemies. Remember that BPs are ambush-predators, they
    don't normally go out & actively hunt prey, they sit & wait for prey to come close enough, so their nature is shy & laid-back.

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    BPnet Veteran cletus's Avatar
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    I don't really handle my BPs unless I'm cleaning them. I put them in another tub when I clean their enclosures and I might hold them for a minute or so but that's it. My gf handles them more than me. I handle my boas more often. Probably 4 or 5 times a week for 15 minutes or so.

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    Registered User Jellybeans's Avatar
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    Re: Handling a bp

    Generally I handle mine 4x a week, which for the most part he lays loosely streached out on me while I'm on the internet. I keep him out for roughly between 20 mins to an hour or so depending.
    He's approx 4 mos old.

    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk

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    BPnet Veteran MissterDog's Avatar
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    Re: Handling a bp

    Quote Originally Posted by Kira View Post
    Before getting a snake, be sure to realize that they do not give or seek out affection. I say this because many people anthropomorphize snakes, which is unhealthy because it creates unrealistic expectations and can lead to improper care of the animal.
    This. A lot of new owners often mistake signs of a nervous or stressed snake for being curious, explorative or "wanting to play". Even some vets(with no experience in reptiles) do this. There was an incident where someone was told by their vet that their snake squeaks because it wants attention, but really it was a symptom of a respiratory infection.
    Last edited by MissterDog; 01-08-2019 at 12:16 PM.
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  14. #10
    BPnet Veteran redshepherd's Avatar
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    Re: Handling a bp

    Quote Originally Posted by MissterDog View Post
    was told by their vet that their snake squeaks because it wants attention, but really it was a symptom of a respiratory infection.
    I literally still can't believe that happened LOL

    https://www.instagram.com/illusnakes/
    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", 0.1 Lesser Mojave "Snowdrift"
    past: 0.4 Ball pythons, 1.0 Russian Rat Snake



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