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  1. #11
    Registered User glowstone's Avatar
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    In my opinion, if you have only had him for 3 weeks you should have let him have tie to acclimate, like a week or two to settle in, then feed, wait two days and handle. The most important part of handling a snake is spending quality time with them. Quality over quantity! For example, it doesnt matter if you hold them 5 times a day 5 minutes each, because thats added stress of changing environments and handling for short periods of time without letting them get used to being held. Instead hold him for 1-2 hours, dont take them out unless you have the time to put into them! Let your snake get used to you and its surroundings, and showing them you can be trusted. Especially since your snake is young, its very important to form these good impressions now, especially about handling. This means light handling while still firm enough they feel supported, and giving them a limb to curl around, imagine youre a branch of a tree! Even just letting them ball up in your lap or on your chest, a warm place in your body while you watch a show or play a video game, like mentioned above.
    Quality time with snakes is so important! Remember your snake isnt just a pet, but a partner! they live for a long time so you have to be patient and respectful in building a relationship. My ball python, Ravioli, loves to watch me play video games or watch movies and shows with me! We are best friends and i usually can tell exactly how hes feeling from looking at him, hes very polite about asking for things. With the amount of time ive put into him, he knows he can trust me and ill listen when hes uncomfortable or doesnt want to be held or wants to be put back. Patience and listening is key with these kind animals
    Note on the poop/urates, if your snake doesnt strike its ok to take them out of their hide to remove the poop, just watch for signs of stress. Its usually best to wait until theyre out of the hide though (this will be at night for ball pythons, so if it means staying up later than youre used to im sorry but as they get more used to you, you can take them out no problem. You can also combine cleaning with holding time so youre not just taking them out and putting them back in. find what works best for you and your snake!)
    Best wishes! I hope you two become good friends! and dont be afraid to ask for help online, good on you for coming onto a forum!

  2. #12
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    When should I start handling him for long terms??
    He might be stressed now. How long of time should I give him before I try to take us to the next step of our relationship?
    Last edited by siwueofk; 08-17-2019 at 07:17 PM.

  3. #13
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    Is it stressful for him if I lift up his hides to check temps like once or twice a day???
    Otherwise, I've been doing everything that you guys told me to change, and I think it's been going well.

  4. #14
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Did I take our relationship a few steps back??

    Quote Originally Posted by siwueofk View Post
    Is it stressful for him if I lift up his hides to check temps like once or twice a day???...
    Think about it...would you mind if a stranger entered your home several times a night to look around while you're in bed? -Of COURSE it's stressful for him...why are you
    needing to check temperatures so often? Are you using a thermostat to regulate your heat source? Did you take the time to set up and test the cage (for temperatures)
    before moving the snake in? I'm guessing not...that's why we constantly suggest that keepers set up & test their cages for a week before bringing a snake home.
    Many friends in low places...

  5. #15
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    As everyone has mostly stated, slowing down your enthusiasm and expectations is for the best. After owning a BP for 2 years and experiencing many challenges, I know for certain you will learn much more than your snake will. Eventually you'll be so in tune you'll be able to basically know the exact day your snake will poop, eat, shed, etc. Just relax, because with you relaxed, your snake will relax. Everything will become so much easier.

  6. #16
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    Re: Did I take our relationship a few steps back??

    I'll give you a new owner perspective. I purchased my first BP on June 30th, breeder said she was 8 to 12 weeks old (I first weighed her on 7/10 at 105 grams). This was over a weekend and I was told her feeding day had been on Monday, but to wait a week to let her settle in. I have 8 & 10 year old kids, so it was nearly impossible to wait an extended amount of time. I'm pretty sure we had her out almost every day the first week (and quite often since) which goes against most of the recommendations here. We always wait 2-3 days after feeding though. She was very similar to yours, would hiss a few times and then curl and tuck her head for several minutes of holding before "exploring". Thinking it could be quite scary to just remove her hide from over her, I started tapping on it lightly a few times before I removed the hide to "announce my presence". I think it helped and is my standard procedure. The other thing I did was always slide my hand up under her from behind when curled or hissing. But honestly, other than some hissing the first few weeks, I think it has gone exceptionally well. Sometimes she is a little shy for the first few minutes, but other than that has gone really well. She's now 16-20 weeks old, has eaten amazingly well every week going from a live hopper the first week, to F/T mice, and tonight I gave her the first F/T rat pup. Just weighed prior to feeding at 149 grams.

    Oh, one of the main reasons I responded... in my super limited experience, I totally agree with the first post - 5 minutes is not even worth your time and is working against you. Those first couple weeks, mine wouldn't even uncurl after 5 minutes, if I put her back then there would have been no progress. It's after they calm down and "play" in your hands that you are creating a relationship and progress. I've since been working on touching her head and face which is also going really well. After she's out a bit, I can rub her cheeks and pet her head, which would have resulted in a "jump" or "flinch" a while back.

    Good luck!

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    Bogertophis (08-30-2019)

  8. #17
    Registered User Joykoins's Avatar
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    Lifting hides is always tricky business. I only ever do it at night when they're naturally active and with the lowest amount of light possible. I take it off slooowly so i don't spook them. Once its off i just stay still and talk softly to them (i'm not sure if talking actually helps, but my logic behind it is that if i were a real predator, i certainly wouldn't be making so much noise on purpose). After a minute, i'll slowly reach over and stroke a part of their midsection outside of strike range. This usually makes them tense up, but imo its better to "announce" that you're going to pick them up, then to surprise, them with it. Once they're in hand, they typically relax after a few seconds and start roaming around my shoulders. Everyone else is right though, 5 minutes isn't enough time to let the panic subside. It would probably do better to have 2 long sessions per week.

    If i need to feed any of my BPs while theyre in their hide, i'll use the tongs to kind of make the prey walk past the opening a few times. It makes them go "Whazthat?" and they'll start to peek outside the hide. I'll keep letting them "sneak" up on the rat until they have enough body length to strike and constrict. Sometimes they'll be facing away from the hide door, so those are the times i sloooowly lift one edge of the hide juuuust enough for them to peek from under it to spot the prey. Works almost every time!
    Captain of "The Good Ship Blip"

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