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  1. #1
    Registered User timeakinga's Avatar
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    Frequency of colubrid handling

    So what is the recommended time frame between and duration of handling sessions to best get a colubrid used to it? Easy for BPs but all my colubrids act like they’ve never seen me before in their life if I don’t handle for like 4-5 days. (Granted they’re all very young..)

    Asking in regards to leucistic Texas ratsnake, Thai bamboo ratsnake and Mexican black kingsnake

    thanks!!
    Mommy of 14
    Catch the fam on insta: @noooodlefam

  2. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    There is no "one size fits all" answer to this question, especially for the species you asked about, but keep in mind that snakes have individual personalities too.

    I've not dealt with Thai bamboo rat snakes, but to the best of my recollection of other's experience, they are snakes that may never warm to handling. I have a
    Korean rat snake that feels the same way, thus he gets "his way" & is normally only handled for cage cleaning. I remove him to a side cage with a pillowcase
    he can hide in while I clean his home, then return him to it. He is about 10 years old now with no change in the panic he feels when handled, but at least he
    now he grabs f/t mice boldly: it took years for him to accept food from my feeding tongs...I used to have to leave it in his cage & turn out the lights & leave.

    Mexican black king snakes make excellent pets, but most king & milk snakes are very squirmy when small...it's their self-defense to avoid being eaten, since they
    don't have much of a bite to fight back with. You need to be patient while they all grow bigger. I've not kept a TX leucy but I think many don't easily warm to
    handling either...you'll need to be patient. Many things (like birds!) prey on baby snakes...they resemble worms, after all. I'm pretty sure I'd feel the same way
    if I was that tiny & something human-sized approached & picked me up too.
    Many friends in low places...

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  4. #3
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    And by the way, my first priority with any & all "baby" snakes is that they are feeding readily & at normal intervals BEFORE any handling is done. They need to
    gain strength & health first- they need to have a functioning immune system, otherwise the stress you impose on them may backfire & you'll end up with a snake
    that feeds poorly & one that gets sick, which is no one's idea of fun. Snakes do learn...they learn their way around in nature, where to hide from predators & bad
    weather, and most learn to accept us as safe to be around, IF we're patient. If you wanted to proceed faster with handling, it would have been best to get an
    older snake, like a yearling. Babies have to learn to be snakes first, and handling can interrupt the instincts they need to survive.
    Many friends in low places...

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