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  1. #1
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    Ideas for which Kingsnake or Milksnake to get.

    I wanna start adding kingsnakes and milksnakes to my collection but I don't have any experience with them and don't know the differences between all the species/subspecies/locales. I'm planning on getting a MBK soon, but I'm not sure which species to get after that. I would prefer one that is isn't troublesome to handle or difficult to maintain. I don't really care about morphs, so that isn't much of a deciding factor. Any recommendations on what to get and the pros and cons? Thanks!

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran BPGator's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas for which Kingsnake or Milksnake to get.

    For milk snakes, if you want larger and calm, get a black milk snake. For smaller size, Nelsonís and Sinaloans are usually a safe bet.


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  3. #3
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    My faves are MBKs & desert California kings, but there's other good choices too- speckled kings are cool. The milk snakes I've known (Sinaloan & Pueblan) were
    more "squirrely" than I prefer (to handle). No experience with grey-banded kings- very pretty but I understand many are hard to get going (feeding) so that
    might not be a good choice just yet. Easy but not very common as pets are Prairie Kings. Don't hear many ppl talking about keeping Florida kings these days
    either? (& there's several kinds from FL)
    Many friends in low places...

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  5. #4
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    I'll second the speckled kingsnake granted, I haven't had mine for very long but I can tell you they have very easy husbandry, and their wild type looks beautiful imo and based on my research they seem to be a little bit less psycho for food than California kings. Another nice option is the Nuevo Leon kingsnake, they are very pretty with simple husbandry and they usually stay quite small: about 3 feet or less. Sometimes babies can be picky eaters but from what I understand as long as you get a well started one they make easy pets.
    0.1 Speckled Kingsnake

  6. #5
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    I have an adult gray banded king and Cali king. Both were purchased as adults, 2 years old and the latter of unknown age.

    For my Cali king, maybe I got lucky, but mine is very calm. She loves her food but I have her for a few years now, and I had yet to get bit (mistaken as food or otherwise). Handling is very easy with her. So perhaps with lots of handling and time with a baby Cali king, it will be just as calm as her as an adult. Or pick an older snake, like I did, and you may get what you see. If you were to get one, I suggest nothing less than a 4 x 2 for adults. These are active snakes and will use whatever floor space you offer.

    Cali kings are more available than gray banded kings, especially if you are looking for a particular locality for gray banded. Price wise, you will probably pay more for a gray banded than a Cali king, depending on what you want.

    If you prefer something smaller, a gray banded king may fit the bill. Babies are known to be difficult to start feeding and scenting may be needed, so make sure you get it from a good breeder who makes sure that they are eating mice prey before being listed for sale. Or you can skip that hassle and worry and get an adult. My Soba loves food and he is on f/t small mice with no issues. A 20 gallon long is a good size at minimum. Like most kings, food is always on their mind and he had mistaken my finger as food one time. The bite does not hurt and he let go immediately. Otherwise he is easy to handle, husbandry is the same as Cali king and beautiful to look at.
    Last edited by Cheesenugget; 11-17-2019 at 10:37 PM.

  7. #6
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas for which Kingsnake or Milksnake to get.

    To contrast your MKB maybe an Albino Striped Cali King ??



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  8. #7
    Registered User Bodie's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas for which Kingsnake or Milksnake to get.

    Milk snakes in general tend to be much more flighty than kings. Now i am not saying that milk snakes will not make a great pet snake, in general though they can squirmy and like to musk. King snakes are awesome! Got to throw the vote for the Mex black king. Just a beautiful snake. Good size. Good temperament. Great eaters, but all of this applies to most kings.
    0.1 Emerald Tree Boa (Northern) "Ozzie"
    0.1 Green Tree Python (Aru) "Sassy"
    0.1 Pueblan Milk Snake "Milkshake"
    1.0 Mexican Black Kingsnake "Sooty"
    1.0 Pied Het Lavender Albino Ball Python "Socket"
    1.0 Yellow Phase Eastern Hognose "Piggy Smalls"

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  10. #8
    Registered User Bodie's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas for which Kingsnake or Milksnake to get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    My faves are MBKs & desert California kings, but there's other good choices too- speckled kings are cool. The milk snakes I've known (Sinaloan & Pueblan) were
    more "squirrely" than I prefer (to handle). No experience with grey-banded kings- very pretty but I understand many are hard to get going (feeding) so that
    might not be a good choice just yet. Easy but not very common as pets are Prairie Kings. Don't hear many ppl talking about keeping Florida kings these days
    either? (& there's several kinds from FL)

    Agree about the florida kings. I have seen some high red mosaic florida kings for sell and they are amazing looking.
    0.1 Emerald Tree Boa (Northern) "Ozzie"
    0.1 Green Tree Python (Aru) "Sassy"
    0.1 Pueblan Milk Snake "Milkshake"
    1.0 Mexican Black Kingsnake "Sooty"
    1.0 Pied Het Lavender Albino Ball Python "Socket"
    1.0 Yellow Phase Eastern Hognose "Piggy Smalls"

  11. #9
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas for which Kingsnake or Milksnake to get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodie View Post
    Agree about the florida kings. I have seen some high red mosaic florida kings for sell and they are amazing looking.
    True and of course Desert Kings are nice ..


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  13. #10
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas for which Kingsnake or Milksnake to get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodie View Post
    Milk snakes in general tend to be much more flighty than kings. Now i am not saying that milk snakes will not make a great pet snake, in general though they can squirmy and like to musk. King snakes are awesome! Got to throw the vote for the Mex black king. Just a beautiful snake. Good size. Good temperament. Great eaters, but all of this applies to most kings.
    There's probably some exceptions (& I think I recall someone posting about their large Honduran milk snake that's mellow) but my experience is the same as yours, Bodie...that milk snakes are typically harder to handle- very squirmy & flighty, more inclined to musk. They're often beautiful colors though, so for the person who wants more of a "display" snake than a pet to handle, they might be just the right fit.
    Many friends in low places...

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