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  1. #1
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    Seeking MBK tips and advice

    Hi everyone, Iíve been doing some research on MBKís as I was looking to get one in the near future. I found some great care sheets for husbandry and feeding. One thing I couldnít find much about was handling. Iíve read that younger ones can be more defensive and will musk and defecate...all that good stuff..., and that overtime they will tolerate handling a lot better. I was hoping I could get some advice on specific tricks or techniques when dealing with a defensive mbk.

    Iíve have some experience with bps and I know that covering their head can get them out of a defensive mode. Is there something similar with MBKís?

    Iím also curious about what handling is like. Bps are like sloth noodles lol. How much faster do these guys really move? And what type of handling techniques should I be using to provide them with proper support?

    Lastly, I read that MBKís need a basking spot. Is under tank heat required as well? Or is that like a more optional thing?

  2. #2
    bcr229's Avatar
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    MBK babies are like any other. Fortunately they produce small amounts of musk/urate and their bites don't hurt. Just be gentle and don't put it down until it settles down in your hands. Yes they run but they're not the coiled springs like garters are; those babies will literally launch themselves out of your hands.

    I gave mine a basking/warm area using a UTH set in the mid-80's.

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  4. #3
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking MBK tips and advice

    Generally speaking younger Corn snakes , King snakes and the like are pretty active / fast moving /inquisitive especially compared to the sloth-like Royal/Ball pythons ..


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  6. #4
    Moderator Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking MBK tips and advice

    It's been a "few years" since I raised c/b MBK's, but they're one of my favorite king snakes, & excellent colubrids overall. Babies move FAST- sit down to handle low to ground or furniture so they don't fall from height, or they can get injured/even die from such a fall. But you don't start off by handling these tiny babies!

    Be patient, hatchlings are tiny & scared to death- remember, you're a GIANT. All hatchlings have much to fear- they're prey at that size, not so much predators. Give them some time to grow & learn to trust you first, feeding is Job #1, not handling or "taming". They can musk in defense, I don't recall them being bad about that at all, but all snakes have their own personalities. In any case, they'll out-grow that phase once they learn you're harmless. Their mouth is too small for you to even FEEL a bite from a hatchling, which is why they defend themselves from the "other end"!

    I always used UTH & a fluffy substrate (like Carefresh, etc) since they love to burrow & will feel safer. Several small hides (warm & cool) are needed too, but these are not difficult to raise. Just be patient while they grow up some- & since they're only big enough to eat pinky mice, their growth is slow for quite some time, even though it seems like they eat a lot- pinkies aren't that nourishing. I didn't usually use a "basking spot" btw, just UTH, except maybe in winter.

    I should mention that I'm not into BPs- I've had a number of them in the past, but I'm far more into colubrids (rat snakes & all) because they're more active & interesting to me. I like snakes that know how to eat, without me using a hairdryer on their food, & begging them. King snakes are fun to feed- when your MBK grows up some, you'll want to be using feeding tongs & make sure they don't confuse you with prey, as they can be aggressive eaters. Docile to handle though, & just beautiful snakes, a nice size too. Excellent choice for a pet. I don't think you'll need to "cover their heads" lol, just learn the difference between 'curious' & 'feeding time'!

    Reminder: tiny active colubrids are great escape artists! Make SURE there are no gaps in your housing...they can get out of a gap that's only .25"- cage tops MUST fit tightly, they have nothing better to do than find ways out.

    Hint: when afraid, these snakes keep moving, trying to leave your hands. When they grow up some, & learn to relax & accept you as "safe" they show that by slightly hanging onto you, instead of "slip-sliding away".
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 11-26-2020 at 02:30 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  8. #5
    Moderator Bogertophis's Avatar
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    As far as caging, a .25" gap wouldn't even be a challenge for a hatchling to escape...so make sure there's NO gaps. Snakes (king snakes especially) are far better than we are at 'hide & seek', take my word for it.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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