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  1. #1
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    Wanting to get a new smaller snake- trying to decide on which one

    We currently have a ball python and we are looking into purchasing another snake. We are trying to decide between a corn snake, childrens Python or a rosy boa. Does anyone by chance have all 3 or some of these and have pros and cons for each?

  2. #2
    Registered User Spicey's Avatar
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    I have a Kenyan Sand Boa which is similar to a Rosy Boa (wanted a Rosy but there were none available at the time), and I couldn't be happier with him. He eats well and is nice and calm. The only problem I have is that he always needs help to shed in spite of being a desert snake. It's not a big deal though, really.
    Always in Transition

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    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I have all 3 kinds & then some- what can I tell you? All are excellent pets.

    Rosy boa- I would say the most difficult of the 3- some neonates can be challenging so if you get a young one, buy from reputable breeder AND get a feeding record. When I bred & sold rosy boas, I never parted with them before they had eaten about 10 times, which is way more than what usually happens. A few of mine even ate the day they were born, but a few in the group would be fussy for a few weeks. They are also more likely to prefer or insist on live prey, or prefer fresh-killed; though all mine have gotten on f/t, sometimes in the fall they'll get 'fussy' when you still want them to eat, & they'll refuse f/t but accept fresh killed or live. They normally will eat either mice or baby rats, btw- as long as the size is right. As adults, these tend to go off feed in the winter for a couple months- they brumate in the wild, but you don't need to do that in captive pets, just don't panic when they refuse meals for a while, & feed them well during the summer into fall. Pro- nice size, mostly docile (few exceptions though, lol). Females get about 3.5', males stay about 30" or less. Females eat better than males, in general. I've had a rosy boa live to mid-twenties, even after 5 years of breeding lots of big healthy "babies".

    Corn snake- hatchlings start off tiny, but once feeding, these are dynamite pets- easy to feed & handle, & need the least heat of the 3 options- preferring typical room temperatures (70-75*) in most of their tank (glass tanks w/ screen tops recommended, btw- good air-flow), with only a hide over UTH at one end/corner, kept under 85*. (They climb well & enjoy branches, so in theory you could provide a basking light or overhead heat, but they won't be brave enough to bask until they're adults so their digestion needs the UTH.) Very pretty colors & patterns, fairly active snakes but docile, not inclined to bite. At 4-5', the adults usually fit well in a 40 gal. 'breeder' tank- but some can reach 6'. My oldest corn is currently over 21 years. I used to breed these too. Don't handle the tiny hatchlings until they eat & grow up for a while- they're delicate & just need to grow some first. A hold-back (yearling+) is a great option, if you can find one available for ANY of these species, btw.

    Spotted python: (you asked about Children's python which is much the same as far as I know, but a little smaller than Spotted). I have one of these, got her as a yearling 'rescue-buy'. She needs a warmer home & a humid hide to shed well, but mine is a great eater of f/t or fresh-killed small mice. Mine likes to 'bask' on driftwood under a warming light, but has options (well-heated hide, unheated hide, humid hide w/ some heat). The young ones typically start on lizards in the wild, & grow into being brave enough & big enough to take small rodents. The one I got refused live pinkies so her owner threatened to kill her if she kept refusing live! What can I say but that the snake was normal & the owner was...not! She was shipped to me & ate 3 f/t pinkies within hours of arrival- I could tell she was hungry. She is fast about grabbing dead mice from tongs, no warming them needed. She's an easy snake, IMO- but she's the only one I have known, so I while I assume she is fairly typical, I can't say that for absolute certain: some owners say these snakes are nippy- but I've only gotten one accidental nip in about 11 years (so far), so that's not what I call a nippy snake, & it was MY fault, I was in a hurry & complacent about what signal I might have sent to her. The ONLY drawback I'd say about her is that she is a grabby snake- she is not the snake you want caught in your long hair, as she really grips & hangs on, lol. Been there... not my best hair-do. It's not a malicious intent, she just prefers to hang on, & in general she handles well without being restless, & our body heat is to her liking. Oh, & mine is about 4' long- similar in size to a typical adult corn snake. She also has impressive iridescence.

    Any questions?
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-26-2021 at 08:13 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Wanting to get a new smaller snake- trying to decide on which one

    That is all great info. Thank you so much!

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    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Now it's your coin to flip, lol...
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  8. #6
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    Boger is the expert for this type of question.

    I have all 3, plus a gray banded kingsnake which is also in the small in size.

    Corns: love love love my Corndog and Popcorn. I don't agree with the care sheets that say a 20 gallon long is sufficient for an adult. My corns are about a year old, still growing especially the female is bigger, and they were both in 20 gallon long tanks until they are moved to bigger enclosures. If you want something in no bigger than a 20 gallon long, I don't think it will be fair for a snake as active as corns.

    Corns are active, curious, cute, docile, easy to feed, and so easy to handle. Insane number of morphs, patterns and new ones are in the works. Prices vary, like you can get a normal baby corn for $20 or a palmetto corn for $500 at a discount due to bug eyes or $800-900+ with no bug eyes. I got my male Blizzard White-out for about $300 I think and less for my female Okeetee albino (The breeder I was buying from is a little pricey but the quality in his care, easy to use website that's updated constantly, great reputation, easy transaction and fast email response was worth it). If you don't mind using a 40 gallon breeder or bigger when it grows up, corns are so much fun to keep.

    Children's python: Nippy as babies, not for everyone. Not for kids to handle because of how defensive they can get. Great eater, beautiful snake, looks like a mini retic. Tank at minimum should be a 29 gallon tall or something tall enough for it to climb. It is semi arboreal, so climbing decor as well as some floor space will be good for them. They are not mean snakes, they can be handled but they are not shy to bite if they find something they don't like. No morphs available at this time, but rumor has it some breeders are working on morphs in the UK or the Netherlands.

    Rosy boa: my recent addition so I don't have much to say other than what information is already available. Rosy boas are distinguished mostly by locality but snows and other designer morphs are available too. Mine is from the Dulzura locality, a female baby born in Sept 2020. Babies don't eat right away, so Boger is right: find a breeder who feeds their rosy before being listed for sale. Mine ate for me with no issues, but she was from a reputable rosy boa breeder who doesn't sell their rosy if they haven't been fed several times. I handled her one time so far, and she is very calm, curious and wasn't fearful. I look forward to watching her grow.

    Gray banded kingsnake: they are not as active as a corn, but I wouldn't go smaller than a 24" x 24". Babies can be difficult to start eating, these are lizard and frog eaters. However, they can be switched over to rodents. I got mine as an adult who was already eating rodents, so if you don't want to risk dealing with difficult feeding, go with an adult or a baby that was already switched over. Docile, curious, great eater, beautiful colors. Like the rosy boa, breeders focus heavily on locality. Price is higher because they are not commonly available.

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    Re: Wanting to get a new smaller snake- trying to decide on which one

    I like the gray banded kingsnake, they are pretty. Do they require similar conditions as a corn snake? I have a 40 gallon terrarium I am looking as the set up. (I also have a 10g if needed first) and of course would upgrade if needed. No small children so no issues there. Overall I would love to do a rescue, but not sure I have enough experience. Of course it would depend on the why and needs......And to think, I thought I was down to only a few choices.

  11. #8
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I'll add one more suggestion, just for fun: (it's Cheesenugget's fault, she started it with adding a Gray banded king... )

    I'm very partial to Trans Pecos rat snakes (Bogertophis subocularis...also called a "suboc" for short), & if you can get your hands on the Dusty Rhodes book "The Complete Suboc" it would be worth a look. My adults are about 4'- comparable to an adult corn snake- & they also do great (as adults) in a 40 gal. breeder tank (3' long x 18"). These are very gentle snakes with big eyes- they're nocturnal, but good sports even by day, easy to feed f/t mice, & very calm to handle- they tend to move slow, though they can move quite fast when they want to (as in catching prey)! They're not as common as corn snakes, but they're available captive-bred. It might be a good fit for you also? I've bred them in the past, & currently have 3. They like & will use branches, & do fine with room temperatures (my house is 70* winter & up to 80* summer) using just UTH @ one end of tank, and they also appreciate a black or red incandescent bulb at night in winter- they'll often snooze in their branches (they also have attached baskets, lol) under the "light" that is dimmed way down. They also use warm & cool hides. These are desert snakes, so screen tops with good air-flow is a must. (Don't add any humidity.)
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  12. #9
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    I have a Gray-banded Kingsnake as well as two Children's Pythons. I love the King, but if I had to choose a snake to handle and spend time with, it would definitely be the Children's Pythons. The King is a little shy and skittish. I am one of those big enrichment fans, and I do a lot of what's called 'choice-based handling' with my snakes - giving them the choice of whether they want to come out and interact with me or not. It's a really interesting and satisfying training strategy, and I won't derail this thread to go into it. I just bring it up to clarify the example that at 1.5 years old, the King is still at the stage of 'I'll sit at the entrance of my enclosure and look out if you open the door, and you can stand right next to me, but don't get TOO close to me, please'.

    The Children's, on the other hand, will come right out of the enclosure and climb onto my hands, and 'ask' to be let out of the enclosure almost every night to engage in handling, hunting, food puzzle, or other activities. They're just far more confident and interactive. Neither has ever bitten, hissed, or shown any signs of stress with me.

    While various types of snakes have generally common characteristics within the group, it's also true that each individual seems to develop their own personality - so I am sure that there are Gray-banded Kings who are not as shy as my guy, and Children's Pythons that are not like my little extroverts. I just wanted to share my experience as you weigh your decision.

    Two other smaller snakes that are generally known to be lovely pets are Hognose and African House Snakes. I have a Hognose, and he is definitely a little charmer. Photo below of my shy and handsome Gray-banded, Nacho.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by Caitlin; 01-27-2021 at 01:49 AM.
    1.0 Jungle Carpet Python 'Ziggy'
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa 'Mara'
    1.1 Tarahumara Mountain Boas 'Paco' and 'Frida'
    1.0 Dumeril's Boa 'Gyre'
    1.0 Stimson's Python 'Jake'
    1.1 Children's Pythons 'Miso' and 'Ozzy'
    1.0 Anthill Python 'Cricket'
    1.0 Plains Hognose 'Peanut'
    1.1 Rough-scaled Sand Boas 'Rassi' and 'Kala'
    0.4 Oregon Red-spotted Garters
    1.0 Ball Python (BEL) 'Sugar'
    1.0 Gray-banded Kingsnake 'Nacho'
    1.0 Green Tree Python (Aru) 'Jade'

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  14. #10
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Very beautiful grey-banded! I think the OP should get one of each! LOL
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-27-2021 at 02:53 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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