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  1. #1
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    Question Is it worth it to own two snakes?

    Hi all,

    I have been considering getting a kenyan sand boa for months now. I currently have a ball python, Jeffrey, who I love sooooo much. However, Jeffrey clearly does not like being held, so I only do so when I clean his tank. For that reason I am considering getting a kenyan sand boa for handling, as they are much smaller and easier to remove from the tank. Jeffrey literally morphs into his hide when I try to take him out, but he never bites and he's fine once he's out.

    So, what I'm asking is is it worth it to have two snakes? KSB eat rather small rodents, so money is not a concern for me. The only thing holding me back is that I don't want it be surprisingly more work. I'm aware of cleaning duties and feeding duties. What is everyone's experience with two snakes? Does it feel sort of useless for you? Do you feel like they act too similar for it to be worth it?

    Let me know about your experience!

  2. #2
    Registered User Gocntry's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth it to own two snakes?

    I'm up to 6 snakes now, All rehomes / rescues / shelter adoptions, I have 4 BP's / a Boa / and a corn snake.

    They all have their own personalities, So if one seems grumpy, is in shed ect I can get another out if I want to.

    I thought one was going to be enough but kept adding as I came across more.

    A big thing is you have to be financially ready for multiples, I order about 350 dollars worth of food every 6 months or so

    Increasing the enclosures size/hides ect as they grow isn't cheap either.

    Then have monies saved back for vet bills if needed.

    Otherwise I find it interesting having multiple species and seeing how they act and react with me or my daughter

    I have room for a few more if needed, but wouldn't buy one just to have another.

    I look for those that need new homes, or can't be taken care of by their former owners anymore

  3. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I'm probably the "wrong one to ask" as I currently have 19 snakes, & I've had many more than this for many previous years. So at this point, I qualify as an "enabler"...

    But, you should understand that just because a snake is small & appeals to you as an easy one to hold, doesn't mean it will like being held much, or that it will do well (not be too stressed to eat) if you try to hold it as much as you want. I've not kept any KSBs, but from what I know of them, they aren't much into handling. Most snakes are fairly shy, but some just do better with handling than others. A KSB shouldn't have much trouble with over-heating in your 98.6" hands (as some snakes- like corn snakes- might, just because they prefer lower temperatures of 75*-80*) & it may be "easier to pick up" but it's unlikely to be sitting still for you.

    It also sounds like you might be fairly new to keeping your first snake? If that's the case, it's likely that both your methods and your BP's tolerance of your handling will improve with time. Remember that in nature, the ONLY thing that picks up a snake is a predator about to eat them! Snakes rely on their instincts to survive, so you have to be patient while a snake learns to feel safe enough with you to really relax.

    If you want a smaller snake, one that likes warm temperatures like our body temps. & is more prone to sitting snugly in your hands, you might look into a captive-bred Australian spotted python, or a slightly smaller & otherwise very similar Children's python* (*so named for the last name of the man who discovered them- NOT meaning it's meant "for children"). I have a spotted python- first off, her natural habits are to climb & bask on driftwood in her tank- so she's more 'outgoing'. She is 12 years old & about the size of an adult corn snake with a similar slender build, about 4' or less. She has done occasional "meet & greets" with various strangers holding & cuddling her for about 4 hours total at a time (with time out for breaks) & she seems to enjoy it all, remaining calm.

    I might be wrong, but I don't picture a KSB doing that, based on their natural habits in the wild. So do your homework carefully on snakes- we can make other suggestions too, but remember that in general, snakes aren't social creatures. Also, we can make general predictions about their personalities, but just like dogs or people, they're all individuals too.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-25-2021 at 06:45 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  5. #4
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    Re: Is it worth it to own two snakes?

    Thanks for your reply! I have had Jeffrey for over a year now. He has a very strong feeding response and I always wash my hands before going into his tank. I'm aware that he "could" be a fine handler, and he's actually very good, doesn't try to squirm. It's just getting him out is stressful for him since I have to pull him pretty hard to get him out of his humid hide which he's in most of the time except late at night.

    But this is good information! Thank you so much.

  6. #5
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    Re: Is it worth it to own two snakes?

    Really good things to consider. I have my ball python in a 60 gallon, and his old 30 ish gallon is open for an adoption. I figured a KSB would fit it nicely without have to upgrade. I'll probably sit on my thought for a while longer. Thanks for your help!

  7. #6
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    BPs are usually fairly calm about handling, & don't get "too big", but their normal operation in the wild is to hide (they're an "ambush predator" too, not active hunters of prey) so he's just doing what is natural for him. Snakes didn't evolve in nature to have owners or caretakers, lol. When you do handle him, hold (cuddle) him close to your body so he feels safe, like he does in his hides. If you sit down & relax- maybe watch tv for a while when you do this, it should help also.

    I used to have a large boa (BCI) that would snuggle around me to watch a movie*, & still didn't want back in her cage. Not so easy to take out, even harder to put back (!), but loved to be cuddled. You just have to understand what snakes want...to feel safe with us. And btw, that BCI was given to me as an unwanted yearling that bit numerous owners who kept rehoming her for being "mean"- but she was merely terrified & defending herself (she thought), so she kept getting worse until she came to my house. I speak snake- & she learned to feel safe. She never bit me even once in all those years. Of course it's possible that I just taste terrible?

    *Just to be clear...I watched the movie, Snookens did not.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-25-2021 at 10:23 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  9. #7
    BPnet Royalty Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth it to own two snakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoola View Post
    Thanks for your reply! I have had Jeffrey for over a year now. He has a very strong feeding response and I always wash my hands before going into his tank. I'm aware that he "could" be a fine handler, and he's actually very good, doesn't try to squirm. It's just getting him out is stressful for him since I have to pull him pretty hard to get him out of his humid hide which he's in most of the time except late at night.

    But this is good information! Thank you so much.
    Iíd agree ... I wouldnít suggest a Sand boa for handling purposes.. mine was very nervous and dreadfully reluctant feeder ...

    Itís odd hearing about a Royal python who hates being held as everyone of the countless ones Iíve held over the years have been amazing to hold ..




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro




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  11. #8
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    I have too many snakes. Ball python, woma python, Children python, rosy boa, 3 Kenyan sand boas, 2 corns, gray banded king and a Dumerils boa. Formerly had a Cali king.

    Oh boy.

    If you are looking for a snake that enjoys handling, there are none. Some may appear to enjoy it, but enjoyment more of curiosity, tolerance and having a warm place to hang out temporarily. When I pet my dog, I know she enjoys it, because she would nudge my hand if I stop or I'm working and I had to ignore her. When I visit my bunny, I know she enjoys petting because she would run up to me, nudge my hand with her head, and if I move my hand or stop petting her, she would keep nudging until I pet her again. You won't find that behavior in a snake. When I open the cage door, my most tamed snake would ignore me and try to get out to look for food. He would do this before and after I picked him up without issues.

    So if you are looking for a reptile that at least to appear to not mind being handled for a long period of time, it would be a bearded dragon. I had 2, both were friendly, docile and would sit with me on the couch or in the sun. It's a matter of opinion whether or not they enjoy handling (When you pet them, they usually close their eyes. Some people thinks it's a sign of trust and enjoyment, others think it's their way of ignoring you and hoping you would leave. It's up for interpretation).

    To answer the other question, I think having 2 different species with different husbandry requirements can be weird at first to get used to. You will need to buy different substrate and more for KSB for burrowing, use a different type of enclosure (Low humidity for KSB), and the prey items will not be the same (Usually rats for ball pythons and mice for KSB). Both are relatively easy to care for. What they have in common is that you won't see them much. I rarely see my 3 KSB out, the most is their little heads peaking out waiting for food. I also noticed they may not enjoy being picked up at first, so some work may be needed. An alternative is a rosy boa. You'll be more likely to see your rosy in your tank than the KSB buried in the substrate.

  12. #9
    BPnet Veteran FollowTheSun's Avatar
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    Our family has three snakes. Our first was a BP that we bought "used" and we were very excited to get one of these docile and wonderful pets. Unfortunately we got a "dud" who is very mean and bitey. No amount of working with her has improved this, so now we just mostly leave her alone. The second snake was a delightful and wonderful ratsnake. She's so fun and full of energy and personality-- and a much less picky eater than BP's tend to be. Also has less stringent humidity and heat requirements. Finally we got a very nice banana BP who is a wonderful, chill pet.

    I think it's nice to have two different kinds of snakes because their behaviors are so different. If I want to hold a calm, slower snake I get out our nice BP. If I want to be entertained by a curious and active snake I get out the ratsnake (although she also loves to hang out in my bathrobe).
    Last edited by FollowTheSun; 03-25-2021 at 11:09 PM.
    Lots of pets, all loved and well-cared for: 2 BP's, 1 ratsnake, 2 lovebirds, 1 Harris hawk, 2 ferrets, 3 chickens, 3 cats, 1 dog, and a toddler!

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  14. #10
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    Re: Is it worth it to own two snakes?

    It is not going to be much more work. I have 11 snakes and do not even spend an hour a week taking care of them. Go for it man.
    Checkout my YouTube channel! I post Ball Python Morph Combo videos daily: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXr...7cOR5pcCONzvtA

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