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  1. #1
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    Handling New Balls Guidelines

    Hi y'all,

    I'm new to the hobby and I've seen various ideologies on this which is why I was hoping to get a consensus on it from the community on here.

    What do any of you recommend in regards to handling new acquisitions? Other than placing them in their new homes to acclimate, should I really be handling them at all or should I wait? Many on morphmarket tend to say they have guarantees, but usually only honored within a few days or hours. I don't want to stress my new balls out at all, especially as I am going to get some that will require shipping, but what is being too much and what is not being enough? I want to be able to probe them, check for mites/scale rot/respiratory infections/kinks or any other ailment. I mean nobody buys a used car and doesn't inspect it before driving off the lot, but these are living beings that I love and respect and want to treat them that way.

    I appreciate the time of anyone who reads this and any responses!

  2. #2
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Handling New Balls Guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by Unknownism View Post
    Hi y'all,

    I'm new to the hobby and I've seen various ideologies on this which is why I was hoping to get a consensus on it from the community on here.

    What do any of you recommend in regards to handling new acquisitions? Other than placing them in their new homes to acclimate, should I really be handling them at all or should I wait? Many on morphmarket tend to say they have guarantees, but usually only honored within a few days or hours. I don't want to stress my new balls out at all, especially as I am going to get some that will require shipping, but what is being too much and what is not being enough? I want to be able to probe them, check for mites/scale rot/respiratory infections/kinks or any other ailment. I mean nobody buys a used car and doesn't inspect it before driving off the lot, but these are living beings that I love and respect and want to treat them that way.

    I appreciate the time of anyone who reads this and any responses!
    Handling limitations, IMO, apply after you have inspected the animal in question. You want to check the animal out before quarantine and make sure everything is good and as advertised.

    Once in quarantine, especially with BP's, you then want to wait until 3 consecutive meals have been taken before beginning gentle and short handling sessions.

    I would be careful with the probing when you first get them, as well as in general. Unless you are good at it, I would let someone more experienced do it anyway. I understand it's necessary for breeding purposes, but otherwise, I wouldn't probe at all. I've kept snakes for 30+ years and never probed an animal. I have had others, including experienced vets, do it, but I won't. Beyond my comfort level and not worth injuring my pets to try and learn. That seems like added and unnecessary stress when you first get them to me.

    I would also be careful getting multiple animals at once, especially from different breeders. How will you properly quarantine in that instance?

    I cannot understate quarantine and how important it is.

    Did I mention that quarantine is exceptionally important, especially if you have an existing collection?

    If I sound condescending about quarantine, I apologize. It's not meant to be. I try to write these posts for everyone who might read them.

  3. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to dakski For This Useful Post:

    Alicia (04-05-2021),Bogertophis (04-04-2021),GoingPostal (04-05-2021),Hugsplox (04-05-2021),Unknownism (04-07-2021)

  4. #3
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    Handling or "taming" a new snake is quite low on my priority list. When I first bring home a new snake (or accept it, if delivered), I'll check it over carefully & gently before putting it in it's home to rest without being disturbed & with plenty of privacy. I can & have probed snakes for gender, but I would never do it upon arrival- that's excessively stressful in my opinion, & I put the health & welfare of the animal first. If it turns out to be the "wrong gender" that was sold to me, I'll work it out later with the seller- initially, I'll take their word for it. If it's a snake that I'm sure I'll never breed, I may never bother with gender anyway. Some I can tell by less invasive methods (appearance) anyway.

    Keep in mind that their immune system is not likely as good as ours, & stress negatively affects the functioning even for humans- now remember how confusing & stressful a new home is for a snake. Snakes stay alive by following their instincts...they learn their way around to stay safe from weather & predators. It's not just your unfamiliar home itself but how a snake may have gotten to you: was it shipped? did it travel by car or truck? All this affects your snakes, & IMO, makes it that much more important to give them time to settle in.

    Eating is "job #1". I want a snake to be eating at normal intervals for at least 3 meals before I do any handling, with no refusals for anything other than being in shed. You have plenty of time to get acquainted, but if you stress a snake into refusing to eat, you may also end up with a sick snake that just goes downhill. Put their needs first & you'll have a better experience.

    Handling can interfere with a snake's instincts to feed- keep in mind that anything that picks up a snake in the wild is normally a predator about to eat them. If a creature that was 100+ times your size scooped you up, would you be thinking about having lunch? I doubt it. Until proven otherwise with gradual experience, snakes figure us for being predators- try to put yourself in their place.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  6. #4
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: Handling New Balls Guidelines

    Dakski and Bogertophis checked all the boxes. The only thing I would add is to be patient. I know how hard it is to keep your hands off a new animal, but I promise you they'll do better if you give them time to get use to their new home. I see way too many newer keepers having feeding trouble, and when we start asking questions they'll say they've been handling every day since arrival.

    Also, Dakski isn't exaggerating about quarantine. You didn't mention, or I may have missed it, if these are your first snakes (I assume not). If they're from different breeders, quarantine them in different rooms. If they come from the same breeder they can go together, in different enclosures of course, but if they come from different facilities make sure you keep them separate. Separate from each other, but definitely separate from your existing collection if you have one.

  7. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Hugsplox For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (04-05-2021),dakski (04-05-2021),Unknownism (04-07-2021)

  8. #5
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    Re: Handling New Balls Guidelines

    Thank you all very much! Yes I am most assuredly aware of how absolutely imperative quarantine is! One of the most critical aspects for sure! I was guilty of being one of the ones that was wanting to overhandle... I read 5-7days, or preferably after first feed but I did know that I didn't want to over stress them either. I'm going to go with the 3 consecutive feds & impatiently await the passing of the 48hrs after their 3rd feed.

    Dakski, no worries at all! You don't sound condescending in the least, it's important for their health & I respect the level of importance you wanted to address so thank you very much!

  9. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Unknownism For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (04-05-2021),dakski (04-05-2021),Hugsplox (04-06-2021)

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