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  1. #1
    Registered User Edea_Tsuki's Avatar
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    Different ways to take a ball python?

    Hi everyone.
    Some times ago I found a video that explain how to let come a snake (a nasicus in the video) to your hands. I have a ball python. I know that snakes don't have feelings like love or something, but I think that it comes useful when you have to do routine things in the terrarium, expecially for don't stress them.
    I'm very curious about this type of communications with snakes, and I'd like to know if you guys have tried this before. In case I'm very grateful if you share your result here!
    For do routine things I use some tips that other people in the italian reptiles community told me, but I would't surprised if they are wrong, so in case please correct me, I just want to treat my python in the best way...
    I open the terrarium (he hear me when I open it), knok gently in the hide and remove it. After that, I take slowly the python. I never received a bite or any type of sound from him so I think I do all right (or maybe he is too nice to me hahaha)
    I don't post the video because I don't know if I can, but I can post it if some mod tell me that it's ok.
    I'm very sorry for the dumb question, probably I'll do a lot like this in the future, but I really want to take care of my snake in the best way, and I just want to know all about this beautiful animals, also if the information is stupid or not applicable. I prefer to know this things and not to remain in the doubt or ignorancy

  2. #2
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    There is no such thing as a dumb question. only dumb people that don't ask questions and learn from them.

    Yes we can add videos. (see below) But am not staff.

    I have trained (conditioned) snakes in the past. Knocking on the glass of the tank 3 times for garter snakes, then they know its food.They then came out for the meal.
    Also I place my hand swiftly and gently on top of my snakes if I want to handle them. The warmth and smell lets them know its pick up time and not a threat. With repeated conditioning they respond without fear. Some like it and try to stay with me. Maybe its the warmth or the exercise or enrichment. I don't know for sure. But it gets them out of feeding mode and into exploration mode or chilling mode.
    Just my experience.

    Some of my snakes actively come to me, others tolerate me. I guess its just a personality of the snake thing.

    But maybe its different for individuals and also understanding them and their individual spirit is important to communicate.
    Like any animal. And they are all different. For example random horse I share a bond with :-

    Last edited by Ascended; 05-30-2021 at 06:47 PM.

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  4. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    You can post a video if you like, or photos.

    As far as approaching & picking up a snake from their homes, some are far easier (calmer) than others, but in every case, remember they don't hear much at all...they do feel vibrations though, and giving them some sort of gentle warning of your approach so they aren't startled & don't feel threatened is a very good idea.

    A newly acquired snake will be far more afraid than one you've had for a while, but either way, "good snake manners" means giving them a chance to identify you before you pick them up. Our pets know our scent & touch...they remember & recognize us (but not usually by vision) so by using their best senses to "communicate" with them, they stay calmer & so do we, because they're far less likely to bite us by mistake.

    Otherwise, when you rush in, they assume either "predator" or "prey" is upon them, & they either bite in self-defense, or they bite hoping your hand is an incoming meal. Personally, I want my snakes to feel safe, & not afraid of me- & relaxed snakes also eat better & stay healthier. Stress is no better for them than it is for us.

    Snakes- there's many different species & even among the same species, they have their own 'personality', so do what works best for yours. Some people prefer to use something like a snake-"hook" to touch/pet their snake as a signal that it's not feeding time. Often called "hook training", that works, but so does tapping them gently with a cardboard roll (from paper towels), or dangling an empty shirt sleeve in for the snake to sniff (& get your scent from), or blowing air across your hand in their direction so they get your scent (& assuming you haven't been handling their food ) -it's up to you & your pets as to what methods work best.

    You've probably noticed though, they never come when you call them...

    In general, when picking up a snake, avoid the head/neck & the tail area; instead, aim for their mid-body & gently touch them if you can- I've picked up plenty of wild (harmless) snakes this way, even 6' ones, with no bites...just by not acting like a predator to them- by not posing a threat. Empathy gets is done.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-30-2021 at 06:53 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Different ways to take a ball python?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Empathy gets is done.
    I know your not necessarily backing up my point, But those four words say it all.
    For any animal.
    Last edited by Ascended; 05-30-2021 at 06:59 PM.

  7. #5
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Different ways to take a ball python?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I know your not necessarily backing up my point, But those four words say it all.
    For any animal.
    Yeah...leave it to me to give a long-winded version first!

    It's hard to generalize- they're all individuals, just as we are. Some snakes coax to come out, others hide.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-30-2021 at 08:00 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  8. #6
    BPnet Lifer KMG's Avatar
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    I would say a Ball is beyond easy to pick up. If you want a challenge and really learn how to deal with snakes find a pissy Blood Python or other snake with an attitude. When I had three baby Bloods I got bit almost every time I handled them. Really no way around it but in time they learned I wasn't doing them harm and was not going away so they mostly stopped. Still at times the male I have will be pissy, like the other day, and strike at me. He's bigger now so it's easier to keep from being tagged having more snake to work with but you certainly need to know what you're doing.

    No matter the snake what I do is once the enclosure is open I'll touch the snake near the tail. Gently just to let it know I'm there. Then depending on how it reacts I continue taking it out.

    If it's being calm I can usually simply pull it out.

    If it's cranky I will sometimes use a flat palm to touch their head and calm them.

    When they are really cranky I use my paper towel roll to gather more information and see if they are actually going to strike. If they do I'll use the paper towel roll as a shield as I get a handle on the back half of the snake. One I get them out they'll usually calm..... But on occasion we do a little dance.
    KMG
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  9. #7
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Different ways to take a ball python?

    Quote Originally Posted by KMG View Post
    I would say a Ball is beyond easy to pick up...
    Most of them are, but I know there's a tiny percentage of unusually & relentlessly-defensive ones around (usually labeled "aggressive")- maybe they were dropped on their heads on hatch day, who knows? But you're correct, there's far bigger challenges in the snake world to pick from. That sure keeps it fun though, eh? Just when you think you "know what works"...
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  10. #8
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    Re: Different ways to take a ball python?

    Honestly you do more than I do. I just go in and grab them out, no hesitating because going back and forth replicates predators or food.

    Sent from my SM-N975W using Tapatalk

  11. #9
    Registered User Edea_Tsuki's Avatar
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    https://youtu.be/85pzaMwMDO8
    This is the video that I saw some times ago. It's in italian and I don't know if this type of communication with a ball python is possible (this guy do it with a nasicus, that is surely more difficult to tame that a ball python in most of cases, so I think the answer is yes). I'd like to try this method, also because my ball python is really calm, but I don't know how to approach him with this method (also because I don't know if the instructions in this video is right also for ball python). So I ask to you guys, because if you think that this method is not possible I return to the classic method
    In conclusion, it is possible to get a ball python used to it in that way instead of take it directly with hand, hook or anything else?

  12. #10
    BPnet Lifer KMG's Avatar
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    I don't know Italian so I don't know what they are claiming. That said I didn't see anything ground breaking in the video. I saw them rub the Hoggy near the tail like I said I do and then put their finger out, at which point the Hoggy investigated. Having had 3 Hognose I find them very inquisitive and easily lead with a finger. Hognose are very different from a Ball and much more outgoing in my opinion, from my experience. They are also usually good eaters with a faster metabolism so they are constantly looking to see if you have food. Which is why I believe they'll easily follow a little pink finger.

    As to doing that with a Hognose I wouldn't recommend it. If they do confuse you for food you are giving them a nice thin item to grab onto. No reason to see how their venom will effect you. I was cleaning the tank one day and my previous one came out and latched on the side of my finger. Was a little red, swollen, and a tad stiff for a few hours from the venom. It also bleed pretty good, not stopped quickly like my other bites.

    Another thing I've found with them is they're actually good climbers and seem to actually enjoy it. All three I've had climb when given the equipment. I did really like that setup they had.



    BUT maybe I'm missing something not being able to read what it says. Am I?
    Last edited by KMG; 05-31-2021 at 04:10 AM.
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