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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran MR Snakes's Avatar
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    Must have acquisitions from a snake show?

    So the big weekend is almost here. The New England Reptile and Gypsy Flea Market Show! So I have a few questions regarding “must haves” from the show. They are as follows;

    1) Are vendors allowing their snakes to be handled during these strange times? I’m sure my son will want some.

    2) Is frozen prey a better deal at shows or online?

    3) Is additional foliage necessary in an aquarium? IE, tree branch, palm leaves etc. My son thinks it looks cool.

    4) How to prepare for the 5+ hour trip home? Plastic container with clean towel and a hand warmer or two?

    Anything else I’m missing?

    Thanks, thanks and a discount double check to y’all.

    PS: My daughter wants a bearded dragon so I told her this would be a “research only” trip for her as her brother has read 3 books and planning this for 2-3 years.
    Last edited by MR Snakes; 01-05-2022 at 06:29 PM.

  2. #2
    BPnet Lifer KMG's Avatar
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    1.) No clue.

    2.) Usually. You save on shipping so that can be a good savings. Find out who is going to be there and make sure they have what you want. Take a cooler if it is not close to home.

    3.) I like having things in my cages. The more you have the more you have to care for. I like things that are easy to care for and wash when needed. I do think snakes, especially young snakes, benefit from having cover and concealment but that does not have to be anything crazy. Often I will just use large clumps of moss.
    KMG
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  4. #3
    BPnet Lifer KMG's Avatar
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    4.) The seller will most likely give the animal in some container but I do like taking my own. I just take a locking lid tub and a towel. On the way home I just make sure the cab of the vehicle is not as cold as I would usually keep it.

    Being you are asking about a BD I am not sure what temps they need. As long as you can stay close to acceptable numbers I would guess they would be fine just like a snake.

    If you have heated seats you may be able to use those to help. I have before during cold months. I do always take a thermometer so I know the temps though. I keep the seat on low and watch it.

    Having your kids with you they could also simply hold it on their lap and that should give the needed heat.

    Just spitballing.
    KMG
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    0.1 Emerald Tree Boa 0.1 Dumeril Boa 0.1 Carpet Python 0.1 Central American Boa
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    0.1 Blonde Madagascar Hognose 1.0 Columbian Boa

    0.1 Olde English Bulldogge 1.0 Pit Bull

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  6. #4
    Grabbin life by the Balls Snow Balls's Avatar
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    Re: Must have acquisitions from a snake show?

    Quote Originally Posted by MR Snakes View Post
    So the big weekend is almost here. The New England Reptile and Gypsy Flea Market Show! So I have a few questions regarding “must haves” from the show. They are as follows;

    1) Are vendors allowing their snakes to be handled during these strange times? I’m sure my son will want some.

    2) Is frozen prey a better deal at shows or online?

    3) Is additional foliage necessary in an aquarium? IE, tree branch, palm leaves etc. My son thinks it looks cool.

    4) How to prepare for the 5+ hour trip home? Plastic container with clean towel and a hand warmer or two?

    Anything else I’m missing?

    Thanks, thanks and a discount double check to y’all.

    PS: My daughter wants a bearded dragon so I told her this would be a “research only” trip for her as her brother has read 3 books and planning this for 2-3 years.
    1.) It depends on the vendor honestly
    2.) Also depends on the vendor, some offer free shipping over a certain amount. But if you are just ordering for one snake then you are better off getting it at the show
    3.) As KMG said, you can, some people like it for the aesthetic but it’s not necessary if you have proper hides for the animal
    4.) Also as KMG said you can just keep your cab warmer or have your kids hold the snake


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  8. #5
    Registered User Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    1) I haven't changed my handling policies at shows for COVID, and I haven't heard that other vendors around here have either.

    Just for interpretive purposes, I am very stringent on personal COVID protocols generally; I don't see animal handling as more risky than any number of other things we all still reasonably engage in. I'm much more concerned about buyers transmitting mites or reptile viruses, crypto, etc, and this hasn't changed lately.

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  10. #6
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Must have acquisitions from a snake show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malum Argenteum View Post
    .... I'm much more concerned about buyers transmitting mites or reptile viruses, crypto, etc, and this hasn't changed lately.
    That's what came to my mind too- it's hard to blame reputable sellers for being hesitant to allow handling, considering how easily the risks can be shared at these things. In fact, I'd hesitate to buy from someone that allowed much handling of their animals, because I'd be afraid of bringing home those risks right along with the new snake.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  11. #7
    Registered User Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    Re: Must have acquisitions from a snake show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    That's what came to my mind too- it's hard to blame reputable sellers for being hesitant to allow handling, considering how easily the risks can be shared at these things. In fact, I'd hesitate to buy from someone that allowed much handling of their animals, because I'd be afraid of bringing home those risks right along with the new snake.
    It is a hard line to walk.

    On one hand, there are the disease risks (I enforce copious use of hand sanitizer strictly -- before and after handling), but also additional stress to animals (which sometimes get noticeably less tolerant after a couple handlings), and the encouragement of a kind of "drive by experience" where people go to an expo to handle a bunch of random animals that they can't even name and can't recall one interesting relevant fact about.

    On the other hand, some random handlers ("can my kid hold a snake?") do actually seem to get that light in their eyes that indicates that something big just happened, that might turn someone into a serious herp keeper, or even more. I've had random young people who looked like causal thrill seekers ask to hold an animal, and after a couple minutes of conversation realize they have been reading natural history papers and know plenty of things about the species that I've not yet learned.

    Allowing handling has gained me sales (for what that's worth -- I'm of two minds about whether this whole selling of herps thing is a net good) at future expos. I breed some species (Costa Rican Black Milks; some of the less common kingsnakes; even rosy boas) that are mostly unknown in my part of the country. A random handling experience has led to people coming back to my table in 6 months with photos of their enclosure and a run down on what they learned for me to confirm for them, and they leave with a snake species that none of their friends have ever seen in person.

    And actually, if someone comes to me with money in their hand and I find out they've never handled the species they claim to want, I make it clear they need to handle it before the sale (first time herp keepers getting a leopard gecko are like this a lot). I've not had anyone change their mind after handling, but there's enough falsehoods about the behavior of certain species circulating ('rosy boas don't bite' is a classic -- LOL) that a handling experience is de rigeur prior to ownership.

    I agree, though, if someone is running a petting zoo it may be best to be very hesitant about purchasing.

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  13. #8
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Perfect elaboration ^ ^ ^ right there.

    As far as the original questions posed by the OP: (my responses are in red below)

    1) Are vendors allowing their snakes to be handled during these strange times? I’m sure my son will want some.

    Up to each individual to set limits as they see fit.

    2) Is frozen prey a better deal at shows or online?

    Could go either way- do price comparisons ahead of time & take a calculator, or factor in the convenience of taking it home -but be sure to take an ice chest to keep it frozen!

    3) Is additional foliage necessary in an aquarium? IE, tree branch, palm leaves etc. My son thinks it looks cool.

    No, it does look nice & provides additional privacy for the snake as well as traction, but it also adds more places to trap fecal contamination & pathogens- one more thing to clean. My personal preference is to use branches for climbing/exercise but not foliage- but keep in mind I keep mostly rat snakes that love to climb & aren't shy like BPs- so take into account what you're keeping & their needs.

    4) How to prepare for the 5+ hour trip home? Plastic container with clean towel and a hand warmer or two?

    Personally I only transport snakes in a secured cloth bag, & that bag is placed in a padded ice chest or thick styro-foam box to protect from temperatures that are less than ideal.

    Just a regular plastic container offers NO insulation to retain the warmth, even if you have a "hand warmer" for heat.

    This also provides padding (protection!) in the event your vehicle has to stop fast, & reduces their stress from excessive handling etc.

    Heat packs are a very good idea- plan for the unexpected, especially in winter. Vehicles can break down, or accidents can happen that tie up traffic, making your trip much longer than you planned.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-06-2022 at 11:48 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  15. #9
    Registered User Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    Re: Must have acquisitions from a snake show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post


    Heat packs are a very good idea- plan for the unexpected, especially in winter. Vehicles can break down, or accidents can happen that tie up traffic, making your trip much longer than you planned.
    Relevant story: a few years ago in early winter I was taking a styro box with a few geckos in it to the vet, which is over an hour drive from me. Had a catastrophic breakdown on the way -- the fuel tank let loose from the truck I was driving (I don't recall why I was driving our beater truck). Not only could I not run the heat in the truck, but I didn't want to be part of any flaming vehicle with the leaking fuel situation, so I waited an hour for a ride sitting on the side of the road with my box of geckos. They were fine, but they got quite cold. A few heat packs would have been very helpful.

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  17. #10
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Must have acquisitions from a snake show?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malum Argenteum View Post
    Relevant story: a few years ago in early winter I was taking a styro box with a few geckos in it to the vet, which is over an hour drive from me. Had a catastrophic breakdown on the way -- the fuel tank let loose from the truck I was driving (I don't recall why I was driving our beater truck). Not only could I not run the heat in the truck, but I didn't want to be part of any flaming vehicle with the leaking fuel situation, so I waited an hour for a ride sitting on the side of the road with my box of geckos. They were fine, but they got quite cold. A few heat packs would have been very helpful.
    Exactly- we never know. And summer can be deadly too- snakes die from overheating- the A/C can fail- a vehicle can breakdown- that's why I always use styro-boxes/ice chests for transport- a short trip may not be, & could be tragic for our animals. (So glad you made it okay! )
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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