Vote for BP.Net for the 2013 Forum of the Year! Click here for more info.

» Site Navigation

» Home
 > FAQ

» Online Users: 1,789

0 members and 1,789 guests
No Members online
Most users ever online was 6,337, 01-24-2020 at 04:30 AM.

» Today's Birthdays

None

» Stats

Members: 74,613
Threads: 248,284
Posts: 2,567,211
Top Poster: JLC (31,651)
Welcome to our newest member, Monitorman21
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Registered User Gottalovesnakes's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-21-2023
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 7 Times in 4 Posts
    Images: 1

    My New Ball Python (first time snake owner)

    Iím excited to welcome ĎNoodleí into my family. She is 3 months old. Iíve had her for a month now. Enclosure is all set according to basic guidelines (Green Room Python videos on YouTube were my guidelines). Warm/cool side established. Coco fibre substrate. Identical dark well-concealed hides on both sides. Warm side basking is 90, cool side is about 77 on average (would like a bit warmer, but I live in a cool climate). I have a temp gun to measure temps. Warm side basking spot is maintained by heating pad and thermostat. Lots of clutter in enclosure so she doesnít feel exposed anywhere. She has been eating well.

    My question is about handling. She is very shy, and I can tell she doesnít like being handled. Often tries to conceal her head. She starts exploring during handling, but canít help but think sheís trying to escape from me 😂. Iím gentle and only do about 10-15min sessions. I started handling a little over a week after I got her, and after she ate her first meal (48 hours after). Does it take time to get a juvenile comfortable with handling? Is this normal?

    Any and all insights would be sooo appreciated! Thanks guys!

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Gottalovesnakes For This Useful Post:

    Armiyana (11-11-2023)

  3. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    19,869
    Thanks
    27,653
    Thanked 19,235 Times in 11,554 Posts
    Sounds like you've got her enclosure dialed in pretty well, but do be patient when it comes to handling. It's totally normal for snakes to fear us & want to get away or hide- at least until they learn we're not predators that are about to eat them.

    Remember that in the wild, the only thing that picks up a snake is a predator about to eat them, & our snakes rely on their natural instincts, even though they're captive bred. It's how they survive.

    But the good thing is that with patient & considerate handling, most snakes get comfortable with us- it just takes some time before they feel safe. And they all have their own personality, so some relax sooner than others.

    As far as hiding her head- that's where the name "ball python" comes from- so many BPs like to curl into a ball & hope we go away! They're also known as Royal pythons, a much more dignified name, IMO.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  4. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Gottalovesnakes (11-11-2023),Homebody (11-11-2023),Malum Argenteum (11-15-2023)

  5. #3
    BPnet Veteran Homebody's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-19-2019
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    1,423
    Thanks
    4,962
    Thanked 1,903 Times in 1,053 Posts
    Images: 22

    Re: My New Ball Python (first time snake owner)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gottalovesnakes View Post
    My question is about handling. She is very shy, and I can tell she doesn’t like being handled. Often tries to conceal her head. She starts exploring during handling, but can’t help but think she’s trying to escape from me ��. I’m gentle and only do about 10-15min sessions. I started handling a little over a week after I got her, and after she ate her first meal (48 hours after). Does it take time to get a juvenile comfortable with handling? Is this normal?
    You should consider a choice-based handling approach. I wouldn't consider myself a choice-bases zealot, but it has definitely influenced my approach. Here a link to a video that explains how to get started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ljtIS4qCKw&t=238s.
    Last edited by Homebody; 11-11-2023 at 06:51 PM.
    1.0 Normal Children's Python (2022 - present)
    1.0 Normal Ball Python (2019 - 2021)

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Homebody For This Useful Post:

    Gottalovesnakes (11-11-2023),Mistery510 (11-12-2023)

  7. #4
    Registered User Gottalovesnakes's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-21-2023
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 7 Times in 4 Posts
    Images: 1

    Wink Re: My New Ball Python (first time snake owner)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Sounds like you've got her enclosure dialed in pretty well, but do be patient when it comes to handling. It's totally normal for snakes to fear us & want to get away or hide- at least until they learn we're not predators that are about to eat them.

    Remember that in the wild, the only thing that picks up a snake is a predator about to eat them, & our snakes rely on their natural instincts, even though they're captive bred. It's how they survive.

    But the good thing is that with patient & considerate handling, most snakes get comfortable with us- it just takes some time before they feel safe. And they all have their own personality, so some relax sooner than others.

    As far as hiding her head- that's where the name "ball python" comes from- so many BPs like to curl into a ball & hope we go away! They're also known as Royal pythons, a much more dignified name, IMO.
    Thank you so VERY much for this detailed response. Honestly, it totally makes sense to me that she would be afraid of a giant thing approaching her and trying to handle her - I would be too if I was her- haha! I’ll be sure to go slow and be cautious with her and not push her until she gets more comfortable. I keep handling sessions short and only once a day, about 5 days a week. I can do less also until she is more comfortable. Thank you very much for your insights!
    Last edited by Gottalovesnakes; 11-11-2023 at 06:53 PM.

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Gottalovesnakes For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (11-11-2023),Homebody (11-11-2023)

  9. #5
    Registered User Gottalovesnakes's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-21-2023
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 7 Times in 4 Posts
    Images: 1

    Re: My New Ball Python (first time snake owner)

    I’ll check out the link you refer to, Homebody - thank you very much!
    Last edited by Gottalovesnakes; 11-11-2023 at 06:55 PM.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Gottalovesnakes For This Useful Post:

    Homebody (11-11-2023)

  11. #6
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    19,869
    Thanks
    27,653
    Thanked 19,235 Times in 11,554 Posts

    Re: My New Ball Python (first time snake owner)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gottalovesnakes View Post
    Thank you so VERY much for this detailed response. Honestly, it totally makes sense to me that she would be afraid of a giant thing approaching her and trying to handle her - I would be too if I was her- haha! Iíll be sure to go slow and be cautious with her and not push her until she gets more comfortable. I keep handling sessions short and only once a day, about 5 days a week. I can do less also until she is more comfortable. Thank you very much for your insights!
    I would be afraid too- I mean, we're at least 100 times bigger than they are.

    I'm one of those that disagrees with the "keep handling short" advice (within reason, of course). The thing is, nervous snakes usually bite either when we approach & pick them up, OR when they feel a loss of their sense of security when we're putting them back- so that tells you what's the most stressful to them. And they don't like to be dangled at arm's length from us either, like when people are trying to avoid a bite, because they feel safer when they can "hide" next to us- like we're a big warm cave.

    My point is that in a "short handling session"- most of your time together will consist of the parts they hate, with not enough time to actually relax & bond with you. I'd suggest doing longer, relaxed sessions & no more than 3 times a week, & at least 30-60 minutes duration (depending on snake's tolerance & as long as your house isn't too cold, obviously). The best thing is to sit down & relax- maybe watch a movie while holding your snake near you- & put a small towel or a t-shirt over the snake so it feels somewhat hidden & sheltered while being held. See how the snake reacts- hopefully, she'll relax & while doing so, she'll learn your scent & touch, and to feel safer with you. She'll learn to recognize you.

    Keep it low key- BPs are snakes that are not too active out in the open, where predators can get them. That's why they feel safer when cuddled close to us. Also, before you pick them up from their home, give them a few minutes to recognize you by your scent & touch- & don't be too abrupt when you approach & pick them up. Remember they might even be asleep- it's very hard to tell when snakes are asleep...have you noticed that? (I've been "taming" snakes for many years... Empathy will get you a LONG way to success.)

    I would also avoid all handling for a day or 2 before she's due to eat- at least until she knows you much better- just to make sure she's not too stressed to eat.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  12. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Gottalovesnakes (11-15-2023),Homebody (11-11-2023),Mistery510 (11-12-2023)

  13. #7
    Registered User BeansTheDerp's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-25-2020
    Posts
    169
    Thanks
    163
    Thanked 90 Times in 58 Posts

    Re: My New Ball Python (first time snake owner)

    If you have a small stuffed animal or maybe a glove you wear often that smells like you (without any sort of perfume or chemical on it) then I would recommend putting it in the corner of the enclosure or near where the snake is a lot. I used that tactic as a just in case with my ball python when I first got him. Also don't try to pick the snake up from above, scoop them up from the side and your snake will be a lot more comfortable! This is why a side opening enclosure is fairly useful with snakes
    LOL I deleted a paragraph because I read green room pythons as green tree pythons and got concerned. NEVERMIND!!
    Have fun with your new snake!
    Last edited by BeansTheDerp; 11-11-2023 at 10:38 PM.
    Be kind, and inspire others to be kind.

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BeansTheDerp For This Useful Post:

    Gottalovesnakes (11-15-2023),Homebody (11-12-2023)

  15. #8
    Registered User Gottalovesnakes's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-21-2023
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 7 Times in 4 Posts
    Images: 1
    These are all SUCH fantastic suggestions - thank you SO much!!!

    The choice based handling is an interesting concept that I would love to use, at least at first, to get her more comfortable around me. I do earnestly believe that when snakes (and people, even ) feel like they can do something on their own terms, instead of being forced, they are more likely to give it a try. I know when I feel forced into something, my natural tendency is to resist But I’ll often agree when I have the choice.

    I have been, up until this point, keeping handling sessions brief. But I can do maybe less sessions, but longer to get her used to me. That way maybe she has longer to relax and get comfortable and we end our session on a positive note each time.

    And to put something in her enclosure, such as a glove, that has my scent on it sounds like a great idea. Get her exposed/familiarized with me more in an area she is already comfortable in. Love it

    ‘Noodle’ is overall doing well. Very sweet - just shy. I’ll keep working on her slowly. Thanks all!
    Last edited by Gottalovesnakes; 11-14-2023 at 05:55 PM.

  16. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Gottalovesnakes For This Useful Post:

    BeansTheDerp (11-14-2023),Bogertophis (11-14-2023),Homebody (11-14-2023)

  17. #9
    BPnet Veteran Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-11-2019
    Posts
    562
    Thanks
    1,147
    Thanked 1,380 Times in 461 Posts
    Images: 51
    You are off to a good start here, and little Noodle is beautiful.

    If you are interested, I am honestly pretty much a 'choice-based zealot' as Homebody might describe it, lol! I've kept snakes all my life, but started using choice-based handling with all of my current snakey crew as soon as I learned about it several years ago. The results have been fantastic, even with shy or defensive snakes - including Sugar, my Royal python who was very shy, but who now regularly 'asks' to be let out of his enclosure, and is very serene when interacting with me.

    I'm just letting you know because I'm always happy to answer questions about it if you like; Lori Torrini's videos are outstanding but sometimes little questions come up when you try these behavioral strategies, and I'm glad to help if I can.
    1.0 Jungle Carpet Python 'Ziggy'
    1.0 Bredl's Python 'Calcifer'
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa 'Mara'
    1.1 Tarahumara Mountain Boas 'Paco' and 'Frida'
    2.0 Dumeril's Boas 'Gyre' and 'Titan'
    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'
    1.0 Ball Python (BEL) 'Sugar'
    1.0 Gray-banded Kingsnake 'Nacho'
    1.0 Green Tree Python (Aru) 'Jade'

  18. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Caitlin For This Useful Post:

    BeansTheDerp (11-15-2023),Gottalovesnakes (11-15-2023)

  19. #10
    Registered User Gottalovesnakes's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-21-2023
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 7 Times in 4 Posts
    Images: 1
    Hi Caitlin. Thanks for sharing your experience. I just started implementing the choice-based handling approach. We will see how it goes. Iím not too worried, I think we will get there with some time and patience . Thank you so very much for offering to answer questions - I may very well take you up on that! SO much appreciated. Thank you!!!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.1