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Getting my first hot snake

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by Jayandash, Feb 10, 2019 at 11:02 PM.

  1. Jayandash

    Jayandash Arachnopeon

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    So I have been training under a friend of mine for a year or so now handing his rattlesnake and copperhead I'm wanting to move forward into owning my own hot but I don't want ither of those snakes I really like vipers but don't want anything with extremely potent venom I understand all venom is bad venom but I also understand some venom don't have such powerful effects I would love any advice and and if anyone has had a horned viper I would love to know more about them how they act and such thanks .....
     
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  2. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    The painfully obvious question is, exactly what you mean by -handling-? This runs the gamut from specializing in the capture of snakes in the wild for zoological purposes to the idiots that use rattlers in their religious events. If the scale is leaning to the latter, I'd suggest a corn snake. I worked at a nature center run by professional herpetologists that kept a couple dozen rattlers. Handling was never done -by hand- and no snake was captured by the tools without a specific scientific or medical purpose or logistics required it.

    Something to always keep in mind. As far as venom potency is concerned, hematologic shock can be triggered by any venom. It is the primary cause of death in people that 'have been bitten a few dozen times' suddenly going toes up for good.

    My cousin, a herpetologist, has been bitten by several species of snakes including vipers. The one that put him in a hospital for a month was a yellow face whip snake which is only mildly venomous.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019 at 11:43 PM
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  3. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnobaron Active Member

    I've never owned a venomous snake so take this for what it's worth. Years ago, before they became illegal in Ohio, I was looking into keeping hots and asked local keepers what they would recommend. Most agreed that pygmy rattlers were a good starter snake. I almost bought a pair for $100 but financial problems got in the way.
     
  4. CJJon

    CJJon Arachnosquire Active Member

    Do you have your Class III Animal Possession permit?
     
  5. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnoprince Active Member

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    Start with something native to your state. If worst comes to worst, at least you’ll know hospitals are able to treat you.

    Copperheads tend to be what a lot of people start with for that reason. They are also very pretty.
     
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  6. MasterOogway

    MasterOogway Arachnopeon Active Member

    This sounds to me like a case of "If you have to ask, you're not ready." Just my two cents.
     
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  7. Bob Lee

    Bob Lee Arachnoknight Active Member

    Use commas and periods.

    Don't go for a mildly venomous snake, it's a better idea to not let it bite you at all... :rolleyes:
     
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  8. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    True, unqualified, true.
    Three types of hot keepers.
    ' I have worked with hots and I'm very careful to not get bit'. This progresses into the more expert like myself, 'I've handled all kinds for many years. Given my choice, I don't want to keep them and I do everything possible to keep my distance'.

    And finally the real experts, 'I'm going to get bit. Only a question as to when and how bad'.
    [​IMG]
    The experts at the snake farm will not handle Hannahs. Only with poles and catch loops. When the inevitable happens, death is a very real possibility. They also are extremely leery of Ptyas. The most vicious and bite happy of any snake in the country. Not venomous but an infection is all but a certainty.

    Hots, Thai style
    It's a little funny and somewhat paradoxical here. I shoo snakes off the roads all the time. In the wild, it's different.
    Can be hooked and tail grab:
    Krait? Check the time. Only inclined to bite in the evenings. Limp overcooked spaghetti on the hook during the day.
    Kaouthai, slow and cautious. You aren't a bite target but...
    Siamensis, like Kaouthai but glasses and more cautious.
    Ptyas. Hook when coiled. Butt smack with hook when cruising.
    Don't hook or grab:
    Green with a red tail. Tree viper. Too fast to dodge. Stop traffic until they leave.
    Saw scales - Russells. Strike zone with a snake attached. Stop traffic. Let them uncoil and leave.
    Hannah. Professional snipers. Stop traffic. Nudge with pole, They know the script. They will also tell you when you are pushing it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 6:52 PM
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  9. Jayandash

    Jayandash Arachnopeon

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    Right like it's bad to lean more like i suposed to know everything about every speciesoof snake if you don't have advice then why comment u know nothing of my handling skills and its not like they make books stating how certain species act in captivity
     
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  10. Jayandash

    Jayandash Arachnopeon

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    See I like copperheads but they are hard to keep hooked and I kinda wanna move to something new
     
  11. Jayandash

    Jayandash Arachnopeon

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    I don't mean it in the way of bare hand I use defender gloves hooks shields and tubes I know to never free hand
     
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  12. Dennis Nedry

    Dennis Nedry Arachnolord Active Member

    Just don’t get something that has a bad habit of rocketing out at your face like mambas and browns seem to enjoy doing
     
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  13. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    No doubt one of the reasons for the inquiry of this thread: problematic reptiles. One difficulty in ectotherms is temperature. Kept at the bottom of the survival scale and a snake that has spent several hours enjoying the sun... they might as well be two entirely different species or even genera.
    As a good example, around here Ahaetulla coming out of the damp leaf mold after a cool night couldn't catch it's own tail. They climb to the top of bushes and small trees where they warm up for a few hours then geckos beware. The majority of snake roadkills I see almost every day are in the early mornings. Come late afternoon most cross roads in a matter of a few seconds.

    Kaouthai (and a few ptyas) crowding to the top of the bushes in the morning. This place only does snake shows in the mornings. Gets too dangerous when they are warm.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 8:25 AM
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  14. MasterOogway

    MasterOogway Arachnopeon Active Member

    You've completely misunderstood my point. Lemme try and explain a different way. I have spent some time in the dart frog hobby. A common question over in that neck of the woods is "Can you mix species?" Which is immediately followed up by "Which species?" (this usually ends up like the "I WANT TO HANDLE MY TARANTULA DAILY" kinds of threads over here...) If that person had the necessary experience and husbandry skills to be able to do a mixed species tank in the first place, they'd already know what species would co-exist together and definitely wouldn't need to ask. It's similar here. If you really had the requisite experience and skills necessary in handling an animal that can very potentially kill you, you'd already know what species you'd want to start with. You'd know their habits, their ecology, their particular personalities. You *absolutely* would not need to ask. So again, especially in cases when you're working with an animal that can kill you; if you have to ask, you're not ready yet.

    I'm genuinely not trying to be douchey here, I'm trying to save your life. Take it from someone who has spent a few years now working with animals that want nothing more than to tear out my throat :)
     
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  15. Crone Returns

    Crone Returns Arachnoangel Active Member

    You haven't been training with vipers, so why do you want one? Not trying to be nasty, but I feel that you're lacking in information and training.
    If you can't keep a copperhead hooked, you're gonna be in deep doodoo with the much fiestier viper.
    Have you worked with cottonmouths yet?
     
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  16. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    I saw somewhere on the internet that had what sounded like good advice to me, but take it with a grain of salt, since I, too, have never kept venomous snakes. This person does, however.

    To paraphrase, venomous snakes are lethargic and slow to bite, because they're pretty confident in their own venom (obviously not true in all cases, but definitely true of copperheads and rattlesnakes). They're also fairly weak, since they aren't constrictors. Instead, start out with a big, mean, wild-caught rat snake. It will bite you until you figure out what to do with it, and if you can handle that handling a venomous snake will seem easy by comparison. Meanwhile, every time you get bitten, write a note on its tank saying "$50,000 in medical expenses and 24 hours wanting to be dead" (this being the symptoms for copperhead bite lol). Once you get to the point where you can confidently handle that without getting bitten, and if you haven't been discouraged by the sticky notes you've been writing yourself, try a copperhead.

    Also, what do you mean by a viper? Copperheads and rattlesnakes are both vipers, nested in the viper family Viperidae. Is this slang that I just don't know?
     
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  17. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I had a friend that after 10 years of spiderkeeping decided to keep snakes. He had a collection of snakes for a couple of years, among them a rattlesnake of some sort. He was bitten in the hand and this almost ended his life! I dunno if he was stupidly hanfdling it, i dont think so? He had skills and i dunno how this happend, but my message to you is.....Please do not handle them! Snakes that are venomous to the degree that a bite is lifethreatening should only be kept by very very experienced keepers!!!
     
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  18. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    Venomous snakes are slow and weak... Rather than go into the -slow- part of that let's just consider the fastest movements an animal can make are autonomic reflexive - as in a snake striking. As for weak, that's relative and irrelevant. WearER, as a general rule but there would be a slight difference in strength between say, a juvenile garter and a 15 foot Hannah.
    The advice about Ptyas is very sound. If you can go for an extended period of time without a single tag, you're not an expert handler but just darned lucky. Or in the case of someone like myself, a mega-chicken. Tags are an inevitable part of life with all snake handlers, with occasional rare exceptions.

    Slow? Test me, honeybunch. I can fly.
    (Anyone care to ID this snake? When it strikes it can come completely off the ground. A strike zone almost twice the length of it's body.)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 5:04 PM
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  19. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    I don't mean that they strike slowly, I mean that a copperhead often won't strike when a rat snake will, because the ratsnake's not conserving a venom resource.

    This is much less true of many Old World elapids, e.g.--Phillippine cobras are ready to bite constantly. And there's a reason I didn't say garter snakes--I meant something like a 6', muscular, irritable black racer.

    I don't think getting bitten is inevitable in keeping venomous animals. Viperkeeper, who breeds several species of venomous snake and has a YouTube channel where he shows the dozens of species he has, hasn't been bitten in decades. It might be a different story if you're catching wild snakes on the regular.
     
  20. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    @schmiggle Not contesting you at all. It's just the rule that with all animals, there are no rules. The harmless adorable arm decoration dog that after 12 years of fluffy niceness shredded her owners hand.
    Probably the most poignant was at the snake farm where the top expert, the owners 20+ year old son who has handled snakes long before he could walk suddenly shut the door and turned away from a containment. He walked over to a wall, sank down on his butt and put his head between his knees in shock. Others there inquired and he held up finger and thumb indicating distance. A viper missed by a fraction of an inch.
    Probably the only predictable rule is, if you dice, you're going to get tagged eventually. I'll cite Steve Irwin as proof numerous times. It's all a question of knowing with deity like omnipotence the difference between handling and dicing.
     
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