good first snake?

Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
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Jan 25, 2007
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hello all, i want to get a snake. it would be my first one. is a corn snake a good "first snake"? i eventually want to work up to owning some cool and colorful snakes, like even a coral snake or copperhead (but i definitely don't want to start with these). and i know there are colorful snakes that aren't "hot" too btw... so would a corn or a king or a hognose/ any of the above be good? and what would be a fairly inexpensive one to start off with?
 

DrGigglez666

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May 19, 2007
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yep

hello all, i want to get a snake. it would be my first one. is a corn snake a good "first snake"? i eventually want to work up to owning some cool and colorful snakes, like even a coral snake or copperhead (but i definitely don't want to start with these). and i know there are colorful snakes that aren't "hot" too btw... so would a corn or a king or a hognose/ any of the above be good? and what would be a fairly inexpensive one to start off with?

Yea all are good 2 start off with except copperheads and corals are ok as long as the marking are red to black insted of red to yellow remember this saying " red to yellow kill a fellow red to black your ok jack" and ull b fine but corns are colorful id get a python lil bigger then corns but are gettin cheaper by the day as many have told me. Im getin a new ball python next week from Chris N Ct!!
 

Widowman10

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Yea all are good 2 start off with except copperheads and corals are ok as long as the marking are red to black insted of red to yellow remember this saying " red to yellow kill a fellow red to black your ok jack" and ull b fine but corns are colorful id get a python lil bigger then corns but are gettin cheaper by the day as many have told me. Im getin a new ball python next week from Chris N Ct!!
hmmm, ok, i'll have to consider that.... thanks justin!
 

sick4x4

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well for a beginner, your really not limited to types.... since there is a lot of info out there, for a wide assortment of species. yet some would think otherwise:? i just dont share that thought lol...anyways, anything from the Lampropeltis species would be fine or even Elaphe as well, though they can be alittle nippy at first...also if you like exotics, old faithful would be a ball python even though they have been known to be finicky eaters. a sand boa would be another. you see you really aren't limited to a specific species, you just got to figure out in what direction you want to go...
 

beetleman

Arachnoking
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jungle carpet pythons,kingsnakes,rosey boas,there are alot of good first snakes to begin with, good luck:)
 

Midnightrdr456

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a lot of people even start with boas if you can handle a big snake. Male BCI's dont get huge, and also there are even smaller boas like Hogg Island males of that kind can stay very small (for a boa). Of course some any boa can have the potential of reaching 8-10' + but in general are some of the calmest snakes.


I have a female BCI thats just about 5.5' right now and by far the most docile snake ive ever seen, let alone owned. (but her mother was 10' and father 8' so they can get very large)

But all of those listed are great starters. Corns, Kings, Milks, Balls, small Boa species and even the boas species that have been mentioned like Rosy, Rubber, or Sand boas.
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
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I think corns make great first snakes. I've got a beautiful little candy-cane morph. She doesn't take up much space, no problems feeding her, she's calmed down for handling now . . . and she's shed four times since I got her! :D

The one thing you have to be sure of is that you have a very secure enclosure. It's not a matter of if your snake escapes, it's a matter of when. ;) I had my first escape in May and she turned up after around a month (in the dishwasher, no less!).
 

Gesticulator

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I know little to nothing about snakes in general, but my first two have been easy to care for and calm. Lampropeltis m. mexicana "mex mex" and colubrinus loveridgei "Kenyan sand boa" are the two I went for.
 

arrowhd

Arachnolord
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Dec 22, 2006
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I would also highly recommend species from the Lampropeltis family. I have owned a California kingsnake for the past 10 years. She is the first and only snake I have owned. When she is gone I will probably buy another kingsnake to replace her. Good luck! P.S. The comment about making sure you have a tight fitting/secure enclosure top is excellent advice.;)
 

hermitman64

Arachnosquire
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Well (and this is just from my own experience), I personally think that rosy boas, Kenyan sand boas, and California kingsnakes make great first snakes. My first was a rosy and she was an excellent captive.
 

Midnightrdr456

Arachnoprince
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more than a secured top, i prefer front opening vivs. It makes it easier to do cleaning (IMO) and also easier to secure. But with those too, make sure it is a good one with no room for the snake to escape.

Also this isnt to say that the top opening tanks are bad, just after having used (and still using) both, i just prefer the side opening.
 

dangerprone69

Arachnoknight
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Well it all depends on what you're comfortable with size wise. Kings and Corns tend to be nippy when they're young, but as long as you're handling them on a regular basis they calm down quickly.

Ball Pythons are my personal favorites but they are very very very shy. But they don't get very big (5 feet MAX) and are extremely docile.

Another suggestion I'd make is the Dumerils Boa. Another one that's very docile and doesn't get too big. These guys are ground boas from Madagascar and if you use a large substrate like bark chips they'll bury themselves in it so that only their head pokes out. Amazing pattern too.

Whatever you do decide on, do as much research as possible before you get the snake!
 

lostriverdoc

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At the moment I have four of the above mentioned snakes. Two Corns,an Arizona Mt. King and a recently aquired Ball Python. All are easy to keep and they all get about the same 4+ft. length. You can't go wrong with any of the above. I'm thinking maybe a Boa next.:drool:
 

SPJ

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A children's python.

Stays small, eats great, and easily handled. Plus they are tolerant of cooler temps and newbie husbandry mistakes.

Great little pythons IMO.
 

zimbu

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Two recommendations I would make:

1) If you buy a neonate, make sure it's eating before you buy it.

2) Ball pythons are great, but even well established ones like to go on extended fasts sometimes. Usually not unhealthy for the snake at all, but extremely nerve wracking for the new snake owner sometimes :p.
 

cacoseraph

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i just recently got a corn snake as my first (well, i had two garters when i was a kid, but i don't really count them) and i am well pleased with it. it is considerably more work than a bug (like 10-30 bugs' worth of work, i would say) but there is a whole level of emotional interaction that is pretty much completely absent with my bugs

as mine was eating well for the person i got it from i haven't had to worry about a picky eater... but from everything i have read it looks like a first snake that is a picky eater would have given me another ulcer =P
 

sidguppy

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Jul 6, 2007
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Still wonder why Gathersnakes are so overlooked.....

I currently keep a healthy foursome of Thamnophis radix for 2 years now, and after last winter's hibernation (my first ever "home made" hibernation effort of any pet) the result was a bunch of these:




I started out with 3 juveniles, wich unfortunately turned out to be 3 males. then I got track of a couple of Thamnophis breeders (both in the hobby!), traded 1 male for a female, bought an extra female and last november put them in hibernation for a month or 2.

I like other snakes as well (except big ones, too sluggish for my taste), but most rodent-eaters are very inactive during the day. it gets more lively in the evenings, but I like my pets visible and up and running. Gathers do just that.

also feeding couldn't be more easy! I definitely don't like rodents ( me being allergic to god knows what doesn't help here either), but these feed on dead smelt from a dish (!) that I treat with vitamins, live fishes from the waterbowl and the occasional earthworm.

and they handle very easy. I've seen bitten once by the biggest female, but that was my own fault, as I still had unwashed 'fishy' hands from handling the food. that snake's a real pig anyway.

I keep mine in a tank about 80cm x 40 cm x 40 cm, but they're getting too big, so after the summer they're having a new tank wich is a four footer.
the substrate is woodshavings for now, but i prefer that nice looking "repti-bark" stuff, cause the dark color makes the snakes stand out very nice. I use a reptile-bulb too, cause a snake that sunbathes might need good light (most snakes are nocturnal and can do without, these are diurnal), a big 1 foot dogbowl as 'bath/drink pool' wich is easy to clean and several branches and plastic plants too. all easy to clean and/or replace.

I hear people saying "fish eating snakes stink", well.....if you keep the enclosure clean they don't stink at all. the cage just smells of woodshavings.

in all, very easy to keep, easy to tame (handfeeding), active when you're up and about and they don't outgrow the house (wich a reticulated python does).
;)
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
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Still wonder why Gathersnakes are so overlooked.....
People like me remember childhood memories of catching them only to have them release the worst stink ever all over your hands. :eek:

They are pretty, though.
 

sidguppy

Arachnopeon
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Jul 6, 2007
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yes, they can stink, but I think that's the wild ones you have to catch.

over here in Europe almost all gathers are captive bred and hence used to humans. they rarely stink, if ever

the native snakes we have that related to them (Natrix spp) DO stink when you catch them and/or bite :D
 
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