New to handling

andrewz17

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Messages
16
Hey, Im a new tarantula owner and I have a Mexican Red Leg.
It's about 2" and ive had it for 2 weeks now.
I am very anxious to handle it and i feel very comfortable, since its my first tarantula, i have a few questions.

What is the first sign i should look for if the spider is in the right mood?
(ive read that you just gently touch the back leg, and if it moves forward very calm then it can be handled easily, is this true?)

Some other times i tried to touch the back leg it started to flick the hairs so i didnt try.

And ive read people saying how their T feels happy
Is there a way to tell the mood of your spider?
Does my T really enjoy his environment?
How do i know if my T is hungry?
 

The Spider Faery

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
696
If it's kicking hairs, it sees you as a threat. If it just calmly moves foward or doesn't move at all when you touch the abdomen or back legs, then it's in a gentle 'mood'.

I would suggest putting your hand down in front of it and letting it walk across your hand flat on the ground before picking it up, just to get a feel for it.
 
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KoriTamashii

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
420
This isn't really the place to ask about handling... Many of the users here do not condone handling, as it provides no benefit for you or for the animal. It only creates an opportunity for one or both of you to get hurt.
 

andrewz17

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Messages
16
If it's kicking hairs, it sees you as a threat. If it just calmly moves foward or doesn't move at all when you touch the abdomen or back legs, then it's in a gentle 'mood'.

I would suggest putting your hand down in front of it and letting it walk across your hand flat on the ground before picking it up, just to get a feel for it.
Thanks cyanocean, ill give that a try, and whats the best way to transfer the T to the ground? just direct it up the side into a shallow container with a lid?
 

The Spider Faery

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
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Apr 19, 2009
Messages
696
Thanks cyanocean, ill give that a try, and whats the best way to transfer the T to the ground? just direct it up the side into a shallow container with a lid?
Or you could retrieve it into a catch cup while it's still in the cage and transfer it to the floor. If you try to get it to climb up the side of the cage, you might find yourself 'handling' it before you're ready. My E. campestratus climbed up the side of the cage while I was doing maintenance and was dangling, trying to balance on the edge and not being successful, so out of fear it would fall, I 'caught it' and handled it back into the cage. Like KoriTamashii said, most people don't condone handling their T's, but it's useful to be comfortable with it, especially in case you need to for unexpected circumstances. Also, I think it's human nature to want to experience it at least once. Some T's are more at ease with handling than others. A Mexican Red Leg should be fine...Just don't do it on a daily basis.
 

hassman789

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
577
Another thing. Stay low!!!!!!! I (and everyone else) can't stress that enough. Even a small fall can mean the end of your tarantulas life. And I hope that no one starts a debate on this thread lol. My handling thread a while back turned alittle heated. :eek: have fun with your tarantula and remember the rules and responsibility. :)
 

ArachnoYak

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
224
Try a firmer touch. She may have responded that way because you were too gentle. You'll find on this board that there are a few very influential members and a lot of their followers that are adamantly against handling because it's something they're not comfortable with. Their reasoning is unjustified and their argument is weak. It's your spider, do what you want with it. Just approach the spider with confidence and steady hands and you'll do alright. And if it is a terrestrial spider, the closer to the ground you are during handling the better.
 

ArachnoYak

Arachnoknight
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Jul 12, 2007
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Proof, please. Or you don't really have the right to make generalizations like that.

Please out of the respect for the op don't turn this into a handling debate. You assert that handling harms them, then the burden of proof rests upon your shoulders, not mine. Show me empirical evidence, or any evidence for that matter, that shows proper handling causes harm.
 

KoriTamashii

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
420
Please out of the respect for the op don't turn this into a handling debate. You assert that handling harms them, then the burden of proof rests upon your shoulders, not mine. Show me empirical evidence, or any evidence for that matter, that shows proper handling causes harm.
You're the one that made the rash generalization.

I never at any point said that it harmed them, I said that it creates an opportunity for harm. Not the same thing.

Plus... you joined a month ago. And have a handful of posts. Why am I bothering with you?
 

ArachnoYak

Arachnoknight
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Jul 12, 2007
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I never at any point said that it harmed them, I said that it creates an opportunity for harm. Not the same thing.
Actually you are stating your belief that only harm can result, so, yes, it is the same thing.

It only creates an opportunity for one or both of you to get hurt.
It's obvious by your signature that you're a follower and not a leader anyway. If you want to discuss this further I'd prefer pm. Still waiting for the evidence.
 

Venom

Arachnoprince
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Another thing. Stay low!!!!!!! I (and everyone else) can't stress that enough. Even a small fall can mean the end of your tarantulas life.
I agree, handling a tarantula is best done at or near ground level, or while seated on a couch/ futon, etc. A short fall with a soft landing is what you want to ensure. That way, the tarantula is safe, and YOU are not NERVOUS. Believe me, nervous handlers WILL agitate the tarantula, and it just gets bad from there.

Stay calm, don't make any sudden movements. Don't blow on the spider--tarantulas HATE that and it makes them very agitated. Try not to let it crawl so far up your arm that you can't pull it off. You don't want it crawling on your back where you can't see or manipulate it.

This isn't really the place to ask about handling... Many of the users here do not condone handling, as it provides no benefit for you or for the animal. It only creates an opportunity for one or both of you to get hurt.
Actually, this IS the place to discuss handling. It's the "Tarantula Questions and Discussions forum." Where else would he discuss it? It's an honest, substantive question...so not appropriate for the "Tarantula Chat" forum.

And to say that handling provides no benefit to the keeper is subjective. If HE enjoys handling...that enjoyment is a benefit to him. Face it, we don't keep tarantulas simply to be a benefit to their existence. We keep tarantulas because WE ENJOY IT. So...enjoy your tarantula! Just be aware that you are taking a slight to moderate risk to your investment. If you handle the spider correctly, no harm should be done.

But....even if his purpose in buying the tarantula were to barbecue it, that would be his right. There's nothing morally wrong with handling a spider. The animal was bred for the pet trade, and exists to please its keeper. End of story.
 

advan

oOOo
Staff member
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Messages
2,041
The animal was bred for the pet trade, and exists to please its keeper.
Funny, I have a few spiders that were bred specifically to deter handling.{D
Don't handle, one them will unexpectedly "handle" you one day. It only seems to happen during rehoming day. :?Why?:? It is the only day they are "allowed" out of their cages.:D Snap a few pics, coax into new home, feed, water and admire.:drool: and repeat.
 

Mad Hatter

Arachnofriend
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May 6, 2004
Messages
324
I agree, handling a tarantula is best done at or near ground level, or while seated on a couch/ futon, etc. A short fall with a soft landing is what you want to ensure. That way, the tarantula is safe, and YOU are not NERVOUS. Believe me, nervous handlers WILL agitate the tarantula, and it just gets bad from there.

Stay calm, don't make any sudden movements. Don't blow on the spider--tarantulas HATE that and it makes them very agitated. Try not to let it crawl so far up your arm that you can't pull it off. You don't want it crawling on your back where you can't see or manipulate it.



Actually, this IS the place to discuss handling. It's the "Tarantula Questions and Discussions forum." Where else would he discuss it? It's an honest, substantive question...so not appropriate for the "Tarantula Chat" forum.

And to say that handling provides no benefit to the keeper is subjective. If HE enjoys handling...that enjoyment is a benefit to him. Face it, we don't keep tarantulas simply to be a benefit to their existence. We keep tarantulas because WE ENJOY IT. So...enjoy your tarantula! Just be aware that you are taking a slight to moderate risk to your investment. If you handle the spider correctly, no harm should be done.

+1
Nicely put, Venom.

Also, clicky. ;) (To make my post a bit more helpful than just applauding a fellow member on a post.)
 

jbm150

Arachnoprince
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Mar 18, 2009
Messages
1,651
If you really want to hold it and it seems defensive in its enclosure, try using a catch cup and transfer it into a small enclosure (or keep it in the catch cup) for about 10-15 minutes. They'll often calm down and be handleable.

Just be reasonable with it, don't have in mind you're going to hold it for 30 minutes (some can be) or rough house with it. Get to know it first and if it seems too uncomfortable with the whole thing, perhaps it isn't meant to be.

Know you're both at risk. It might bite you as a means of holding on if it feels its losing its grip. Keep it very low and also keep in mind they can move quickly in short bursts and get into unwanted places (shoulders, back, head, under the couch, etc), especially at that size. Its yours to do what you want but keep in mind, you're making the decision to put it at risk. I only hold my docile ones very rarely but I enjoy it.
 

andrewz17

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Messages
16
Thanks everyone, and you Venom, i agree with you totally, and ill take the advice, I wasnt sure how much pressure to use while touching the leg, i know they are very delicate, so i tried to be very gentle.
&
If you dont have an ANSWER for MY question, then please dont give me your opinion on the subject, if i wanted that i would have asked.
thank you
 

Venom

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 21, 2002
Messages
1,709
Andrew,

I just brush the leg hairs. You don't need to push against the leg itself usually. ( if you have a fluffy tarantula that is...and yours should have long enough leg hairs to do this). The leg hairs are sensory organs, so they actually detect the pressure better than pushing on (moving) the leg itself.

Another great way to get a tarantula to move forward is to scratch the ground behind it. I take my fore-finger and thumb, and in a pinching/ scraping motion scratch the surface of the ground (or whatever the T is resting on), and that gets the tarantula's attention to move away from the vibrations. They react as though something is coming up behind them, and so crawl away from it. (this bears a slight risk of getting haired...so keep your face away when doing this).

One thing you will want to be aware of while handling the tarantula is that if startled or anxious, it WILL embed its claws in your skin. This doesn't hurt, but it prickles a bit ( I think it feels kinda cool...). The only problem is that the spider is then immobile, and if you want to directly pick it up or prod it into your hand, it won't budge. The way you disengage the claws is to slide your finger underneath the footpad, coming from behind the legs. ( you are trying to lift the claws, rather than pull against them, so you need to come from behind the foot because the claws are curved.)

If you turn your hand over slowly (holding your hand a short distance above something soft), you will feel the tarantula embed its claws in you, so as to cling to your skin even when upside down. (this makes for a great demonstration when showing others your tarantula....but then requires that you either: brush the spider's leg-hairs to induce it to move on its own, or do disengage the claws yourself by the way I told you.

I hope that helps, and I hope you thoroughly enjoy handling your animal. :)
 

andrewz17

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Messages
16
Thanks again Venom!

I always seen the motion of scratching the ground (on youtube vids) I just wasnt sure the technique or the reason behind it. I havent been hit by the hairs yet, nor have I actually seen them fly, so I dont know if I will have a reaction or not.

Hmm I havent read anything about the claws, but thanks for that heads up! Ive heard if the T is about to fall it will use its fangs to grab on, Im not too worried yet about getting bit (with species I have, Ive read that they barely bite but then again each one is different), but I will still be very calm & gentle, try to keep my composure if it gets a sudden burst and decides to run.

This will be an experience, I like the fact that they can be handled, how they each can have a personality, and ya makes a great way to show them off and take pics!
 

KoriTamashii

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
420
Actually you are stating your belief that only harm can result, so, yes, it is the same thing.



It's obvious by your signature that you're a follower and not a leader anyway. If you want to discuss this further I'd prefer pm. Still waiting for the evidence.
There's no need to make assumptions about my personality. You don't know me.

As for this thread... Nobody can predict the behavior of a tarantula one hundred percent of the time. I see it as tempting fate. Personally, I don't think there's any benefit to the owner in handling. If you want something fluffy and cuddly, get a kitty.
 

gmrpnk21

Arachnobaron
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
319
Man it seems that a lot of these threads get hostile! I actually learned a new technique from this post, so for that I'm thankful. I enjoy the little hooks as they walk and they tickle a bit :).
 
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