Snake questions/ Children's Python

Lorgakor

Arachnomom
Staff member
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
2,368
Hello all,
I am thinking of possibly getting my first snake. It won't be anytime too soon due to nowhere to put it right now, but I would like to gather as much info in the meantime as I can. Hopefully ya'll can help me with my questions. I'm going to ask the same ones on several different forums so that I can get as much info as I can.

The snake I've decided on is the Children's Python. It stays small, it is fairly docile from what I've read and I like the look of a python/boa better than corn snakes, king snakes and milk snakes. The ball python was another option but their girth puts me off, short and stubby. As well as the feeding problems and shyness. I also like the fact that it will never need prey bigger than an adult mouse.

My questions are,

1. I've read different things about how often to feed a snake, from twice a week to once every 10 to 14 days. Does the time between feedings differ throughout the lifecycle of the snake? For example do they eat more often when they are younger?

2. How often does a small python defecate (obviously a broad question, but just looking for a general idea) and does it smell alot?

3. I know that Aspen shavings are the recommended substrate, how often would this need to be cleaned out completely? Is spot cleaning easy to do, like scooping a litter box?

4. What are the benefits of getting a male over a female? Or vice versa? Is the temperament any different between the two? I know that females get bigger, but other than that are there any differences? Life span?

5. I also read somewhere that you are supposed to let the snake know you are there before reaching in to grab it to take it out. How does one do this? Or do you just reach in and grab it?

6. Feeding in or out of the cage? I would not want the snake to ingest any substrate, so would I put a container in its cage to feed it in so that it can crawl into/out of the feeding container in its own time? Or is taking the snake completely out of its cage to feed a better option? I would not want my snake to become aggressive in its cage.

7. Changing the water. I know with a couple of tarantulas I've had, I've had to use forceps to grab the water dish due to a nasty disposition. Is it okay to just stick your hand in the snake cage to remove the water? Do they just snap at hands like that? Would it come out of its hide to attack, or could I just put something across the hide entrane while doing cage maintenance like that? Is it even necessary? Is tap water okay?

8. How big are the teeth on a snake that size? I read they get between 2-3 feet, but 3 feet would be a pretty large one. Would a bite break the skin and hurt like the dickens, or is it not such a big deal?

9. This one is important. What are the chances the snake would musk on me? I've caught garter snakes before, and I tell you the scent of snake musk is one of the worst things I've ever smelled, and you just can't get it off! Do pythons do this? I've read that kingsnakes/milksnakes do, but what about cornsnakes? Or other boas and pythons? Do they do this in the cage? Does normal potty behaviour smell like that?

10. Do they need to be in a quiet location? For example would being in a living room with the TV on, lights on, cats around looking in the cage be too much of a stressful environment? Or do they need to be in more of a quiet location. Also how important is it for them to see the natural daylight/sunlight? Is this important for their well being to be able to tell night/day?

11. Besides the snake, the cage, lid, heat mat, water dish, substrate, branches and hides, temp/humidity guages, forceps/tongs and feeding container are there any other items one would need to have?

12. How long do pinkies/mice stay good in the freezer?

I think that is it. I am looking forward to your replies, and thanks for reading my long post!:)
 

Zarathustra

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
106
Hello all,
I am thinking of possibly getting my first snake. It won't be anytime too soon due to nowhere to put it right now, but I would like to gather as much info in the meantime as I can. Hopefully ya'll can help me with my questions. I'm going to ask the same ones on several different forums so that I can get as much info as I can.

The snake I've decided on is the Children's Python. It stays small, it is fairly docile from what I've read and I like the look of a python/boa better than corn snakes, king snakes and milk snakes. The ball python was another option but their girth puts me off, short and stubby. As well as the feeding problems and shyness. I also like the fact that it will never need prey bigger than an adult mouse.

My questions are,

1. I've read different things about how often to feed a snake, from twice a week to once every 10 to 14 days. Does the time between feedings differ throughout the lifecycle of the snake? For example do they eat more often when they are younger?

2. How often does a small python defecate (obviously a broad question, but just looking for a general idea) and does it smell alot?

3. I know that Aspen shavings are the recommended substrate, how often would this need to be cleaned out completely? Is spot cleaning easy to do, like scooping a litter box?

4. What are the benefits of getting a male over a female? Or vice versa? Is the temperament any different between the two? I know that females get bigger, but other than that are there any differences? Life span?

5. I also read somewhere that you are supposed to let the snake know you are there before reaching in to grab it to take it out. How does one do this? Or do you just reach in and grab it?

6. Feeding in or out of the cage? I would not want the snake to ingest any substrate, so would I put a container in its cage to feed it in so that it can crawl into/out of the feeding container in its own time? Or is taking the snake completely out of its cage to feed a better option? I would not want my snake to become aggressive in its cage.

7. Changing the water. I know with a couple of tarantulas I've had, I've had to use forceps to grab the water dish due to a nasty disposition. Is it okay to just stick your hand in the snake cage to remove the water? Do they just snap at hands like that? Would it come out of its hide to attack, or could I just put something across the hide entrane while doing cage maintenance like that? Is it even necessary? Is tap water okay?

8. How big are the teeth on a snake that size? I read they get between 2-3 feet, but 3 feet would be a pretty large one. Would a bite break the skin and hurt like the dickens, or is it not such a big deal?

9. This one is important. What are the chances the snake would musk on me? I've caught garter snakes before, and I tell you the scent of snake musk is one of the worst things I've ever smelled, and you just can't get it off! Do pythons do this? I've read that kingsnakes/milksnakes do, but what about cornsnakes? Or other boas and pythons? Do they do this in the cage? Does normal potty behaviour smell like that?

10. Do they need to be in a quiet location? For example would being in a living room with the TV on, lights on, cats around looking in the cage be too much of a stressful environment? Or do they need to be in more of a quiet location. Also how important is it for them to see the natural daylight/sunlight? Is this important for their well being to be able to tell night/day?

11. Besides the snake, the cage, lid, heat mat, water dish, substrate, branches and hides, temp/humidity guages, forceps/tongs and feeding container are there any other items one would need to have?

12. How long do pinkies/mice stay good in the freezer?

I think that is it. I am looking forward to your replies, and thanks for reading my long post!:)
Let’s see. I will do the best I can to answer.

1) Unless you are power feeding, I think once a week is just fine. For a Childrens Python, I think once a week should be fine for his whole lifespan. It could also depend on the size of the meal. I have a Spotted Python, which is similar to the Childrens, and one mouse a week is doing his body good.
2) If you feed them once a week, they will crap once a week, usually.
3) You can do spot cleaning, but I would do a full cleaning every two weeks or so. I use paper towels, because I like things to be as clean as possible at all times, but that’s just me.
4) For the purposes of having a pet, I would say there is no difference between a male and female.
5) It depends on the snake’s personality. My black milk is an absolute kitten, and wouldn’t hurt a fly, so I just grab her when I want. For others, I might just nudge them with their hide, or just slowly pick them up by the lower end of their bodies.
6) Because I don’t like it when snakes ingest anything other than food, I would feed him out of the cage, or in a separate container in the cage.
7) Again, I would say it depends on the personality of the snake. I would say most of the time they hide, or just watch. Unless they are hungry.:)
8) Small teeth. I might break the skin, but barely. Have you ever seen those weeds with the spikey balls that stick to everything? It feels like one of those is stuck to your skin. I wouldn’t even worry about it.
9) The only snakes that have ever musked me were wild caught garter snakes, and California kingsnakes. I have never been musked by a python, so I think you’re safe.
10) I read varying opinions on natural sunlight for snakes. Some think it is a must, some don’t. I leave my snakes in a room that receives natural sunlight, but they are not directly in it. I think the snake will be fine in any room of the house as long as there is nothing really crazy going on.
11) There is this cleaning solution for reptile cages that is sold in pet stores. I can’t remember who makes it, but it’s green and comes in a spay bottle. It goes a long way for controlling odor in the cage, and over all hygiene.
12) I never really tested it, but I would say a couple months at least.
 

Lorgakor

Arachnomom
Staff member
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
2,368
Thank you very much for the great reply, that information will help alot!:)

I'm very glad to hear that they don't musk, if they did that would probably be enough to make me change my mind. That smell is horrendous!:D
 

moose35

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
May 14, 2005
Messages
1,352
Zarathustra great reply....
awsome anwsers
childrens pythons are cool they are the shoebox python
 
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