Taming a snake

Salamanderhead

Arachnobaron
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Aug 30, 2009
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I read that a good method of taming a snake is to feed it in another enclosure/ tub. This way it will associate the handling with getting a meal after. However I read that you shouldn't handle a snake after it eats because it can regurgitate the food.

My question is, if I were to place my florida king snake into a feeding tub, how would I put it back into it's aquarium after it eats?
 

stevetastic

Arachnodemon
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Jul 29, 2008
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Its more that you shouldn't extensively hold a snake after feeding. It is fine to just transfer it from the bin to the enclosure. And this is not "taming" a snake. Its conditioning it to not associate its cage with food so it doesn't bite hands that may enter.
 

Salamanderhead

Arachnobaron
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Well that makes more sense. I know my snake was fairly tame when I first got it. I could handle it no problem. It didn't seem to mind at all. I stopped handling it for a few months and after that when I tried, it's like it was wild. It went beserk and even rattled it's tail.
I've held it a couple times since then and it hasn't been as upset but it still tries to avoid my hands.
Once I have it picked up it tries to escape for a few seconds and then seems to relax and just smell around.
 

the toe cutter

Arachnobaron
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Mar 20, 2010
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Snakes are like people in that some are just plain nasty and some don't really much mind being handled occasionally. Now only handling a snake to feed it, it will learn that you opening the cage and handling it means food and react appropriately. That is why is good practice to not develop a a stringent feeding schedule for the same reason and vary it occasionally. Hand = Food is a not a good association unless you enjoy getting bitten. Handling is the only real way to get an animal used to you, I would not really call this taming by any means, but as with nost animals its up to the individual. Tub feeding is more for ensuring that your animal doesn't get debris in its mouth that would cause possible infections or impactions and other various incidents associated with whatever substrate you are using. I believe the usual rule of thumb is leave the snake in the tub for 24hrs then transfer back to its enclosure. Personally I haven't much seen regurgitation a few hours after ingestion of the prey item. Especially with a Lampropeltis sp. they can keep anything down for the most part. Hope that helps
 

Salamanderhead

Arachnobaron
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It does, thanks.
I'll stick with feeding it in it's enclosure as I always did and just try to handle it more often to get it more comfortable with me again.
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
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May 1, 2004
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I don't tub-feed most of my snakes, but use a towel or snake hook to pick them up when I want to handle them, and they DO quickly learn the difference between me opening their cages to pick them up, and opening their cages to feed them. As Toe Cutter said, snakes can be conditioned to accept handling, and even appear to enjoy it, because they learn that you aren't going to hurt them, but many snakes simply aren't prone to biting from the start, and readily accept handling without biting, musking(which can be worse than biting IMO) or struggling to flee. There are others, though, that no matter what you do, will never be handleable and will always try to bite. I've got an Eastern Garter Snake that I've had since she was too tiny to even eat a whole earthworm, who absolutely hates being picked up and held, and will do whatever she can to avoid it, including biting. I've got big Banded Water Snakes, a species with a reputation for having a nasty disposition, which have NEVER attempted to bite, never attempt to flee when being held or picked up, and have never musked me(knock on wood). When it comes to handling, they are one evolutionary step above a stuffed toy animal! They are great "PR" snakes in that even people who are scared of snakes soon calm down around these animals and want to touch them, since the snakes just don't do anything that causes their fear to escalate, but of course, those people have never seen one of my Water Snakes EAT! Virtually all bites I've had from Water Snakes have been feeding responses, because I got my hand too close while they were eating. They go into a "feeding frenzy" mode at the scent of food, and anything that moves or is shiny(like a fish...or my rings)is fair game. The feeding response has nothing to do with being "tame" or not. Any other time, these are simply the gentlest snakes you can imagine.

pitbulllady
 

thumpersalley

Roach Lovers Mom
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I grew up with venomus snakes & how to care for them, we always fed them in their enclosure. We werent going to be handling them so why move them?

Then I went to work at another facility where they had venomous snakes & they placed them in tubs to feed so they wouldnt strike when you tonged them.

Now when I feed my own non venomous snakes, I always feed them in their enclosures because when I take them out for presentations, I dont want them to associate being taken out of the enclosure with with food & biting. I really dont see the reason for taking them out of the enclosure any longer to feed them. If you are going to handle them, you take them out with a hook or tongs & handle them.

I handle mine on Friday, Sat. & Sunday. Monday they are getting testy about wanting food which is fed on Tuesday. Wed. & Thursday they are digesting. Its working great for me. I think it depends on what purpose you have the snakes for & that will dictate what works best for you. Kim
 
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