The first time I handled my T.............

Loaf

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
94
It kind of makes me feel like a poser when I say I have never handled my T's. I have held a couple, but not my own. Ive been in the hobby for about 3 + years and I think its about time. This weekend I am determined.
Anyone want to share stories about their "first time"?????? Maybe it will help build up my courage!
 

Moltar

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
5,450
I've been into it for a little over a year with 12 t's. I only handle my juvie rosea even now. I've tried a bit with a WC adult rosea i got through a pet rescue but she doesn't seem to like it at all. Just be slow, smooth and calm. Take your time and sit on the floor or a bed.

The juvie rosea is a little pussycat. I've never had a threat from her or any hairs even. I pay attention to her body language. If she tells me she's done then she's done.
 

Mushroom Spore

Arachnoemperor
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 14, 2005
Messages
4,598
There's nothing "poser" about it, and you shouldn't be handling for any reason other than that you feel you can do so safely, for both you and the invert.

Personally, I *don't* feel I can do so safely--I love my Ts, but my hands start to reflexively shake badly when interacting with them. That and I know full well my instinctive reaction when surprised with pain is to jerk away, which would not be good for the spider. So aside from rehousing, which only two of my tarantulas will ever need, I let them be. They prefer it that way, I'm sure. {D
 

dianedfisher

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Messages
331
T Handling

I have about 18 T's and also never handle them except in an emergency (to prevent an escape). I've never handled one over 4" and it was an Avic. sp that got away from me during a transfer. I don't think handling them is really necessary but if you want to you should. I would be careful to handle them over a large, cushioned area, would keep a container nearby for recapture and would have someone to help in case things get out of hand. As you know, some of them move VERY quickly. You may be thankful for a 2nd pair of hands and eyes. Good luck! Di
 

Mina

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
2,136
We don't really handle because I worry that the T will get hurt, if I want to handle an exotic, I stick to my snakes and birds. That being said, the first time I handled one of my T's was my first T, a big female wc rosehair. She was quite content to sit quietly on my husband's hand and then mine. She didn't move a whole lot and didn't seem to want to get off when we went to put her down. The next time my husband handled her, she attached some silk to his fingers and started trailing it up his arm. He said her claws almost felt like the hooks on velcro, they didn't hurt but you could feel them.
The only other T that we have handled on purpose is our big old female B. albo. We needed to rehouse her and so my husband just picked her up, she took off up his arm headed for his shoulder, he headed her off and put her in her new house.
If you are going to do it, sit on a bed so the T has something soft to fall on if it falls, and be careful. Remember, the trick to handling is be the substrate.
 

Rydog

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Messages
531
You really should handle them at least once, its such a cool feeling. I only handle slings like my areostriata I am building up courage to handle my pokies(I know its a big leap but I think I can handle it).
 

PDX_Tarantulas

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
44
What kind of T do you have? That might make all the difference. The most docile I've found are Brachypelma Smithi, followed closely by Brachypelma Emilia.

I've taken my largest B Smithi to school and spoke about them to 3rd and 4th graders. At the end of the 'show', all of the kids get to come up and pet the spider if they want to. At first, they tend to be a bit skittish, but as I show them and explain the different parts of the spider, they all want to get closer and see.

Take a while and learn how they respond to different stimuli and you move accordingly. Don't come at them from the front wiggling one finger, use an open hand instead and use the other hand to kind of 'push' them onto your hand. Spiders do not know they are on your hand if you do not move your fingers around while they are on it, so they will not see it as a threat. Quick movement, either fingers or hands will startle them and they might get defensive.

Any action that looks like a meal or a threatening move could evoke an unpleasant response, though there are a lot of things you can do that they are not programmed to respond to. In those circumstances, they will usually just stop moving and wait for you to either eat them or put them down.

Letting them walk on your hand is pretty cool, they don't tend to run away. If they do want to roam while on your hand, be sure to put your other hand out for them to walk on when they get to the edge of your first hand. Try not to let them crawl up your arm. That can get uncomfortable when you try to pick it up off your shoulder blade or something. If it's going somewhere you don't want it to go, gently nudge it a different direction or put out your other hand for it to walk on. Try not to let them onto clothing. They have little claws and can really be tenacious when you try to pick them up off of cloth. If they walk onto something made of cloth, it is best to try to nudge them onto something else, your hand or cardboard, something like that.

Also, if you gently pick them up with your thumb on one side and your forefinger on the other, between the 2 front legs and 2 back legs, they might squiggle around a little but will usually calm down real quick and wait to see what you're going to do with them. Generally, you don't want to do this if they are under about 3" long as they could get smashed very easily.

AND REMEMBER!! I AM TALKING ABOUT B SMITHI AND B EMILIA, THE MOST DOCILE T's MAYBE IN THE WHOLE WORLD! DO NOT TRY THIS WITH A GOLIATH BIRDEATER OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. Find out what kind of personality your spider has before you handle it.

And be sure to keep your hands away from your face when handling them and wash your hands when you are done handling them. You DON'T want to get the urticating hairs in your eyes or nose!

One more thing, too much handling is stressful for the spider. Once or twice a week is plenty.

Remember, they will not learn anything from you. You must learn from them. Learn how they respond to different stimuli. They will almost always respond the same way to the same stimuli. Don't do the stuff the stuff that excites them. Don't blow on them. It is equivalent to a loud explosion to you or me. Gets 'em all tense and stuff.

P.S. - They use little tiny and sharp claws when walking around. These are on the end of each leg. It might startle you at first when you feel the little 'pinpricks' as it walks, but get over that, and enjoy!

See claws on my A. seemani here: http://spiders.cdbpdx.com/NEWBIE/tn-600_New_07-05-07_Molt049.JPG

Have fun! PDX
 
Last edited:

Hamburglar

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
585
My first was an A. seemani at a pet store when I was in college. I was interested in buying one and the gal at the store said I should hold it first. I don't remember the store name but it wasn't a chain. It seemed liked they knew their stuff, at least more than I did at the time. Anyway, she was pretty insistant that I hold it before I buy it. Well I did and everything went great so I got her. My first tarantula too. Looking back I don't think forcing someone to handle a T before a purchase is the best policy, but I doubt I would have done it at all if she didn't.... good luck...
 

tmanjim

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 24, 2004
Messages
672
Handle with care. One of the best things about having T' s is handling. I have 21. I can handle 10 including Aphonopelmas, Grammastolas, and Brachy's. I have done at least 20 presentations for pre schools, public schools, daycares etc. I personally have never had a bad incident and the kids and adults as well enjoy it as much as I do. Again, make sure it is done with extreme care always. I say GO FOR IT.
 

dtknow

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 18, 2004
Messages
2,242
Noob speaking here, but I would reccomend handling most of the T's in your collection that are somewhat handleable at least once. You may have to deal with a situation later on and it will be easier if you've had prior experience with how they behave.

I am not the kind to pull T's out just to play with them all the time, but I have handled all of them(not saying much as I only have several ATM and all could be considered relatively docile), and it definetly has helped. If you get an escapee or one of them makes a run for it, you will have a better idea of what to do, even if it doesn't involve direct handling.
 

Varden

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
May 22, 2005
Messages
704
I've never yet been in a situation where I *had* to handle any of my Ts. I don't handle mine at all, although when Icecoldmilk came through, he picked up a couple of mine without any problems at all. It was kinda cool to watch, but I still won't handle them. Chances are good that if you're ever in a situation where you *have* to handle a T, the situation can be just as easily taken care of with a cup and stiff piece of cardboard.
 

jr47

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
597
I hardly ever handle mine but so far they are one's that are clearly not willing to be touched so I leave them alone.
I purchased ab A. Geroldi earlier today and quite to my surprize it was very calm and set on my hand and calmly walked around. It's three inch's long so as it matures I cant say it will be that way but it was pretty cool to have it crawling around on my hand and being so calm.
I do think if they dont like being bothered they should be left alone.
 

james41777

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Messages
431
I handled mine when i first bought my tarantula from a pet shop.."Rosehair Tarantula."..
hearing that it had no venom.. i was just too confident?..haha :)
anyways luckily she was slow and docile enough for me..lol

and about handling ur tarantula. yes like everybody says, you should try handling ur T..
one more thing, to be safe handle ur tarantula perhaps on a sofa or bed? JUST IN CASE u possibly drop her.

everything should be fine though :)
 

Becky

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
642
I got into T's by handling a g. rosea female at college in the animal care unit. Mine though.. i dont handle . My first T (G. aureostriata) i handled if i needed to, but now i never do. I dont handle any of my T's.. they're not pets and they're not play things, they're display animals that every1 should appreciate looking at... imo :)
 

spiders4life

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
339
I dont see any need for handling your spider.
Why stress i unnessesairily? Its not natural for a T to being handeled. T´s are hobby animals not pets.
I handle my T´s when it is stricktly nessesary (hardly ever).
With arround 150 spiders in my collection, i think i have to handle 4-5 times a year.
 

ReclusiveDemon

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
67
I handled them a little bit from time to time, mostly just when rehousing them or showing them off to people. The first time I handled my E. campestratus, I was captivated by it. Of course, the urge to pick them up dies down after a while. I still like picking up the docile ones and showing them to visitors. It's nice to be able to show people the beauty of spiders!
 

SpiritScale

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Messages
36
Nope, not gonna start handling my T's.
I personally think it's asking for bites, accidents/escapes, injuries to the spider or death to the spider.

All my guys are display only and hands-off, safer and easier that way.
I also know what my reaction would be to the sensation of a spider on my arm----I have a brain injury and some nerve damage which means anything tickly/creepy-crawly makes that entire section of my arm or hand to involuntarily spasm and jerk. Which means, if spider doesn't fall and get hurt, she's gonna be hella freaked out and upset....which probably means I get bit.
No thanks.

These spiders are venomous and even if not extremely potent to me that means hands-off and with a good dose of respect, caution and knowledge.
 

Keith B

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
341
I was 10 years old, and my eldest brother's best friend was caring for a G. porteri his friend couldn't keep anymore. He handled it, and shuffled it on to my hand, and that was that. I was so fascinated by it that he gave me the T. He was always a docile one, but sadly was killed by my cat before maturity. RIP Captain Jack, and Reds (my cat).
 

Mpmackenna

ArachnoNerd
Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Messages
149
I only have one T, but I have had her for 18 years. Never handled her and don't ever plan on it. Not scared, not worried I will hurt her, not concerned about a bite, I just don't feel the need. Seems like a risk to the spider and I don't see the point. You will not bond with your spider and it serves no other purpose that I can see. If you feel the need then knock yourself out. I don't think there is anything wrong with it either. I see keeping a T like keeping fish. Cool to look at and way more interesting than your average conversation piece but I don't feel the need to pet the fish in my tank and I don't feel the need to let my spider crawl on my hand. Just my two cents.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
Top