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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2005, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Leigh's New Snakes

Well, we went to our favorite new reptile store today and got Leigh (my daughter, who's 4 today) her two snakes that she has been looking forward to. We were planning on getting her two green roughs, as they take crickets, which Leigh wanted. But, being as it's spring time around here and they are all wild caught, they weren't anywhere to be found. So, we got two ribbon snakes. Leigh loves them. Their names are Shrek and Fiona. They have a nice little set up in her room. We were holding them earlier and one of them turned on me and chomped hard. Do you think that just more handling will help that? I'll hold them all day long if it will help. I love to hold them, and also want them more gentle so Leigh can hold them with me there, instead of me holding them with her sitting there watching. ANy other tips would be great. Also, should I give them anything besides goldfish to eat? Anyone got any good websites to check out?

Becky
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2005, 08:21 PM
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Hi Becky,
Just out of curiosity, why did you choose Ribbon snakes?

We've had some at the zoo, and I didn't particulary care for them. One of ours was a biter, never outgrew it. The others would occasionally "slime" or "musk" us. They were always a bit on the nervous side. I'd make sure that they had a substrate that they could hide in. We fed ours fish and pinkie mice. Also used a bit of vitamins on their diet occasionally too.

I'm sure if you google "ribbon snake caresheet" you get plenty of info.

Two of my favorite herp sites are:

http://kingsnake.com/

and

http://www.anapsid.org/

Good Luck!



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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2005, 10:17 PM
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Ribbons are typically pretty flighty. Biting and musking is not at all an unusual behaviour, especially for an animal that has just been aquired and is stressed. Changing environments is very hard on their systems, and because of that, right now is really no gauge of their temperment. Give them a couple weeks to settle in to their cage. Make sure it has plenty of hiding places so they can feel safe. Then try handling them and see what happens. Generally they become tolerant of handling with patience, but it really can't be pushed.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2005, 10:40 PM
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http://www.herpcenter.com Best reptile site on the web

Hey, it's better than Slimyfeathery, right?

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2005, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the reason that we got ribbon snakes is actually a funny story. We were going to get corn snakes, but my mom was purchasing them, and thought $40 was a little much to spend for a 4 year old. We had planned on green rough snakes, but when we held them, Leigh got bit by one. So, suddenly green ones are bad, and striped ones are good. Plus, the size and feed are much more to my husband's liking (he hates snakes of all kinds).
As far as them being totally freaked out by the change, I understand that. They have a few different hiding spots, and we got the Forest Bark stuff that was recommended, and they can burrow in very well. Should I wait a couple of weeks to try and handle them again, or should I just hold them for smaller amounts of time every day? Maybe 5 minutes a couple times a day? I am trying to do as much research as possible. I just really want to do right by these guys, and make them as happy and comfortable as possible, for them as well as us. I'll tell ya, I didn't expect the bite to hurt as long as it did after he bit me. I'm glad it was me and not the munchkin.

Becky
Proud Mommy to Sammi and Leigh (my girls)

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2005, 05:43 AM
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I'd give them the time off, then gradually introduce yourselves. You'll just have to judge for yourself how fast to go, and how much handling they will tolerate. ..especially by a 4 yr old.

Ribbons, while they are a commonly kept snake in some areas, in general, are not noted for being a snake that likes a lot of handling. So, like Rav said earlier, try not to push them.

I'm glad you all were smart enough to not start off with a boa or python for her. Good thinking to about taking the adult size and diet into account. You'd be amazed at how many people never give that a second thought.

Also, I think you made the right decision to avoid the Rough Green. That can be another nervous snake that doesn't appreciate handling very much. Plus, because they are arboreal, you'd need branches and whatnot in their enclosure. They are a great display snake, but not one I'd want to get out regularly.

Everybody has their preferences about good pet snakes. I've always preferred to start folks off with milksnakes. They seem a little more tolerant of mishandling and some of them seem to really like being held.

But in the end, every snake/owner combo is different. Good Luck with yours!



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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2005, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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I took your advice, thanks to you all. I fed Shrek and Fiona on monday (5 fish each, yummy). I gave them all week to digest and get a little better settled in. I tried holding them tonight, and they are totally different snakes. Let me grab them (a little fight there, but no biggie), and then when I held them they calmed down quick. Shrek (Leigh says that who it was anyways) actually curled around my arm and settled quickly. I'll try and get one of my pics cropped down to the right size and post it soon.

Becky
Proud Mommy to Sammi and Leigh (my girls)

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