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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-09-2005, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Question New snakes?

We are looking to get a snake for my daughter for her birthday,and am doing some research online and wanted to get your opinions. We had a garter snake for a while, and we all enjoyed that, so we would like something comparable. We looked at corns and ball pythons, but then saw some ribbons and green roughs today that seem much more like what we are looking for. They are less expensive, easier to feed (the kids might have a problem feeding pinkies), and tend to stay smaller than the others. The guy at the pet store was fairly helpful, but I want to do a lot of research before I buy. He kept ribbons and green roughs in a cage together. We were debating on doing this ourselves. I just wanted to know your opinions and also any good sites for research. Thanks so much in advance. This site is the best.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-09-2005, 10:38 AM
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As a general rule with snakes, they should be kept solitairy unless breeding. Snakes are opportunistic feeders, and if hungry enough, can even see cagemates as potential food. I have heard far too many horror stories about cannibalization in all manner of species. I've even heard of people keeping two snakes together for years with no problems, and then suddenly one day, down the hatch. Its just safer not to.

Corn snakes typically make great pets. They are tolerant of handling, generally do not bite, and are of a good size that even around children you don't really have to worry about them too much. Unfortunately, you'll only be feeding them pinkies for about 6 months of their life. As adults, they need larger food items. Adult mice or even small rats depending on the size of the snake. Ball pythons also fit into the same boat, but usually need even larger food items. My adults are eating medium rats right now.

I personally like the checkered garter snake. Pretty pattern, typically calm disposition, even in wild ones that I've found. Generally aren't picky about what they eat, from amphibians, fish, earthworms, to rodents if you choose. Most ribbon snakes are the same way, but have a little more flakey temperment and are more squirmy. Though they're certainly not often biters unless they have no other choice. If you just stick 'ribbon snake care' into Google, it should give you many different care sheets.

What to keep though is such a matter of personal preference.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-10-2005, 10:29 PM
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Another thing to keep in mind: while ribbon snakes are nice and all because they like pinkie alternatives they cannot survive on fish alone as a food source. They will need the nutrients of a pinkie every now and then or they will have a significantly shorter lifespan. Pet shop owners like to tell customers that they can live off of only fish so they will buy the ribbon snakes but it isn't necessarily true.

I would go with the corn. Ravnos is right about them having calmer temperments. My ribbon snake is very timid and jumpy--much more so then my corn snakes. My ribbon snake is more likely to bite me as well. Keep in mind, this is just my experience. Tendency to bite has just as much to do with when and how you handle snakes as the temperment/species of the snake.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-10-2005, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all your info, but I think we're actually going to go with a green rough snake. My daughter likes them the best, and they take crickets, which hubby seems to prefer. He's not a snake fan at all, so I'm trying to make it easier for him as well. I picked up a 29 gallon aquarium today, and will get everything set up before her birthday, which is next month. I'll definitely post pics when we get "Shrek" or "Fiona" depending on the sex LOL.
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