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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Snake Trouble


My younger ball has been biting and striking lately and i dont know what to do about it! i dont feed him in his habitat, i handle him on a regular basis, and he has never been handled in an agressive way. i dont know what to do!! im petrefied of him now, and i know they sence fear...what can i do to make him stop biting??:confused:
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 11:19 PM
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Striking out like that (and the overall change in personality) is a generally a response to stress. It could be from any number of things, from parasites, improper temperatures, his cage being in a high traffic area, etc), and I don't know much about your setup except what you've posted in previous threads - but in one post you showed a pic of your ball pythons huddled together. Snakes are, for the most part, solitary animals, except during breeding and brumating, and the stress of being forced to live with another snake can be enough to cause such a defensive reaction. When they seem to huddle together, they're not "cuddling", they're both trying to share the same thermo regulation areas or the same hiding spot, and thus competing. Inevitably one is going to end up losing the competition and thus be stressed.

If you don't house them together, try going through the other things I mentioned. Double check your temperatures with a thermometer other than the one you usually use. Make sure there are no drafts, or vibrations like a tv or stereo near by, etc. Barring all that, having a vet do a fecal exam to check for parasites might be worth doing - especially if you've recently brought a new animal into the house. Might even want to try dampening a white paper towel and wiping him down to check for mites. They're pretty small little bugs and will be easier to see on the paper towel than on a dark colored snake. They can be sneaky little guys and appear out of nowhere and generally stress the heck out of a snake.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 06:54 AM
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I agree, stress is most likely the cause.

Another possibility, is hunger. Mine used to get a little snappy when hungry, especially the younger/growing snakes.

If he is your younger snake, is he still growing? Have you increased his diet to account for it?

I'd first split them up if they are together, see if that is the problem, ...or at least part of it.

If he's still a bit peckish after a week or so, I'd also feed him up (as much as he would want to eat. Then let him digest for a few days without handling (don't want to cause the snake to regurgitate). Then see if his temperament has changed.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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well, ever since i put the new ball in with him, he has seemed to calm down a bit but he is still a little jerkey. i did increase the number of mice he eats, but i dont want to power feed him. the reason they huddle together that way is because i only have one hide box for them, i cant fit another one in the cage. its a 30 gallon fish tank but i have a log and vine in there that they enjoy climbing on at night. i could try another hide box. the temperature in the cage usually ranges anywhere from 85 degrees to 100, depending on how warm we keep the house. their cage is in the living room and the tv is in there, would it make a difference if i put it in the kitchen or bedroom where there is less noise??
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 04:19 PM
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You said you handle him on a regular basis, this might also be part of the problem. Try handling him less, maybe only 1 or 2X week or so. I've never noticed that they need that much handling to stay tame, but I've seen with our educational animals that too much handling can put them off their feed.

....and noise isn't your problem, snakes are essentially deaf to airborne noise. They are sensitive to vibrations transmitted through their habitat.

...turn down the subwoofer on your stereo and quit slamming the doors.

bob



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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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i usually only handle them 3 to 4 times a week, so ill try to handle him less. i was always afraid that if i didnt handle them that much a week they would be agressive towards me later.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessnJett View Post
i usually only handle them 3 to 4 times a week, so ill try to handle him less. i was always afraid that if i didnt handle them that much a week they would be agressive towards me later.
There is no problem with handling the animal 3 or 4 times a week as long as it is not directly after feeding. The animal will eventually calm due to being handled and not become aggressive for it.
When picking the animal up never hesitate. The best method if you see the animal shows signs of defence mode. Open your hand and quietly put it over the head then pick the animal up.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-03-2007, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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thank you for the tips, they seem to be working quite well!
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