• Are you a Tarantula hobbyist? If so, we invite you to join our community! Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your pets and enclosures and chat with other Tarantula enthusiasts. Sign up today!

Anyone else with snakes? Curious about handling between feedings.

Allthingsterrarium

Active Member
3 Year Member
What's up guys? I'm asking here because I'm already a member and I haven't found the right snake in general forum yet. Most are mostly species specific or don't have a lot of active members. There's something I've been wondering that maybe some of you fellow snake keepers can answer. I have two snakes. One is an extremely feisty common garter snake who I don't handle much because he's more skittish than he used to be and will often spray you with really terrible smelling musk if you pick him up. I certainly would like to resocialize him and spend more time with him. The other is an extremely friendly gray banded kingsnake I got recently in May at already 3 years old. I like to pick her up once or twice a week. The kingsnake, Cinder, eats a large thawed mouse once a week and hopefully twice a week soon and eventually I'd like to graduate her to small rats if I get the chance. The garter snake, Apophis, on the other hand eats nightcrawlers twice a week and on two separate days once a month he gets a thawed hopper mouse on one day and a small fish like a molly or platy on the other day. I've heard that you shouldn't pick up a snake on the same day they eat because it could cause indigestion and sometimes they can even disgorge their food. For the same reason I don't even handle them the day after they eat just to be on the safe side even though judging by the fact that I usually find droppings in the tank the next day and occasionally on the same day so I'm guessing they digest their food extremely fast. Those of you who have or have had friendly snakes, how long do you usually choose to wait to pick them up once they've had their dinner? You think waiting an extra day is unnecessary?
 

Attachments

Enn49

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
3 Year Member
Premium Member
You need to leave a snake at least 24 hours after feeding before handling, those with slow metabolism like the Blood Python need a bit longer.
One tip is not to feed snakes on the same day each week, vary it, they do learn what day is feed day. I had a Cali King that had always been fed on a Wednesday and you couldn't open her vivarium to do mainetnance, top water up etc on a Wednesday as she'd try to eat you.
Your Garter needs regular handling to calm it down, you will just have to put up with the musking until it's calmer. One thing I always found worked well with almost any snake was to sit quietly, holding it just behind the head and gently stroke it's throat.
 

Allthingsterrarium

Active Member
3 Year Member
You need to leave a snake at least 24 hours after feeding before handling, those with slow metabolism like the Blood Python need a bit longer.
One tip is not to feed snakes on the same day each week, vary it, they do learn what day is feed day. I had a Cali King that had always been fed on a Wednesday and you couldn't open her vivarium to do mainetnance, top water up etc on a Wednesday as she'd try to eat you.
Your Garter needs regular handling to calm it down, you will just have to put up with the musking until it's calmer. One thing I always found worked well with almost any snake was to sit quietly, holding it just behind the head and gently stroke it's throat.
Thanks Enn49! In that case waiting two days before handling like I've been doing definitely seems appropriate! I usually feed the kingsnake on Fridays but I actually have been mixing it up a little and trying Saturday and Sunday on occasion. Also that is a great idea for the garter snake! I'm going to pick him up later and spend some time with him! I'll try petting him for a while and stroking his throat like you said a couple times a week. That's pretty much how I eventually tamed my bearded dragon. With some luck He'll be back to his old self soon!
 
Top