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Old 07-29-15, 09:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

Ok, so I already know that racers to not make the best pets. I know that they are messy, super energetic, and are prone to carrying parasites. But my friend has a female Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer (Coluber constrictor flaviventris) that laid 8 eggs, and all 8 of them hatched. Now he has 8 neonate racers and is keeping two for himself, giving one to me, and letting the rest go. I am hoping that most of the racers problems in captivity will be removed due to this being a captive-bred specimen. This will be my first snake (although i've owned several lizards, geckos, and turtles in the past) I am getting a 20 gal. "long" tank and am planning on using shredded newspaper as substrate, as well as getting a water bowl for soaking/drinking, a couple of hides, and a heat lamp. is there anything i am missing, or do any of you guys have tips from working with these animals in the past? Thanks.
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Old 07-29-15, 12:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

Sounds like a good start and congrats on the new addition. A 20 gal. long is a big space for a hatchling. The shredded newspaper is a good idea so he can have a lot of hiding spots available to him.
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Old 07-29-15, 01:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

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Sounds like a good start and congrats on the new addition. A 20 gal. long is a big space for a hatchling. The shredded newspaper is a good idea so he can have a lot of hiding spots available to him.
Yeah, i realize its a bit large for a hatchling but i was thinking about making some sort of barrier/wall to shorten it until he gets bigger. I dont really want to have to buy another tank down the road if i can avoid it, although i understand stuff like that is necessary sometimes. anyone else have tips or anything like that?
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Old 07-29-15, 01:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

Don't forget a thermostat. I have no idea about racers' requirements, but good luck!
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Old 08-03-15, 03:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

As long as there's plenty of cover for them to hide in, a 20 gallon long should be fine even for a hatchling. Stick some fake plants and the like in there.
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Old 08-10-15, 01:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

Hey guys, just coming in with an update. i now have everything i need for the enclosure, minus a lid (which i have to make due to my tank's unique dimensions) The lid will be made tonight, and i am getting the snake tomorrow. will post pics tomorrow or the day after
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Old 08-10-15, 02:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

I rescued a yellow bellied racer who had his tail flattened by a car years and years ago. Eventually about 2 inches of tail fell off and he was fit as a fiddle. He didn't take to handling but also wasn't very bitey either. This guy came to me as a fully grown adult though, so he isn't the best measure. I also keep a ribbon snake currently and he doesn't like to be handled but is ok with me reaching into his enclosure and touching him. He will crawl through my fingers calmly and eat fish and frogs off tongs with multiple people in the room watching, so with strong interaction these snakes can be tamed down to some degree.

Last edited by TheLastBaron; 08-10-15 at 02:16 PM.. Reason: The ribbon snake was field collected 2-3 months ago.
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Old 08-11-15, 10:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

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I rescued a yellow bellied racer who had his tail flattened by a car years and years ago. Eventually about 2 inches of tail fell off and he was fit as a fiddle. He didn't take to handling but also wasn't very bitey either. This guy came to me as a fully grown adult though, so he isn't the best measure. I also keep a ribbon snake currently and he doesn't like to be handled but is ok with me reaching into his enclosure and touching him. He will crawl through my fingers calmly and eat fish and frogs off tongs with multiple people in the room watching, so with strong interaction these snakes can be tamed down to some degree.
I just got it earlier this morning, and my friend included another, so i have two baby racers now! Since they are siblings, I am keeping them in the same enclosure for now until they get larger. They have both nipped me once or twice, but I'm hoping that with frequent handling that will decrease. I will post pics in just a minute.
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Old 08-11-15, 10:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

Here is one of the snakes, the only one I have pictures of, although they are identical.

Here is their setup as of now:

What do you guys think?
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Old 08-11-15, 10:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

Awesome snakes! I really enjoy working with racers. Personally, I'd add some more fake plants or objects for them to hide under. As for handling, they may calm down, they may not, just depends on the individual. I've worked with some that literally never calm down for their entire lives, and some that became easily handled pretty quickly(although still very fast moving, but that's no big deal).
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Old 08-11-15, 10:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

Also, if you can get them to eat rodents off tongs from an early age it would make things way easier for yourself in the long run. And then on top of that you can give them lizards, frogs, etc.
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Old 08-12-15, 03:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

Great gift! He is so pretty! Best of luck
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Old 08-12-15, 05:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

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Also, if you can get them to eat rodents off tongs from an early age it would make things way easier for yourself in the long run. And then on top of that you can give them lizards, frogs, etc.
Yes, they are a bit too small to eat rodents right now but I plan on trying to start them on pinkies when they get big enough. They are on crickets right now.
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Old 08-12-15, 05:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

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Originally Posted by Bandit View Post
Awesome snakes! I really enjoy working with racers. Personally, I'd add some more fake plants or objects for them to hide under. As for handling, they may calm down, they may not, just depends on the individual. I've worked with some that literally never calm down for their entire lives, and some that became easily handled pretty quickly(although still very fast moving, but that's no big deal).
I added one more hide, but they haven't used either of them so far, except for the first time I put them in the enclosure. They just burrow in the newspaper. Do you have any other tips from working with these animals?
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Old 08-12-15, 08:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer as pet

Yeah I know, they're a bit small now for mice. But just try to get them on F/T pinkies sooner than later. I've always fed racers lizards and frogs as well. I'm sure they'd enjoy some of those every now and then.

Overall they are pretty easy to keep. They may not use the hides very often, but it's good to have it in there for them. But for now it seems like you have everything covered, so I'd say just enjoy your new pets!
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