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Old 06-16-18, 09:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question best beginner snake

Hello,

My name is mike i am 17 year old and i live in the netherlands.

i had a snake a couple months ago that i sold to a friend which i knew was the best place she could get to, the reason that i sold her was because i was scared of harming her and i had a lot of doubts if she didnt eat for 2 weeks i went nuts and was thinkin about her 24 7 or if she was shedding

i mentally prepared myself and want to get a snake i no longer worry because i did proper research here is the question what snake is a good beginner snake. i prefer rather small snakes corn snake etc. any suggestions

thanks
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Old 06-16-18, 10:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: best beginner snake

Hey Mike. Yes corn snakes make very good beginners. They are hardy,come in various morphs and are active.They can get 6 feet long without getting too big in girth making them easier to handle. And their prey is always gonna be on the smaller side compared to what a boa would eat...so cheaper to feed. Good luck buddy.
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Old 06-16-18, 12:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: best beginner snake

If you're looking for something that will be a great eater and won't get too big I suggest looking into a Kingsnake. I've kept both Kings and corns and I personally like Kings much better, enough that I have stopped keeping corns, but will NEVER stop keeping Kings. But honestly, you can't go wrong with a corn.

Just as an example of a consistent eater, my King has never refused a meal since I've had him. He's been with me a little over a year and a half, and eats weekly, even in shed. So, that's over 80 meals without a refusal. He also occasionally eats refusals from my other snakes.
My other 3 snakes all just recently ended food strikes. My hognose and Ball Python both went around 12 weeks without eating and my Borneo Short Tail Python went from January until last week without eating.

So, that's a good eater right there, and that is very common of Kings.
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Old 06-16-18, 03:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: best beginner snake

In my state, it is illegal to have a cornsnake as a pet. (They are a native species here.) If not for that, I would have chosen a cornsnake as my first snake. Instead, I chose a kingsnake. Argyle, my kingsnake, has always been shy & nervous. We did not see him often when he was young. Argyle has never bitten or even struck at me, but he does not like to be handled. He always prefers to get away from me. Eventually he started coming out more often. He was then and has remained a very good eater, but once he was 18+ months old he would hide during his shed & not come out to eat. As soon as he shed he was back to being a consistent eater. Now that he is 2 years old he is out exploring his cage quite often. I love watching him explore, but he still does not want to be handled.

My second snake is Helios, a Russian rat snake. He is also an excellent eater & doesn't mind being handled. He likes to explore me & everything around him. He watches me whenever I am nearby and is almost always out where I can seem him. He is extremely active in his cage. While Helios is not likely to get much bigger than Argyle the kingsnake, he will need a much larger cage when he is an adult simply because he needs more room to explore. If it were not for that, I would say a Russian rat snake would be a great first snake.

Really, a cornsnake is probably the ideal beginner snake. There is a reason they are so popular. I wish I could have one. Good luck with your search. Hope you feel more comfortable with your next snake.
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Old 06-16-18, 07:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: best beginner snake

Welcome to the forum Mike. If you like smaller snakes I'd agree with Craig and go with a king. They are fierce little beasts, easy to care for, and beautiful.
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Old 06-17-18, 05:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: best beginner snake

In reference to the reply above, Kings can be flighty when young. They can be a bit nippy too. But regular handling and proper husbandry will typically snap them out of that relatively young. That being said, all snakes are individuals and some just don't tolerate handling as well as others.
In my experience with keeping Kings in the past, handling dozens of others and my current King, Django, it is very rare that you'll find a King that doesn't tolerate handling well. Sometimes it just takes some time and effort to make the animal more trusting of us through handling.

They are also super escape artists, and when young and tiny can disappear into just about anywhere in a matter of seconds.

For the reasons above, maybe look into a sub adult or adult King. Easy to handle, well established eater at a comfortable size. But still young enough that you'll see the snake grow and mature and have 20+ years together.

And just to put your mind at ease, a bite from an adult King hurts less than a bee sting, paper cut, cat scratch, stubbed toe, or even a hang nail. Django is about 52" and 776 grams and when he got me (my fault, I spooked him) he latched on for maybe 20-25 seconds. After he released, there were maybe 4 little blood droplets and a few tiny teeth marks.

Anyway, I'll advocate for Kings 100 times out of 100. My experience through the years with a handful of species lands Kings right around the top of my list of favorite snake species. They are curious and inquisitive, great eaters, very easy manageable size, come in plenty of morphs (I love the classic Cali Kings myself), are very hardy and forgiving of husbandry, and i just cant say enough good about them.
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Old 06-17-18, 10:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: best beginner snake

Werled, was your first snake a kingsnake?
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Old 06-17-18, 11:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: best beginner snake

There are a lot of snakes that can be a good first snake IF you are willing to put in a lot of time and research in advance and setup the enclosure properly. One of the most important things IMO is to get a digital thermometer that will record max high and lows and check those for numerous days before adding in the animal. That will help you detect any major issues like temperature spikes from sunshine in a window. You could check the enclosure everyday when you get home and not realize it hits 105 at 1pm. So if you have the proper setup and get the snakes from a reliable breeder and spend a lot of time doing research in advance, then you should be good to go. The only other thing I would say for a first snake is get one that is reliably eating frozen/thawed rodents which will make your life a lot easier. Even as a beginner, I would not get the snakes until you have some basic tools such as a herpstat for night drops, temperature control, a temp gun, a min/max digital thermometer, and proper enclosure or rack. It's better to spend money to get setup for success than buy an animal you're not ready for and start off with a bad experience. I would also caution you to buy from reputable sources as there are people out there with diseased animals and it is a lot easier to prevent disease in reptiles than it is to try treating it after it gets in your collection.
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Old 06-18-18, 04:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: best beginner snake

Quote:
Originally Posted by pet_snake_78 View Post
There are a lot of snakes that can be a good first snake IF you are willing to put in a lot of time and research in advance and setup the enclosure properly. One of the most important things IMO is to get a digital thermometer that will record max high and lows and check those for numerous days before adding in the animal. That will help you detect any major issues like temperature spikes from sunshine in a window. You could check the enclosure everyday when you get home and not realize it hits 105 at 1pm.

Good point, but even more important is a reliable thermoSTAT. Then you don't have to worry about temp fluctuations like that. No heat spikes, no chance of burns or worse to your snake.
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Old 06-18-18, 10:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: best beginner snake

Corns really are great snakes. Hardy, great personality, and they don't get too big. However, like Craig, I enjoy kings way more. I've heard stories of kings being a pain when they're young, but I've never experienced that (milks are another story).

Honestly, the range of "beginner" snakes expands as far as your effort does. If you're willing to deal with a little attitude on the front end, you could go with bull, pine, or gopher snakes. I've heard great things about African house snakes (although I've only dealt with young ones, and not extensively). Western hognose are neat pets as well. Sand boas are good too.

A couple final suggestions...rat snakes are cool, in my opinion. They usually are pretty laid back, although not as much as corns. Garter snakes are also pretty chill, and stay small.
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Old 06-23-18, 06:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: best beginner snake

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Originally Posted by kudzu View Post
Werled, was your first snake a kingsnake?
yes it was
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