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Old 11-06-18, 09:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Help me find a suitable snake species please

I love the look of blood pythons but I have never owned a snake and they definately dont seem to be beginner snakes. I currently own a bearded dragon and fish. I havent fallen in love with ball pythons or corns or any other suggested beginner snakes like I have with blood pythons. I like how hognoses look but I feel like they'd be too small for my liking. I love blood python size and I like girthy snakes. I hear that their temperment can be not as docile as a lot of other snakes. Is there any other girthy, similar looking snakes that are manageable for one person and are more on the docile side? Do you think if I do enough research I'd be able to own one even as a beginner? I don't really want to get a snake species I'm not in love with just to work up to a snake I really want.
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Old 11-11-18, 01:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Help me find a suitable snake species please

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Old 11-11-18, 08:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec-2017
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Re: Help me find a suitable snake species please

First, welcome to the forum.

As somebody who has a Borneo Short Tail (in the blood family, but if you've been researching you already knew that), I can understand why they are not considered "beginner" snakes. That being said, I don't know that I would discourage a first time keeper from getting one.

I started keeping snakes in 1999-2000ish and have kept Kings, corns, Balls, hognose and now a Borneo STP.
I've moved on from corns, they're just not for me. But I currently have a King, BP, hognose and my Borneo.

My Borneo is my most recent addition and I've had him about 10 months. He's definitely "different" from any species I've ever kept or been around (including boas, carpets, etc...). By that I mean, he handles different, he moves different, he's far less predictable. I've handled plenty of snakes through the years, and am more than comfortable with them. But with STPs/bloods, I kinda have to pay a little more attention. With every other species I've been around, I can basically read their body language and know their next move, I can tell what they're going to do next. I don't feel that way with Juice (or other bloods/STPs I've handled). He's just "different" that way.
But let me be clear, it's not fear based, it's respect based. That's not to say I don't have a respect for the other species, I respect the crap out of them, but I'm more than comfortable with them and like I said, they're predictable.

Any which way, I'm not from the school of "beginner snakes" or getting a snake to "learn on". It just seems asinine to me to suggest somebody buy an animal they don't really want so they can "learn". I mean it's a living, breathing creature and at LEAST a 20+ year commitment. So I'll never encourage somebody to get a species they aren't passionate about.
I will tell you this, a Blood/STP will be a challenge as a first snake. They are powerful animals. They don't use their back halves to "hold on" like every other species I've been around. So holding them is even more challenging, especially if they thrash a bit. I tell you all of this to get to a point. And my point is this:

If you want a Blood/STP I would strongly advise doing at least MONTHS of research. Go to reptile expos (or if you're lucky enough to have a shop close to you that has them) and handle some, preferably adults as well as juveniles. Do NOT make this an impulse buy, it will almost certainly not work out well. Take your time. If you still want a Blood months, even a year down the road, get your enclosure set up and buy from a reputable breeder. Don't buy from a shop that didn't produce the animal, they typically don't know enough about them.

Bloods/STPs have a bit of a reputation, but they've calmed down drastically over years of captive breeding. Many of the animals in the pet trade were wild caught or first generation captive born prior to a handful of years ago. That isn't the case anymore, and that was when they developed their reputation.

Juice has hissed at me plenty of times, but never once struck at me. He's overall very chill, but I am still always watching him whenever he's in strike range.

I guess through all this, I'm trying to say that if you do proper research, still want a Blood/STP in a year go for it. But that's IF you've done plenty of research and are confident in your ability to handle the snake and provide a home in which it will thrive.

Finally, to answer yoyr question about other species, Bloods/STPs are pretty unique snakes. But some dwarf locality boas, or maybe an Angolan Python (I've just started research on these guys myself) might interest you too.

Anyway. I hope all my long-windex words helped you out. Im happy to answer any questions you may have. Good luck!
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Old 11-11-18, 05:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep-2018
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Re: Help me find a suitable snake species please

My first and only snake is a BCI. Take your time, do your research and take lots of advice from here. Never stop learning and respect them. These are wild animals after all.
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Old 11-12-18, 12:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Help me find a suitable snake species please

Welcome to the forum, Victor! We're glad you're here.

California kingsnakes make good beginner specimens; adults typically reach only 3-4 feet in length.

Of course, as Mike said, whatever you choose as your first snake, do some research on it.
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Old 11-12-18, 08:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Help me find a suitable snake species please

There is nothing wrong with preferring a certain look or size & it seems normal for things like that do factor into our decision making. For me, though, looks do not take top priority when choosing a pet. So what else is attracting you to blood pythons? What characteristics, other than looks, do you desire in a snake as your potential pet? That may assist people in making suggestions.

Am in agreement that it is best to get one that really attracts you. We all have different wants, husbandry abilities, things we do or don't want to deal with, etc. What things are putting you off from some of the more common suggestions, like the corn snakes and ball pythons you mention? Are there qualities that you really don't want, besides small size?
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Old 11-13-18, 07:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Help me find a suitable snake species please

Don't get a snake you don't really want for a learning experience. It's not best for you or the animal. You'll just end up with an animal that you never really wanted in the first place and the odds are it will live a very long time. Doing the research is half the fun. Do a lot of research because you'll likely change your mind 3 or 4 times during that phase. When you're finally ready to buy, don't. Instead set the cage up 3-4 weeks in advance since it is your first snake. Use a min/max themometer and make sure the hot/cold sides are stable. Finally, after all that and you have your species and enclosure dialed in, take whatever you planned to spend on a cheap starter animal and spend more to get top quality stock both in terms of loos and health. If you decide it's not for you, high quality animals can be rehomed easier. If it does end up for you and you ever decide to get into breeding, you will have top quality genetics. The last thing you want for your first snake is to have something come in that's half dead when you get it and the "cheap" animal to end up costing a fortune at the vets. There are people well known for having healthy snakes and people well known for having questionable stock. Again, researching the various breeders will give you a strong indicator of what you're likely getting into.
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