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Old 03-16-19, 03:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Corn Snake vs Ball Python

I'm looking to get my first snake and I'm unsure on whether to get a corn snake or a ball python. I know that ball pythons can be picky eaters and don't typically move around a lot but at the same time they do come in a variety of beautiful morphs. Would love to hear y'alls opinions on which is the better snake for a first time owner.
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Old 03-16-19, 07:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

Really depends on what your looking to get out of owning a snake. Both come with beautiful coloration and different morphs. If you want a slender fairly active snake go with the corn, if you want a slightly more heavily bodied docile snake then go with the ball python. Both are great for a beginner and both make very good pets and our readily available in the trade.
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Old 03-17-19, 08:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

That's really up to you. Are you looking for an active, always on the move type snake? With corns, especially when young, they are always moving while out of the enclosure.
Or are you looking for a slower moving snake that will explore a bit, but ultimately just chill with you while out? If that's the case, a BP will make more sense
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Old 03-17-19, 02:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

You might also want to check \the local Fish and Game laws in your state. In some states like Georgia, it is illegal to own corn snakes since they are native to the state. It doesn't matter if it's a different, captive bred morph, it's still against the law and subject to confiscation and possible fine if you are caught with one. Just a thought...
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Old 03-17-19, 08:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

Would y'all personally prefer a snake that moves around a lot or one that is pretty still?
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Old 03-18-19, 12:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

I like both. A ball python is easier to handle because it will hang out on you and be pretty content as a corn snake will move around alot as you handle it, they are alot more inquisitive creatures. My ball.python is very docile, my rainbow boa is a bit more active and I like them both equally, it's just a different experience handling them.
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Old 03-18-19, 11:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

What are you looking for in a pet snake? Something that’s out and about, something that hides a lot?

I personally chose garters because I wanted a display vivarium/snake, and garters are known for being out a lot and being curious. My big female will watch me in the house and shows an incredible amount of curiosity I would have never expected from a snake. I couldn’t keep anything that hid most of the day.
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Old 03-19-19, 01:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

Corn snake is #1 beginning species.
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Old 03-19-19, 03:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

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Corn snake is #1 beginning species.
Corns are definitely easy, but I don't think any easier than Kings or BPs
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Old 03-20-19, 04:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

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Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
Corns are definitely easy, but I don't think any easier than Kings or BPs
Kings habitually try to eat fingers, balls habitually fast. Therefore I would disagree.
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Old 03-20-19, 05:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

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Kings habitually try to eat fingers, balls habitually fast. Therefore I would disagree.
Kings outgrow their bitey behavior very quickly. And as long as a potential new keeper does PROPER research and understands that BPs can go on food strikes there's nothing difficult. 90% of new keeper questions are food strike related. So, if you're PREPARED, there's nothing to worry about.

I've kept corns, Kings, BPs, hognose and Borneo STP. I wouldn't recommend a hognose or a Borneo as a first snake, but Kings, corns and balls all make great first snakes.

I no longer keep corns (they honestly bore me) but ill always have Kings and BPs.
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Old 03-20-19, 08:58 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

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Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
Corns are definitely easy, but I don't think any easier than Kings or BPs
I'll go into greater detail.

Corns have this:

Ease of care
Easy to handle from a baby
Small size
Inexpensive
Array of colours and patterns
Easy to Find
Forgiving of husbandry mistakes

Kings have most of these. The nippy phase may go away with kings but it could turn off a new keeper easily. Also, we have to discern what type of king are we talking about? Gray bandeds? Cali kings? Floridas? Lots of variables.

I breed ball pythons and still don't think they are the number one or on the same level of corn snakes. They get a little larger, require a little more husbandry than corns and a little less forgiving of mistakes. Cost a bit more for the colours and patterns still but overall the selection is the same or better than corns. Plus the fasting.

I just believe a corn snake is more bulletproof when discussing a beginner reptile. Especially for children.


Now my exception to this rule is if you're an adult who's deadset and passionate about say a brazillian rainbow boa. Then I say go for the passion because you'll work harder to keep the animal properly due to the passion.
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Old 03-20-19, 01:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

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Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
Kings outgrow their bitey behavior very quickly. And as long as a potential new keeper does PROPER research and understands that BPs can go on food strikes there's nothing difficult. 90% of new keeper questions are food strike related. So, if you're PREPARED, there's nothing to worry about.

I've kept corns, Kings, BPs, hognose and Borneo STP. I wouldn't recommend a hognose or a Borneo as a first snake, but Kings, corns and balls all make great first snakes.

I no longer keep corns (they honestly bore me) but ill always have Kings and BPs.
Not to say that you're wrong, but I still have a contrasting opinion.

- I've kept a few common kings (over 30 individuals total between the californian, eastern, speckled, mbk, florida subspecies) and almost every single one of them that I had were very food driven and would bite and chew randomly. A few breeders here even have trouble pairing their animals no matter what they do because of this drive. Food response bites have nothing to do with age of an animal and in fact this response can strengthen with age and size, not dissipate. I am not talking about defensive behaviour. A heck of a lot of them musk as babies though, which is worse to me than a bite, but yes that usually doesn't last.

- Even if a new keeper is prepared to have a snake that fasts, it's still going to be more stressful in comparison to something that eats regularly. We all know newbie keepers can/do freak out and fuss when everything is normal no matter how much research they have done.
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Old 03-20-19, 01:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

I'm not disagreeing that corns are great first snakes. But BPs are easy too. There's a reason they're by far the most common species in the pet trade.

I'm aware of all the pros and cons, I started keeping Kings and BPs sometime around 2000. And don't get me wrong, corns are pretty "bulletproof". And yes, corns will check off most "pros" on a pro/con list.

However, what people forget to mention is they are fantastic escape artists, they are fast and flighty and require constant hand-over-hand handling. I just don't enjoy that. With corns you can't just plop them down in your lap and chill with them.

As for my Kings (I've only kept Cali Kings) they've all outgrown the nippy stage. Yes, they are VERY food driven, but once out of their enclosures they always mellow right out. I've only been tagged by a sub-adult or adult one time outside the enclosure. Although one female I considered buying did bite and chew about a dozen times while I handled her in the shop. Not even one blood droplet though. I didn't take her home. I ended up bringing my boy, Django home instead and he's been the best snake I've ever kept (opinion obviously).

Any which way, I just think sometimes BPs are considered "not beginner snakes" simply for their food strikes. But if you're prepared, it shouldn't be an issue.

And with today's equipment and technology, there's no excuse for not having proper husbandry. All it takes is a few days to dial it in, then just monitor your equipment. Easy breezy. Clean the enclosure and hides, etc...
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Old 03-20-19, 03:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake vs Ball Python

Ball pythons sure are pretty... in a short stubby kinda' way. Just kidding! But, the heating and humidity is more critical with them and they will require larger prey items as adults. Corns (and kings) are a lot easier and really are no slouches in the beauty department either.

I do chill with my Okeetee at every opportunity. He very seldom is in a "flighty" mood and tends to pretty much stay put wrapped around me while I watch TV. Corns are also quite personable. I'm glad I chose corn over BP but if color morphs are #1 on the desirability list the only way to beat a BP is with a RETIC and that's just not a first timers choice.
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