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Old 02-01-20, 11:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Newbie question: can i own a snake successfully if i travel foe work all the time?

Hi all

Im interested in snake ownership and I know i have a lot to learn about it. Im interested either in a ball python or hognose. Ive owned pets before, responsibility and budgeting are not a problem.

My question boils down to whether or not I am actually capable of (or should) own a snake considering the circumstances of my working life -

Basically, I live alone, again not an issue, but I am also not home on anything that even resembles a regular schedule. I am normally out on work trips to repair machinery in the field, typically i spend 75 percent of my time away from home and typical trips are 1 to 2 weeks in length, but can spontaneously baloon in time up to six weeks.

I have never been away from home more than 6 weeks

At the same time, I do not have a lot of control of this, and for what its worth in an emergency i could have somwone go and feed my snake though it might be slightly difficult to arrange.

So heres the crux of my question: could i join in this hobby and provide a good standard of care for a snake with about this ability to schedule feedings? Is there a snake or something more suitable to a slightly irregular feeding schedule that I should consider?

If the answer is that I should not own a snake i respectfully understand. Thats why im here asking. I would rather not go through with this if I would not be providing my animal with the well being that it deserves.
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Old 02-04-20, 02:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie question: can i own a snake successfully if i travel foe work all the time

I can tell you from experience it is hard. Even with a very low maintenance animal like a ball or hog nose. I’ve kept a sand boa (very easy) fairly happy but very very comfortable for almost 14 years now, was in a touring band for a while and also travel, (not as much as you). If you have someone that can check the heating is controlled and there’s water. Have someone check every few days quick. You can do it. Be careful about when they’re you! They grow fast as hell!!
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Old 02-04-20, 10:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie question: can i own a snake successfully if i travel foe work all the time

Baby or growing juvenile snakes are typically fed once weekly. Larger adults can go 2-3 weeks between feedings w/out any worries, particularly some of the boas with very slow metabolisms.
I have a couple of Halmahera Island ground boas that I only feed about once a month now. I was feeding them more often, not really paying attention to them individually, and they got quite fat. Cut way back on the schedule, and they've slimmed down a bit now, but still could stand to lose a bit more of their excess.
There is one dwarf species of boa constrictor that originated on an isolated island. The only time food is avaialble there is once yearly when the migratory birds nest and raise their chicks, nothing else lives on the island throughout the rest of the year. Rather an extreme example of adaptation, but yes, it can be done.
Fresh water is another matter, however. Even a large tub of water isn't going to remain useful over a weeks-long interval, and some snakes are quite prone to poop or drop urates in their water bowl, particularly if they like to soak.
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Old 02-05-20, 07:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie question: can i own a snake successfully if i travel foe work all the time

In my opinion, it would be really tough. On one hand, snakes aren't social animals and definitely won't miss the interaction so that's a plus.

However, unless you already have somebody extremely reliable close to home who is willing and able to check on your snake and take care of feeding, spot cleaning, etc...
This person will also have to know how to handle, feed and ID any issues the snake may have (i.e shed cycles, food refusals, health issues, etc...). And in my opinion they'd have to stop by at least every other day while you're gone.

As for Hognose and BPs....I wouldn't go Hognose. They can be especially difficult to get feeding, especially juvenile males. Without being able to be there for feedings every 5 days and learn with the animal I wouldn't suggest it. Not to mention Hognose are rear fanged and mildly venomous, so that's something to consider when asking a friend/family member to watch your snake.

BPs in my opinion are super easy snakes. You'll hear stories about them going on food strikes, which they do, but if you're prepared it shouldn't be a problem.

I also wouldn't want to be away from home for the first few weeks to make sure all is going well, the animal is eating, etc....before leaving and stressing while I'm gone whether or not my new pet is acclimating and eating for whoever you find to help you out.

Personally, a week or two here and there is one thing. But if it's consistent and often extends longer than two weeks I think it may be best to hold off.
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Old 02-05-20, 03:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie question: can i own a snake successfully if i travel foe work all the time

Well, dang.
Id worried that i would get thoughtful and well worded answers on exactly how this would be a bad idea and a massive inconvenience.

thank you all for your thoughts on this. it is quite clear that my working schedule simply does not even come close to permitting good care for a snake.

On that bombshell, I think i'll go and rebuild my slug terrarium. Maybe sometime in the future should my circumstances change I could join this hobby. Until then...
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Old 03-04-20, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie question: can i own a snake successfully if i travel foe work all the time

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Originally Posted by opalescence View Post
Well, dang.
Id worried that i would get thoughtful and well worded answers on exactly how this would be a bad idea and a massive inconvenience.

thank you all for your thoughts on this. it is quite clear that my working schedule simply does not even come close to permitting good care for a snake.

On that bombshell, I think i'll go and rebuild my slug terrarium. Maybe sometime in the future should my circumstances change I could join this hobby. Until then...
I am sure you will be able to someday, but the health of the snake should come first, so if you are unable to provide for the snake it could become unhealthy. Slugs on the other hand, are super cool, so good luck with that.
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Old 03-04-20, 12:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Exclamation Re: Newbie question: How do i treat and feed a injured snake

Hi guys
I have a question
I work on a farm and as part of my job catching snakes is one of the things im learning
I own a olivegreen house snake
But i caught another one this morning in my neighbours yard
But the snake has been injured and i was wondering if anyone can give me some advice on how to treat and feed a snake with a broken bottom jaw?
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Old 03-04-20, 05:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie question: How do i treat and feed a injured snake

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Originally Posted by Drikus View Post
Hi guys
I have a question
I work on a farm and as part of my job catching snakes is one of the things im learning
I own a olivegreen house snake
But i caught another one this morning in my neighbours yard
But the snake has been injured and i was wondering if anyone can give me some advice on how to treat and feed a snake with a broken bottom jaw?
I do not have any advice on this. There is lots of information online but please do not post in other threads about this. You should create your own thread to minimize confusion and likely get more replies- good luck.

You can create a thread by going to the forum section, going to the general discussion (or otherwise) section and clicking new thread.
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Old 03-04-20, 10:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie question: can i own a snake successfully if i travel foe work all the time

So, you’ve already done a lot more work planning and researching than almost all of us on here I’m sure before actually bringing an animal home. The difficult parts are bing finding that “sitter” that you trust. And a qualified vet. The ladder is tricky, I know a handful of vets that they don’t advertised they have any herp with their degree because reptiles as you will find out, are expensive and it can be difficult to get the right diagnosis right the first try. Keep going though! You’ll be a greasy scale pops
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