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Old 08-16-21, 04:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Should I get a BP, Corn snake, or California king snake?

I have heard a lot about all of them, Iím Torn, I want a snake with a personality, I donít want one that will just do everything I want, thatís no fun I have heard that the king snake and ball python both have this, the corn snake is the most recommend for beginners, I know that, but it doesnít seem FUN. This will be my first snake, I have never owned one, but I do have experience handling them, I have been obsessed every since I was little. Ive wanted a ball python my whole life, but I know that they are known for going on feeding strikes, and being super picky eaters. I want a snake that is long, the bigger the snake the better I love long snakes a lot, Im aware a bigger tank would be needed and I would suffice to all of its needs no matter the kind of snake, Iím so torn PLEASE help
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Old 08-20-21, 03:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Should I get a BP, Corn snake, or California king snake?

I'm in your same boat but I've decided to go with a California kingsnake but haven't gotten one yet. From what I've read and witnessed they are much more active than a BP and seen overall hardier. I'm not sure if you've seen any videos from Clint's Reptiles but he said that BPs are great but are nicknamed "rock" snakes for a reason due to lack of curiosity and exploring in their enclosure. I also love the different varieties of kingsnake (Mexican black, Grey Banded, San Luis Potoski, etc.) If you are looking for enclosure ideas, videos from SerpaDesign are really great. He built two for his Florida king. The big think for me is that I live where California Kingsnakes are native and I've seen them on multiple occasions. This made me want to replicate their natural habitat with a bioactive setup. I am kind of partisan but the kingsnakes really interest me. I'm curious what others have to say. I hope this helps a bit.
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Old 08-20-21, 05:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Should I get a BP, Corn snake, or California king snake?

Thank you for your help! I have been leaning more towards the California Kingsnake, I love all kingsnakes but they do seem like the cheapest option, so more money put into their living space they are definitely gorgeous snakes!
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Old 08-20-21, 05:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Should I get a BP, Corn snake, or California king snake?

I would definitely recommend a colubrid over a ball python as mentioned they are pet rocks. Cornsnakes and king snakes are very similar in care. Biggest difference in the two is king snakes are generally more flighty and especially as babies but this is something you can get use to and tame down. However cornsnakes and kingsnakes really don't get that large with the acceptation of a large individuals. My male cornsnakes was just under 6ft at the time of death probably would have been 6ft if he had his full tail but 3-5 ft is more common. There are some other species of ratsnakes (cornsnakes being a red ratsnake) that get larger that you may look into though I don't have much experience with the new world ratsnakes my interest is in the old worlds which also have larger species and some are extremely easy to care for though they may cost a bit more. Also highly recommend looking into Bull, pines, and gopher snakes.
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Old 08-21-21, 04:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Should I get a BP, Corn snake, or California king snake?

My first snake was a corn snake. I've been keeping snakes since the 90's and I still keep corn snakes. I just bought a baby this past spring. They come in a wide variety of colors/patterns, their care is easy, they rarely skip a meal, and they generally tolerate being held very well. They are small, and I can appreciate wanting a thicker snake, but it is hard to go wrong with a corn.

I've had a California kingsnake and an Eastern kingsnake. The Easterns have less variety in patterns but get a little bigger and, personal opinion, they are 'friendlier' than the California kings.

I have a couple ball pythons. Some are pet rocks, some are more active. They are a nice, substantial handful of snake. They also do well being handled and they're good snakes to watch tv or walk around the house with. The ball python is one of the most popular snakes to keep as pets for a reason.

Another possibility that you could look at are carpet pythons. I keep Irian Jaya carpets. They're roughly the same girth as a large ball python but the carpets get to a little over 6 feet. Their care is fairly simple, they eat as consistently as corn snakes, are active like kingsnakes, and handle well. (Note: You may need to tap train them.) They are also not shy, so they'll perch in their cage right where you can look at them during the day. Of my snakes I believe that my carpets may be my favorite.

I kept a Texas ratsnake and it was a jerk. Like, bite you for no good reason jerk. At least when my California king started to chew on me I knew what was going on, the thing was just curious whether or not I was edible today even though I wasn't yesterday. The Texas rat would just randomly give me defensive bites.

I don't think there is a 'perfect' snake. I do think that is why people in the hobby tend to keep multiple snakes from multiple species- it takes a small group of snakes to end up with the snake you want on any given day. Look at your five year plan and determine whether a 2', 3', or 4' long cage is the best fit. Consider the temperatures you need to keep and whether your future plans will make it reasonable to keep the snake at the right temperature (not having AC or adequate heat makes a big difference in snake choices). Then I'd go to a couple reptile expos, some mom and pop reptile shops, friends with snakes, etc, and experience a couple of them. Figure out what you want most out of a snake and get a first snake that matches that desire. Also, try to get a young adult snake, they will be larger, calmer, and easier to deal with than a baby.
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Old 08-21-21, 07:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Should I get a BP, Corn snake, or California king snake?

All choices are good. You can find some larger/longer kingsnake species if that's what you're into.

I am a firm believer in corns as beginner snakes. In particular, older ones where you know temperment and etc. Same can be said for kings though to be honest.
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Old 08-31-21, 11:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Should I get a BP, Corn snake, or California king snake?

If you want a bigger snake, how about a BCI? I know its not one of your choices. My first snake was a Common Boa. He sits around his cage all day but is very curious and fun to handle.
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Old 09-03-21, 12:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Should I get a BP, Corn snake, or California king snake?

Not sure what you consider "fun", but if you want a relatively good-size, active snake with a great disposition for handling you should consider either a Russian or a domestic black rat snake. Black rats are less expensive and somewhat more commonly available. Russians will grow a little larger, and have a bit more color with the yellow markings than black rats. The babies are beautiful, but as they grow out their colors and patterns change considerably. The closely related Korean rat snake maintains the juvenile colors and patterns, but I've never found any available in the US. Care is the same as for corn or king snakes, though a larger enclosure will be needed for adults.
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