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Old 07-22-03, 06:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question my kids and our snakes (handling)

i'm not sure how much i should let the kids handle the snakes. The kids are 7&4 and handle them gently (corns) i'm just not sure how long and how much i should let them do this i don't want to stress the animal out any advice would be great .thanx
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Old 07-22-03, 08:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Some snakes are more tolerant than others so you really have to watch for signs of stress from the snake. If it's always trying to get away then it's probably getting too stressed. If it stops eating then don't handle it until it is eating consistently. Of course don't handle it for 24 to 48 hours after it has eaten.

Older snakes are usually more tolerant than younger ones. As the snake gets older they can probably handle it for longer periods of time.

Unfortunately, the answer to how long you should let the kids handle the snakes is...Not as long as they want to. Children that young might want to play with the snakes much longer than is good for the snakes.

It sounds like you are teaching the kids that they can only handle the snakes for a short while because it could hurt the snakes if they are out for too long. Once the kids understand that...they will good little herpers.
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Old 07-22-03, 12:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree that older snakes are way more tolerant than younger ones... especially if those snakes have been handled all of their lives, and they realize that humans are not a threat.

I have to disagree about the wanting to get away though... corn snakes are hyperactive when they are out. It's impossible to tell if they are stressed or just curious. It's a bit more obvious with calmer snakes (Like my BCC or kenyans.. if they move at ALL, I know they are stressed, hehehe).

Nonetheless, 10 or so minutes a day should be more than enough time for the kids and for the snakes to get their exercise.
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Old 07-22-03, 12:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Personaly I have two boyz (7 and 9) who love all our snakes.

I let them handle any snakes they want.

I'd say the "how long" question goes with each individual snakes.
They can keep our ball on them for an hour watching TV, but won't handle our nervous milksnake longer than 1 minute

When my sons handled our ATBs, it's mostly to get them use (the kidz) to handle nervous snakes. They just can'.t grab them the way the grab their cornsnakes. Ours aren't nervous, but we need to be very calm when handling them and be carefull how quickly we move our hands. It's really good for them to get use to all the different kinds of snakes.

Same with the BRBs, my older son helped me once with feeding them and when putting back the male in the enclosure he got bitten.. he immediatly knew why, he forgot to clean is hands after touching a mouse. They learn really fast, we need to not put them aside to much, it,s good to have them help us, yes by keeping a good eye on them, but also by letting them learn by their mistakes also.

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Old 07-22-03, 12:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would start small and then work your way up, some snakes will tolerate handleing all day.(not that u should do it) but it like what Invictus said it depends of the speces, corns will alwas be active, if there not active then something is probly wrong. if they are adults i would let them handle the corns about 10-20 min every other day and then work your way up. but corns in gereral are very tolerant to being handled by yong children. it would be between that and a ball python. (but ball python just kinda sit there ) well good luck!
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Old 07-22-03, 06:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My kids are 3 & 6. They take our 3 corns out several times a week for 10 mins to 20 mins at a time. Our corns came as yearlings from a breeder that handled them. The kids have handled them from the time they settled in. I have them sit on the couch so there is no worry of dropping the corns. My corns are corns that are constantly moving but try to get away VERY fast if stressed. We have never had a handling or stress problem. I sit & supervise so it is a good experience for snake & child. I've never had a biting attempt or any type of feeding problem.
Hope this is a bit of help anyway. Dar.
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Old 07-25-03, 03:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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usualy it is alright to handel snakes quite a bit (especialy corns) but not too much especially after eating
there is no point in liveing if you dont take risks
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