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Old 04-03-04, 12:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Which do you think is a better first snake and why, Corns or Balls?

Here is why I think a Corn snake is a better first snake then a Ball Python.

Although there are a lot of CBB balls on the market there are even more CBB corns so it's easier to get a CBB snake.

They stay smaller so there for they will be cheaper to house. Cost saving is important when first entering the hobby for some people.

As adults they eat mice. Although you can feed them hopper rats they will do fine on mice unlike an adult ball which will take forever to get to it's adult size if you try and raise it on mice. Mice are generally easier to get and cheaper so therefore I say that corns are easier to feed.

Corns take F/T with out half the difficulty as balls.

Corns only seldom go off food in the breeding season. Most balls go off food like clockwork with or with out being cycled.

If you're so inclined corns are easier to breed.

Although flighty at first they calm down and take well to being handled unlike most balls that remain head shy.

They don't have the higher temp and humidity requirements that balls do. So if your home's ambient is a bit cool it won't affect a corn like it would a ball. If the air is a bit dry it won't have shedding problems as bad as a ball will. 60% humidity is very high if you think about it. Your home's humidity is not that high so you need to make sure you tank will hold in the humidity. 10g tanks and heat lamps won't do this. That same set up although not ideal will work a lot better with a corn then it will with a ball. It can work with a ball yes but it will take more effort to make it work then it would with a corn.

A very interesting corn morph can be bought for only a fraction of the price of that of a ball. You can start out into corns with an albino or even a Lavender but a newbie will almost never be able to start out into the hobby with an Albino ball or a spider.

So now it's your turn. If you agree with my OPINIONS as to why corns make a better first snake please say so. Also please add other reasons that I may have missed.
If you disagree and feel that balls make a better first snake then a corn please list your reasons for thinking so, who knows you might even change my mind!
Cheers,
Trevor
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Old 04-03-04, 01:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I got my ball python first and then my corn 2nd. Ill agree that corns are alot easier to keep, but i think they are both great first snake
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Old 04-03-04, 01:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally posted by BoidKeeper
They stay smaller so there for they will be cheaper to house. Cost saving is important when first entering the hobby for some people...

Although flighty at first they calm down and take well to being handled unlike most balls that remain head shy...

...If the air is a bit dry it won't have shedding problems as bad as a ball will. 60% humidity is very high if you think about it. Your home's humidity is not that high so you need to make sure you tank will hold in the humidity.
Corns are only smaller in mass, they generally attain the same lengths as balls, and are more active, so really they would benefit from a larger enclosure than a Ball.

I've met some nasty corns that didn't calm down with any amount of handling from their owners. Bitey balls are few and far between.

I just keep my balls at room humidity, which is certainly not 60%, and they shed perfect every time (although a few years ago it used to be, but we replaced the furnace and it didn't come with a humidifier like the last one had). I'm going to have to disgaree with the statement of everyone's home not being 60%. In the summer, my house easily reaches that, and in many places in the states it is that high, or even exceeding that, year round.


All that being said, I still do not advocate Ball Pythons for first snakes. Although for some people they may be fine, this isn't the case with most people. All you have to do is glance in any ball python forum to see what I mean. The same questions over and over about how their ball python won't eat, sheds badly, etc. Even with a lot of research, these issues still pose frustrations and concnerns for a first time keeper.

Corns are fine for starters, if you like them. They are quite tolerant of husbandry errors (although we hope these aren't made, they often are) and generally have a healthy appettite. There are many other snakes that are equally as good as well that shouldn't be forgotten as a prosective first snake
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Old 04-03-04, 02:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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HMMM I think if the proper research is done many snakes make great first snakes. I am one that says do not by a corn or a Ball just because someone says start with them first. If you are wanting a Rosey then do the research and get a Rosey.........

But I have many many Ball Pythons that never go off feed. I have a few Corns that do go off feed lol.

The best way to do it is always go CB...........
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Old 04-03-04, 03:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've never had a ball pythong, but from reading about them, I "knew" it wouldn't be my first snake, or even third. They sounded more finicky than corns or kings.
I ended up 2 corns, which behaved like perfect angels, almost according to the book. They'd be great first snakes IMHO. However, now I've got a Ruthvens kingsnake. He makes the corns look like something for advanced keepers.
Like I said, even without ball python experience to compare, I still think (at least some) kingsnakes should be on the beginners list.
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Old 04-03-04, 03:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally posted by DragnDrop
I've never had a ball pythong
LMAO, sorry Hilde, i couldn't resist that.. What were you thinking about when typing that????
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Old 04-03-04, 06:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have never owned either, I just never got "into" herps through the same typical means as others either. Yet, after keeping and being around snakes of sorts, I strongly will suggest corns over balls hands-down everytime. Who would not though, right? Maybe it is the newer persons personality that makes them think that corns are boring and balls are cool, who knows. Being that most new herp owners do it to be cool, fit in or simply be a bit different for obvious or not-so-obvious reasons. Not many folks started into herps in a natural interest of species they grew up around, or else I think many new herpers would be into Thamnophis, Lampropeltis, Pituophis, Nerodia and the like. Not many are. Look how many start off with Bearded Dragons, Leo Geckos, Balls Pythons and so on.

Well, anyhoo....

Out of the many (to many) ball python owners out there, I do not see why they have become so popular with new snake owners. I hear just as many ball python problems with new owners just as much as new iguana owners these days. Not that they are not a pretty snake, because EVERY snake is, just that there are way to many reasons I personally believe they make a horrible first snake over several other great species that are overlooked, especially for a boid. I also think it has to do with the fact that they are "cool" to new snake owners and those new to herps in general. Snakes like Thamnophis, Corns and the like are just looked at as stupid, ugly, weak things that do not get other peoples attention like a Python! does. Get what I am saying......?

Corns make good first snakes, simply due to the ease and appeal of husbandry and their demeanor. In general, they are just a very simple snake that makes getting use to the care of snakes a breeze. They of course are not the only snake that fits this bill, but one that is reasonably and easily available to most folks. Nothing is better to start with than something extremely easy and hardy. I think a lot of folks think this makes them look dumb or weak to others, so they just must start with something a bit stronger or cooler. Thus is a common reason I hear from new snake owners.

I also see that most new herp folks want to just jump into herps in general like they are natural born herpetoculturists or herpetologists, and want to be Ralph Davis or Bob Clark after only keeping 2 snakes for a time of 4 months. They sit back and read some pages from these (and other) forums, read some Reptile magazine and have friends that are "reptile experts," so they just have to be as well. Many have not taken any serious time to research anything like they trult should. They cannot admit they are new and should just sit back a few years and gain some true experience with reptiles. How many have actually taken time to go herping? It is rare for any to know what animals live in and around their homes even, but they want to start with an animal that gives even experienced folks trouble? Seems a bit odd to say the least...

Not every new herper is the same. I know several that started off with species that almost every new herp owner has never heard of. Not every beginner ball python owner is going to have bad luck, and not every beginner corn owner is going to have the perfect snake. That is just how it is, but generally I see it the way as I have described.
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Old 04-03-04, 06:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Matt_K
LMAO, sorry Hilde, i couldn't resist that.. What were you thinking about when typing that????
UGH
I wonder too. Talk about typos.
All I know is that at my age, a thong sure isn't something I think about often.
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Old 04-03-04, 06:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Your age?? I always thought you were like 21... 24 at the most!!
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Old 04-03-04, 06:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think it depends on your personal experiences with each species.

For me Ball Pythons have been wonderful easy going additions to my house. They are calm, great for handling, feeding problems are easily over come or understood and they take less maintanence IMHO than a corn when it comes to cleaning.

Corns are more prone to eat with no trouble, will take mice forever, and rarely bite. But as youngsters can be so fast and whippy, they take a bit more cleaning etc.

Frankly I think MANY species are just fine for beginners. It's not so much which snake is the best starter, but which type of person is the best to own a snake, and that means researching fully whatever species you are interested in....first snake or no.


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Old 04-03-04, 06:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Your age?? I always thought you were like 21... 24 at the most!!
Lol! Watch out Hilde, looks like he wants something.

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Old 04-03-04, 07:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Lol! Watch out Hilde, looks like he wants something.

-TammyR
Ya, probably. Chances are he's got me confused with my daughter Erika, she's 19. He can have her, which will leave me her bedroom for more critter enclosures. Sounds like a good deal all around.

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Old 04-03-04, 07:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Corns, hands down, for all the reasons listed above. However, that doesn't mean lots of others aren't almost as good, so if someone doesn't 'like' corns, there are other choices. For example, next on my list would be california kingsnakes (better than other kings only because they're so readily available). Some tricolour milks/kings are really great choices as well. North American rat snakes would be great, though they're starting to get a little bigger in some cases. Same with Pituophis, plus temperment tends to be more of an issue with them, in my experience.

Thamnophis and Nerodia are great (I've got lots), but their long term captive care is considerably more difficult than most of those listed above.

Babies of anything are often more nervous (therefore more prone to biting), and generally, less hardy than well started juveniles, so for a first snake, I'd say don't get a brand new hatchling!

I'll concur with Marisa, though, that balls are less effort if you know what you're doing and are properly set up. But since there's more to know, more to set up, and they're far more finicky on average, I still wouldn't recommend them for beginners. Besides, who wants beginners to do less work? They should be enthusiastic about their first herp, and WANT to do all of the things required to keep it:-) Less work shouldn't be an issue until at least the sixth!!!

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Old 04-03-04, 08:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally posted by DragnDrop
Ya, probably. Chances are he's got me confused with my daughter Erika, she's 19. He can have her, which will leave me her bedroom for more critter enclosures. Sounds like a good deal all around.

LMAO.. As soon as im nice to someone, im looking for something?? HAHAHAHAHA.. I'm just a nice guy like that :/ I'll remember to not compliment you anymore :P

But anyway, does she have Pythongs?? j/k
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Old 04-03-04, 09:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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But anyway, does she have Pythongs?? j/k
No snakes, but she does have a hamster and wants spiney meeces. And she lives, breathes and thinks only hockey (Maple Leafs and Kitchener Rangers).
(I'm a loving mother, but I really wouldn't mind having her bedroom for critters.)
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