border
sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum
 

Go Back   sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum > Venomous Forums > General Venomous Forum

Notices

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-05-18, 02:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Sep-2018
Posts: 3
Country:
Starting off hot

I'm sure this kind of thread appears pretty often, but I'm very interested in keeping, and possibly milking, venomous snakes. The downside? I have neither college degrees, nor extensive experience with snakes as pets. Basically my best qualities are I'm fairly smart, and I'm good with animals, nebulous as that statement is.

I'm at least not stupid enough to just buy a hot snake online, no matter how much reading I may have done. I'd like to find a farm or something, but my google fu has failed me. Who would I ask about that? A hospital sounds like the right place. Has anyone started off from a similar place?
Hissyfit is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 09-05-18, 11:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
Forum Moderator
 
Aaron_S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov-2002
Location: Toronto
Age: 33
Posts: 16,689
Send a message via MSN to Aaron_S
Re: Starting off hot

Tough question. Your best bet is to check for venom farms. (I don't know if that's there official name). You can probably look on youtube for places like that and contact them.
Aaron_S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-18, 07:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 
DJC Reptiles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct-2017
Posts: 428
Country:
Re: Starting off hot

There are also specific reptile expos, dedicated to venomous reptiles, and dangerous animals. I’m not exactly sure how to get into one, but I know they exist. It would probably have to be in your state though, I don’t think you could transport venomous snakes across state lines. Make sure the state you live in allows you to keep them too, most require a permit I think. Even if you are starting off hot, there are harmless rear-fanged snakes like western hognose, that are really good training for rattlesnakes. Or if you want something more venomous, Pygmy rattlesnakes are not so venomous as to kill you, though if you are bit, you’d still develop some necrosis.
__________________
____________________________________________
I am no expert. I’m just knowledgeable in reptiles, I’ll do my best to help you.
-DJCReptiles
“The Only Difference Between Fear and Respect is Knowledge”(Daniel Jensen).
DJC Reptiles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-18, 08:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
Bandit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec-2014
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 615
Country:
Re: Starting off hot

Like Aaron said, check for some venom farms in your area. However, I think your best bet is to get involved in the reptile community in some fashion (volunteering at wildlife organizations, making friends with local keepers, etc.). The more networking you do within the community, the more likely you'll get an in somewhere, or maybe even have someone mentor you with respect to working with hots.

And this is by no means to undermine DJC, but I don't feel like a hognose is any sort of "training" for a rattlesnake. Aside from the facts that rattlesnakes are quicker and have a remarkable strike range in proportion to their size, their temperaments vary from species to species.

Also, a pygmy will mess you up. If you want something that wouldn't be TOO bad and is easy to get a hold of, go with a copperhead.

I think you're making the right decision by doing your research rather than just buying a venomous snake. Just be patient and put forth the effort to network, and you'll find a way into the hobby eventually.
Bandit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-18, 03:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Aug-2013
Posts: 702
Country:
Re: Starting off hot

Why do you want to milk venom from snakes?
__________________
-------------------------------------------------------
My article on flat rock lizards

How to Save Money on Reptile Supplies
pet_snake_78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 09-07-18, 04:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Sep-2018
Posts: 3
Country:
Re: Starting off hot

Thank you guys, this has been informative. Bandit, you think a copperhead would be a good starter? I'll admit I hadn't done much research on that one. I had seen hognoses and pygmy rattlers come up, and even mangrove snakes, but not copperheads.

I live in montana if tgat helps anybody.

Pet snake; I'd like to milk venom for a few reasons. The medical research using various types of snake venom is something I'd like to support, not to mention venom is pricey. I can't think of a better way to support an expensive hobby like keeping venomous snakes.
Hissyfit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-18, 05:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
MDT
Member
 
MDT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct-2005
Location: Oklahoma
Age: 52
Posts: 1,676
Re: Starting off hot

Hospitals will have zero idea about venomous animals. Most physicians have zero idea about venomous animals. Trust me on this (I'm an emergency medicine doc and a vast majority of my colleagues don't know much about these animals except how to treat the bite). Any hospital that carries CroFab (or other antivenins) gets those products through a central supply/pharmacy department request. Not because they "know" venomous snakes. So.... pet_snake brings a valid question: "why?". Your statement of "not having extensive experience but wanting to keep and milk venom" is concerning. Even if you did gain the experience, what will you do with the venom? How will you store it until you can find a lab (and they are few) to be able to process the venom? Does you local hospital(s) even stock CroFab (or other elapid antivenins) in case you were bitten in the process?

Start with a very cranky blood python or very large tiger rat snake. If you can get the husbandry correct, and your animal thrives AND you manage to avoid getting bitten, you may be ready to find a venomous reptile mentor that works with hots who can help you gain the experience you need. In the meantime, look up BTG, plc (CroFab parent company) and learn what they do and how they do it. Try to develop a relationship with University of Arizona or other venom research facility and learn what you can from them before you get a venomous reptile.
MDT is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-18, 01:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Sep-2018
Posts: 3
Country:
Re: Starting off hot

Thanks for all the replies, this has been interesting. I've got a couple ideas of where to go from here. I'm in montana if that makes any difference.

To answer the questions about milking, that isn't really the focus. I just like the snakes. Bush vipers especially are gorgeous animals. I DO think extracting venom would be a good idea. I like the medical research snake venom is being used for, and I'd like to facilitate that. It also seems like a good way to support a hobby that requires you to pay for permits and insurance and an entire escape proof room for your animals. I'm not looking to get rich off of it, just seems practical.

I'm not getting a practice snake just yet, but now seems like a good time to start planning. I'm waiting for my cornsnake to outgrow her tank. She's not there yet, but she probably will be by the end of the year. I've seen hognoses and pigmy rattlers come up, and even mangrove snakes, but copperhead is a new one. Why do you think they're a good starter, Bandit?
Hissyfit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-18, 02:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 
Bandit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec-2014
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 615
Country:
Re: Starting off hot

I'll start off with saying this: I've never liked the concept of "starter" snakes. I feel that if you put the effort in, research thoroughly, and get some hands-on experience (if possible), you can make any snake your first snake. Obviously, the hands-on experience part is more important with hots, because the consequences of getting tagged are a lot worse than a nonvenomous snake. So again, I really feel like the best way to go about this is to make friends with some people who keep hots and see if you can get some experience with their snakes. I think copperheads are an easy venomous snake to deal with. At the same time, a copperhead isn't going to prepare you for working with cobras, if you catch my drift. There's just so much diversity among venomous snakes that it's hard to group all venomous snakes into one category and say "well if I can work with this species, then I should be able to work with that species."

The reasons I recommended copperheads are: (1) they are relatively common in the hobby and easy to obtain, (2) while they are venomous and getting bit would certainly be a bad experience, it's a lot better than many other hots, (3) they are relatively laid back, and (4) they usually are pretty easy to keep in captivity.

As far as selling the venom...I'll let other members chime in. However, I believe it's not as easy as just milking it and selling it.
Bandit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-18, 02:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Sep-2012
Posts: 297
Country:
Re: Starting off hot

It is next to impossible to sell any snake venom as a private keeper. To begin with, the amount of venom you can get from one snake once every few months is so small, no laboratory or scientific institution will be interested in getting such a tiny amount.

Maybe if you keep a really rare venomous snake you might probably be able to provide some venom samples for research, but don’t expect any large amount of money from that.

Snake venom needs to be dried really quick, otherwise the enzymes start to deteriorate. For this you need laboratory equipment and the skills to use it properly. Any institution will buy venom only if it is pure, without any traces of contamination. A pharmaceutical institute will very likely buy only from certified sources. That’s the reason why most institutions using venom for research, extraction of enzymes or production of anti-venom have their own venomous snakes in their facilities.

Milking your snake causes a lot of stress for your snake and it will need a long time to replenish its venom. This stress and the need to reproduce the venom in larger quantities will shorten the life span significantly.

So if you decide to start keeping venomous snakes do it to enjoy it, be really careful and don’t put yourself into avoidable danger for something nobody is buying from you.

There is a privately owned laboratory and snake farm near Orlando, Florida. They have a large collection of cobras, rattlesnakes and some other species which they milk, clean and dry the venom and sell it. If you are in the vicinity it is definitely worth to visit.



--> Home - Reptile World Serpentarium
__________________
1,0 Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli, 1,2 Gonyosoma oxycephalum, 1,2 Philodryas baroni, 1,2 Spilotes pullatus, 2,1 Spilotes sulphureus, 0,1 Gonyosoma boulengeri, 1,1 Zamenis longissimus, 0,1 Malpolon sp., 1,1 Malpolon monspessulanus
Roman is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 09-07-18, 03:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
Member
 
DJC Reptiles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct-2017
Posts: 428
Country:
Re: Starting off hot

If you want something to help with cobras, I heard king rat snakes have similar temperment to a lot of elapids. I believe if you have no snake expierence at all, you should at least start with a non-venomous, or a venomous snake that won’t kill you. If you want to go all the way, Gaboon vipers are highly venomous, but normally have pretty docile temperaments.
__________________
____________________________________________
I am no expert. I’m just knowledgeable in reptiles, I’ll do my best to help you.
-DJCReptiles
“The Only Difference Between Fear and Respect is Knowledge”(Daniel Jensen).
DJC Reptiles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-18, 03:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
Member
 
DJC Reptiles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct-2017
Posts: 428
Country:
Re: Starting off hot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandit View Post
(1) they are relatively common in the hobby and easy to obtain, (2) while they are venomous and getting bit would certainly be a bad experience, it's a lot better than many other hots, (3) they are relatively laid back, and (4) they usually are pretty easy to keep in captivity.

As far as selling the venom...I'll let other members chime in. However, I believe it's not as easy as just milking it and selling it.
Another reason to add on to this is, the copperhead snake is the most common venomous snake bite hospitals in the U.S. have to deal with. So if you live in copperhead territory, chances are they have antivenin, or can get it there quickly.

As far as milking venomous snakes, Bandit is right, your going to have to find a facility willing to take venom in.
__________________
____________________________________________
I am no expert. I’m just knowledgeable in reptiles, I’ll do my best to help you.
-DJCReptiles
“The Only Difference Between Fear and Respect is Knowledge”(Daniel Jensen).
DJC Reptiles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-18, 11:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
MDT
Member
 
MDT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct-2005
Location: Oklahoma
Age: 52
Posts: 1,676
Re: Starting off hot

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJC Reptiles View Post
Another reason to add on to this is, the copperhead snake is the most common venomous snake bite hospitals in the U.S. have to deal with. So if you live in copperhead territory, chances are they have antivenin, or can get it there quickly.
All pit viper bites in the US are treated with a polyvalent antivenin (currently this is CroFab, there are other similar products that will be available and compete directly with CroFab).... so, if you are bitten by any pit viper in the US, you get
CroFab.

Roman is spot on with the supply side. Most production facilities do not need or want your venom if you can’t demonstrate that you can actually process it to standards.
MDT is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-18, 01:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
Forum Moderator
 
Aaron_S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov-2002
Location: Toronto
Age: 33
Posts: 16,689
Send a message via MSN to Aaron_S
Re: Starting off hot

I would caution anyone who's suggesting venomous snakes for someone with little to no experience with snakes in general.

You have no clue about anything with this person. If this person gets bit, even by the "non-life threatening copperhead" and something happens, it's possible to be sued as you gave this person advice. I'd be exceptionally wary in the states considering people pay their health bills.

Yes things are anonymous to a degree here but there's the issue of tracking people's internet locations. It's highly improbable something would happen to you but not impossible.

Also, you'd feel like **** if you were the catalyst to someone dying.
Aaron_S is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:17 PM.

Powered by vBulletin®
©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2002-17, Hobby Solutions Inc.

right

SEO by vBSEO 3.1.0