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Old 07-23-14, 03:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question About My Speckled King

Hello everyone ! I purchased a 6 month old speckle about 2 weeks ago. I let it settle for about a week before handling and it seemed to be ok with it. I fed it successfully this past saturday and left it alone until today. It was hiding under the aspen above the uth. I talked to it and touched it's sides and it hauled butt to the other side of the tank under the aspen. I finally chased it down and got it out. After a few minutes it calmed down a little but was constantly moving and stretching out. 10 minutes later it pooped all over the floor. I gave it a few moments then returned it to it's home. My main question is did i overstress it ? If so, how do i go about addressing this ? Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 07-23-14, 03:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Question About My Speckled King

It was asleep under the aspen and you woke it up, it's going to be a little grumpy lol. When possible handle it when it's already up and about, it will be much more friendly. Also keep the handling sessions to just a few minutes at a time until you two know each other a little better.

Also, pictures! Speckleds are one of my favorite Kings. And congrats on your new friend.
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Old 07-23-14, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Question About My Speckled King

Sounds like you just stressed him out a bit. My Cal King musked me a few times in the beginning when I startled him too. Like FWK said I would try handling him when he's already out in his tank and limit handling sessions to 5 minutes or so until he becomes more acclimated to you and his new home.
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Old 07-23-14, 07:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Question About My Speckled King

Colubrids in general are flighty snakes. They do CA down with age, but they definitely are not ball Pythons that just sit there.
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Old 07-24-14, 06:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Question About My Speckled King

My king came is out now climbing around his cage checking things out. If I attempt to handle him and he darts for cover, should I dig for him or should I leave him be ?
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Old 07-24-14, 07:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Question About My Speckled King

Don't handle it so often. You've only had it for two weeks. Baby snakes are naturally defensive and nervous so yes you are probably stressing it out and will stress it more if you actually dig him out of his hiding. Snakes are not animals to be cuddled, caressed, talked to...etc. To them you are a big monster that makes noise and grabs it from the air.
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Old 07-24-14, 08:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Question About My Speckled King

Except at educational shows, mine get handled only to clean Enclosures. Don't worry about your Snake getting aggressive due to non handling.
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Old 07-24-14, 08:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Question About My Speckled King

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Originally Posted by aaron_cg
Don't worry about your Snake getting aggressive due to non handling.
Pretty much this. A less nervous snake is a less "aggressive" snake. I rarely handle mine as well and all of them with the exception of one are defensive.
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Old 07-24-14, 09:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Question About My Speckled King

Thanks guys for the tips! I did handle her for a few minutes while she was out. She didn't go crazy or musk/poop on me. She is very active though, wont be still very long. I may be wrong on her age though, the lady I bought her from said she had her for 6 months. Her length is 30 inches and girth is big as my thumbs. Further reading on king growth rates lead me to believe that she may be older than I first thought ! Any idea guys ? By the way, I just checked on her and she is cruising around in her cage looking for something to get into.
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Old 07-24-14, 09:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Question About My Speckled King

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Originally Posted by Mikoh4792 View Post
Don't handle it so often. You've only had it for two weeks. Baby snakes are naturally defensive and nervous so yes you are probably stressing it out and will stress it more if you actually dig him out of his hiding.
This I agree with completely, baby snakes are preyed on by virtually everything and are naturally very nervous.

How often you can handle a snake without causing undue stress depends on the snake. I have a King who will often eagerly crawl out onto my hands as soon as I open her enclosure, sometimes several times a day. But it didn't happen overnight, the first few months she was very flighty. She very slowly became more comfortable with me taking her out of her enclosure. One day I opened her tub and just sat still as she carefully inspected my hand and finally came out on her own. These days as soon as I walk into the room she is at the front of her tub, looking either for food or to come out to explore. Two or three days before she turns blue however she wont let me near her, although she will still eat even in full blue. Some of my snakes I only handle once a week including a Taiwanese Beauty (pretty sure he hates my guts lol) and most of my Ball Pythons. But even within the same species personalities can vary significantly. One of my adult male Balls is downright friendly and almost always happy to come out and explore. It's often difficult to convince him it's time to go back into his tub lol. But another adult male Ball becomes agitated after just a few minutes and hauls butt to the back of his tub as soon as I let him. That's why I said to take it slow at first until you get to know each other. It takes time to build trust with a snake. If you're patient and let the relationship develop I'm sure you'll be amazed by the subtleties of your snakes behavior for many years.
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Old 07-25-14, 12:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Question About My Speckled King

Very well said sir.
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Old 07-25-14, 07:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Question About My Speckled King

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Thanks guys for the tips! I did handle her for a few minutes while she was out. She didn't go crazy or musk/poop on me. She is very active though, wont be still very long. I may be wrong on her age though, the lady I bought her from said she had her for 6 months. Her length is 30 inches and girth is big as my thumbs. Further reading on king growth rates lead me to believe that she may be older than I first thought ! Any idea guys ? By the way, I just checked on her and she is cruising around in her cage looking for something to get into.
Rofl, well never mind all the baby snake talk, she's probably a couple years old at least. Speckleds average 3-4 feet as adults. Now you really have to share pictures! You should show her off here: Kings of the forum!
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Old 07-25-14, 04:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Question About My Speckled King

I just checked on him and he is chillin on top of his cool side hide watching me and my son play on the computer. He doesn't seem nervous at all by our presence and it is still daylight here !
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