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Old 04-19-18, 11:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face First time Cali. King Owner

As the title says, this is my first time owning a California King Snake, actually my first snake in general >~< So I'm kind of slightly embarrassed to say that I honestly have no idea what to do. (He should be in the picture, that's when he first arrived in January, he was about to shed and did later that day[That's if the picture is there]) He is albino and I just love him xD even though he doesn't really allow me to hold him. He's about 2 1/2 years old, his actual age was unspecified but is almost 3 feet in length and will devour any mouse you put in front of him so he is not picky. Recently he went into Brumation due to the randomized weather outside freezing my room and his tank which made me panic since I didn't know he did that and I am happy to say he did start moving again tonight(4/19/2018) Even during the brumation he still ate on saturday, he just didn't come out to do so, he kind of snatched it up and went back into his hideaway. I do use tongs to feed him just in case he wants to bite but I'm not afraid of his bites as much as I am the cats' claws(cat lives elsewhere)

But what I really wanted to know is that will his mood become a bit better? He normally doesn't mind me looking at him or making sure he's okay when I don't see him for a few days, other than giving me the stink eye. I haven't been able to hold him for a while though because he was musking a lot when I tried to. When I asked some other people about it they said "Do you pick him up, or let him come to you?" Of course I picked him up :/ everywhere I read online said that's the best way for them to get used to you. But I really didn't like the musking, the being pooped on >.> simple clean up. How should I go about this? I've tried to put my hand in his tank at least once a day(until he went into brumation I just left him alone other then checking up on him because I smelled something funky and was scared it was him, it was just my nose) So I guess my questions would be:

1.What is the best way for him to get used to me holding him?(I intentionally got him to be a therapy animal because I have depression and anxiety)
2. Will he mellow out a bit more once he's an adult? (Sometimes he will rattle his tail, but not often, only seen him do it twice but he quickly stops if I look at him. But he really only sleeps all day and sometimes moves, when I check up on him and he's out he will immediately go back to hiding)
3. How often do they shed? (I always ask him to flick his tongue once if he is gonna shed soon, and twice if he doesn't know. He doesn't flick at all so I go with undecided[I am aware they can't 'hear' me, but he does look at me when I speak to him.. or am crying because life is hard :/)
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Old 04-20-18, 04:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: First time Cali. King Owner

Hey, congrats on the king! He looks lovely. Albinos, in my opinion, are so much more appealing to look at! First off, what size tank is he in? Random question I know, but a corn snake I had years ago was in a huge tank for her size and she used to get really aggressive, she would rattle her tail and strike at me whenever I opened the tank. Once I found out she needed a smaller tank, she settled down and I could actually pick her up without any biting! This behaviour could also be due to him having no previous handler experience. If you are trying to pick him up, try not to be scared of a bite (easier said than done I know!) and make sure you move slowly and calmly. If you’re making jerky hand movements or moving too quickly you’ll scare him and he’ll get defensive. Stay away from his head too. Try and pick him
Up from his middle section. Maybe try stroking him first before you try to pick him up so he knows you’re there.

Shedding is different for all snakes depending on size, age, feeding schedule, environment, season etc. But usually you can expect a shed at least every 6-9 weeks or so. But like I say, it all depends on the snake! (One of my boas has just shed twice in 5 weeks!) He’ll do it when he’s ready. And definitely don’t try to pick him up when he’s going into shed! he won’t be able to see very well and no doubt he will get aggressive!

Hope this helps a bit, and enjoy your new friend!
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Old 04-20-18, 08:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: First time Cali. King Owner

Thanks for the advise! Yea the tank is 36 inches and he covers over half when he stretches out, I wouldn't think it's too big for him :/ it actually took me a while to find a tank in the first place so hopefully he doesn't need a smaller one. I'll try picking him up again so he can get used to me, the only time he's striked at me was when I was cleaning his tank with a separate pair of tongs, he thought I was feeding him again even though he just ate a few days beforehand >.> lately the fuzzy mice I've been buying at the pet store haven't been as large as they were when I switched him to fuzzies, so I'll be looking into a different place for his food so he could be a bit grumpy from being hungry xD I have noticed he can be like an emo teen, just without all of the annoyed sighing. :P my emo teen son, I thought I was too young for parenthood.
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Old 04-21-18, 04:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: First time Cali. King Owner

First off, welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of snake keeping.
Congrats on your first snake and congrats on it being a King. I've kept Kings for years and love them. My current Cal King, Django, is my favorite snake I've ever kept.

Anyway, now on to helping you out. But in order to do so I'll need much more info.

First, you said the snake went into brumation when the weather changed and your room got cold. This raises a few red flags. A) what makes you say brumation???
And B) do you not have any heating equipment?

Let's just do it this way:

1) what size enclosure is the snake In?
2) what heating equipment are you using?
3) ARE YOUR HEAT SOURCES REGULATED BY A THERMOSTAT??? (if there are any)
4) what are your temps and how are you measuring temps?
5) what is your humidity and how are you measuring?
6) what hides are available in the enclosure?
7) is there fresh water and how big is the water bowl?
8) are there fake plants, clutter, etc...in the enclosure?
9) is the enclosure in a high traffic area in the house?
10) what size and type of prey are you feeding and how often?
11) what is the weight of the snake?

If live to answer your questions and help you out, but will need you to answer each of the above questions before I can offer any help. Once I know more I'll be able to give you appropriate advice.
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Old 04-22-18, 12:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: First time Cali. King Owner

1. He is in a 36 inch wide tank, he stretches to almost 3/4 of the tank. And the tank is glass.
2. I have a heating lamp but I am also looking into a heating pad to put under the side in which the heating lamp doesn't shine.
3. I have two thermostats, one on each side of the tank.
4. On the side of the heating lamp is about in the mid 90s, the side without the heating lamp is normally low 80s sometimes high 70s, at this moment it's mid 80s.
5. It's pretty dry in the tank but I make sure every once in a while to turn on a humidifier in my room to add some moisture in the air, and I refill his water every few days.
6. I have two hideaways, a rock like one that covers him completely and a tree that is open and in which he can climb onto if he wants.
7. It's a small dish, but is pretty deep, I don't always find him in the water, but I do find him drinking it, when he thinks I'm not watching :P
8. The tree has some fake plants on it, but its just part of the hideaway.
9. It is not, it's in my room and my room is a me place only, and I'm only in there to sleep and chat to him.
10. I give him a fuzzy, once a week on saturday. Frozen, but he treats it like it's alive. I do however have to look into a different place to buy the food because the fuzzies, I don't think they are big enough for him. He seems to be digesting it fairly quickly and is hungry the rest of the week.
11. I would assume he is about 2 maybe 3 pounds.. how do you weigh a snake that doesn't want to be held?

I also try not to bother him too much after he has eaten just in case, when I first got him the plane ride over bothered him a bit and he had trouble keeping is food down after digesting it a bit. Once he settled in, he started to keep it down and seem to be less jumpy. I just fed his yesterday and when he bit onto the mouse his tail climbed up the side of the tank xD I thought it was weird but he almost reached the top with just his tail.

Since I was worried about it when he didn't want to leave his hideaway for almost a week, I contacted the person whom I bought him from and that's what she said it was because he was fine before but since my room got cold the side he normally stays on, which happens to be the side with the rock not under the light, got colder down to low 70s and high 60s. I tried all I could to warm it up, but I don't have portable heaters and my room always seems to have issues keeping the same temperature if the weather outside keeps changing. Once it actually got warm enough and the temp went back up he came out of hiding, moved around a lot, defecated in the corner and went back to bed. The next morning when I cleaned it up, he stared at my hand like food and was very interested in the dry wash cloth I use to clean the glass on his tank >.> I don't understand why, but I didn't want him to touch it because it was scratchy and old.

He is also.. I would say about a few centimeters smaller than the size of a quarter in the middle of his body, he's kind of looks like he has a tiny head.

~~Hopefully this is how you reply to things o^o cause I honestly don't know if it is..~~
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