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Old 10-08-18, 11:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How likely are kingsnakes to try to eat themselves

I'm very interested in kingsnakes lately, but I am paranoid, of course, that the snake will try to eat itself. How justified is this fear? Is this something a kingsnake owner has to deal with once in a lifetime, or once a week? Has your kingsnake ever tried to eat itself? Are some species of kingsnake more likely to eat themselves than others? What preventative measures can be taken to help keep the snake from trying to eat itself?
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Old 10-08-18, 03:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How likely are kingsnakes to try to eat themselves

I've seen pictures of a couple of kingsnakes trying to eat themselves but it's far from common. They can be completely crazed at feeding time but other than that they're usually just fine. If your king is well fed and properly housed you most likely won't have this issue.
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Old 10-09-18, 01:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: How likely are kingsnakes to try to eat themselves

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I've seen pictures of a couple of kingsnakes trying to eat themselves but it's far from common. They can be completely crazed at feeding time but other than that they're usually just fine. If your king is well fed and properly housed you most likely won't have this issue.
^^^^ All of this ^^^^

It is extremely uncommon. I have kept Kings for years, never seen anything of the sort. I wouldn't even consider it a factor when deciding if a King is the right snake for you, it's literally that uncommon.

I've seen a handful of pictures of this happening, as well as a Brian Barczyck video where one of his hatchlings was trying, but Brian was able to rescue it.
He had never seen it before and he's bred thousands of Kings.

Kings are fantastic snakes and I'll advocate for them 100 times out of 100.
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Old 10-09-18, 07:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: How likely are kingsnakes to try to eat themselves

Clint's Reptiles made it sound like a very real possibility in his Mexican black kingsnake video. I forget the exact wording but he said something like "if you're interested in a snake that occasionally might try to eat itself or you". And his kingsnake tried to eat itself in that video, while he was handling it. Based on that video, I was under the impression this was a somewhat common thing. But you know what... you're right, I've seen the Brian Barczyck video you're talking about. He's been surrounded by snakes every day of his life for how many years (?) and he's never seen that before or since. He made it a point to say how uncommon it is and he's never seen a snake do it.

Thanks for your responses, guys. I appreciate your experience. I'm considering a second snake, I already have a ball python, and I'm trying to choose between a sand boa and a kingsnake. This whole "the snake might eat itself" thing had me leaning more towards a sand boa, but knowing that I'm just being paranoid helps tip the scales.
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Old 10-09-18, 08:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: How likely are kingsnakes to try to eat themselves

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Originally Posted by IHaveADogToo View Post
Clint's Reptiles made it sound like a very real possibility in his Mexican black kingsnake video. I forget the exact wording but he said something like "if you're interested in a snake that occasionally might try to eat itself or you". And his kingsnake tried to eat itself in that video, while he was handling it. Based on that video, I was under the impression this was a somewhat common thing. But you know what... you're right, I've seen the Brian Barczyck video you're talking about. He's been surrounded by snakes every day of his life for how many years (?) and he's never seen that before or since. He made it a point to say how uncommon it is and he's never seen a snake do it.

Thanks for your responses, guys. I appreciate your experience. I'm considering a second snake, I already have a ball python, and I'm trying to choose between a sand boa and a kingsnake. This whole "the snake might eat itself" thing had me leaning more towards a sand boa, but knowing that I'm just being paranoid helps tip the scales.
Yeah, I think there are much more reputable sources than Clint. I've seen a few of his videos on YouTube. I would definitely look elsewhere. It's easy to find a reputable breeder these days.

Morphmarket.com
Kingsnake.com
Faunaclassifieds.com

check those sites out.

I think it's very important, especially in today's internet driven world, to cross reference any info you receive, regardless of source.
I would be willing to bet my left leg that if you get a King it will NOT try to eat itself.

I'm personally not a KSB fan, so cant weigh in there. But, Kings make awesome pets. They can be a bit nippy as hatchlings/juveniles, but grow out of that fairly quickly. When you're that little, EVERYTHING can be a predator, so they are understandably nervous. But as they acclimate to human contact and get some size on them they gain confidence and generally handle very well.

Feel free to ask any more questions you have, I'm happy to help.

And do yourself a favor and forget Clint and learn from better sources. I can assure you a King isn't trying to eat itself, or you.
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Old 10-09-18, 09:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: How likely are kingsnakes to try to eat themselves

I'm with Craig. I'm not a big fan of sand boas either but kings are AWESOME snakes to keep. I just wish they got a little bigger. I still miss the pair I rehomed a couple of years ago. If I ever get another snake it'll be a king or bull snake.
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Old 10-09-18, 10:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: How likely are kingsnakes to try to eat themselves

You mentioned the importance of cross referencing - that's exactly why I came here and asked this question in the first place. I've always subscribed to the idea that information should come from multiple sources, not just one. Clint was the only YouTuber I saw that really seemed to be concerned with kingsnakes trying to eat themselves. I watch a ton of animal/reptile YouTubers, and nobody else even mentions that it could happen, meanwhile Clint makes it sound like it's just as real of a possibility as a crested gecko dropping it's tail. So you see why I was confused. I'm glad I came here and asked.

Can I ask, why are you guys not fans of sand boas?
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Old 10-09-18, 10:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: How likely are kingsnakes to try to eat themselves

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Can I ask, why are you guys not fans of sand boas?
I prefer keeping larger snakes. 6ft is about the smallest snake I want. Sand boas are kinda cute but I'm not particularly fond of their head and body shapes . I also like snakes that are better display animals. I believe KSBs tend to hide a lot. Kings hide too but I would still see them in the open fairly often. I also love the diverse looks of kings and their usually STRONG feeding response.
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Old 10-09-18, 11:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: How likely are kingsnakes to try to eat themselves

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Originally Posted by IHaveADogToo View Post
You mentioned the importance of cross referencing - that's exactly why I came here and asked this question in the first place. I've always subscribed to the idea that information should come from multiple sources, not just one. Clint was the only YouTuber I saw that really seemed to be concerned with kingsnakes trying to eat themselves. I watch a ton of animal/reptile YouTubers, and nobody else even mentions that it could happen, meanwhile Clint makes it sound like it's just as real of a possibility as a crested gecko dropping it's tail. So you see why I was confused. I'm glad I came here and asked.

Can I ask, why are you guys not fans of sand boas?
Exactly!!! You're on the right track, no doubt.

As for KSBs...honestly, first it's about looks to me. My personal opinion, though.
I also don't like how small they stay (hypocritical considering I have a hognose, but he's freaking awesome) or that they are pretty much always burrowed and hidden (hypocritical considering I have a BP and a Borneo STP, but they're much larger and I love both species).
They're one species I've never even handled, so can't comment there. I just never took an interest in KSBs with all the other species out there that I like.
There's certainly nothing wrong with KSBs, I know a handful of people who seem to enjoy theirs. They're just not for me. In all honesty, especially by comparison to other species, they jyst kinda bore me.
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