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Old 10-20-18, 08:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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California kingsnake help!

Hello,

About a year ago, last Christmas, I bought my boyfriend a cali kingsnake as a present and we love her to death and everything but she's hard to handle. For starts we feed her every week to every other week and we give her 2-3 pinkies. We keep her cage at the correct temp with a heat lamp. She also gets handled once a week. Though that's our problem. When we try to handle her she tries to snap and rattles her tail no matter how slow or calm we are. When we do get to pick her up she musks all over the cage, the walls, and even the bedroom floor. No matter how often we handle her, it always happens.

Is there something we are doing wrong? Is there something we can do differently, or is she just so temperamental?
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Old 10-22-18, 09:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: California kingsnake help!

Welcome and best wishes. Do you have pics of your snake and setup? At a year old he's definitely not getting enough food if he's still on pinkys. My king hatchlings were only on pinkys for a month or so. That could make your snake pretty grumpy. Also how are you measuring your temps and what are your cool and hot side temps reading?
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Old 10-22-18, 03:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: California kingsnake help!

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Originally Posted by EL Ziggy View Post
Welcome and best wishes. Do you have pics of your snake and setup? At a year old he's definitely not getting enough food if he's still on pinkys. My king hatchlings were only on pinkys for a month or so. That could make your snake pretty grumpy. Also how are you measuring your temps and what are your cool and hot side temps reading?
Welcome!!!

I agree with Ziggy, your snake is likely underfed and still pretty tiny, hence grouchy. Pinkies are primarily water and don't offer much nutrition at all. Is the snake pooping regularly? After every meal?

- How much does the snake weigh?
- what are your temps?
- How are you heating the enclosure?
- Areyour heat sources regulated by a THERMOSTAT?
- How are you measuring temps?
- what size/type enclosure is he in?
- what kind of hides are offered? What size?

The more you tell us the better we can help you.

Kings can be nippy and scared, especially that young and small. Basically, EVERYTHING seems like a predator to them at that size. As they get bigger they gain confidence, and they typically outgrow the fearful nippy stage fairly quickly. Handling only once a week isn't bad, by any means, but I would handle more often, maybe 3-4, for 5-10 minutes at a time.
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