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Old 03-29-21, 08:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
DDW
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Speckled Kingsnake Potential?

I have always loved speckled king snakes and wish there were more of the species in the trade. I know that it is usually looked down upon to wild-capture snakes for pets. HOWEVER, I have been having a hard time finding speckled kingsnakes in the trade period, let alone the beautiful variety that we have here in Louisiana.

I have looked up some laws and I can capture wild non-venomous and non-protected species of reptiles, amphibians, and fish if I get a fishing license. I want to capture a pair to breed later on after acclimating them to life in captivity. The reason I want to do this is to introduce more captive-bred individuals into the trade with that great peppered pattern.

To clarify my intentions, I seek to capture wild snakes and transition them into captivity, handling and socializing them, getting them healthy, and feeding BEFORE attempting to breed them. Breeding them would be a project to reduce the amount of wild-caught individuals being sold and support captive-bred projects in the community. This way there will be fewer animals being taken from the wild and less impact on the environment.

These animals would obviously be put in a long quarantine and treated for any ailments they may be suffering from upon capture.

If the individual is showing a failure to thrive in captivity, I will release the snake back into the wild within a few weeks of capture in a prime area with lots of prey (In my backyard that has lots of overgrown weeds and plenty of rodent dens.)

I have access to clean, live rodents from a breeder near me if the snakes refuse to eat F/Th.

Part of the reason I'm making this post is to test the waters or see if you guys know of more breeders than I do. I find it quite difficult to find these snakes other than in my back yard and near my sister's chicken coops.
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Old 03-29-21, 09:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Speckled Kingsnake Potential?

I'm not familiar with specific breeders but it looks like speckled kings, locality speckled kings, and morphs of speckled kings, are readily available seasonally on sites like faunaclassifieds, kingsnake, and even morph market.

I'm not saying that you can't or shouldn't attempt to create a new line of locality animals to introduce fresh genetics to the trade. My personal critique of wild caught animals is that most of them can be purchased CBB for less money than the vet visits necessary to treat the wild ones.

You will want to look at the law to figure out what kind of hoops you will need to jump through. Most states will allow you to possess a certain number of wild snakes with a hunting or fishing license; most prohibit breeding those animals or selling them without special permits.
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Old 03-30-21, 03:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Speckled Kingsnake Potential?

I suppose I may just be looking for speckled kings at the wrong times.

I do want to introduce new genetics into the captive trade. Initial cost will be a bit high, yes, though I believe payoff might be worth it even if I only ever get one clutch from the wild caught snakes.

As far as law is concerned, it is pretty simple. A fishing license allows me to capture them for non-commercial purposes, and a retail permit is required if I want to use them for commercial purposes. Both are pretty cheap here for residents.
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Old 03-30-21, 07:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Speckled Kingsnake Potential?

Interesting idea. I think if you are conscious of the issues commonly associated with wild caught (which it seems like you are) specimens, then a project like this can be fun and rewarding. Just don't expect to get rich and PLEASE be aware of the ecosystems you are messin with. I lived in Tangipahoa parish for a while. I highly doubt your yard will miss two little kingsnakes. Wildlife everywhere!

Have fun and keep us posted if you decide to move forward.
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Old 03-30-21, 09:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Speckled Kingsnake Potential?

Thank you very much for your optimism. I live in the ArkLaMiss area and there is farm land all around my parents', my sister's, and my yards. (All of us live within 10 miles of each other and that's the places I would be taking from.)

Honestly thought I was going to catch more negativity saying I shouldn't do this. It feels better that y'all support this type of idea. <3
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Old 03-30-21, 02:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Speckled Kingsnake Potential?

Well, I support autonomy and free choice. I am a naturalist at heart and probably personally would not do what you are proposing. But nothing about your plan makes me feel any reason personally to speak against it, even if it may not be something I would do. I have like 50 birds though (all outside) so hey, to each their own.
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Old 03-31-21, 05:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Speckled Kingsnake Potential?

Thank you
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Old 03-31-21, 08:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Speckled Kingsnake Potential?

I think the anti wild caught crowd may have migrated to FB. There's a lot more drama over there.

The reality is that wild caught animals do serve a purpose in the hobby. Proving morphs, establishing line bred localities, or just introducing new genes to prevent inbreeding. I'm inclined to criticize a newbie trying to score a "free" snake from the wild because they want one but can't afford one, but more established keepers are a different story.
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Old 04-01-21, 08:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Speckled Kingsnake Potential?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chairman View Post
I think the anti wild caught crowd may have migrated to FB. There's a lot more drama over there.

The reality is that wild caught animals do serve a purpose in the hobby. Proving morphs, establishing line bred localities, or just introducing new genes to prevent inbreeding. I'm inclined to criticize a newbie trying to score a "free" snake from the wild because they want one but can't afford one, but more established keepers are a different story.
I agree completely, chairman. There's nothing wrong with a small amount of responsible, sustainable collecting.
I think many new herpers seem to have forgotten how their captive bred herps originally came into the hobby.
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Old 04-02-21, 12:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Speckled Kingsnake Potential?

Thank you so much each one of you. I know I'm not very active here usually but I greatly appreciate the advice. I have begun to itemize what I need to make a suitable rack for speckled kings though I have somewhat low confidence in my ability to do a DIY one. I'd order one from a pro rack maker but my budget is a bit low at the moment. (trying to save for a new vehicle).
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Old 04-05-21, 08:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Speckled Kingsnake Potential?

Racks are typically made such that the lids for the tubs are actually the shelves above the tubs. Getting your tolerances tight enough for hatchling kingsnakes can be tough.

Instead of a rack, maybe just use shelves. Heat tape can be attached to a shelf. The snakes can be kept in tubs with secure lids, like Sterilite gasket boxes, Ezy Storage latch totes, Iris weathertight storage boxes, etc (a wood burner or soldering iron can be used to melt ventilation holes into the tubs). Such a setup is similar to a rack in terms of function and space utilization at a lower cost; however, they aren't quite as convenient as the containers need to be completely removed in order to access the snakes.
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Old 04-07-21, 08:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Speckled Kingsnake Potential?

Thank you so much, I think all I need to do to get plans for a rack system is get sizes set up. I could even stack the baby tubs and switch them out if necessary. I want to be able to hold both kingsnake and ball pythons. (I want to breed both species, but that's a bit off topic).
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