Hello, guest
Name: kaitie
[ Original Post ]
My son wants to get a snake. I personally can't stand snakes, but I don't want to discourage his love for animals. Does anyone know anything about keeping snakes? What do they eat? Where do they live? etc
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Name: ricka | Date: Jul 23rd, 2005 12:11 AM
snakes are cool pets. they are low maintence and easy to care for. if you're uneasy about getting a snake that eats mice, then get a smaller snake. i would advise that if you're willing to let your son get a snake, then set boundries on the type of snake. you should get a book of snakes or talk to someone in a pet store. 

Name: Risty | Date: Jul 26th, 2005 6:35 PM
True snakes can be very cool pets and they are low maintenance but not no-maintenance. We used to have several snakes but had to give them up when we moved. Keep in mind that some snakes can live 30 years. Educate yourself and your son about snakes before you buy!!!
Some snakes get very large (we had three that were over 15 ft long) Check out your local pet store to see what they have and what they recommend. Another good source is reptile shows. You can also check with your veterinarian. It’s a good to find one that is familiar with snakes-not all of them are.
As far as feeding goes – what they eat and how often they eat depends on the snake. They can swallow something twice the size of the thickest part of their body. Most of ours ate live mice and rats; the larger ones ate rabbits. Captive snakes don’t necessarily have to be fed live rodents though, they can adapt to eating pre-killed rodents. We live in the Midwest and during the winter months, many of our snakes would quit eating or only eat a couple of times during the entire 6-8 months.
It’s very important to have the correct enclosure for your snake. Most of ours were kept in aquariums with locking screen tops that we bought at the pet store. Some were kept in specially made enclosures. Their environment needs to be kept warm with an average temperature around 80 degrees and some require a very high humidity level. A little humidity helps when they’re going to shed. Be careful to follow instructions for under-tank heaters and hot rocks so the snake doesn’t get burned. Except for the three largest snakes, all of ours had hide boxes in their aquariums. If it’s an arboreal snake you’ll also want to provide branches to climb on. And of course they need water dishes.
Check out some books at the library. Do a little internet research. Talk to knowledgeable people at the pet store. (My favorite snakes are the “Ball Pythons” (Royal Pythons). They’re typically a more timid snake and don’t get very large 3-5ft. Depending on how old your son is something like a corn, rat or king snake may be closer to the size you were thinking about.) Good Luck! 

Name: pauline | Date: Aug 18th, 2005 3:49 PM
I don't think you should let your son get a snake. Some snake might not be posionous but, they still do bite. I had a snake as a pet, but i had to get rid of it because it bit me. I was feeding it mice at the time but it went for me instead of the mouse and this snake was a ordinary grass snake not posionous or vicous. please think about it more before you buy your son a snake. If you do decide to get him one I hope you have better luck than i did. Best of luck 

Name: jacob | Date: Aug 21st, 2005 9:55 PM
where is copeer 

Name: jacob | Date: Aug 21st, 2005 9:57 PM
im looking for a snake color brown and black and stomch white 

Name: jacob | Date: Aug 21st, 2005 9:59 PM
what do snakes eat 

Name: Cathy | Date: Sep 3rd, 2005 6:13 AM
A friend years ago owned a snake that was nonvenemous and it actually had a mouth that was too small to bite...actually was the one that made me comfortable around snakes. Looking to find out what kind he was. He was less than 36" long but he was very thin and all black. Would appreciate any help here....DON'T want to buy my 12 yr old girl the wrong kind of snake......PLEASE HELP! 

Name: harrison | Date: Sep 18th, 2005 4:23 PM
not a website in surrey but a website in uk 

Name: harrison | Date: Sep 18th, 2005 4:24 PM
or speak in at the chat room 

Name: rae | Date: Sep 22nd, 2005 3:47 AM
i just found a snake crawling in a supermarket, he's about 12" long. i think he's a python, he has black and gray coloring. what do they eat? where's the best place to keep him? 

Name: jake | Date: Oct 13th, 2005 11:52 PM
What kind of snake are you looking for 

Name: Digs | Date: Oct 30th, 2005 8:29 PM
for a first snake i would recommend a corn snake. they can be kept in a small vavarium with a small heat pad to start with. they eat "pinkies" which are baby mice that you buy frozen and are very cheap. they eventually grow to 6ft but remain very slim. they can be quite shy but get used to being handled very quickly. they do not require extra lighting or mineral soluitons for their water. very easy to keep pets. 

Name: Lorenzo | Date: Nov 9th, 2005 3:52 PM
were do snakes live 

Name: Lisa | Date: Nov 12th, 2005 12:28 AM
Oh my gosh. Are you guys ever STUPID, no offence. Before you start asking TOTAL general questions like this, just do some research!!! It's not THAT hard! What I recommend 110+% are cornsnakes. They rarely EVER bite, if they do at all ever. They're also the #1 beginner snake. I got mine 2 years ago when I was only 10 and he has never EVER bitten me, not even when he was just born. Corns eat mice of the appropriete size only once a week. I would recommend NOT getting it from a pet store, or taking ANY advice from a pet store. They lie, they just want to make money out of getting you to buy their (most likely) unhealthy snake. I would get it from a reptile show, and from a trusted breeder. Trust me, I have a TON of experience as a corn snake owner as I'm breeding them in the 2006 breeding season. As for how big they get, they only get up to 3-5 feet max. Do more google searches on the internet, and get a book. Please ignore all of the above posts, seriously. Somewhere in their post there's a lie. Ex. #1) pauline said that even if they aren't venomous, they'll bite. This is TOTALLY ***TRUE***! Ex #2) Jim said they're only for breeding. No, most people just keep them as pets. There's many other examples, but I have to go, sorry. Please ask any more questions you might have and the best of luck!!! =D 

Name: daiki | Date: Nov 26th, 2005 9:14 AM
well look. i think that what all you people need that are looking for a pet snake. seeing as how most of you seem to be looking for a first time. i would like to suggest to you tht a corn snake is an amazing pet. You can buy them as hatchlings for a mere £30 and they are incredibly easy to look after. i bought mine when it was only 3 weeks old. I have since had him for a further 4 months and they are so affecionate! they do not grow very big at the moment mine is only 60cm but the average size for an adult corn snake is about 3ft-5ft. This obviously depends on whether the snake you choose to purchase is a male or female. I do appreciate that some mothers have a fear for snakes. The most offputting thing is that corn snakes need mice to feed. as a hatchling they require 1 pinky a week. a pinky is a tiny baby mouse with little or no fur and can be purchased for a mere 50p in most pet stores. I hope this information has helped you all :) 

Name: rob | Date: Nov 27th, 2005 11:12 PM
i have 7 snakes ,corn snake,cali king,eastern king,albino eastern king,black rat,banded water,and common garter.all have bit me,but rairly bring blood.they are very good pets.first timers need domestic snakes.get your son a corn snake,and let him resurch his pet. 

Name: lou | Date: Nov 28th, 2005 1:44 AM
smile i am from nj 

Name: Cassie | Date: Nov 28th, 2005 5:03 PM
Hi Can anyone help? 

Name: Isabel | Date: Dec 1st, 2005 12:14 AM
they eat mice. 

Name: Carmen | Date: Dec 1st, 2005 12:15 AM
why cant you stand snakes? they're great pets!!! 

Name: Emma | Date: Dec 1st, 2005 12:17 AM
Corn snakes and california king snakes dont bite un less your mean to them. 

Name: domi15 | Date: Dec 5th, 2005 10:34 AM
do corn snakes bite 

Name: nuria | Date: Dec 9th, 2005 1:06 PM
necesito encontrar un canal para chatear llamado snake chat 

Name: brian | Date: Dec 15th, 2005 3:34 AM
i have just had a snake brought for me now i need to learn to look after it 

Name: brian | Date: Dec 15th, 2005 3:37 AM
can anyone tell me what tem the 10 mounth old diamond python needs to stay at and and how long do i need to keep the heat lights no for a day? 

Name: daniel | Date: Dec 18th, 2005 1:57 AM
i am a snake owner. snakes should be kept in an aquarium or tank . snakes uaslly eat mice ,depending on its size it may eat smaller mice. 

Name: nora | Date: Dec 19th, 2005 5:59 PM
*****This is gonna be rather long*****

ok.. im gonna put my 2 cents into this since I keep snakes myself, and my fiancee is a well known venomous snake keeper. Kaitie, if you want to get a snake I would highly suggest something of a small species such as a colubrid. Colubrids include king snakes, milk snakes, corn snakes and rat snakes.. In my years of experience I have found king snakes and corn snakes to be some of the most docile of the herpetile world, and are great for kids. Now depending on the age of your son (since you didnt mention it) this is a great opportunity for him to learn responsibility, of course you and other family members will need to help, but this will give your son a sense of self pride and accomplishment.

I'm going to add and correct some info that Risty provided.
As far as enclosures are concerned, aquariums with locking screen lids are fine, but as the snake grows your tank has to grow too. You can always opt for a custom enclosure built by someone you know who's good with materials and building things, or one off of the internet. I do have references of numerous cage builders as well.

Temperatures.. This is where common mistakes are made.. For any snake there should be gradient temps.. a cool side and a warm side.. Snakes need to thermoregulate as they are *cold blooded animals* Depending on which snake you get the temps are going to vary.. I keep boas and the temps in their enclosures are 87-89 deg F on the warm sided and about 78-80 in the cool side.. now my cali king snake, her temps are 85 deg F on the warm side but 74deg F on the cooler (see the difference?) Now with humidity it goes the same.. some snakes require a high humidity and some a low one.. the humidity levels (as well as temperatures) are based on where the snake
comes from. As far as UTH's (Under Tank Heaters) they're really not needed as the air temp is sufficient for snake to digest their food.. but if you want to opt for one anyway, a human heat pad to put under the warm side of the tank is sufficient, or you can by one called flexwatt from numerous retailers.. as far as over head heat (to mimic the sun) you can justget a lamp with a infra red heat bulb. Just remember the higher the wattage the higer the heat that will be emitted. So ask about which wattage would be appropriate for the snake you will be getting.. (for a colubrid I recommend a 25 watt infra red heat bulb)

Please do not EVER use a heat rock, as I have seen too many snakes get burned and even killed by burns/infections caused by one of them.. They suck up electricity and are simply ugly to look at as well, but from safety aspects.. Do no use one or again you might end up with a crispy critter.

Feeding: It is usually not recommended that a person feeds a snake a LIVE rodent! I will press this issue as snakes are known to be attacked by rats/mice and have minor to severe and life threatening bites. You dont want to find a dead snake in the enclosure... trust me it will tear your son up. Now the rule of thumb for feeding for most snakes is 1 prey item equal or slightly larger to the girth of the snake at the widest part. Now if you dont mind killing rats and mice then I will encourage you feed your snake pre-killed food. Or you can buy frozen feeders, store them in a freezer, thaw them then feed to the snake.. l know it may sound really messed up but it's what I do. Thawing is a whole other process that I'm not going to get to, but I will provide you information at the end of my post to where you can get it. Also if you can feed rats rather than mice, then it will be more beneficial to your snake as rats have a higher calcium content than mice... and snakes need calcium too.

Hide Boxes: Most snakes require that a box for hiding such as a hollow half log. this will provide the animal with security as a lot of snakes arent claustraphobic...lol Plus it will provide them with shade so they can sleep because snakes dont have eye lids.

Now have you thought about getting a lizard or a gecko instead of a snake? have you asked you son? If he seems interested in one, I would highly recommend Leopard Geckos. They are very VERY sweet and mild mannered little critters and are great pets for kids of every age...even you Kaitie. Leos as they are called in the reptile hobby are just like any gecko in the wild can lose it's tail if it's pulled or yanked.. but it will regrow.. but dont be discouraged by that minor down fall. Leos are low maintenance compared to snakes. they will eat mostly insects like crickets and they never bite...=)

now for the references. I suggest you join up or at least visit these forums, there are many parents and kid members there like me (im a 2 months along-to-be-mom) there that will offer up some great advice on kids and snakes, as well as snake care for any kind of snake you can think of.... from ball pythons to burmese pythons to anacondas:
www.redtailboa.net [I am a site moderator
www.thereptileroom.org [my fiancee is the site co-owner and administrator

If anytime you (or anyone else here especially brian with the carpet python) would like to email me for more info, plz feel free to. My email is [email protected]

RedTailBoa.net - Moderator
Snake House Company - Owner 

Name: to daniel | Date: Dec 19th, 2005 6:03 PM
FYI.. snakes really don't belong in tanks.. aquariums and tanks should only be used as a temporary housing arrangement, and the snake should be moved into an enclosure made of plastic, acrylic, wood lined inside with tile board (stuff used in showers) you run risks with glass tanks, especially if you're using an UTH *under tank heater*, glass might crack and break and cause injury to you or your critter... I can give you references on quality enclosures if you're interested... just email me..


Name: jason | Date: Dec 20th, 2005 8:10 PM
i am specail.........................................

Name: Ally McKay | Date: Dec 21st, 2005 7:39 PM
What do just born snakes eat? 

Name: Nick | Date: Dec 26th, 2005 9:57 PM
Can you keep male and female royal pythons together when they are 9 months old or do you need seperate vivariums. 

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