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Handling Rtbs. . .

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by 1melissa3, May 1, 2009.

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  1. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    Because I am not confident in knowing, for certain, that what I have is common red tail. The pics are harder to tell from, and I will do more research.
     
  2. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    Well, obviously, I have a rtb, what I mean is I don't know about whether it was captive, or wild, I don't know if it's been bred with anything more tempermental, like the more southern rts. He still isn't too keen to be picked up and will squirm and really protest at being moved out. I just am not experienced enough to be confident in pushing the issue. His coloring is more tan and brown and I thought that would mark a difference, but it doesn't and is a common coloring.
     
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Melissa, the only way you are going to get past this is to just grit your teeth and do it. Thats the only way that YOU are going to get comfortable with it.
    The snake is not going to calm itself down if left to its own devices. The first few times that you do it you may be a bit nervous and that's to be expected. But the more you handle him the easier it will come to you.
    We ALL were there at one time. None of us just popped out of the womb confident in handling snakes. It's a learning experience and the sooner you get started the better. The longer you wait the more you talk yourself into being afraid of it and the bigger the snake will get, which will make you more afraid of it.
     
  4. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    It didn't start out that way. When we first got him, I was fine with handling him, as he seemed to be happy with the attention. I am quite nervous now, granted, because his temperament has seemed to change and that has made me far more reluctant to press him. You are right, and I know I will have to get over this reluctance.
     
  5. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    You can do it. You just have to remember that this is your pet and the best way to gentle him down is to handle him. Right now he has no confidence in you as a handler and you have little confidence in yourself. As we (everyone on this thread) stated earlier, it is only going to get worse as time goes by and he gets bigger. I am behind you as I am sure everyone else is. If you are concerned about picking him up bare handed try using some gloves to begin with. Just remember if he does strike out at you- do not drop him or jerk away. This can seriously injure him and you. We are your support team and we are here for you.
     
  6. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    ;) Y'all are so kind and patient. . . Thank you.

    I am not around a single person that is experienced here and it is unnerving to just be "alone" about it. Rather, I would be without this forum.

    I have been in his cage several times a day and it has worked with making him more comfortable with me, too. He has been letting me touch his head and pet him, but even now he lets me pick him up. He doesn't take off to his hide, as he used to. He does move through my hands, but he doesn't hide, he comes back around to see where I'm at. He puts is head up on my hand as if to sniff. I still haven't taken him completely out for a while, but I can tell he's coming around drastically in time. I am also coming around. . . Just being more consistant and getting the time in with him, as y'all say, definitely matters.

    I must sound so foolish to readers, but after the one time that he struck and then fought so much when we took him out, it was too unnerving to press the issue. However, we are getting through it. . .
     
  7. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Now that is wonderful news! The fear inside ourselves are our greatest enemy and to over come it is really an accomplishment!

    Not snake related but it still boils down to the same thing, when I just started doing field work we got charged by an elephant. First it was an adrenalin rush then I was afraid and after that came shock! It was difficult to go out on foot in the field after that day because of the fear of another charge. I came to realize that nobody can make it better with words etc, the only way to fix the problem was to put myself in the same situation and teach myself to cope with it. It worked. To make a long story short, Ive seen plenty of people quitting because of fear so I am very proud of you! The more time that you spend with him the easier and easier it will get. :D

    But don't forget that they will always be unpredictable and that you must always stay on your guard.;)
     
  8. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    In my heart, I couldn't possibly give up logically because my hubby is intent on keeping them in my house. I have no other choice but to do best by them. It is also important to me that my children learn, and they won't learn anythign from me if I don't move forward with it.
     
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    And we will be right there with you!;)
    You CAN do this!
     
  10. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    and after a few sessions, you'll learn to read snakey body language, and you'll feel more comfortable when you're able to tell (to a degree) what kind of mood your snake is in. You 'll be able to tell if they are relaxed, or if they are irritable, and likely to strike. You'll learn to recognize all of this.

    Bites, when they occur, are not excruciating so much as they are startling, and it's made worse by anticipation. Get yourself some good gloves, and you can ease yourself into it.
     
  11. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    1Melissa3-- That is AWESOME!!!!! You are well on your way to becoming an A#1 snake handler. I applaud your efforts and I knew you could do it. Remember you are only alone geographically in spirit you are with all of your friends on here and vice-versa. We are here to share in your accomplishments as well as your problems and we will all do our best to give you the best advice possible.

    On a different note--I took some new pictures of all my snakes, especially the blood python. I will try to get them up on the site and in an album this weekend. I have to wait until she gets her laptop out as I have an antique desk top computer(10 years old) and I don't have the applications that she does.
     
  12. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    =) thank you!
     
  13. Aalamil

    Aalamil Elite Member

    I read this post and I swear Melissa is my wife! We've had our RTB for about 4 months now and for the first 3 my wife would not touch it or go near it and if I was holding it she wouldn't go near me. Now she still won't get it out of the cage but if I do she comes right over and says let me hold it(as long as I stay close by) In just the last two weeks she's gotten so much better and her and the snake are getting along just fine. I'm so proud of her and you for not giving up.
     
  14. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    Ha, ha, ha. . . Seriously, dearest Aalamil, the roles here are quite reversed. My hubby has NEVER, to what I recall, ever handled him, it's always been me. The one time, though, was a bad experience and it was hard for me to recover from that. =) If I had someone, anyone, granted, that was around me that was "for" taking him out, it wouldn't have taken me so long to get back into it. =) My hubby is gone 12+ hrs a day 6 days a week, and as much as he would like to do things, he just doesn't really have the time, as I do. . .
     
  15. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    I do adore him, the rtb, as he seems to always be looking for me when the cage is opened now. . . He is much more interested in the attention, or so it seems. =) Lovin' it, I am!!
     
  16. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Hmmmm, sounds like addiction setting in. I remember that feeling- my wife and I were in Florida picking up a couple of corn snakes from a friend of her family and he thrust these two boa constrictors in my hands, I was just standing there holding them and talking to him when he informed me that both of the boas were very nippy and he would only handle them with gloves on. They never attempted to bite me and they actually seemed to enjoy me holding them , but when he first told me that, I got a bit nervous until they crawled up to my face and licked me (tasting me). Then I was hooked. They ended up coming back to North Carolina with us along with the two corn snakes. They have never bitten me but their feeding response is so strong they snap at the glass when I walk by to feed a different snake.
     
  17. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    When we first started handling the male bp, he hissed at my hubby, and he said he didn't like the thought of him (bp) being aggressive, but he's (bp) never hissed at me nor my oldest, and we're the ones that handle him! The two of them ((bps)) grip much tighter than the rtb, almost like they're hugging you. They will watch you from inside their glass, almost like they are wanting you to come over. It is quite interesting, and yes, addicting(!) but because they all have their own personalities. . . =)
     
  18. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    Did I say that my hubby never took the rtb out and handled him?? Well, I spoke too soon. He knows I'd been working with him, so, yesterday, while I've got my hands wet in the sink, he goes over, Mr. I Can't Do Anything On My Own, and takes him out to handle him for a while. I was so proud of him, but a bit edgy, too, because I couldn't just rush over and help with my hands wet. He's coming along, too!! =) I just had to brag on him, as I had said that he had never done that before, and well, now he has!!
     
  19. Kendalle

    Kendalle Elite Member

    Heh, when my scaredy cat boyfriend handles my iguana with out me I am always worried that it will be the one time that kermie jumps or tail whips or nips his fingers when giving her a treat... then he will whine to me about my pet being dangerous
     
  20. Aalamil

    Aalamil Elite Member

    I worry about the day my RTB bites my wife, cause she will say "MEAN SNAKE, GET RID OF IT!" and I can't do that!
     
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