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Whats for Dinner? Oh Yeah... Me.....

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by SpecterGT260, Apr 27, 2008.

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  1. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Elite Member

    So I was playing with my little redtail today. I'm trying to keep him as tame as possible and as used to being handled and basically able to tolerate anything anyone may want to do to him. So a part of his handling routine involves me touching his head, either rubbing him under the chin or on top of the head. Today i got a little more bold and decided to touch him on the tip of the nose with my index finger. Ive done this a couple times before, usually he will stick his tongue out just far enough to touch the finger and will just kinda sit there looking around. Today well.... not so much. He pulled back a little, gave one good flick with his tongue, then WHACK!!!!!!

    suddenly my finger was in his mouth :confused:. i couldnt help myself from reacting and jerking my hand back, and i felt the teeth pull out of my finger. I scolded him (which im sure did alot of good :p) and we sat for a little while longer as i examined him, everything looked ok, and there were no teeth left in my finger. judging by the marks left his bite is about 3/8 inch wide though :). anyways, based on his previous behavior and the way this all went i think this may have been a feeding response. hes usuallly very shy about eating in front of me, but maybe something triggered him..... either that or i had just mucked with him a little too much today. What does it sound like to you guys?
     
  2. kcftlaud08

    kcftlaud08 Elite Member

    When is the last time he ate? I'm going with he's hungry, but wait for the experts to weigh in.
     
  3. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    I'll go with - Its a snake, you put your finger in front of its mouth, what do you expect! you can't tame snakes like you would a dog. You have to remember that they bite, and respect that.
     
  4. venus

    venus Founding Member

    I agree with Shell, I dont believe hunger had anything to do with it. Good thing you didnt decide to go nose to nose ;)
     
  5. nicole

    nicole Elite Member

    I dont ever put my finger in front of any snakes mouth. They are absolutely not fond of being caressed under the chin or on the face. They see you as a threat at that point.
     
  6. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    All of my boas are a bit skittish when I am around their head. I make it a point to not make them apprehensive at all.
     
  7. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Elite Member

    i usually dont. however this snake had a history of force feeding, and was pretty used to his head being manipulated. i considered it a good trait and didnt want him to lose it. ideally i wanted a snake that, should the need arise, i can just put my hand over his head without a reaction. with the common stigma about the face i figured it was worth a shot. as a rule he is generally not snappy at all, and i saw the strike coming because he locked onto the finger right before he struck, i just wasnt fast enough. he didnt act startled at all by it, it really did look like a feeding response. besides, sunday/monday are his usual feeding days.

    also, after the event he didnt act startled or stressed at all. he just kinda went about doing what he normally does, i was able to handle all of him, even his head without him pulling away.
     
  8. kcftlaud08

    kcftlaud08 Elite Member

    I have no useful advice. I pet Roxy all the time under her chin and on top of her head, although I have never put my finger up to her nose for a taste test. Even on the days I don't take her out of her cage, when I stroke her, I am able to touch the top of her head. But she has been handled quite a bit. Maybe I would just stay away from the strike zone, so to speak.
     
  9. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    My boa can be a tad bit shy about her head, She's okay with a hand under her head, and even rubbing the top of her head, i don't push it. But putting a warm, meal sized object in front of your snakes mouth is only asking for a bite, chances are your snake saw it as a meal, or a threat. Just because your finger is attatched to you, does not mean the snakes always realize that.
     
  10. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Elite Member

    i know, it probably would have helped to wash my hands before handling as i had just got done eating chicken...... this can be logged as yet another "dont take ur snake for granted" thread :)
     
  11. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    You smelled like chicken, wow, i'd have been shocked if he had'nt bit you. lol.
     
  12. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Elite Member

    yes.... carelessness with a little snake.... and now I have about a dozen pin-sized holes in my finger to show for it lol. i just got home from the library, i showed all my friends the teeth marks :)
     
  13. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    lol. Battle Scars!
    Wait till he gets big...
    When a tiny snake or lizard bites, its almost cute, when there 8' long, not much fun. lol.
     
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    A feeding strike would have been bite and hold on. You got "tagged'. Its the snake's way of telling you that you overstepped your boundaries!
    Most snakes do not care to be approached from "face on".
    That is both a challenge and a threat behavior.
     
  15. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Elite Member

    i thought i had mentioned that but looking back it is a little unclear. he did try to hold on. my reflex reaction yanked my hand out and almost pulled him off of the hand of my gf whos hand he had thorougly wrapped up at the time. ive been "tagged" before, he had a grip on my finger. this is why i checked him out for any jaw damage, hes just a little guy so i wanted to make sure he didnt lose any teeth. im not going to be playing with his nose again any time soon, but i really dont believe this to be a defensive strike. i think we just had a little misunderstanding. :)
     
  16. kcftlaud08

    kcftlaud08 Elite Member

    Hey, you are in good comany as well as bad. Me being the bad which is why I ALWAYS defer to everyone else. I won't put it past me to stick my finger in Roxy's face especially if she refuses yet another rat in a week or so. We all do silly things with the best intentions. My current game plan (if this rat is still in the tank when I wake up) is to wait for her to at least attempt a strike. Probably not the best idea, she is a big snake, but heck, I'm out of other ideas. Although I am considering the feeding box. Have you tried that yet?
     
  17. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    Putting your fingers in front of your snakes mouth does'nt make you "bad company".
    Just makes you asking for a bite.
    lol.

    I'd give the feeding box a shot, locking Rubbermaid containers with plenty of venalation work great.

    And there easy to put together, All you need is a rubbermaid, power screwdriver, and a drill bit, a decent sized one too.
    just make sure there is enough airholes.

    You can even attatch a smaller (5 gallon) UTT heater to some of the heavier duty rubbermaids, but make sure to test it out, checking the temps so you know it does'nt get too hot before you put the snake in for a night.

    AS for getting bit, its understandable to pull back when your bit, but try your best to avoid doing it, its much safer to just pour a (little) bit of whiskey on the snakes mouth to get it to let go.
     
  18. kcftlaud08

    kcftlaud08 Elite Member

    So a shot for me and a shot for Roxy. Me first. I'll try the rubbermaid tub first though, I am kind of a sissy. Shhhh, don't tell anyone. I'm not sure of the demensions I need. She is about 7 1/2 - 8 feet long. And about 25 -30 pounds.
     
  19. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    You don't really need a huge rubbermaid, she does'nt need to be able to move around much in it. I feed my Boa, whos about 5'6" to 6' in a ten gallon glass tank with a locking lid.
     
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Ryan I would be cautious about that. A 6 ft boa's coils definately have the strength to break the thin glass used in a 10 gal!
    If it gets in the right position it may accidently shatter the glass!
     
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