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Best Snake For Beginner? Garter?

Discussion in 'Garter & Water snakes' started by sarah5775, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. sarah5775

    sarah5775 New Member

    I have never kept a snake before, and I would like to get one. There are many garter snakes in my parent's yard, and I was thinking of trying to catch one. Would this be advisable? I could also probably buy one if you think a wild snake would not do well. Is a garter snake a good beginner's snake, and if not, what would you recommend? I want something that doesn't get too big and would be less likely to bite. I was originally attracted to garter snakes because I've heard you can feed them fish, and while I'm WILLING to handle dead mice if I have to (which most people are saying are preferable to live mice. is this true?) if I can find a snake that will eat fish or worms that would be much better.

    Would you recommend a garter snake as a starter snake or would another type of snake be better? I was looking into corn snakes, but they are a little pricey and boas get too big.

  2. Ieasa

    Ieasa Elite Member

    I think a ball python is a good starter snake. They stay at a managable length. You would feed it rats. I have never touched a dead rat. Don't plan to. I use tongs.

    Corn snakes are good as well. They get a big longer but not as thick. Ours eats mice.

    I wouldn't think it would be fair to take a snake from the wild. Also they are more likely to bite you because they are scared. Not used to close human contact.

    Maybe someone more knowledgable then I will know more.

    It is good you are researching before you dive in though.
  3. Katsura

    Katsura Elite Member

    Nooo. don't take one from your yard. Never do that. You are going to be exponentially stressing out a snake if you do that. Plus it could have any number of health issues. Not to mention that in some states its illegal to pick up indigenous species and keep them.

    I would reccomend either a corn snake or a ball python. My vote would be a ball python, but as you seem to like garter snakes you might want to go with a corn snake as they are similar to garters.

    Oh and, if you really have your heart set on a garter snake, you can get captive bred ones online. So yes, a garter snake is a good first snake. Just don't pull it from that wild.
  4. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    a wild animal will be under more stress in captivity and is more likely to be carrying some sickness. a captive bred animal from a reputable breeder is always the best way to go. Gater snakes are a nice little starter and will do okay without rodents. just be weary of what you feed them. Found this link, hope it helps

    Garter Snake Forum - Garter Caresheet
  5. sarah5775

    sarah5775 New Member

    Ok, no snake from the wild. I thought it would be nice to be able to have a free snake, you know, rather than spend a lot of money, but of course the well being of the snake is the most important thing. The last thing I want to do is take a beautiful animal from its natural habitat and put it in a situation where it will be bad for it. I've always hated people who get pets and don't take care of them properly, that's why I want to do as much research as possible before getting a snake.

    A ball python is a possibility, if its a good starter snake. How big do they get? The only thing is I'm really uneasy about feeding it rats. Mice are one thing, I'm ok with that. But my friend used to have pet rats and she was always telling me all these stories about them, what they did, how they interacted with her kid, etc. The fact that they are humanely killed is good, though, I don't have to see it suffer. I will have to think about it. So maybe a corn snake would be better. Can you tell me where I can find more info on them? You know, a reputable forum or site? I think they may be the best bet.
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Actually a cornsnake is the best beginners snake. They are docile, easily fed and kept and available in a mind boggling array of colors and patterns. MAximum lehngth os 5-6ft though most of them top out at about 4-5.
    Corn Snake Caresheet (Pantherophis guttatus)
  7. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    Observing reptiles in their natural environment is awesome! Why stick a snake in a tank when you can observe its behavior in its native habitat?

    Corn snakes are def the best beginner snake. However I still vote ball python. They make amazing pets. They are a heavy bodied snake but don't get that long. My 16 year old ball is just over 4 feet. Awesome animal
  8. Katsura

    Katsura Elite Member

    Corn snakes eat rodents. But luckily in your case they can eat mice their entire life.

    Ball pythons can get anywhere from 4-6 feet long and they are thicker, beefier, lazier snakes. They're more likely to sit and hang out.

    Corn snakes are garters stay thin, and they are more apt to explore and are usually constantly moving.

    Oh and, there is a difference between feeder rats and pet rats. Feeder rats are bred with the intention to be food and I don't think they're socialized like pet rats are. Basically im trying to say that feeding your snake a rat isn't like you're feeding it someone's pet. I personally have had pet rats my entire life and I currently own a mouse, but I also feed my snakes rats. Of course, go with the snake that has the feeding option you feel most comfortable with.
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    However for a new keeper BP feeding habits can make you crazy!
  10. gibble888

    gibble888 New Member

    Garters are not my first snake but i like them cuz they are curious,out almost all day and seem to have lots of personality.

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