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Can a Baby Cal King "hang-on Biter" Outgrow This Behavior?

Discussion in 'Kingsnakes' started by OrchidPal, May 8, 2012.

  1. OrchidPal

    OrchidPal Elite Member

    I was at a local Reptile Store buying my frozen feeders. It was Saturday & busy. I overheard one of the employees tell a customer that he didn't want a baby Cal. King because they were mean, not good pets ... He had two as examples, that he'd taken in trade that bit "every time". One would hold on. He particularly didn't like that one.

    I expect, the only time he puts his hand in there is when he's feeding the rack & therefore smells like food. And if hand means food, then cleaning would also get a bite.

    I have an adult Cal. King F? who I LOVE. I am seriously considering going back to get him and would like experienced input about this problem.

    Also, I am enjoying seeing more posts on the Kingsnake forum.
  2. Jlassiter

    Jlassiter Elite Member

    A king that is biting and chewing ("hanging on") is showing a feeding response.
    This is not a "mean" or defensive behavior.
    Typically if fed more the feeding response bites will stop.
    More frequent meals with intermittent handling should make for a more docile snake.
    That is, if this is what is wanted by the keeper.
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    My thought as well. The snake is hungry. And your fingers smell tasty!
  4. Jlassiter

    Jlassiter Elite Member

    And if it is a young snake it is "curious."
    It will bite anything that moves to see if he can eat it.
    This is the main reason young kings cannot be housed together.
  5. aldru

    aldru Member

    have a new king snake who also bites lots, i assume that with time and adjustments to her feeding schedule she will get better! and surely not a mean thing, just a nibble... reminds me of puppies sort of!
  6. bigboas

    bigboas Elite Member

    I had baby kings also. Some were biters and some not. It sounds like feeding response like they've said. I've also have heard that since the eat lizards,snakes and so on that they think everything wants a piece of them. T hey might not be handeling them very well either. There rilly can be a
    thousand of reasons. Mine all grew out of it its kinda just how they are. I was told if there bighters as babys then there great eaters. Good luck hope you get the california king.
  7. OrchidPal

    OrchidPal Elite Member

    Thank You!!! I appreciate all your replies. I will try to work out a deal with them today. And have taken note of the hunger factor. I get crabby when I'm hungry too!;)
  8. OrchidPal

    OrchidPal Elite Member

    I went to the reptile store today & found the "hang on biter" had been sold! Also, I got some information about the sales person that works there on Saturday. Apparently, he's afraid of EVERYTHING. Over reaction on his part, he'd just gotten bit.

    So, I didn't get the king, but he has found a home.

    I did however, come home with a BP. :-" Whoooo

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