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How Long Do You Have to Wait to Hold the Snake After It Eats?

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by Divine, Mar 29, 2009.

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  1. Divine

    Divine Member

    I'm new to this but I am getting conflicting info....How long do you have to wait to hold them after they eat?? I heard 24 hours or they will throw it up and then I heard if you wait 24 hrs it can get them mean because it keeps them in hunting mode too long. Then I figured a few hours because I know at the pet store they feed them in the AM on a given day of the week and they get held that day by customers....What is the right answer? I don't want to be doing the wrong thing.
  2. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    You are getting conflicting answers because everyone is different. I usually wait 2-3 days before handling so the snake can have time to settle down, and to digest a bit. The reason pet stores feed snakes and then let customers handle them the same day is they are trying to sell them. The more they sell the better the store does. In most cases they really don't care a bit about the animal going out the door. Sometimes there are good knowledgeable people working at the stores but they are few and far between.

    Hope this clears things up a bit.
  3. Divine

    Divine Member

    Ok so out of that I got the pet store is wrong! 2-3 days is way longer than I have heard... and maybe it's the species? red tail boa is what I own.....Very nice snake you can touch her head and look at her teeth if you want to...I don't do it but my husband does (he is trained-volunteer work from Busch wildlife).

    What is the overall reasoning for not handling(for a few hrs or a few days) after eating? throwing up or aggressiveness? does this differ from snake "race" to snake "race"
  4. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    The main reason is regurge and it can vary from species to species. I just don't handle any of my snakes for the same time frame as it is easier to remember. Ball pythons are usually the most timid types of snakes and will regurge if handled too soon. Boas can sometimes stay in a feeding response for many hours and can be aggressive(striking the cage/glass) I have 1 boa that will strike at the glass if she thinks I am feeding any of the other ones.

    Waiting 2-3 days is just my way of allowing them to calm down and to digest their meals for the most part. As I said everyone is different. Once you learn your snake's temperament you will be able to gauge for yourself how long to wait to hold it. If you handle you snakes frequently, waiting for a day or even three should not make them aggressive.
  5. Divine

    Divine Member

    I am most worried about aggressiveness after feeding husband is worried about her/him (not yet sexed-don't know how) throwing up; he says this snake won't bite unless it is starved. I only want to make sure she is out of aggressive mode and wont regurgitate-what standard time frame is that for a Columbian red tail boa?
  6. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    That's not entirely true--it can/will bite if it is starved but it will also bite if you have the smell of mice/rats on your hand, possibly it will bite if it is in shed, it will definitely bite if it feels threatened or if it is being hurt. Also I have been bitten by a Burmese python that I stuck my hand in front of(it was lying in it's cage sleeping/resting and I put my hand in front of it without warning him by tapping him lightly-- he woke up and being the ambush predator he was he struck before I could react. He promptly let me go but he ended up leaving a tooth in my hand. All in all a very valuable albeit painful lesson to me (not to mention bad for him).
  7. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Sorry I only saw half of your post. As far as handling after eating--according to "The Guide to Owning a Red-Tailed Boa" by Drewnowski, "Do not handle a asnke fot at least 24 hours after feeding. This could harm it or cause it to regurgitate this meal".

    Hope this clears things up.
  8. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    Lots of factors come into play as to if and when a snake will strike. A smell or movement can set off even the tamest of snakes. I always like using a snake hook for first contact with almost any snake this gives me a good idea of whats going though their head without risking a bite.

    As far as handling after feeding, the only real reason is to keep the chances that the snake regurges low. I would wait at least 2 days, if the snake is going to regurge it's normally before then. All younger Boa's tend to be more prone to regurging meals, I had one that did once when he was younger and then never again since.
  9. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Yeah, it seems to me the age of the snake is a big factor also, I have a ball python that regurged one time but she was only a baby at the time, and she hasn't done it since. I have three boas and I got two of them when they were very young and I never seemed to have a problem with them regurging at all. Of course they were rescues and half starved at the time- I think that is why the one female has such a strong feeding response.
  10. Divine

    Divine Member

    I got this snake from the pet store...they told me they fed her that AM(after I bought her and called and asked)...handled that day. seems to be a very mild tempered snake...could the ovr hanling be an indicating factor in the no poo for this 6 weeks? I will wait 3 dats next time and see...good or bad idea?
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The handling is not related to the not pooing. I think that's more a factor of the snake being underfed at the shop.
    48 hours is the generally recommended time for not handling it for 2 reasons, neither one of them have to do with aggression.
    If the snake is full and you upset it, it will regurgitate.
    Also consider after a big meal how stretched out the snake's body is. After a big thanksgiving meal with a full stomach would YOU want to be tossed around?
  12. bdoink

    bdoink Elite Member

    I use 48 hours as the staple for my ball python, 3 corn snakes, and milk snake. Basically if the lump is gone, you should be fine. One way to be sure, if you're snake is well adjusted, is to wait until it's active and wants out again. Although I'm nocturnal as are my snakes, so I may notice them wanting out more frequently than others.
  13. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Some snakes (but by no means all) can become habitual regurgitators, and it's hard on them (think bulemic people - lots of health problems), though that tends to be more prominent in specimens that need force-feeding.

    Many people who feed their snakes in a feeding bin remove the snake the same day (an hour later or so) with no incident. Just don't disturb them more than necessary, and you'll be fine.

    And one phrase we repeat endlessly at the zoo: Any animal with a mouth can bite.
  14. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    I also have a rtb from the pet store, and it is confusing because of how much they handled ours and what they told us, but at the same time, it will only take time in your home with your schedules to find what will work for you. I'm new, too, but we have found that after about 24 hours, unless overfed, which we've done as well, the rtb should be okay to handle, but that is us. I was more worried about ours being moody because one day out of no where he struck at me, but it was the day after being overfed and he was moody. Later, much later, he had to regurge, which was very difficult to watch him go through. He's fine now and doesn't mind to be handled, however, we are much more careful now not to do it as much. :) good luck!
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    24 hours is too soon after feeding to handle. Do not gauge how you treat your snake on things a petshop does. Their concern is to move the animals out as quickly as possible. They are not concerned with long term care.
    Your snake did not regurge because of being moody. Its more likely that he was moody because of being stressed out after feeding. Probably from being handled too soon.
    A snake should be fed a good sized meal. At least as big around as their body at the widest part. And they can consume even larger than that.
  16. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    They eat pretty big, but our mistake was to feed two days in a row. He was tense, and probably stressed. I am most definately not that knowledgeable. . . I'm glad that there is this forum to help correct our mistakes. :)
  17. Bobby13

    Bobby13 Member

    um I have a brown snake and he has an appatite is that a problem
  18. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    Bobby, pay close attention to the different posts here, as the people here are so helpful!! It is so rare to find so much information in just one spot!
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