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Nippy JCP neos

Discussion in 'Carpet/Diamond Pythons' started by h20lizard, Jan 4, 2005.

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  1. h20lizard

    h20lizard Member

    Now, i understand a fair amount of JCP young are nippy under a year old, and, in my personal experience, i have found that to be true. I just got mine a week ago, and started handling them yesterday. My female is very "skiddish" and would rather move away from me than bite (in fact hasnt really ever bitten) and the male will ONLY bite, thats all he does. Pure defense mode, gloves are needed for this one, only because i prefer to not bleed.

    So here is my question, how often should i handle them? I have heard many opinions on how i should go about getting a "tame" JCP. One was, you have to feed them once every 5-7 days as young or they will bite, and once every 7-10 days as adults, which i find kinda silly, but, i do feed every 5-7 days, as, thats how i have always fed all my snakes. The other thing i have heard is "handle them, but, not too often, and often enough" but, how often is often enough? and how much is too often (stressing them out too much).

    The best suggestion i have heard so far is "about 5 minutes a day."

    I also understand that they tend to "tame" themselves or calm down and become less defensive over time anyways (around the 1 year mark they get better). So, any opinions, thoughts? its kinda hard to listen to everyone, lol.
  2. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Well, firstly, the feeding - it's not silly, most snakes will eat or should be fed less as they get older, as their growing slows down and their metabolism slows down. Once every 5-7 days sounds fine for now, but as they are older then once every 7-14 days is better. JCPs don't get quite as big as coastals, and we have what we believe to be either a jungle x coastal or a high-yellow coastal. She is currently 8.5ft long and about ?5 years old, and we feed her two large rats every two weeks, and she has a winter cooling period where she doesn't eat at all. She could quite easily only eat every 3-4 weeks at this size.

    Handling - 5 minutes every day sounds like a good place to start. Sometimes the snake may allow you to hold them for longer, sometimes less. Some snakes become calmer the longer you have them out, others get quite stressed and flighty after a period of being handled. Our young irian jaya carpet pythons get nippy and flighty after being handled for a few minutes, while the corn snakes for example, get calmer the longer they are out. Do not hold your JCPs for a day or two after they have been fed, to avoid regurgitation, but otherwise do as you think, and they will tame down.
  3. h20lizard

    h20lizard Member

    no, i totaly agree, they should eat less as they grow older, but as that having a direct affect on there additude as they grow up in my opinion is silly. To say "if you feed the snake every 5-7 days as a juvie it will grow up docile, but if you feed it at a different schedule, it will be defensive and "mean"" sounds silly. I guess what I wrote came across differently.

    I have been keeping herps for a while, so i kinda have the jist of things, just never had such nippy guys ;). I guess my main worry at this point is over doing it, holding them too much, so they become stressed, which could also result in a nippy snake.
  4. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Ah, sorry, I think I mis-read your post yeah :p

    With regards to handling, I don't think overhandling can make the snake nippy - although towards the end of a handle the snake might get a bit nippy or wirey, to let you know it wants to go back. As the snake gets older it will calm down. Adults are usually very tame and placid, and it is common for babies to be nippy little things.

    The feeding thing though, hmm I agree with you.. unless, where this advice came from, they mean that the snake can get nippy and strike from hunger if not fed so regularly as a youngster?
  5. h20lizard

    h20lizard Member

    They have already calmed down quite a bit. I havent been handling them much, usually just during clean ups.

    One of the three is partularly nippy still, but usually fine once out of the enclosure.

    Really cool snakes, i love them.

    I spose perhaps they meant it'd bite if they werent fed often enough, though, mine have gone for 10 days after a meal, and there attitude hadn't changed. I dont really see a direct correlation between how often you feed and the and the additude of the snake...

    I, for example, have a picky eating dumeril, well... it was a picky eater, doesnt seem to be an issue any longer... and during that time, it would go a month w/o eating, and now it eats every feeding (weekly), and the additude of the snake, really is no different...

    So from my personal experience, keeping neonates on a once every 5-7 feeding schedule, and once every 7-10 days for adults, is good, for health... but makes no real difference on handling...
  6. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    I agree.. many of our snakes only get a quick handling at cleaning time usually, but they are all calm and good natured, although admittedly we do often have to cover up a few large heads when getting them out of the tank because they think it's feeding time every day! :D

    Our irian jayas were very much like your JCPs when they were under a year in age. They can still be a little flighty at times but are not as nippy.. think it comes with age as well as handling. Any hatchling or neonate is going to be nippy as they are not used to humans - one of our hatchling corns kept trying to have a right go at me when i took it out of the incubator :p but think, it's their only defence at that age and they need to learn that we are not there to harm them,.

    You are lucky to have such a good feeding Dumerils! Our pair went off food over winter, and the female is back onto a large rat every two weeks, but the male has been about 8 months without eating now- quite typical for him! :D
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