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Snake Handling Gloves

Discussion in 'Kingsnakes' started by Gagnes mommy, Mar 19, 2009.

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  1. Gagnes mommy

    Gagnes mommy Active Member

    Hi, I'm new here but have had my snake for 5 1/2 years, since he was a baby. Gagne is a grey-banded kingsnake. I love him much, but he is very skittish and always has been. I know handling is key, but due to my own personal health and the fact he has bitten me twice and his skittishness I am now wary of picking him up and holding him. He isn't large, but the bites felt like a shock. Weird? He is about 3&1/2 to 4 feet long but only as thick as a man's thumb's girth. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of gloves to purchase. Because he is small I want to make sure I still will have dexterity. He is quick and I don't want to hurt him. Any suggestions will be helpful.
    Thank you, Gagne's Mommy
  2. wgnelson

    wgnelson Elite Member

    Welcome aboard!

    I would suggest a pair of close fitting leather gloves. soft lamb or pigskin. Your snake isn't big enough to warrant the use of welders gloves. They are thick and heavy bound leather. About 9 to 12 dollars a pair.
  3. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Yeah, get a pair of gloves at your local hardware store, and you'll be all set.

    I have been pegged by my snakes a few times, and it isn't the pain, it's the speed that gets you. They are so FAST! It's more startling than anything else.
  4. Gagnes mommy

    Gagnes mommy Active Member

    You're right it is startling. I'm more worried he is going to break a tooth than really hurt me. Thanks for the advice
  5. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    I know it's difficult advice, but if he does bite - especially with gloves on - be sure to not jerk away. If you do, the chances of breaking a tooth rise greatly.
  6. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    My King female has bitten me 4 times, it is as if she goes for any part of my skin that is sticking out! The last bite was on my tummy and now everybody in our house is scared of her.:p After that I did start using gloves for a while but found it very difficult to handle her so I stopped. I don't know if it wasn't maybe just a stage she was going through because all 4 bites happened in 2 consecutive months. She hasn't bitten me once since then and it is now 5 years.
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    A pair of simple leather gardening gloves will do the trick.
  8. nicole

    nicole Elite Member

    I use leather gardening gloves I bought at Home Depot for the smaller snakes that are nippy. I use a pair of heavy welders gloves now with my two big boas as they bit right through my garden gloves, lol. If only I had a welders body suit for them, that would be great! lol.
  9. wgnelson

    wgnelson Elite Member

    They are readily available in different configurations.

    Sleeves only, or sleeves and shoulder cape, or the full jacket. The full jacket can be expensive though, and heavy.

    I used to use the sleeve and cape configuration, but during the summer they get so hot and absorb sweat. The smell the next day is awful. Almost makes me want to puke, (and that takes a lot!) I don't use the leathers any more. I just grin and bear the sparks and heat. (still have use the gloves though)
  10. Gagnes mommy

    Gagnes mommy Active Member

    He has me so skittish now. Tonight he got fed. I picked him up like my finger was a snake hook and immediately put him in his feeding tank. That's bad. Definitely gloves before the next time I pick him up. You know how animals know when you're scared of them? I think he knows now. Geeze! :rolleyes:
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Don't beat yourself up! I have an adult California king that is always handled with gloves. Nasty little beggar will strike and start trying to swallow your finger. The bite itself isn't that bad but when he starts to grinding those jaws to work your finger down his throat it hurts!
    If it takes wearing gloves to make you more at ease handling then wear them!
  12. Mooks

    Mooks Well-Known Member


    Our cali king's the same: musk l don't mind, but the speed of a tag does get to me. He struck yesterday and l did have latex gloves on. He took a lump out of them..
    Make sure they're thick enough but not over the top thick, if you know what l mean..
    It's the coiling round and trying to get him off me that gets to case he strikes again..
    But one thing to remember calis are known to be food aggressive ...if it's feeding time leave it for a few days afterwards before picking him up...or trying to..

    Cheers and good luck !!
  13. Gagnes mommy

    Gagnes mommy Active Member

    I know. I never pick him up after he eats. I don't need him regurgitating on top of everything.
  14. joeking

    joeking Elite Member

    Yeah when you're jumpy it's going to make him jumpy which makes everything worse. Just make sure even when you have your gloves on to approach him gently.

    My king Joe bites...he bites allot. He never use to be and I always handled him but then he got a 'personality'. I'm kind of use to it now. I remember when I first got him and he was a little worm I use to do things I'd NEVER do now (like sit him on my shoulder and he'd climb up my hair and around the front of my glasses and lick my eyes). I can't believe I did that now. I don't use gloves but sometimes it takes a couple reminders to myself to realize I'm bigger then him lol. I'd recommend tight leather gloves. I bet you if you start wearing long sleeves with gloves you'll be a lot calmer and so will he.
  15. Gagnes mommy

    Gagnes mommy Active Member

    Over the years I've done a lot of reading on kings and it is interesting that they have so many psychological problems and personality changes and I guess that is so with all types of snakes. I think the long sleeves will help us both along with the gloves which I am getting ASAP!
  16. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    You can also consider using a snake hook to get him out of the terrarium or feeding box. Many snakes will strike when they are being taken out, but once they are out, they are calmer. (It must be scary having a giant hand come after you from above).
    Being able to use a snake hook (or hooks) is a good skill to have with bad-tempered or larger snakes. Just reach in with the hook and gently lift him about 1/3 down from his head. You can also use the hook to shift him out of the way if you just want to reach in and get his water bowl out or something.
    Good luck!
  17. Mooks

    Mooks Well-Known Member

    When l clean Rocky out he's always there at the front watchin me think he knows when its changing water time..
    Love the buggar to bits but if only he would think...well might as well calm down he won't hurt me..
    He's in post shed now looking really grey he's 28in so only another foot or so to go ...jeez don't know what that's gonna be like when he's fullgrown..
    But what a awesome rep...
    Just keep the faith and try to be happy with ye rep...seems strange when ye know it aint poisonous we still get the jitters with them...
  18. Gagnes mommy

    Gagnes mommy Active Member

    these guys are so not like other pets. They seem to not remember good stuff like when I go in this tank I eat or she isn't going to hurt me, she's my mommy. They can't rationalize and it's difficult to remember that sometimes, but you love them no matter what.
  19. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Yes, unfortunately we can never trust a snake, but still love them. It is not nice to get bitten, it is not the pain but the shock of what just happened.:p

    You havent posted a pic of your Cali yet, please share.:)
  20. Gagnes mommy

    Gagnes mommy Active Member

    I only have the grey-banded. My friend had a cali. He got mean too. lol
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