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What Type of Snake Should I Get?

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by puzzlebean, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. puzzlebean

    puzzlebean Elite Member

    So I am in the market to get a snake, I think. I know that they live a long time and I want to make sure that I make the right decision on what type to get. Here is my situation:

    I live in a normal sized 2 bedroom apt with a small office. Our current pets include 3 cats, an albino fat-tailed gecko (Puzzle), and a fishtank. The fishtank and Puzzle's cage are in the living room, and the cats have the run of the place.

    When I got Puzzle, I had never had a reptile before, and I had always wanted a fat-tail. I did a little bit of research, but didn't really think about the fact that he was nocturnal, and I go to bed my night-owl bf tends to get more face time with him than me! Haha. I just love him and wouldn't trade him for anything, but I am looking to get a reptile that is a bit more active during the hours that I am awake.

    I'm thinking snake because I have always thought it would be really fun to have a snake. When I was younger, my friend had a snake that she could take out and he would wrap around her waist or shoulders and just hang out. We even took him outside and downtown shopping with us! I remember thinking when I was older I would get myself a snake like that. (I keep thinking it was a Ball Python.)

    So my ideal criteria:
    -We don't have a lot of space, so smaller enclosure is better
    -preferably not nocturnal, so I can hang out with it during the day
    -likes to be handled and will hang out with me around the house

    Does this exist? I keep remembering this snake that my friend had that was so friendly and so much fun to hold and be around...and I'm wondering if my memory has clouded and I have this idealized theory of my future pet snake.

    Thanks in advance for any and all advice!
  2. warneri

    warneri Elite Member

    well a ball python is nocturnal but once you take them out theyre very active , but yeah usually they just hide all day , im not sure if kingsnakes are nocturnal or diurnal but either way they can be a little flighty , same with corn snakes, redtail boas are awesome but they need at least a 4ft cage, i dont know much about sand boas but they dont need big cages
  3. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    Corn snake! They are diurnal(so will be awake with you!), small as a ball python, docile, great feeders..and any color you can think of! They are the best starter snakes around and great snakes in general! Easy to handle and fun to be around!
  4. puzzlebean

    puzzlebean Elite Member

    I have been looking at care sheets and reading up on you know if they climb or are they primarily a ground dweller?
  5. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    They can climb but I think they are decently terrestrial..But they will make use of branches you give them!
  6. andys3ballpythons

    andys3ballpythons Elite Member

    personally i have a love for ball pythons, like what was said above, they are nocturnal but mine are all very active no matter when i take them out for a bit, it seems that they really enjoy thier time out, when i open thier door they start climbing all over me, and like the corn snakes they are in a wide variety of colors and patterns, the one downfall that any ball python owner will tell you is that they can be very picky eaters and it is very frustrating, but i wouldnt trade any of mine for the world, i also have a red tail boa, when i got her she was aggressive, but at 6-7 feet and still growing a large enclosure is very important, a ball python by itself should have ideally a 40 gallon reptile tank, but the same applies for an adult corn snake from what i have gathered, a sand boa would require a smaller enclosure, but thats really all i know about them. good luck in deciding what snake to own, and i reccomend to avoid any of the tree boas or tree pythons, they are generally biters, and rear fanged too so it REALLY hurts!
  7. Anthony14

    Anthony14 Elite Member

    Some cheap, easy maintenance, friendly snakes would be Milksnakes, Kingsnakes, Cornsnakes, Ball Pythons and Sand boa's. All these snakes are generally very timid and easy going, however like discussed Ball pythons can be picky feeders.

    Goodluck with whatever you choose, personally my favorite cheap snake is the:

    Reverse Stripe California Kingsnake.

  8. puzzlebean

    puzzlebean Elite Member

    Thanks for the advice, everybody! I really want a Ball Python...but I am just not sure about whether it would be ok for me to be taking him out during the dayish.

    Nocturnal...when do you usually wake up and start being happily active? Puzzle doesn't usually come out of his hide until after I hit the sack at 10 pmish.

    Would it mess up the python's schedule and make it more likely to not eat if I took him out during the day...say between 9-11am or 4-9pm? That's usually when I am home and in my office working.
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    We handle our ball pythons any time we feel the need to. In fact when I am down in the reptile room working it is not unusual for them to be out and cruising checking out what I am doing.
    However I would not recommend having them out for hours during the middle of the day. While it might not bother YOU to be occassionally woke in the middle of the night, having it happen every night for hours on end would not make YOU a happy camper! Of course the evening would be a different matter. In the wild dusk is when they would be waking up and moving around.
  10. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    I agree with the corn snake. They are easy going AND they are very forgiving of less than perfect husbandry so they don't get nearly as many respiratory infections. Also, ball pythons are good snakes but they require more attention to husbandry. I agree that tree pythons and tree boas are more defensive and prone to bite- BUT they do not have any fangs-rear or otherwise. They DO have rear pointing teeth- but so do all snakes. Thus keeps the prey animals from getting away once the snake bites him. The teeth keep the prey animal still and in place while the swallowing process is started. No offense to you Andys3ballpythons- just want to clarify so no one thinks tree pythons and boas are venomous. From what I've heard though, they do have somewhat longer teeth in order to catch birds. This is HEARSAY- I have no actual proof of that statement, just what I have heard. That would make the bite hurt a bit more than the average snake.

    Good luck finding a snake. One other thing to keep in mind too- legality! In some parts of the US, it is illegal to own certain types of snakes. Check your local town,city, and state laws before deciding and finding out you can not keep your new family member. When you do get one, pictures are MANDATORY here!!!!!!!
  11. puzzlebean

    puzzlebean Elite Member

    What about feeding? I have read so many care sheets and I can't really seem to find concrete information about how often to feed each one. I think if I read correctly, they both eat mice? I do want a young or baby snake so I can raise it and watch it grow. Would you say there's a significant difference in the difficulty of doing this and keeping the little guy as happy as can be? If so, what are the pros/cons?

  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    They will eat mice when small but as they get bigger, so do the prey item. While you can feed corns and kings mice their entire lives, a ball python will need eventually need rats.
    But I feed my corns, kings, and pythons on rats of varying sizes.
    Most ball pythons can be trained to take dead food while with corns and kings there is usually no issue with it.
  13. puzzlebean

    puzzlebean Elite Member

    I think we have decided on a Corn Snake. There's a reptile expo in White Plains this weekend we are considering heading out there to find a baby. I would think we would be able to find one.

    Are they climbers?
  14. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    They will climb some but won't need a completely arboreal enclosure! You still need a lock on your cage so they won't get out!

    They will crawl on the ground when they want, climb into the branches if they want.. They move around quite a bit!

    My favorite thing about corn snakes...there are sooo many affordable morphs! While I LOVE ball pythons and their morphs, most of the prettier morphs are well into the hundreds or thousands! A TON of corn snake morphs are like...less than 50 dollars!
  15. andys3ballpythons

    andys3ballpythons Elite Member

    no offense taken, that is the way the teeth were expained to me, they are for sure longer and in the rear of the mouth i was told that they have a couple of larger fang like teeth, but no, not venomous, one guy i talked to said he would rather take a bite from a 12 foot boa than a young tree python, sorry for the misunderstanding, i have been trying to find a goodpic of one with its mouth open, i want one eventually.
  16. puzzlebean

    puzzlebean Elite Member


    Yeah, I have been looking at the different colors and they are so pretty! And prices seemed a lot lower than the Ball Pythons. Hopefully there will be some at the Expo...I should probably figure out if that is a good time to get one or if it's not season to buy a baby...
  17. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    You can buy whenever you want to buy, I don't know what you mean by if it's not a good time, unless you mean you just aren't ready for a new animal!

    Most breeders follow a schedule when breeding their snakes, but since we house them in enclosures where we control temps and such..they could be bred at any time of year! Meaning babies at any time of the year. I promise you at almost any expo you go to..there will be corn snakes!!
  18. puzzlebean

    puzzlebean Elite Member

    I meant breeding season, not whether it's a good time for me. When I was looking for my fat-tail, I had to keep in mind breeding season and get one at a time where I could find a baby. It's important to me to have a new pet that is very young so I am the first one he/she gets to know as it grows.
  19. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    What I mean is there are always a few breeders who end up with babies at 'weird' times of the year. Breeding 'season' is really at whatever time of the year the breeder wants it to be, it's indoors and we control the 'weather' lol!

    I know people right now who are just hatching new snakes, while some aren't due for a while...Others hatched months ago!

    Getting them as a baby is much less important for snakes... Our ball python we got as a yearling and she is the most docile animal we own! :)

    You will find baby snakes, I'm fairly certain. And they stay babies for a while, so you'll have a good few months of room to find one! If you don't see one that looks young enough for you then you can wait, maybe talk to a breeder and ask when they have another clutch! :D
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    There actually is a breeding season for corns. And there are certain times that there are a lot more baby corns than others. But there are usually some people who have holdover babies at most shows.
    The reason corns are less expensive than Ball pythons is that corns are prolific breeders. A typical ball python clutch is about 6 eggs, while corns typically will lay 20-40!

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