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 #2295828


Viperx2000
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 Help with Biting Kingsnake

Two weeks ago we got a 2 year old male california king snake from a reptile zoo. He was very docile the first few days we had him. After his first feeding we left him for 5 days to digest before trying to handle him again.

When I tried to slowly bring him out of his vivariam the next time he bit my finger and held on for a few minutes. I slowly picked him up while he was biting me and waited for him to let go. Afterwards he attempted to bite me a few more times so I put him back in his vivariam.

Since the bite, everytime we put our hand in the vivariam he goes crazy and attempts to bite. We bought a pair of leather gloves and started handling him with the gloves on and he doesn’t attempt to bite at all. As soon as the gloves come off he gets really aggressive and attempts to bite our hands and forearms.

We always make sure to wash our hands and have even tried different soap thinking it may have been the smell of the soap that set him off but this did not work.

Does anyone have any idea why our snake would go so crazy over our bare hands but be perfectly fine being handled with gloves on?



04/17/13  09:34pm

 #2295838


The Lone Glider
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  Message To: Viperx2000   In reference to Message Id: 2295828


 Help with Biting Kingsnake

Kings only take a few days to digest their food, they eat 2-3 times a week so you aren’t feeding it enough. that may be why. and you also should not have handled him at all for the first few days up to 1-2 weeks. They take awhile to adjust and because of that you holding him could make him stressed and make him like that. Post pictures of his cage. and what are the temps you have in there? make sure you increase the feeding to the very least of 2 mice a week a few days apart.



04/17/13  10:57pm

 #2295855


KeepYourSky
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  Message To: Viperx2000   In reference to Message Id: 2295828


 Help with Biting Kingsnake

Hey,
So here’s my thinking. First, there may be a lingering scent in the cage or room, causing a feeding response. Second, you may just need to feed him more (especially if he’s hanging on), and third, you may just have a mean snake / a snake that doesn’t like you / hasn’t adjusted yet, it happens.

If it’s a lingering scent, find it and clean it, give him a bit of time.

You can feed a king twice a week. If you’re concerned about over feeding, make the prey smaller. It’ll give the snake a full belly without adding to much food.

In terms of just being a tempermental / poorly adjusted snake, what’d I’d recommend is leaving him in the cage with an article of clothing of yours (I use smelly socks) for about a week. Change the water and spot clean but don’t bug him. At first he’ll stay away from the sock, but since they retain heat well you’ll eventually find him hiding under it and feeling safe with your scent, and hopefully with you soon after



04/18/13  10:55am

 #2295861


Viperx2000
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  Message To: KeepYourSky   In reference to Message Id: 2295855


 Help with Biting Kingsnake

Thanks to both of you for responding. I will try and get some pictures of our setup up soon. Temperatures are 75/76 on cool side and 85 on hot side right now. Humidty is at 30. We have already placed an article of clothing in the tank yesterday so we will leave it in there and see how that goes.

The reptile zoo where we bought him told us 1 mouse every other week but we will try and feed him 2 times a week to see if that helps.

Will post any updates we have.

Thanks again



04/18/13  11:46am

 #2295867


Viperx2000
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  Message To: Viperx2000   In reference to Message Id: 2295861


 Images of Tank Setup





04/18/13  12:51pm

 #2295881


KeepYourSky
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  Message To: Viperx2000   In reference to Message Id: 2295867


 Images of Tank Setup

Simple and pretty :) I like it! I doubt it’s a husbandry issue unless there’s something I’m missing. It’s probably that he just needs to adjust. I leave my snakes alone for at least 5 days after a major enclosure shift, once I go back in after they’re as calm as can be.

All that being said, kings are the most "aggressive" of the starters and you’re more likely to get a nippy king than say, a nippy corn. I’ve never been bit by one, but my understanding is it’s more irritating than painful. It’ll likely tame out soon, but if the statue of liberty tried to pick you up I doubt you’d be very pleased the first few times either



04/18/13  04:47pm

 #2295885


Viperx2000
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  Message To: KeepYourSky   In reference to Message Id: 2295881


 Images of Tank Setup

Thanks! So 1 final question we are going to try feeding twice a week to make sure he isnt hungry. We fed 1 mouse today and will feed 1 more on Saturday. When should it be safe to try and handle him again?



04/18/13  06:33pm

 #2295896


KeepYourSky
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  Message To: Viperx2000   In reference to Message Id: 2295885


 Images of Tank Setup

You’ll get a lot of responses for this. I generally feed my snakes around the afternoon. Other than putting them back in their cage (I feed in a separate container because I use coco fiber) I give them the night off, sometimes longer. Both my snakes are pretty lethargic after a feed and pretty active normally so I usually wait until they come out on their own again, but after 24 hours I find the odds of a regurge are low. My MBK has only ever regurged once, and it was because of a bad mouse (she’d gotten out the first week I had her, and the trap I laid for her set out for awhile before she got to it). I’ve handled my snakes next day no problem, but it depends on the size of the food, the comfort of your snake, etc. I’d never handle my Apalachicola that soon, he’s brand new and way to nervous, he’d puke and run.


Basically, 24 hours is likely fine for most kings considering their rate of digestion, a particularly flightly king maybe give 36, but with time most should be comfortable enough to not want to puke and run from you



04/18/13  09:13pm

 #2295901


Viperx2000
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  Message To: KeepYourSky   In reference to Message Id: 2295896


 Images of Tank Setup

Thanks for the info



04/18/13  10:00pm

 #2298460


Mikoh4792
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  Message To: Viperx2000   In reference to Message Id: 2295901


 Images of Tank Setup

Hi, new member and first post. I just joined to point this out. Temps should be closer to 90 on the warm side. 85 should be the general ambient air temperature around the warm side. Your cool side is fine. I would also add a hiding spot under the warm side because that is where your snake will be spending it’s time after a meal.



06/13/13  06:37pm

 #2315138


Herper01
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  Message To: Mikoh4792   In reference to Message Id: 2298460


 Images of Tank Setup

All my kings and milks are at room temp i dont do hot and cold, above 85 is getting too hot, p, s, get you several books and do your homework.



10/09/15  12:49am

 #2315682


Philosopher
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  Message To: Herper01   In reference to Message Id: 2315138


 Images of Tank Setup

I have owned kingnsakes all my life and sometimes a snake is just pissy and takes a lot of handling.
I have had 10 or twelve different types and the biters are usually the cali kings. Kingsnakes are not at all a snake that takes to handling very easy. don’t get me wrong I have had very docile ones and I have had biters but a bite is usually not personal, it is something in their fight or flight mechanism or a mistake in their feeding mechanism. Also if they bite you can hold the head under warm water if they don’t let go, it is a humane way to keep them from hurting you or themselves. By the way it works well in big snakes too. I hope this helps



11/12/15  07:30pm


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