First Snake: Garter, Corn or Python? - Reptile Forums

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Old 05-01-2013, 12:15 AM
Egg
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Question First Snake: Garter, Corn or Python?

Hi all, I've been looking at getting my first snake again recently (wanted one since I was a kid) but I'm not sure what type to get, so was wondering if anyone here had any advice on which would be the best option.

Originally I was considering a corn snake, since they seem to be the standard first snake and are supposed to be relatively easy to keep, but then I heard that garter snakes didn't need to be fed on mice and could do better in colder conditions (obviously I'd be heating the vivarium, but I'm in Scotland and my flat does get pretty cold in winter). The last option is largely because I started watching Snake Bytes and Brian seemed to suggest ball pythons were a good starter too and they do have some really amazing patterns even without mutations.

Does anyone with more experience have advice on which of these I should get, or is there any general advice people have for a first time owner? Also, something I haven't seen mentioned is whether it's better to go with a baby snake vs adolescent/adult. How does raising the snake so it's more used to you measure up against knowing it's fed well in the past and (I'd assume) the easier job of working out how much to feed them

Thanks in advance for any help you can give

Last edited by solidsquid; 05-01-2013 at 12:32 AM..
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:33 AM
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I'd go for a corn snake. super feeders (unlike some royals who can be fussy). Also easy to get a supply of mice. Garters like lancefish so if you can get them their good starter snake to. But I really love my corns and I have 5 different species of snake.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:34 AM
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Also I'd go for a baby corn it's great fun seeing them grow up
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:52 PM
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Corn or royal, both great starter snakes. I've no experience on garter's so can't comment on that.

Royal's can be a little fussy with food sometimes, mine hasn't missed a feed for around 6 months now though.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:57 PM
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I can recommend corns (no experience with other 2) and I would go for a baby, I got mine at 12 weeks old and it is great watching them grow, mine is 2 years old now and changed so much in her first 2 years with me.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:21 PM
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I chose a rainbow boa for my first snake and now have a king too, with plans to add a dwarf boa and royal sometime this year. If there is a particular type of snake you love, I'd say go down that route. A lot of people on here also recommend this as lots of people buy corn snakes or royals then apparently become bored with them as they are not the species that that person really wanted in the first place. My rainbow boa was I think about 3 years old when I got him and the retailer wasn't sure how old my king snake is but I'd guess around 18 months, I've had no problems handling or feeding mine.

What species do you like best? If it's a species that's considered differcult to keep perhaps we can suggest a similar but more hardy species.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:11 PM
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I believe with the right research that most species within reason can be kept as a first snake. I've kept a lot of different species including the three species you've mentioned. My personal favs are garters, although I recommend corns too. I love garters because they are so active during the day and make a great display pet. They come in a fantastic array of naturally occuring forms. They are voracious feeders. Mine feed on a mixture of bits of trout and pinkies. They are a lot faster than corns to get hold of but are fun to handle and I've never had any problems. I love them and they are a pleasure to keep.

Corns are great too - generally placid, easy to handle and great feeders. You can get them in a vast array of morphs too. From personal experience they aren't anywhere as active as garters during the day. They grow a little larger but are slower to handle.

I've kept royals and I can understand why people love them, but for me they just didn't do it. I like active animals that I can watch going about their business. But as I said each to their own.

Summing up I think go with which ever species you like the look of and best suits what you want from a pet snake. For me it was a smallish species that was easy to feed, good to hande and fun to watch during the day. That's why garters got my vote 15 years ago and I still keep a variety of them now. However, your criteria may be slightly different.
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:36 AM
Egg
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. It sounds like I should just work out which snake I prefer, but garter or corn would be the easiest to care for. I still need to get the go ahead from the landlord, so I'll put a bit more thought into which I'd prefer. I think I'm leaning towards garter snake, just because of the easier feeding, although corn snakes do still appeal and seem easier to get hold of in various designs than garter snakes

Also, thanks for the recommendation of getting a younger snake so I can watch it grow, hadn't really thought of it that way and I think that's probably a good call.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solidsquid View Post
Thanks for the feedback everyone. It sounds like I should just work out which snake I prefer, but garter or corn would be the easiest to care for. I still need to get the go ahead from the landlord, so I'll put a bit more thought into which I'd prefer. I think I'm leaning towards garter snake, just because of the easier feeding, although corn snakes do still appeal and seem easier to get hold of in various designs than garter snakes

Also, thanks for the recommendation of getting a younger snake so I can watch it grow, hadn't really thought of it that way and I think that's probably a good call.
I would recommend corns but I am going on my own corn which has been a perfect feeder since day one with me.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joneukm3 View Post
imageAlso I'd go for a baby corn it's great fun seeing them grow up
Yes it is, mine is now 2 and changed so much.
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