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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

So, as the title mentions, my python went haywire on me today behind the glass, as I walked by. She struck about 5-6 times against the glass, really hard, scooping a motherload of lignocel along the way. (For the people who know viperkeeper on youtube, he would've called her a toad, lol)

She's been active in her vivarium the whole day, while she has eaten only 3 days ago.
I handled her for a little while today to see how she was as I got home from work, since my girlfriend told me she has been hugging the glass and has been moving around the whole time. She behaved fine right then, a little active, and she had some stuck shed on her tail (the tip) which I got off for her with water. Totally fine.
I put her back in her vivarium and I still see her moving around the whole time from behind my desk, and as I stood up and walked out she started attacking the glass towards me like there was no tomorrow! I wasn't scared or anything, I was surprised she felt like doing that, since she's always been so sweet.

I'm wondering what the cause is behind this behaviour?

She has:
-Great husbandry, her temps are 33C on the hot side, UTH's and a warmth bulb (great ambiance there!), 26-28ish on the cold side. Lots of hides, a log, a ton of hanging fake plants, and I spray her vivarium every 2-3 days.

-Been eating in her vivarium, at first with loads of privacy, lights off, and front glass covered. Now she eats with the lights on and no covers as of last feed.

-Has been improving since I got her; she has shed in (ALMOST) one piece, only a little tiny bit of her tail was left which I got off today, but she wouldn't shed in one piece even if my life depended on it before. She has more hides now, and more plants.

-Been mine for 3 months now and came from the breeder, and she is 9 months old.

I'm thinking it might be because she feels more secure now.. Acclimated? Could that be it? She feels like everything is right so there's no need to be shy anymore? Since the husbandry is way better than it was a month ago.
If that's the case then it is great and I can see her sassy nature (fun times ahead when she gets older, then...), but if it is something else, I'd like to find out and see if I can fix this behaviour early on.

Also, if she does this, do you guys advise going in, tapping her on the head with a hook and taking her out for a few minutes? So she knows there's no danger in me, and I can train this away?

Let me know guys.
Thanks for reading.
 

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Hi guys,

So, as the title mentions, my python went haywire on me today behind the glass, as I walked by. She struck about 5-6 times against the glass, really hard, scooping a motherload of lignocel along the way. (For the people who know viperkeeper on youtube, he would've called her a toad, lol)

She's been active in her vivarium the whole day, while she has eaten only 3 days ago.
I handled her for a little while today to see how she was as I got home from work, since my girlfriend told me she has been hugging the glass and has been moving around the whole time. She behaved fine right then, a little active, and she had some stuck shed on her tail (the tip) which I got off for her with water. Totally fine.
I put her back in her vivarium and I still see her moving around the whole time from behind my desk, and as I stood up and walked out she started attacking the glass towards me like there was no tomorrow! I wasn't scared or anything, I was surprised she felt like doing that, since she's always been so sweet.

I'm wondering what the cause is behind this behaviour?

She has:
-Great husbandry, her temps are 33C on the hot side, UTH's and a warmth bulb (great ambiance there!), 26-28ish on the cold side. Lots of hides, a log, a ton of hanging fake plants, and I spray her vivarium every 2-3 days.

-Been eating in her vivarium, at first with loads of privacy, lights off, and front glass covered. Now she eats with the lights on and no covers as of last feed.

-Has been improving since I got her; she has shed in (ALMOST) one piece, only a little tiny bit of her tail was left which I got off today, but she wouldn't shed in one piece even if my life depended on it before. She has more hides now, and more plants.

-Been mine for 3 months now and came from the breeder, and she is 9 months old.

I'm thinking it might be because she feels more secure now.. Acclimated? Could that be it? She feels like everything is right so there's no need to be shy anymore? Since the husbandry is way better than it was a month ago.
If that's the case then it is great and I can see her sassy nature (fun times ahead when she gets older, then...), but if it is something else, I'd like to find out and see if I can fix this behaviour early on.

Also, if she does this, do you guys advise going in, tapping her on the head with a hook and taking her out for a few minutes? So she knows there's no danger in me, and I can train this away?

Let me know guys.
Thanks for reading.
If she's nasty in her viv but friendly outside it, then I reckon she's become viv defensive. Tap training should cure it.
 

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Hi Shevi,

I obviously cannot say for sure, because I've not seen the snake, set up or behavior. But I'll have a guess - just keep in mind it is a guess.

It does sound like either defensive behavior, or the snake is still in food-mode (I think you said she started 3 days after being fed).

Either way, I'd perhaps try to reduce visual stimulation from the front of the viv for a while. Perhaps you could cover the front/part of the front with a sheet or net curtain. then give the snake a bit of time to calm down and gradually over a few days (or longer if needed), remove the cover from the front until it's back open again.

A couple of other notes -

33C for a hot spot seems a bit high - I aim for 31C. That might help with the final bits of shed as the heat wont dry the skin out so much.

I'd tap train the snake whatever it's behavior. Retics are very receptive to it, and there will come a time when you need to 'break' a feeding response and having a method that doesn't stress the snake is very useful. I tap all of our snakes (it doesn't have to be a hook, but something long enough to reach without getting a hand in the way). Even the boa seems to have picked up the idea - and I started him much later than the retics.

Sounds like you're doing a good job.

It could also be that your retic is just having a bad few days.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Shevi,

I obviously cannot say for sure, because I've not seen the snake, set up or behavior. But I'll have a guess - just keep in mind it is a guess.

It does sound like either defensive behavior, or the snake is still in food-mode (I think you said she started 3 days after being fed).

Either way, I'd perhaps try to reduce visual stimulation from the front of the viv for a while. Perhaps you could cover the front/part of the front with a sheet or net curtain. then give the snake a bit of time to calm down and gradually over a few days (or longer if needed), remove the cover from the front until it's back open again.

A couple of other notes -

33C for a hot spot seems a bit high - I aim for 31C. That might help with the final bits of shed as the heat wont dry the skin out so much.

I'd tap train the snake whatever it's behavior. Retics are very receptive to it, and there will come a time when you need to 'break' a feeding response and having a method that doesn't stress the snake is very useful. I tap all of our snakes (it doesn't have to be a hook, but something long enough to reach without getting a hand in the way). Even the boa seems to have picked up the idea - and I started him much later than the retics.

Sounds like you're doing a good job.

It could also be that your retic is just having a bad few days.

Good luck
Thanks friend! I appreciate your suggestions. I've been tap training every time I get her out. I stroke her head with the bended part and she panics the hell out, but then I go in with my hands and she reacts very well to that and instantly goes higher on my arm. Makes me think I'm actually making it worse with the training but I know it's better for the future.

Today when I woke up and looked to her vivarium as I walked by she instantly came out of her hide in a defensive position again, so it seems she's definitely vivarium defensive. I'm not too worried, I knew a female retic would be sassy sooner or later, but I'll train this out with tapping I'm sure.

Could be a few bad (or good) days as well. She
shed well, ate, feels good in the right set up, maybe she feels like a strong independent woman now and she doesn't need me at all! Lol!

About her temperature, I had it on 31C for a while as the breeder said to just care for it like any other regular snake. So I did that and she shed really bad. I put the temps to 33C after reading a few care sheets saying I should put it there and now she is gradually starting to shed better every time. I got her water bowl on the warm side as well for gradual humidity gain, and I've been spraying like a lunatic to keep it as humid as possible. She seems to be thriving on that.
 

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Keep an eye on her - just in case the sudden change in behavior is due to something else.

Try to give her a few stress-free days without her seeing you and feeling like she needs to be defensive. Try and cover the viv, and dont keep going and checking - this may help her settle back down.

Have you got a night time temperature drop so that it isn't 33C all the time? I know people have had success keeping retics with a 33c hotspot, but in my experience they do better on the cooler side which is why I aim for 31C.

I hope it is something she can get out of. While it may not be a problem now - it would be a problem on an adult.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Keep an eye on her - just in case the sudden change in behavior is due to something else.

Try to give her a few stress-free days without her seeing you and feeling like she needs to be defensive. Try and cover the viv, and dont keep going and checking - this may help her settle back down.

Have you got a night time temperature drop so that it isn't 33C all the time? I know people have had success keeping retics with a 33c hotspot, but in my experience they do better on the cooler side which is why I aim for 31C.

I hope it is something she can get out of. While it may not be a problem now - it would be a problem on an adult.
At night I turn off the warmth bulb, so the temperature drops. The UTH stays on.

She struck the ceiling as I wanted to remove her shed which I had put on top of her vivarium after I removed it. She is perfectly fine outside, so I'm going to cover all the glass and not look at her for a few days. She needs to eat today as well, it's been 5 days ago now, not 4. So I'll feed her, cover the open glass with a towel or something, and leave her be for a day or 3, see how she reacts after that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It seems she's just going to be like this.. I was expecting this behaviour though. I'll have to remove some decoration from her vivarium sad enough, because right this way I'm not able to get her out if she needs a clean viv. She's been striking the glass for days..
 

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Never has a retic, but i'm looking for what has changed recently when trying to find a cause for new behaviour in any reptile.
You have been feeding her in the dark, but 3 days ago started with the lights on. She now associates you with food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Never has a retic, but i'm looking for what has changed recently when trying to find a cause for new behaviour in any reptile.
You have been feeding her in the dark, but 3 days ago started with the lights on. She now associates you with food.
She never eats in the dark, the lights are always on. Simply because they're in my bedroom and the lights shut off at 12 when I'm supposed to be sleeping, or at least in bed and not coming out.
You scare me with such accusations lol
 

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She never eats in the dark, the lights are always on. Simply because they're in my bedroom and the lights shut off at 12 when I'm supposed to be sleeping, or at least in bed and not coming out.
You scare me with such accusations lol
You said "-Been eating in her vivarium, at first with loads of privacy, lights off, and front glass covered. Now she eats with the lights on and no covers as of last feed."

Maybe I can't read?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You said "-Been eating in her vivarium, at first with loads of privacy, lights off, and front glass covered. Now she eats with the lights on and no covers as of last feed."

Maybe I can't read?
The surrounding lights yeah, it's a full glass viv, but she's been eating with either a map, or a board, or something to just cover the front so she wouldn't see me. The light just stays on inside the viv. Maybe I wasn't clear
 

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It seems she's just going to be like this.. I was expecting this behaviour though. I'll have to remove some decoration from her vivarium sad enough, because right this way I'm not able to get her out if she needs a clean viv. She's been striking the glass for days..
I like to think it doesn't have to be this way. There will always be a one off snake that doesn't calm down. Retics usually settle well into their surroundings so it's even more odd that she seemed to be settles and has now started striking.

As Deeman said - has anything else changed recently? Could the background temps have dropped?

I know that glass tanks can work, but I've found that they do not retain heat well - I dont know if you're in the UK, but we have had several weeks of cold temps and my house has been much colder in terms of background temperatures.

Could you post pics of your set up - maybe that will help us identify something that may be causing the snake distress?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I like to think it doesn't have to be this way. There will always be a one off snake that doesn't calm down. Retics usually settle well into their surroundings so it's even more odd that she seemed to be settles and has now started striking.

As Deeman said - has anything else changed recently? Could the background temps have dropped?

I know that glass tanks can work, but I've found that they do not retain heat well - I dont know if you're in the UK, but we have had several weeks of cold temps and my house has been much colder in terms of background temperatures.

Could you post pics of your set up - maybe that will help us identify something that may be causing the snake distress?
They don't retain heat well I agree, it's just so hard getting a plastic vivarium. I have a herptek one for my big cornsnake but it's thirdhand from a guy who got it out of France too.

I try to get a really good temp, and it's working well. The UTH is varying from 30 to 33 and I got a heat lamp on as well so there's a good ambient warmth on the "hot" side. She seems to be thriving physically as of last month.

To my observations she did settle really well in her surrounding. She uses literally everything I put there in the vivarium. The branch, the plants, the hides, its all bring put to use.

The purple light you see in the top left is the heat lamp. The left side also has the UTH that cover up past the water dish (to increase humidity).

I noticed a calmer behaviour the last 2 days. I grabbed her after a light touch with the hook and she's really well behaved.
But she really flips the heck out and jumps like a backwards pogo stick against the wall when I do touch her with the hook on the head lol.
 
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