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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have wanted a Mexican Black King Snake for a long time. They are stunning. I have only had one snake a Corn Snake, which was really my moms. I was kind of scared of snakes before and struggled to pick him up for a long time, scared that I was going to get bit. I have still never been bit and I am kind of scared to. With this fear I was thinking an older adult king snake would be better for me. But I do prefer to start out with a baby because of my minimal experience. Any advice?
 

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I have wanted a Mexican Black King Snake for a long time. They are stunning. I have only had one snake a Corn Snake, which was really my moms. I was kind of scared of snakes before and struggled to pick him up for a long time, scared that I was going to get bit. I have still never been bit and I am kind of scared to. With this fear I was thinking an older adult king snake would be better for me. But I do prefer to start out with a baby because of my minimal experience. Any advice?
If you have a fear of being bit then don't get a snake :) - to be honest, a bite from a corn / king snake won't be that bad, and a small one may not even draw blood.

Best advice - Research research research ... watch a selection of husbandry videos, read a dozen or more care sheets, borrow books from a library and even join a local society if there is one. You will see conflicting advice as people do thing different, but the core things such as temperature range for the chosen snake, lighting requirements and humidity will be more or less the same. Once you've had your fill of data, then come back and ask any specific questions. You'll get the same mixed opinions, but then its down to you to chose which one suit you and try it for your self. Just because something works for me, doesn't mean it will work for you, at least not without some alteration....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice. I have had my experience of not doing my research, I will never make that mistake again. I don't even know why I am scared. I have been bit by my dog, a cat or two, my rats, leopard geckos even a small russian tortoise. Lol. A snake bit shouldn't scare me.
 

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The age of the snake will make no difference whatsoever as to whether or not it will bite- if it's inclined to bite it will do so regardless of its age. In fact I would suggest an older one unless tamed by a previous owner will be even more inclined to bite, & being older will also be big enough to hurt (& bites from adult kings do hurt). I would suggest getting a hatchling & taming it.
 

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In my experience, baby bites happen more often but aren't even an issue whereas adult ones are less often, but hurt more :)

Regardless, start training the king early to avoid being bitten. I only ever have been bitten twice in my life. Once by a Carpet Python baby and once by my son lol ...

In all seriousness .. there are a few things that you can do to avoid being bitten. And having had DWA snakes I can tell you that some techniques work lol - otherwise I wouldn't be here.

Anyway, first of all, don't feed them outside the enclosure but inside his enclosure, otherwise they associate being taken out with food. The whole separate enclosure for feeding thing is as old as Birkenstock shoes and white socks.

Second, either hook train it - which means tap it with a hook to indicate you are coming close without food. So do that every time you get into the enclosure for whatever reason, and don't tap it when feeding, or 'cupping' - which is what I used.

What I do / did with especially bigger snakes, is when I opened the viv and I wanted to indicate I wasn't feeding, is holding my hand over their heads and essentially cover their head / eyes. Thing is - you need to be confident because if you end up stopping half way they may as well think your hand is food :)

And whether you get an old or young one - is really a 50/50 bet.

If you get an older one, you never know how the previous owner worked with it and you may end up having to wipe out old bad behaviour. On the other hand they are established, taken the hard work out of it. Whereas young ones barely come with any imprinted bad stuff (if there is even such a thing) and you can train them yourselves.

I would say in your case, don't buy a snake online but go to a shop or show and see how they behave before agreeing to it. I had a tendency to buy the complete nutcases lol

But when I picked up my rescue boa (10yrs old) she was mellow and it just clicked.
 

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In my experience, baby bites happen more often but aren't even an issue whereas adult ones are less often, but hurt more :)

Regardless, start training the king early to avoid being bitten. I only ever have been bitten twice in my life. Once by a Carpet Python baby and once by my son lol ...

In all seriousness .. there are a few things that you can do to avoid being bitten. And having had DWA snakes I can tell you that some techniques work lol - otherwise I wouldn't be here.

Anyway, first of all, don't feed them outside the enclosure but inside his enclosure, otherwise they associate being taken out with food. The whole separate enclosure for feeding thing is as old as Birkenstock shoes and white socks.

Second, either hook train it - which means tap it with a hook to indicate you are coming close without food. So do that every time you get into the enclosure for whatever reason, and don't tap it when feeding, or 'cupping' - which is what I used.

What I do / did with especially bigger snakes, is when I opened the viv and I wanted to indicate I wasn't feeding, is holding my hand over their heads and essentially cover their head / eyes. Thing is - you need to be confident because if you end up stopping half way they may as well think your hand is food :)

And whether you get an old or young one - is really a 50/50 bet.

If you get an older one, you never know how the previous owner worked with it and you may end up having to wipe out old bad behaviour. On the other hand they are established, taken the hard work out of it. Whereas young ones barely come with any imprinted bad stuff (if there is even such a thing) and you can train them yourselves.

I would say in your case, don't buy a snake online but go to a shop or show and see how they behave before agreeing to it. I had a tendency to buy the complete nutcases lol

But when I picked up my rescue boa (10yrs old) she was mellow and it just clicked.
Sound advice there.
 

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I’d consider buying a Royal Python if you’re a tad nervous .. they are slow moving , gentle and placid and they don’t bite randomly like Kung snakes :)

Just make sure you get a good eater if you choose a Royal ..


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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I had an adult VBB that HATED me. 8ft of lightning fast muscle hurtling towards you every time you opened the viv was scary I can tell you. But once out he was fine. Just wanted to get away. On the other hand, I had a juvenile lavender corn that also hated me. He would launch himself at his tub every time I entered the room. When he was out, he would bite me at every opportunity. :ROFLMAO: Hannibal I called him. These are the only 2 snakes I've owned who scared me LOL. However, the worse bite (most painful)was off a juvenile Hoggy. Placid as anything. Happily chilling on my lap. I put my hand near him and he decided to chow down on my pinky finger. Managed to get the tip right to the back of his throat. And stuck his rear fangs into me. That hurt.

I guess what I'm getting at is, you just never know. Don't be nervous. If you want a King, go for it.
 

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I had an adult VBB that HATED me. 8ft of lightning fast muscle hurtling towards you every time you opened the viv was scary I can tell you. But once out he was fine. Just wanted to get away. On the other hand, I had a juvenile lavender corn that also hated me. He would launch himself at his tub every time I entered the room. When he was out, he would bite me at every opportunity. :ROFLMAO: Hannibal I called him. These are the only 2 snakes I've owned who scared me LOL. However, the worse bite (most painful)was off a juvenile Hoggy. Placid as anything. Happily chilling on my lap. I put my hand near him and he decided to chow down on my pinky finger. Managed to get the tip right to the back of his throat. And stuck his rear fangs into me. That hurt.

I guess what I'm getting at is, you just never know. Don't be nervous. If you want a King, go for it.
:eek: You were lucky not to get envenomated & finish up on your arse & in Hospital, like April Taylor's hubby Adam did!
As for your VBB, my Fox snake John is a bit like that- he'll only tolerate my hands in his viv if:
A- there's a mouse in my hand, or
B- he's asleep in his hide.
Like your VBB he's fine when out of the viv, handleable & won't bite.
Ramses the Cali king on the other hand is a right tosser & bites at any opportunity, in or out of his viv. Plus he's half blind with cataracts in both eyes.
 

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You were lucky not to get envenomated & finish up on your arse & in Hospital, like April Taylor's hubby Adam did!
He did envenomate me. My little finger and the side of my left hand swelled up and went deep red. I think that's why it hurt so much.

BTW, I love the name John for your Fox snake 👍
 
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