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Hello, i've had a bull snake for about 2 months now and the store I got it from never actually told me his age, but its about 2 feet maybe and maybe a year or 2 old not completely sure. But anyways, they let me handle him at the store and it was the calmest snake i've ever handled, just slithered around. But now whenever I put my hand in the cage, it raises its head looking ready to strike and is completely scared of me at times, i'll touch around to let it know im there, and it'll completely freak and come and try to attack me it looks like, not actually try and smell. He just had a successful shed, and is fed well, am I doing something wrong, I haven't been able to handle it since I got it from the store, I understand letting it adjust for a few weeks, I don't necessarily need to handle it, but I'd rather it not let sit in its cage forever.
I understand all snakes are different, i'm new to owning an actual snake and need any tips for handling, or why it acts this way.
Thanks in advance:flrt:
 

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I've never had any Bull snakes but I had a young Pine snake which are kinda related I believe ?!?

Mine was lovely and docile OUT of his viv but very food orientated whilst inside. You mention he's well fed but mine had a monstrous appetite and they do grow to a very good size as I recall . Not monster size but sizeable .

I'm wondering if it's a partly that he needs a bit more food each time ... and maybe try hooking him out or at least direct his head away from you / your hand whilst you get hold him . Once he's out I think he'll be fine .

I'll be interested to see what the others think ..

As I say , I was a bit nervous of mine as he seemed so intent on coming towards me all the time but using a hook to direct his head away soon sorted him out :)
 

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viv is snakes domains for some of them they defend
gentle hooking out and then snake can be outside his domain in yours
he then investigates with curiousity and not anger

#allhuffandbluff
 

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Hello, i've had a bull snake for about 2 months now and the store I got it from never actually told me his age, but its about 2 feet maybe and maybe a year or 2 old not completely sure. But anyways, they let me handle him at the store and it was the calmest snake i've ever handled, just slithered around. But now whenever I put my hand in the cage, it raises its head looking ready to strike and is completely scared of me at times, i'll touch around to let it know im there, and it'll completely freak and come and try to attack me it looks like, not actually try and smell. He just had a successful shed, and is fed well, am I doing something wrong, I haven't been able to handle it since I got it from the store, I understand letting it adjust for a few weeks, I don't necessarily need to handle it, but I'd rather it not let sit in its cage forever.
I understand all snakes are different, i'm new to owning an actual snake and need any tips for handling, or why it acts this way.
Thanks in advance:flrt:
He (have you sexed it? Males can be more aggressive) has most likely become viv defensive- many snakes can be prone to this. One way to find out is let it out & try to handle it once it's out of the viv- if it's placid once out, then it's defo viv defensive. There are several ways around this, one of which is to put an item of clothing you've worn for a day or two in the viv & leave it there a few days. That may get the snake used to your scent.
 

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Hello, i've had a bull snake for about 2 months now and the store I got it from never actually told me his age, but its about 2 feet maybe and maybe a year or 2 old not completely sure. But anyways, they let me handle him at the store and it was the calmest snake i've ever handled, just slithered around. But now whenever I put my hand in the cage, it raises its head looking ready to strike and is completely scared of me at times, i'll touch around to let it know im there, and it'll completely freak and come and try to attack me it looks like, not actually try and smell. He just had a successful shed, and is fed well, am I doing something wrong, I haven't been able to handle it since I got it from the store, I understand letting it adjust for a few weeks, I don't necessarily need to handle it, but I'd rather it not let sit in its cage forever.
I understand all snakes are different, i'm new to owning an actual snake and need any tips for handling, or why it acts this way.
Thanks in advance:flrt:
If it is a bull (my local shop is selling two San Diego gophers as bulls at the minute, despite me politely pointing out their error) it will probably be around 12 months old ish at 2ft, unless it was seriously underfed.

My bull is very chilled, and I can spot clean and rearrange stuff without any show of fear, only curiosity. Unless there is the smell of snake food in the air. :whistling2: He is a very placid snake, but surprisingly strong compared with other colubrids I have kept. My (San Diego) gopher on the other hand, has become very viv defensive as it has aged, despite being a very laid back snake when out of the viv. It would bite every time I put my hand in these days, though almost never when it's out! It does depend on the animal concerned.
I would be very surprised if yours is "coming to attack you", but is probably looking to charge around the viv to get away from you. That isn't to say that it won't bite you, but at 2ft, it isn't going to hurt!
There are opposing theories on when to start handling your animals, the most prevalent being to leave them well alone for a few weeks. But if you haven't handled this young snake in the 2 months you have had it, it has had chance to fear handling once more. You may be starting all over again from scratch. (Other theories are available. :blush:)

I know some people don't handle their animals these days, but personally I think it is better for you both to have some mutual trust/tolerance. If you are a little fearful of the snake, I would put a glove on and continue to handle him for short regular sessions. I bet he/she will be far calmer once out of the confines of the tank, and I don't think it will be too long before it calms down again. Just don't grip it tightly, but allow it to flow through your hands with minimum resistance. Move slowly and try and appear confident and calm. A jumpy person makes for a jumpy snake.
Once it is big enough not to get between the floorboards/under the doors etc., you can then let it roam around the room to get its exercise.
I don't think you could have done better for a first snake, as pits in general are very hardy snakes that get to a decent size, and are nothing like the reputation that they sometimes still have from their wild caught days. :2thumb:
 

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I have owned and bred a number of bullsnakes.

I am guessing that the snake is in a top-opening tank and that you are reaching down directly towards the little snake (which is probably from the 2016 hatch). What you report is typical; he thinks your hand is a predator, such as a swooping hawk or a raccoon leaning down to bite. I have two suggestions:

1. Get a wire coat hanger and bend it into a hook. Take the triangle part of the coat hanger and draw it like a bow until the wire becomes two parallel lines. Then the curved end is bent into a right angle shape. Slide the hook end under the snakes body and lift until he is above the level of your arm and hand. This is much less stressful for the snake than using your hand.

2. put your hand in the cage at the end away from the snake. The hand is flat and the back of the hand is against the floor. Slowly move your hand toward the snake. Stop if he tenses and move forward when he relaxes or turns his head away. Eventually you will be close enough to slide your fingers under his chin or body. This slow approach at his level is much less like the approach of a predator.

Bullsnakes are great! Good luck.
 
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