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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a California kingsnake that is about one years old. I was well aware she was a biter when I got her, though I hoped it was because she was nervous and young..she rarely strikes at me in an aggressive manner, it seems to be mostly feeding bites.she will start rubbing her nose on me and slowly opens her mouth. When she gets my arm or hand she lets go quickly. However, when she gets a finger, she will start to try to swallow it. I've tried water on the head, which she doesn't mind at all. She only bites and coils tighter. Blowing in her face works sometimes but not always. I've heard of vodka on the snout,but considering I don't drink hard liquor I don't have that around, plus I get nervous if that could harm her. I worry when she gets older she will be able to swallow my whole finger.she holds on for about an hour...I will not pull her off of course.

I feed her 2 pinkies every 4-5 days. I give her the biggest she can swallow.
I take her out of her tank to eat (put her in a container).
She is always fed frozen.
I handle her often, always waiting until after she's digested her meal and pooped.
I always wash my hands or put purell on 5-10 mins before holding her. (Please somebody tell me if I shouldn't put purell on! It seems to stop her from thinking I'm food SOMETIMES, but if it's not good for her I'll stop right away..)
I wear gloves to take her out of the tank,but take them off as soon as she's out. She doesn't bite the gloves, but will readily try to eat a finger if I stick my bare hand in there.
I feel she has two moods-hungry and exploring. Once she's in exploring mode it's usually a safe bet that she won't bite (unless I move very fast, or try to stop her from going in a crevasse)
But many times when she's moving slow and staring at my hand too long,I know what's coming...
Even if she just ate, she gets excited from any movement and will even attack the water bowl while I pour water in it lol.
I handle her very gently, letting her slither all over and barely moving my hands.

I understand kingsnakes have a strong feeding response. I knew that when I got her. But I'm just curious if I'm doing anything wrong, and if there's any glimmer of hope that she might learn that my fingers are not food. I should mention that I've had her for 10 months or so.
 

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I have a California kingsnake that is about one years old. I was well aware she was a biter when I got her, though I hoped it was because she was nervous and young..she rarely strikes at me in an aggressive manner, it seems to be mostly feeding bites.she will start rubbing her nose on me and slowly opens her mouth. When she gets my arm or hand she lets go quickly. However, when she gets a finger, she will start to try to swallow it. I've tried water on the head, which she doesn't mind at all. She only bites and coils tighter. Blowing in her face works sometimes but not always. I've heard of vodka on the snout,but considering I don't drink hard liquor I don't have that around, plus I get nervous if that could harm her. I worry when she gets older she will be able to swallow my whole finger.she holds on for about an hour...I will not pull her off of course.

I feed her 2 pinkies every 4-5 days. I give her the biggest she can swallow.
I take her out of her tank to eat (put her in a container).
She is always fed frozen.
I handle her often, always waiting until after she's digested her meal and pooped.
I always wash my hands or put purell on 5-10 mins before holding her. (Please somebody tell me if I shouldn't put purell on! It seems to stop her from thinking I'm food SOMETIMES, but if it's not good for her I'll stop right away..)
I wear gloves to take her out of the tank,but take them off as soon as she's out. She doesn't bite the gloves, but will readily try to eat a finger if I stick my bare hand in there.
I feel she has two moods-hungry and exploring. Once she's in exploring mode it's usually a safe bet that she won't bite (unless I move very fast, or try to stop her from going in a crevasse)
But many times when she's moving slow and staring at my hand too long,I know what's coming...
Even if she just ate, she gets excited from any movement and will even attack the water bowl while I pour water in it lol.
I handle her very gently, letting her slither all over and barely moving my hands.

I understand kingsnakes have a strong feeding response. I knew that when I got her. But I'm just curious if I'm doing anything wrong, and if there's any glimmer of hope that she might learn that my fingers are not food. I should mention that I've had her for 10 months or so.
I would say a one year old Cali King should be eating bigger food than pinkies
 

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might not make a difference but you could always up the size of the food and maybe leave the gap between feeding a little longer see how that works, at least that way there will be a longer feeding gap and less of a chance of her to be in feeding mode
 

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I would say a one year old Cali King should be eating bigger food than pinkies
might not make a difference but you could always up the size of the food and maybe leave the gap between feeding a little longer see how that works, at least that way there will be a longer feeding gap and less of a chance of her to be in feeding mode
Worth a try but some will just keep on trying to eat you for ever. From my experience the females are the worst, but young ones can be stopped from doing this when they are kept well fed and handled regularly. Since she takes a bit of time eyeing you up then I think that you are in with a good chance of curing her of the habit; the ones that either go straight for you every time or don't give any warning are more problematic. Make sure that she is getting appropriate sized meals but bear in mind that a lot of calis would prefer multiple small items to one large one. Good luck. :2thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would say a one year old Cali King should be eating bigger food than pinkies
I could definetly try. She is very long but thin, the pinkies leave a nice size lump in her belly. For the first few months after I got her (February) she wouldn't even eat full size pinkies..I'm not sure if it was too big or what, I would look in the container about 15 mins after and find her sitting on top of it looking sad. The next day I'd get slightly smaller pinkies and she would finish eating them in 2 minutes. So I figured I'd stick with meals not much bigger than her belly.
Now I'm getting nervous that she's small..she eats and sheds great. I have wondered if she poops a little fast,its usually the next day or at most 2 days after eating...though my young pueblan milksnake seems to be on the same schedule.

Thank you all for the responses, I have frozen mice at my job so I will try to feed a small fuzzy to her asap.

I really hope she does grow out of this a bit. I will try to get her out of this habit. blowing on her face when she's nosing me usually snaps her out of it but then she will get me again if I look away lol.
 

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Sounds like you have a typical cali king there Aliciapb . Upping the size of food and regular handling should see the behaviour diminish as it learns your not a viable food source directly. Also in future, to get the snake to release you could try fully submersing in water to prompt it off your finger. :2thumb:
 

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Could it be your temps are a bit high causing her to digest the food too quickly. I have year old King snakes taking small mice .
 

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Some people try teeny bit of mouthwash to get a biting snake off
I keep an old bottle of gin. Dip a cotton bud in that then apply around the mouth - usually works but doesn't guarantee that they won't reattach (my Pearl...), but there again neither does water, lol!:2thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I do, and it does. Sometimes :p

I think the picture is cute as well! I just know that when she gets bigger I might not find it so!
 
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