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Popcorn
Snake Mite

21 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2013 :  20:12:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I only handle him before feeding to put him in his feeding rub then again to put him back in faun after feeding to avoid him eating his aspen. But as I say he's nervous at being picked up but once we have him he's fine and explores. He loves going in people hair behind neck lol. Or down my missus bra lol
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Kellog
the nice one

United Kingdom
7308 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2013 :  20:02:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Popcorn

I only handle him before feeding to put him in his feeding rub then again to put him back in faun after feeding to avoid him eating his aspen........




That's perfect Popcorn . Sorry, it was the way you said you were going to handle him first and then feed him....thought you meant a handling session rather than just doing the necessary moving .

Hopefully, over time, that response to you getting him out will lessen. I do love his choice of a place to hide !

Xxx


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Popcorn
Snake Mite

21 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2013 :  19:17:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hahaha 48 hours is up. Just putting daughter to bed then getting him out for handling. Will post some pics on Facebook group. Xxx
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Marrie
Snake Mite

United Kingdom
11 Posts

Posted - 27/04/2013 :  13:46:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
reading this helped my brain a lot to calm down lol
I bought the baby yesterday and it's the first time so was stressed leave my baby ... he must be very as well... anyways.. he got fed yesterday in pet store before I bought him home and like stupid I was bugging him. gosh now think he must be so stressed that's why was getting aggressive last night and since morning it's just hiding not coming out.. at first got worried whether he is okay or not but now can understand he must want to rest...
anyways really appreciate your post.. so helpful x

safe x

Maryum
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ScalySituation
Fully Grown Corn

United Kingdom
5172 Posts

Posted - 27/04/2013 :  16:29:53  Show Profile  Visit ScalySituation's Homepage  Click to see ScalySituation's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Oh no :( sounds like the pet shop didn't know what they were doing Marrie, he shouldn't have been moved after a feed, keep a close eye on him. He may regurgitate his food.

1.0.0 Normal corn snake(Sonny)
1.0.0 Butter motley corn snake (Sheldon)
0.1.0 Caramel Corn snake (Maggie)
1.0.0 Cat (Angus)
1 mealworm colony
RIP Skye x
RIP Ice cream x
RIP Brian x
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Kellog
the nice one

United Kingdom
7308 Posts

Posted - 27/04/2013 :  19:16:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm SO glad you've read this and it's helped Mariee....and I totally agree with ScalySituation. The fact that your little one was fed on the day he was sold is not good to hear, but also not surprising . You will find that pet shops, and some reptile shops, don't give good advice at all....I know I check everything I'm told on here. Some even say you don't need a thermostat to control the heatmat !

As Scaly said, there is a small chance your little one may regurgitate his food. This will be because he's been so stressed and NOT your fault, but the fault of the shop. HOPEFULLY this won't happen. It's vital that you leave him alone now to get over the stress, to digest and to get used to his new home....so for this first week leave him alone, no handling or feeding, just changing his water. Frustrating for you but necessary for him.

Let us know how he is.

Xxx


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Lukey
Snake Mite

26 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2013 :  10:55:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I held my baby snake for the first time today. He's around 2 months old. It had been 36 hours or so since his first feed with me and he was really carm. Didn't try to slip away or anything like that and was actually a real pleasure to hold. I expected to be dealing with a hyperactive crazy snake because of his age.
With this in mind I don't want to over handle him whilst he's young but as long as he isn't show any signs of stress would every other day or so be ok?
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Kellog
the nice one

United Kingdom
7308 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2013 :  07:46:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry for the last reply Luke. It's great that your snake was so settled with you . It would be fine to handle him every day, even a couple of times a day. Just start out for short periods of time and slowly build up. One point though, it's best to leave them for 48hrs after they've eaten to make sure they've fully digested their food. Snakes differ with how long that takes, so some may be able to be handled before that, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Xxx


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Verhus
Snake Mite

United Kingdom
28 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2013 :  00:31:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for this post Kellog!! I've been searching the web for handling tips and advice for three weeks now and nothing has been as detailed or as useful as this post. I just joined the Forum earlier tonight and I think it's going to be my home for the forseeable future!

I just got my corn snake two weeks ago and, reading the posts, I went about it all the wrong way: buying him from a total stranger via a local online marketplace instead of a proper breeder or petshop. I did manage to get a little info. from the seller (his age, 4-ish, and that he's used to being handled) but it was hard work and most of what I learned about corn snakes, their care and viv. set-ups came from a week of intense online research after i'd agreed to buy him - then he arrived!

I've had him just two weeks now and know that his viv is a)overcrowded due to the size of the hide and water dish he needs for his size, and b)I need to invest in a bigger viv asap. The viv is 1'x 2' and he's about 3' or maybe 3.5'. He seems happy enough in it at the moment but i'm hoping to have the bigger viv in about 4 months. (just need some time to save up for it)

I put about half an inch of substrate in the viv but earlier today topped that up to about one and a half inches after reading that corn snakes like to burrow. I've a viv lock arriving tomorrow but have used tape to secure the doors in the meantime.

I left him alone for 4 days after he arrived then spent about 5-mins handling him, badly and nervously. I've handled him very briefly every second day since then but i'm still a bit (okay, a lot) nervous and angry at myself as I think it's making him nervous too. I just need to get over it for his sake, he's such a lovely natured wee thing and has never actually tried to strike or anything like that. I know that I just need to stop being an idiot and allow him to feel safe and relaxed with me. I want him to feel at home here.

He's absolutely beautiful!! I can't stop looking at him. It's like having a new child, I keep watching him and smiling and thinking "Wow! He's really ours!" So cute and small and shy. But then, when it comes to handling him, I just can't ignore that he could bite and he is so strong! (I wasn't expecting that.) And fast! Really fast! I think that's what scares me most, I'd rather he just bit me and then I could get over it and not worry about it anymore but not seeing it coming is quite scary.

I fed him for the first time today, two weeks after he arrived and two weeks and a day since his last feed. It was the most terrifying experience I've subjected myself to voluntarily but weirdly also the most exciting. (I was almost shaking.) I managed to transfer him to his feeding tank (it's just a bare plastic box, don't know if I should put something in it) and used tongs to offer him the small mouse (which I'd defrosted at room temp since the night before).
He took it immediately, fast as lightening. I didn't even have time to see him take it before it was half inside his mouth! He sort of chewed side to side until it all went down, rattling his tail as it went (wasn't expecting that either, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stick up). I didn't know how long to wait before offering him the second mouse but as he seemed to be in 'feeding mode' (he seemed to be enjoying it) I only waited about 1 - 2 minutes and he again took it straight away. How would I know if he wanted more? It seemed to me he would easily have taken a third one but I was worried three might make him sick if I overfed him. Can you overfeed a snake?

I ended up sort of tipping him slowly back into the viv as i was terrified by then and couldn't touch him at all. (The rattling freaked me out a bit.) He was pretty blase about it though and seemed to slide easily straight to his hide as if he was smiling. I was so proud of him. I'd been worried he'd be too nervous to eat so it's a weight of my mind now that he has. He's just amazing Not least for putting up with me!

Sorry if this sort of novice rambling isn't what these type of forums are meant for but it was just such a relief to read some real and helpful information and, to be honest, I also just wanted to talk about him.

He doesn't have a name yet. Much as I'm loving pretending he's mine, all mine, he's a Christmas present for my daughter so I think she ought to name him. (Privately I'm calling him Cornflake the Corn Snake.) That's the other reason I need to get used to handling him, to have him happy and settled and content in his new home before she meets him. I don't want her to think there's any reason to be wary of him because I know she's just going to love him as soon as she sees his wee face.

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smart bunny
Fully Grown Corn

United Kingdom
5091 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2013 :  09:51:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Verhus and welcome to the forum. :D

Don't worry about the handling side too much - you and your (daughter's) snake will get used to each other and he'll soon settle down! Handling every other day is absolutely fine (as long as you are leaving alone for 48 hrs after a feed to allow him to digest properly). You'll probably find he'll start to settle a bit after being out for a few minutes, so try to increase the length you hold him by a couple of minutes each time - if you only ever hold him for 5 mins then he won't get chance to get used to it :)

Feeding wise - an adult would usually be on much bigger than small mice to be honest so it's good you gave him 2. Most adults (which he is if he is 4 yrs old) would be on a large mouse every 14 days, so what I would recommend (others may differ!) is: if you have bought some smalls which you need to use up, then continue as you are, 2 smalls every week for now, then try giving him a medium for a couple of weeks, then up to large every fortnight. It is definitely possible to overfeed snakes, and once they are in 'feeding mode' they will often look about for more even though they don't need it.

Hmmm - I just re-read your post and he doesn't sound very long for an adult? Do you know the previous owner's feeding details? I think you will have to judge for yourself whether he is ready for large mice or not as he may have been underfed previously... see how he gets on with the mediums first - you could always post up a feeding/bump pic for us to look at to see if the food size looks about right. You are definitely right about him needing a bigger viv though poor thing, but don't worry, he'll cope for a few more months ;) But hey, that means you'll then have a spare viv free for your to put your own snake in when you've saved up mwahahaha!!!

You mentioned increasing the depth of the substrate - that is good for the cold end but I just wanted to check your heating method? If you are using a mat (which I hope is on a thermostat) then it is important to make sure the substrate is only very thin over the mat to prevent thermal blocking. If on the other hand you are using a lamp (which would also need a thermostat) then it won't matter about the substrate depth. Also you mention 'his hide'... he should have at least two - one at each end so he has the choice of a warm or cold hide

Not sure if I missed anything! Feel free to ask any more questions you have, we won't bite... but we do like to see pics!!! :D


Edited by - smart bunny on 05/12/2013 09:54:22
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Verhus
Snake Mite

United Kingdom
28 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2013 :  03:05:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Smart Bunny, Thamks for getting back to me. I don't know much at all about his life with his previous owner, I did send e-mails but think maybe they were a bit too long and she got bored reading them because she ignored half of my questions.

Apparently he ate 3 mice the day before coming to me and, as they were the next size up from pinkies, i figured he would be ready to try small mice now (which i've bought). I only defrosted 2 on the off chance that he might be hungrier than usual as it had been 14 days since his last feed but, like I said, I think he'd have taken another if i'd had it ready for him.

The small mice I gave him are about as wide as his head, longer though, and I barely noticed any bump as I tried to follow it's path down his body. You should see the food going down, right? I'm thinking I should offer him 3 of these at his next 2 feeds then change to offering 2 (or 1?) medium mice? The people at the Pet Shop I buy the mice from say he should be on a bigger size for his age too but they've never seen him so say I'll just have to judge it for myself in the end. If I do offer him a too-big mouse, will he choke or suffocate?

About his hides, I found out online that he should have two but there's just no space left for another one in this viv. I've left a log in at the cool side which already stretches across to on top of his hide on the warm side of the viv, but i figured it might provide at least a token space to hide in the meantime (?).

I also read lots online about temperature regulation but then when he arrived with his viv I found out that his heat matt doesn't seem to have any way of regulating the temperature! It's just either plugged in or it's not. No thermostatic controls at all. No viv thermometer either to see how warm it is in there. I asked the Pet Shop about what sorts of heat matts they had and apparently theirs are the same. The matt is just a strip of plastic with black lines on it and a power cable, is this normal? It does get quite warm to touch (but not exactly hot)and smells because there's the remains of sticky tape all over it. Is there something better I can buy for him?

The previous owner said to place it under the (Vivexotic laminate wood) viv at one end, which I've done, but the size of the tank means that it's also under his hide - his only hide - am I doing wrong here? If I move it out from under his hide it'll be under his water and I know he needs cool water. God, Now I'm just angry. He needs more space.

What about if I wrap the heat matt along the side wall (instead of under the viv) on the same side of the tank as his hide? That way that side of the viv will be generally slightly warmer but the heat won't all be concentrated inside his hide?

As I fed him on Wednesday I can't disturb him until Saturday (when I'm going to put Kellog's handling tips into practice) so I'll remove some of the substrate from his hide area then too. Depending upon how the handling goes I'll also try to measure him and see if I can measure his thickness too.

Apparently this tank set-up I have him in is exactly what he's been used to living in but now i'm really worried that it's inadequate, and that i'm going to make him ill or kill him with too much heat and not enough space. Maybe not enough food even! Why would someone do that? Why would someone sell him with an inadequate viv to an inadequate owner who believes it's all ok? I've never hurt an animal in my life and I'd never forgive myself if I killed him with stupidity.

I know that I'm not an expert but he looks happy enough. He flicks his tongue a lot and looks interested when i first go into the viv and only became nervous (I understand now) because I was so hesitant with him. He tends to move calmly and, I think, quite confidently and only shows his speed when he's out of the viv and sees how much open space is out there. (or at feeding time when he was lightening fast)
He does have lovely bright eyes and his skin is like silk, shiny and smooth with no rough bits. I've read about how underfed snakes can look concave along the top of their bodies but I didn't look for that, I will check it out on Saturday now that I know what to look for.

The poor wee thing. He's relying on my care and I feel I'm letting him down. Please tell me truthfully if his viv set-up here is going to make him ill, or worse. Animals shouldn't be allowed to be sold to just anyone, like an ornament or a piece of furniture! I don't know whether to feel as if i've rescued him from a bad owner or I AM a bad owner. The sooner he gets a bigger viv the better, then I can set it up with everything he needs.
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smart bunny
Fully Grown Corn

United Kingdom
5091 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2013 :  10:02:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok the first thing is - you are NOT a bad owner, you are a good owner who has come on here to find out the PROPER way to look after a snake. As far as I am concerned you have rescued him from a bad owner, and although things may not be ideal for him at the moment give it a bit of time and you'll get it all sorted for him.

As for the things the previous owner has done wrong, it's difficult to know where to start! The thing I am most concerned about is that you have a heat mat under a wooden viv which is unstatted and a fire hazard. As you have just fed him you need to keep things warm for a couple of days, but as soon as it's OK I would get rid of the mat (unless you can get all the tape off totally as any tape/other sticky substance is dangerous for snakes). The mat needs to be inside the viv and take up 1/3 to 1/2 of the floor space. I think the best thing to do is direct you to the stickies to be honest. There is a good thread on setting up an adult viv, but I can't find it at the moment, not sure why it's not a sticky, Kellog always finds it so hopefully she'll be along soon!! In the meantime the hatchling setup will give you a better idea of how things should be: http://www.thecornsnake.co.uk/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9878

Edit: Found it! Any chance a mod could make this a sticky?! http://www.thecornsnake.co.uk/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=10789&SearchTerms=adult,set,up

No wonder the poor thing is only 3.5 ft at 4yrs if it's only being fed on a couple of fuzzies :( I wouldn't offer more than 2 food items at once though - better to go up a size. You could always give 1 small plus 1 medium for a while. I'd just say up the feeding amount gradually though, as his tum is not used to it!

May be worth for future questions starting a new thread of your own (not having a go or anything) as more people may respond if it's not on a stickied thread :)


Edited by - smart bunny on 06/12/2013 10:05:17
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Verhus
Snake Mite

United Kingdom
28 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2013 :  23:23:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kellog!! I actually did it Totally faked it and was terrified at first but he was sooo sweet he pretended not to notice. Thank you so much for this advice, we actually had a proper sitting-still cuddle at one point, he was so relaxed!

Smart Bunny, I just realised what you meant by "stickied thread" and Thank You too for the advice, any help at all in using this type of forum is much appreciated as i've never used these things before. Have started a new thread to see what sort of snake I have but after tonight's wee cuddle he's just amazing whatever type he is



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smart bunny
Fully Grown Corn

United Kingdom
5091 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2013 :  07:38:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ooooh he's a bit longer than you thought as well lol! That's good though, means he probably wasn't as underfed as I was thinking, he looks a goos size - and very pretty :)

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Razee
Fully Grown Corn

United Kingdom
2403 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2013 :  09:07:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Verhus - just to say well done at handling him, I was very nervous with my super fast, tiny wizzy hatchling, when it came to handling her ( almost 3 years ago :-) - and couldn't find any info, either! You're 10 x braver than me, starting with a big one!

Re feeding - at his size and age, he could easily eat large, or even XL mouse. I'd be tempted to start with a large, if he's only been on small mice before. Don't worry, they can't choke when eating, they have a reinforced ( cartilage ) breathing tube, that they can push out of the side of their mouths when swallowing. At his size and age, a large mouse every 10 - 14 days ( probably 14 as you don't want him fat ), or XL every 14 days ( or even 3 weeks ) would be ok.

He actually doesn't look in bad shape at all, lovely snakey. Enjoy :-)

0.1.0 late CB10 Carolina corn snake - Bazilishka
1.0.0 CB11 Abbots Okeetee- Little Twiddler
1.0.0 CB11 Hypo corn- Sebastianek
1.0.0. CB14 Butter Motley - Squidwood
1.0.0 dobbin
1.1.0 stable cats
0.1.0 house cat
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Razee
Fully Grown Corn

United Kingdom
2403 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2013 :  09:34:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry for double posting - only just noticed that SB has already answered the food size question.

Re heat - your most important things would be a thermostat ( either on/off, or pulse - I much prefer pulse, keeps the temperature well ) , and a digital thermometer, so you can monitor the temperature exactly. You can easily get them online - somewhere like "Swell reptiles", or "Blue Lizard", it's cheaper than the shops. Mat goes in the viv, plugged in the thermostat, then thermostat plugged in the wall socket. Thermostat probe, ( together with the thermometer probe, just to be sure the thermostat is working correctly ) goes on the top of the mat, weighed down by something ( hide, or decorations ), so that the snakey can't move the probes of the mat.
You're aiming for around 28 - 29 C on the mat. If you can only fit one hide, you could maybe have a long tube, half of which would be over the warm area, half over unheated bit, that way he can have a nice rest, at whatever temperature he wants. Hope this helps :-)

0.1.0 late CB10 Carolina corn snake - Bazilishka
1.0.0 CB11 Abbots Okeetee- Little Twiddler
1.0.0 CB11 Hypo corn- Sebastianek
1.0.0. CB14 Butter Motley - Squidwood
1.0.0 dobbin
1.1.0 stable cats
0.1.0 house cat
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smart bunny
Fully Grown Corn

United Kingdom
5091 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2013 :  17:44:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for filling in the gaps I forgot about with the stat and the hides Razee!

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Verhus
Snake Mite

United Kingdom
28 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2013 :  01:41:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Razee, I've added your tips to the pages I have from here already -I've got quite a shopping list now!! Thanks everyone for your help My wee boy might be living like an urchin at the moment but things can only improve once I get him the set-up he deserves.
Oh, and I can't claim any bravery at all in starting with one his size, first off the seller lied to me but I was shaking like a leaf the first few times I went near him
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Hockeystu83
Snake Mite

United Kingdom
1 Posts

Posted - 23/03/2015 :  22:39:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Awesome!! I shall try that shuffling the substrate about so kianna can get used to my smell and won't dart off too often lol :) i always pick her tail/lower body up then quickly put my other hand under her body to support her then up and towards with me :)
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Spacetastic
Snake Mite

United Kingdom
34 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2015 :  18:22:04  Show Profile  Send Spacetastic an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Hi Kellogg, this is really useful, thank you.
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