Beginner venomous

Beginner venomous reptiles
I really want a venomous snake at some point so I would like to know beginner species that are elapids, vipers and other venomous reptiles and where I could get them.

We are not allowed to give recommendations of breeders here on the boards and I cannot recall if the Market itself has a venomous section but that is where I would start in terms of finding an animal


The very first thing I would do, before you do anything else, is find out what your state, county, and city (and perhaps even HOA) laws/ordinances/rules are with regard to keeping venomous.

After that, you next order of business should be to find a mentor and get trained. There are entirely too many people out there that approach hot keeping with a cavalier attitude and think that they do not need any kind of proper education before they start keeping hots or that they can learn as they go. If you are in/near Florida, I very strongly recommend Reptile Preservation Institute or Phil Wolf as mentors

Once you have taken care of those things, then you can start looking at the species you want to work with. The added advantage of step two is that mentors will have a variety of animals that you will train on so you get a chance to figure out if a certain animal really strikes a chord with you or if there is one you would avoid like the plague.

When you finally decide on a species, I also very strongly advocate that you purchase your own antivenin. Personally, I believe that anyone that believe they are responsible enough to keep hots should also be responsible enough to supply their own medication and that it is wholly unfair and unjust to expect zoos or vets or other keepers to shoulder that burden. But again, that is just my personal opinion


I’m going to say it bluntly, you’re not ready for a medically-significant venomous snake. In a second of carelessness with a hot snake, you can die. Let that sink in. If you live with other people then they need to be fully on board and understand that if the snake gets loose (sometimes at little fault of the owner) then their life is at risk. Hot snakes are very expensive and require secured enclosures, dedicated rooms, antivenom (which is very expensive and needs replaced often), proper equipment, etc. These end up costing thousands of dollars, the actual cost of the snake is minor. Hot snakes are not for people that don’t have decades of experience with snakes. Right now you only have 3 snakes. Enjoy the reptile keeping hobby as it is without anything life-threatening. If you want to keep non-medically significant venomous snakes then it could be worth considering. Hognoses and asian vine snakes are good examples of these. You still need to be responsible (and asian vine snakes shouldn’t be handled), have the cage set up beforehand, put in the major expenses, but you can still enjoy a beautiful snake (which should be the only reason you would ever want a venomous snake, in which there are hundreds of alternatives). In 10, 15, 20 years if you decide you still want a hot snake, and you are responsible and experienced enough to get on, you have the thousands of dollars necessary to get one, then you can consider starting the steps to getting a hot snake


I live in Minnesota, Todd county. I’ve been trying to see the venomous laws but I don’t get any info but there is a website which was updated recently and said Minnesota allows venomous snakes as long you have a permit. I also don’t know how to get a permit in my state/area and I don’t know where to find venomous owners to help me I’ve also got an idea for venomous snakes to get ( copperheads, Angolan coral cobras, banded rock rattlesnakes, and sidewinders) I checked there venom toxicity and it wasn’t like a eastern diamond back rattlesnakes Mojave rattlesnake venom. But I could also consider a timber rattlesnake because they live in my area/state.

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I know about the experience for hot snakes I also have some equipment(snake hook) also I know copperhead venom isn’t very bad and they are pretty cheap around 80-300 dollars usually on and is where I look for venomous snakes for sale. Also I watch YouTubers who have venomous experience (chandler’s wildlife, Tyler Nolan, nerd, venom central, Bryce broom, will nace, and dingo dinklemen) the only venomous snake I’m thinking of now are either the copperhead or banded rock rattlesnake. I want but probably a copperhead is what I mainly want who’s venom.


You’re missing the point of my post. I would recommend re-reading it since you obviously skimmed over some parts. You only have 3 snakes. If you want a copperhead, keep different kinds of snakes for a while (over a decade). The enclosures and extra equipment for a copperhead will cost thousands and you will likely want a dedicated room for it. Watching youtube channels of venomous keepers does nothing to help you, they rarely mention how difficult it is to keep them and how it isn’t for most people.


Obviously no venomous species should be taken lightly and I would highly recommend getting some apprenticeship time down even if your state doesn’t require it.

But a good solid beginner species in my opinion is the copperhead. Beautiful snakes. In most occasions not a life threatening bite. I’m a little biased growing up in an area where we have a lot of them.


I highly agree with your venomous beginner opinion. That snake I want to be my first hot snake. I also know there bite isn’t that life threatening only about 7 deaths in 20 years or something like that. The people who died I believe were elderly ,careless owners, or people who were bit by the snake and had a disease.

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I’m not planning on getting a venomous snake at all right now but.


Also chandler’s wildlife usually starts with


I think it’s good that you’re not planning on getting a hot snake soon.
To address statements in your post (especially for other people reading this later). A big mistake you’re making is underestimating the snake. It still has a chance to kill you and you aren’t taking it seriously. These are things that make some people handle snakes barehanded without hooks and are careless with them (falling under the careless owners category). A copperhead is a good choice for a first hot snake, but it still needs to be taken seriously. The warning for the video is meant to be taken seriously, hopefully deterring people from getting hot snakes. If you get bit it might not kill you, but it would have many not pleasant effects.

Side effects of copperhead venom

Severe, immediate pain with rapid swelling
Bruising of the skin
Trouble breathing
Changes in heart rate or rhythm
Swelling in lymph nodes near the bite.
Signs of shock
Vomiting and nausea
Blurred vision
Sweating and salivating
Numbness in the face and limbs
Permanent tissue damage
Sometimes, stopped breathing

The bite might not kill you, but you want to think twice before being careless.


The MAIN reason for this disclaimer is so that when someone handles a hot snake and gets bitten, they can’t say that its Chandler’s fault and then sue him for a hue sum of money. That’s why all the venomous handlers have these disclaimers. Tyler Nolan has one as well.


I do want to say it is not IF you get bit but WHEN.
It is highly unreasonable to think that you will never be bit. Even with all the mentorship, proper equipment, and time. You should never allow yourself to become comfortable because that is when you make a mistake. It is not the snake that made the mistake, they are doing what they do.

Also, I don’t mean this lightly. Anyone who freehandles is not even an “ok” representation of what venomous keeping should look like. There is truly a better way to keep and work with these animals.


I have some contacts in the Twin Cities area, I will see if they have recommendations/suggestions.

That said…

I am going to take a page from Riley and be a bit direct here.

These phrases that you used that I have bolded are red flags for me and make me feel you are not in the proper headspace for hot keeping.

With the first two statements, for me, anyone that was serious about doing hot keeping properly would be making significant effort to call or email state agencies or zoos or herp clubs to get the information they needed. As a point of reference, when I decided to move from Atlanta to Maryland, one of the first things I did was to call MD FWS and ask about the reptile laws for the state, and I did not then (and still do not now) own hots, I just wanted to make sure I would not be breaking any laws with the animals in my collection at the time.

The second two statements bother me more.

To borrow a phrase from Scott Eipper (a highly renowned venomous keeper in Australia) “the most dangerous venomous snake is the one that just bit you”. Yes, copperhead venom is considered to be one of the least potent among the US venomous species, but that does not mean that it is insignificant and should not be respected. Venoms are not something to just brush off. Bee venom is not very bad and yet people still die from it every year. Further, there are a number of other complications that can occur from envenomation other than death and they are not insignificant:

  • prolonged, sometimes permanent, swelling and loss of limb function
  • migraine-like headache symptoms - vertigo and photosensitivity
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • muscle weakness
  • deformities to area of bite
  • visual impairment
  • acute kidney damage
  • hemiplegia
  • chronic non-healing ulcer at bite site
  • lassitude with body aches

The list goes on

Referring to animals as “cheap” rankles me, much more so when discussing venomous. Too often I see an… assumption is the only word I can come up with… that the ability to get venomous animals cheap and easy means that everything about them is also cheap and easy. This is a dangerous mindset because it leads to complacency which leads to bites. Price should be the last consideration when getting into venomous. Proper caging, tools, training, bite protocol support, antivenin… All of that costs a LOT and a responsible venomous keeper should have no issue paying that cost for the safety of themselves and others


For that I meant the snake is cheap for a venomous snake. I also have a snake hook

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2 stuff either I’m dumb or not
Are the people who die from a bee sting allergic or am I dumb.

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With that being said are you certain your not allergic to copperhead venom?


Personally, I know I have a bleeding problem (low clotting factor), so hemotoxins are a no go for me.

That being said, knowing what types of toxins you’re dealing with, can help you think about them as not pets.


I don’t know I’ve never been bitten by a copperhead. I also don’t know if I’m allergic to anything


That in itself is the entire point. In the end of the day, if you are, the side effects will be much worse. If you aren’t, you still have a significant change of death.

Here are just some of the nasties in venom.

Anticoagulant - A component of snake venom that prevents coagulation (clotting) of the blood leading to prolonged bleeding.

Hemolytic - A component of venom that damages or destroy red blood corpuscles.

Hemorrhagin - A component of snake venom that causes breakdown of blood vessels resulting in leakage of blood into the surrounding tissues.

Necrosis - Tissue death and destruction, possibly caused by cytotoxic venom. May lead to amputation and limb loss.

Procoagulant - A component in snake venom that causes coagulation (clotting) of the blood. Procoagulant venoms eventually cause prolonged bleeding by using up all the clotting factor.

If you don’t know what the venom does to someone, in my opinion, you are taking a greater risk.

Additionally if you do get a species that causes tissue damage. It’s permanent scarring and skin graphing, if you survive the bite.