Just a question, I normally breed boas, switched over to ball pythons recently. My big female boas we’re also my pets, I love to take em out and let the kids play with them. Never had a issue with breeding! Balls I’m new to, what do you guys do?
The ones that I have bred I still held and interacted with regularly. You dont really want a aggressive breeder as it would make cleaning tubs and moving them around to breed a bit harder and more of a hassle.
Welcome @nathan_e, thanks for the input!
Why wouldn’t you hold and interact with any of your animals on a semi regular? You have to clean tubs, check health, ect. It makes a lot more sense to handle than to not. I’m no breeder and have only ten snakes in my collection, some more aggressive than others, but I try and handle everyone at least every other day.
When I know that they are gravid I will leave them alone except for tub cleaning and feeding. Other than that I interact with them regularly.
I hold my snakes almost everyday to get used to being handled so when my kids or other people come over i can trust my snakes to be docile around them.
I hold my breeders and take them out. They may be there for a purpose but I treat them like I treat the ones I have as just pets. I figure. Why deal with defensive snakes if you can have them handleable lol
I have limited experiance with breeding but we held our now gravid female up until she ovulated. We keep handling to a minimum now. (So far we have not had to handle her)
We treat ours the same as @critterscreatures
i HANDLE ALL OF MINE A COUPLE OF TIMES A WEEK, ((EXCEPT FOR GRAVID FEMALES!)). I TREAT ALL MY ANIMALS (BALL PYTHONS AND BOAS) AS PETS, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE HERE FOR A PURPOSE AS WELL. I CHECK ON MY ANIMALS EVERY DAY FOR WATER, CLEANLINESS OF THE TUBS AND BEDDING, HEAT ECT…, AND WHEN DOING SO I WILL HANDLE SOME OF THEM EACH DAY. ALL OF MY ANIMALS ARE DOCILE AND ACCEPT HANDLING EASILY. IT MAKES IT EASY TO CLEAN, MOVE THEM FOR PAIRING, AND (WHEN NECESSARY), CHECKING CLOSELY THE HEALTH OF THE ANIMAL AT THE VET. A COUPLE ARE USED AS EDUCATIONAL ANIMALS WITH CHILDREN SO I CAN NOT HAVE AN AGGRESSIVE OR DEFENSIVE ANIMAL AROUND CHILDREN OR OTHER PEOPLE.
There’s a personality spectrum, just like with humans. Some of the snakes enjoy being handled and some prefer to be left in peace. We do temperament testing for Animal Ambassadors to take into schools and public spaces for science programs. Some babies hatch out wanting to meet everyone and some warm up to folks as they grow and gain confidence. Some of our adults prefer one-on-one interactions (crowds stress them out), while others would rather not be handled much at all.
What’s really interesting is that some of our wild imports are just as docile as the multigenerational-captive snakes, so the baseline temperament is very relaxed compared to many other pythons or squamates.
We’re still letting all of ours grow up so they’re ready for next year’s breeding season, but we handle them pretty much daily, or at the least half one day, the other half the next. They’re pets first and foremost to us, the breeding aspect will just be a nice side of that equation. I know once we’ve had a few breeding seasons and the addition of holdbacks, not to mention additonal purchases, it’ll be tougher, but we’re still going to make an attempt. It wouldn’t feel right to only interact with them during cleanings, egg pulls, etc.
Unless they are gravid, in shed, or have just been fed, I like to hold my snakes once a week. I don’t use hooks, hands only, so I like to keep my snakes friendly. Though some of them are nartually more inclined toward that than others. Defensive snakes get held more often, typically for a few minutes each day, until they mellow out. I do have some that just hate being held, but in time they come to recognize my smell and know that I won’t hurt them.