Hognose noob needs halp!

Hi guys! New here, so I’ll briefly introduce myself.

I’ve been a big fan of the smaller american species of snakes since I was 7 years old - beginning with wild caught garter snakes In colorado. I’m turning 36 in a few days and here I am buying reptiles online.

I consider myself on the upper end of the beginner level and have kept Bull snakes, corn snakes, garters, rainbow boas and most recently a new hatchling western hognose snake.

It’s a juvenile male and I have had him for a couple of weeks now. Fed him on Tuesday (he quickly took two dop’s) and I haven’t been handling him too much - I have learned over the years that sometimes - less handling is better until after a couple of feedings (at least with really young hatchling snakes).

Our few interactions have been short but positive and his enclosure temps are standard (93ish on hot side and ~75 on cool). Thursday he was out and basking / cooling / exploring all day. FRiday the same. It was nice to see him out of the substrate since he had been burrowed for what seems like forever up until then.

Anyway I took the little guy out yesterday (Friday) and he was extra hissy and strikey. I put on my trusty gardening gloves (snake safe I promise) and was able to get him out but any movements really seemed to provoke him even more.

After a few minutes of calming down he began to maneuver through my gloved fingers like usual - and when he got to my left pinky he struck at it and bit. Kinda freaked me out - and figured it may be a feeding response. Put him down and came back a few minutes later - same thing. Got to the left hand and bit my ring finger this time. I got him off pretty safely and figured he may be hungry (I noticed he has pooped earlier so I guess he metabolized already).

I fed him two more dop’s and he is now under the substrate blankey again.

I’m not sure if this is just a phase all hog keepers go through with young drama King’s/queens or if This guy is just gonna let me know when he’s hungry by trying to eat my fingers.

Thank god I was wearing gloves cuz a bite on any fingertip hurts. Shit even a paper cut on a finger tip stings lol.

Sorry for the wall of text. But hope I can get some help from y’all :slight_smile:
Thanks for your time

~cass

The hognose out cruising the cage like that suggests he was hungry and searching for prey. When snakes cruise or hang out on the cool side of the cage consistently, it’s a sign that they are ready for a feeding. Hognose are drama queens, but the ones I’ve had weren’t bitey. Pick up any toads with those gardening gloves?

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As stated above I think it was a feeding response. Especially if it was a strike and hold. Usually strikes and let go’s are more defensive.

That being said…
Colubrids generally have high metabolism. I’d assume hogs are no different. As babies I’ve always been told to feed every 5 days. And with hogs in general I was told to feed slightly smaller meals than what you would normally think to feed.

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Maybe next week I’ll switch his portion to one dop and just get on a 5 day schedule - I can always adjust from there.

Thanks for the tip guys. Those gloves were stored In the container used as the snake feeding area…so I’d imagine those two fingers on the gloves touched something pinkie smelling. I also think your bite and hold on logic makes a lot more sense. He wasn’t biting defensively I don’t think…doesn’t help that the fingers look like little mice I guess.

Thanks again guys! I’ll let you know how handling goes in a couple days when he’s all done digesting :slight_smile:

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It’s a juvenile male and I have had him for a couple of weeks now.

Sadly this is a vague description since size can vary greatly based on who owned the animal prior and whether or not the animal was fed properly so getting the weight of this animal would be best so you can get accurate advice on what and how often the animal should eat, with hognose it goes from every 3 to 4 days to every 5 to 7 days to once a week.

(93ish on hot side and ~75 on cool)

I would boost those temp on the cool end slightly especially since this is your first hognose and it is fairly young and have them around 80 on the cool side.

Anyway I took the little guy out yesterday (Friday) and he was extra hissy and strikey

That is part of their charms :roll_eyes: hognose are a bit of a drama queen mix with bluffers, they like to be vocal with some it goes away and with other it never does.

After a few minutes of calming down he began to maneuver through my gloved fingers like usual - and when he got to my left pinky he struck at it and bit. Kinda freaked me out - and figured it may be a feeding response. Put him down and came back a few minutes later - same thing. Got to the left hand and bit my ring finger this time. I got him off pretty safely and figured he may be hungry (I noticed he has pooped earlier so I guess he metabolized already).

Not unusual either when younger they will slither for a while and all of the sudden may decide to take a bite out of you without striking even (usually your warning signs when you know hognose is that they will start rubbing itself on you tightly and start slowly opening their mouth. They usually grow out of that, I cannot recall any of my adults doing this.

You do want to make sure you wash your hands prior to handling and make sure you feed the animal enough as well.

I fed him two more dop’s No idea what that means

Pinky, Fuzzy, Hopper, Small , and adult being name used for feeder mice.

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I think dop = day old pinkie

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First of all thanks for all that information I appreciate it.

I Have a lot to learn with these guys I can tell and from what you guys are saying - these guys are gonna have a unique cute species specific personality which makes it even more special.

The hungry hatchling biting is confusing cuz he kinda nuzzles his nose in between my fingers and stuff so it’s hard to tell when the perms smile he has is gonna turn into a chomp. Guess it’ll happen eventually which is no big deal…as long as it’s not on my fingertips.

Haven’t raised a hatchling in a while and since this is a new species for me…mind is blown lol

But yeah I’ll weigh and or try to get a pic of the little guy so you can all get an idea of what type of noodle I’m working with here. I Def don’t wanna stress him out and mess up his feeding if he’s eating right already…cheers!
:grin:

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