So my sweet Snow has been acting very defensive lately, the slightest touch has him reel back . I think maybe he is stressed out or something.
I moved his tub to under the tv stand to keep my kitty away from him. I also added a privacy curtain.
I furnished his tub with aspen bedding paper towels paper towel roll a branch hus hide with aspen bedding in it artificial plants and leaf litter. He is not trying to escape, he eats well. His enclosure is about 83-84° on the warm side and about 75° on the cool end. He shed great in one piece so his humidity is good.
I don’t touch or hold him because he now seems a bit more defensive, he will only stick his head out of the top when i open the lid. He will kinda greet my hand but if i touch him he recoils. Im now afraid im going to get bit when i touch him.
Am i not interacting enough? Is he unhappy or stressed? Could my other animals be stressing him out? I want so bad to be a good snake mom but i feel ive failed having one snake run away and wont come out and my boy who started out sweet and let me hold him to now being very reactive and defensive. I never just picked up my snakes i always just let them decide if they wanted to climb up my arm. Now i have 2 snakes who i think are unhappy and im very sad.
I am having second thoughts now about owning snakes, i feel scared even cleaning his enclosure now. Maybe its best i find him a good home because im really feeling bad.
I suggest a couple of things. First would be to give it time and don’t make a rash decision. If you make your decision when emotionally compromised you’re not going to use rational thought. 2nd would be to make a fist when putting your hand in exposing the back of your hand when you initially reach in to handle him. That way if you do take a bite it avoids fingers (which are more sensitive) if and when you do take a bite you’ll see it’s virtually painless and you don’t need to be so afraid of it happening.
I agree with @randall_turner_jr that you shouldn’t make any rash decisions you can’t take back right now. There are times when rehoming is in the best interest of the animal, but I don’t think this is one of those times. You care about doing right by your animals, which puts you above a lot of people.
I think giving him a smaller, darker hide might help. Since rosies are nocturnal, I think it would be helpful for him to have a snug, dark hides to retreat to. Even with the covering on the hide and curtains, that hide still likely lets in quite a bit of light. Reptile Basics and Pangea make simple black plastic hides that might work better, or you could use a smaller opaque tub with an entrance cut in the side.
Your fear of being bit may also be contributing to him being more nervous and defensive around you. Being bit isn’t the end of the world, rosies can’t do any serious damage, and snake bites rarely become infected. I know that knowing that isn’t necessarily all that helpful in conquering anxiety, but when I’m feeling nervous about being bit, sometimes I find it helpful and calming to remind myself of that. You could also get/use tools like a snake hook, gloves, and tongs for when you need to do cage maintenance, which might help you to feel more secure, which could in turn help him to feel less nervous. Don’t feel any shame about using those sorts of things if you think they’d help you.
I have a few grumpy snakes that would bit if you just reach in to pick them up.
Now you have to get over your fear of getting bit. It’s not going to kill you. Most of the time bits don’t hurt alot they just scare you more that they hurt.
I use a small snake hook to pick up the grumpy ones. Then I put them in the palm of my hand and keep them moving from hand to hand. Always go under hand with them. Never face first. When they stop that is when they think about biting. So that is why I keep them moving this way there more concerned about where they are going. It will take some time but they will calm down.
One of my baby male boa’s just wanted to kill me at first. Now he is still nervous when I first take him out but he likes coming out now and checking things out. I still don’t put him near my face as I don’t trust him 100% yet.
Good luck with you snakes don’t give up you will regret it. Take care.
As said you’re doing everything right and it was just a freak accident. You just startled your snake and it bit out of reflexes. That’s nothing against you or a sign that there’s something wrong, it just happens. If you’re nervous around him that could stress out the snake since they can pick up nervousness. A good way to fix this is to do what was recommended above and make a fist and use the back of your hand to move into the enclosure. I was jumpy about my first snake since when I had tried to pick it up it had jumped or it tried to bite me. I just took things slower and before handling just pet the snake to show it that I wasn’t a threat. Smaller darker hides could also help for security, but overall you aren’t doing anything wrong.