So quick background I’ve been keeping various snake and reptile species since I was a kid (I’m 30) but just got into breeding around 3 years ago. Ball pythons, Boas, Burms, and as of last year got my first retic. (Plat, tiger, cow, het purple) who I adore.
Before getting him, I’m spent the past 2 years working with my friend and business partners adult mainland females developing my skills handling, reading and housing these incredible animals.
Ever since I got him he has been absolutely wonderful. He caught onto hook training very quickly, is great with handling and is very inquisitive and is a part of the family not just a breeding project.
He’s currently coming up on 2 years old and just shy of 9 feet. He’s housed in a 8x3x3 front opening poly cage, and eats 2 large FT rats every Sunday night and poops them out 4 days after every feeding like clockwork.
Just recently however for about a week now his body language has changed from running up to the front of the cage when I come in thinking about food and then chilling out, to staying towards the back and getting into a defensive posture and has even struck at the glass a time or two as I’ve walked by which he’s never done before.
I’ve checked all the parameters on heating humidity etc and everything’s on point and there’s been no changes to my snake room or his feeding schedule or anything out of the ordinary.
I know even super puppy dog tame retics can have bad days every once in a while but just seems strange he’s been like this for the past week now.
I got him out yesterday, no strikes, and he seemed his normal self outside of the cage, but then this morning it was back to all defensive.
Just wondering on any thoughts of causes or if he’s just caught up in his feels this week lol.
@banereptiles @ballornothing @tommccarthy @lumpy can you guys help? It seems like he may be going through a grumpy phase almost like how tegus and iguanas do.
And welcome to the community! You came to the right place! Also we love pics so…
Lol thanks for the welcome, tried uploading a picture but I’m using the MM app on my phone and when I try to post a pic it just pops up as a text chain
Hello @hrhodes1836 and a very merry welcome to you! I see @banereptiles Nathan is replying to you so you are going to get some experienced advice from someone who has retics.
Here’s my uneducated guess: I think your boy is maturing and becoming a teenager with hormones raging! Breeding is on his mind!
Yes I may have some insight for you! He is 9’ now a mature male. You are competition at the moment. I am going through the same exact thing right now with my 5 year old 7’ male (he is a high percentage sd) had him since a hatchling, hook trained, always nice, never once bit. For the past several weeks, he is super defensive even when I get him out of food mode with the hook. He has tagged me 3 times and tries every time at the moment. I do have a mature female right next to him, haven’t paired them though. So this hopefully is a timing thing, meaning once he is out of female mode he will go back to his normal self, hopefully. Sometimes not just with retics but other species as well mature(usually males) may not want to be handled like they used to be. Hopefully this is not the case for both of us!
That’s exactly what I was thinking @caron even though he is just two at 9’ he is definitely mature enough to think about the ladies!
I had wondered about that, they grow up so fast . Just hoping he doesn’t stay like that cause he’s a lovely snake and like said before once I get him out he’s been fine. I just don’t want him hurting himself striking the glass lol
Also there’s no females of any species in my house lol the way me and my buddy have it set up is he houses all the females and I house all the males lol
Thanks everybody for responding so fast too!
It doesn’t mean he isn’t looking for them though! Also I have had to cover most of my male retics front glass with paper because he too will strike, even at shadows. That is not always a want to breed thing. I have a suggestion. You are feeding him weekly 2 xl rats, which is probably fine for his size. He is used to eating weekly, this may be adding some food/cage aggression. Since he is 2 years old why not try a small rabbit every 3-4 weeks. This way the meal is larger so he will still be full(hopefully) but also not expecting food constantly every week. I have heard this helps with retics and other food aggressive snakes in general. I feed mine every 3weeks, he still eats rats that’s why I do every 3 weeks instead of 4. Just a thought that may help if it’s not about breeding.
It’s funny you mention that cause I was just talking to my buddy about when to switch him over to rabbits I’ll for sure give it a shot! I already have to place a rodent pro order anyway cause my baby pied het granite burm from bob clark will only eat quail…. Picky little turd lol
Ya, but wait you got a pied burm! That’s it I demand a picture tax!!! Just joking, but not really- love to see the retic and this pied burm of yours!
Let me see if I can get the phone app to actually upload lol stand by
Surprisingly I don’t have any recent pictures of the retic. These are from when he was around 6-7 foot. He’s developed more spots since then but not a ton surprisingly. Thinking he is going to keep allot of his white
Absolutely!!! And yeah my buddy has an almost identical female who’s also het granite and she has that like washed digital patterning too.
Thanks again everybody for all the replies and help!!!
Thank you for the pictures! Your retic is quite kingly looking sitting there all curled up in himself! And I am not a pied person normally but that Burmese is right down my alley! Bee you tee full markings!
Come back any time and keep the updates coming on your boy tic!