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Old 12-31-2015, 04:23 PM   #31
mxracer4life
I know this isn't he most "ideal" way to tame a boa, but I did have an old timer once tell me that putting a sock over there head can help calm them down and allow you to handle them without being bitten. Not sure on how effective or safe this is, as getting the sock on may be more dangerous.
 
Old 12-31-2015, 06:23 PM   #32
Fangthane
Quote:
Originally Posted by mxracer4life View Post
Not sure on how effective or safe this is, as getting the sock on may be more dangerous.
Given the degree to which you'd have to restrain the snake to even be able to put a sock on its head, I'm thinking that that would ultimately be counterproductive, if one's goal is to actively try to avoid negative associations with handling. While we're on the subject of old-timers and articles of clothing, though, I remember one that suggested leaving a shirt in the enclosure for extended periods of time, so they get more used to their handler's scent. That might be worth trying.
 
Old 12-31-2015, 06:24 PM   #33
mxracer4life
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fangthane View Post
Given the degree to which you'd have to restrain the snake to even be able to put a sock on its head, I'm thinking that that would ultimately be counterproductive, if one's goal is to actively try to avoid negative associations with handling. While we're on the subject of old-timers and articles of clothing, though, I remember one that suggested leaving a shirt in the enclosure for extended periods of time, so they get more used to their handler's scent. That might be worth trying.
Great advise!
 
Old 12-31-2015, 09:22 PM   #34
bcr229
Quote:
Originally Posted by mxracer4life View Post
I know this isn't he most "ideal" way to tame a boa, but I did have an old timer once tell me that putting a sock over there head can help calm them down and allow you to handle them without being bitten. Not sure on how effective or safe this is, as getting the sock on may be more dangerous.
I wouldn't attempt a sock either. OTOH a lot of snakes will practically run right into a snake bag because they want a secure hiding place, so that might be a way to contain her safely.
 
Old 01-01-2016, 10:54 AM   #35
JCCS
Dan is completely correct, hooding the snake is going to do nothing good. I've personally found that when snakes are stressed to that point with human contact, the best thing to do is to limit contact with them to when it's absolutely necessary. Use aspen bedding so you can spot clean and don't have to remove the snake weekly. Just being around a person and not having negative interactions can calm down a lot of that. Basically a "less is more" approach. Defensiveness is caused by stress, removing as much stress as possible will, in some cases, remove the defensiveness as well. That being said, some animals never feel comfortable with human interaction, you have to be prepped for that possibility.
 
Old 01-02-2016, 12:01 AM   #36
Helenthereef
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
Also, if this girl doesn't settle down and become handle-able ... then I would think long and hard before breeding her.
Interestingly, of my 5 snakes, the only one who is not completely handle-able (and I mean we give 4 of them to interested 5-year-olds to hold), is the one whose wild caught mother never calmed down enough to be handled without gloves and lots of stress to both us and her. We eventually returned the mother to the forest (living in their country of origin), but kept her captive-born baby.

When the daughter snake was small I used to handle her as often as I did the others, but she never seemed to settle and, as she got older, started to deliver "smacks" - just open mouthed strikes, never actual bites, but enough to convince me she had been held enough for that day.

Now she's bigger and packs more of a punch, I only handle her when I clean out her tank - she'll allow me to pick her up and place her in a temporary tub, but if she seems nervous, or is due for a feed, I do drop a cloth over her head first. She simply doesn't seem to like being handled, so I've stopped putting her through it unnecessarily.

The reason I mention this is because she seems to have inherited the temperament from her mother - I know I'll be pooh-poohed over this, but honestly, the Fiji Boas are one of the mildest mannered snakes on the planet, and the other snakes I reared in just the same way are models of decorum. This is just the bad tempered daughter of a bad tempered mother.... so I'm not sure I'd recommend breeding from your very own psycho!
 
Old 01-02-2016, 10:03 AM   #37
JCCS
Temperament is most certainly at least partially inherited. I think that with some animals, it can be worked on, but in some cases, the work you do with them just causes more stress than leaving them alone. They definitely each have a different default setting for their tolerance for people.
 
Old 01-02-2016, 10:15 AM   #38
Big Borg Reptiles
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCCS View Post
I've personally found that when snakes are stressed to that point with human contact, the best thing to do is to limit contact with them to when it's absolutely necessary. Use aspen bedding so you can spot clean and don't have to remove the snake weekly. Just being around a person and not having negative interactions can calm down a lot of that. Basically a "less is more" approach. Defensiveness is caused by stress, removing as much stress as possible will, in some cases, remove the defensiveness as well. That being said, some animals never feel comfortable with human interaction, you have to be prepped for that possibility.
This is the approach I've been taking. I haven't touched her or attempted to move her at all in over a week. I've opened the tub a couple of times to make sure that she has fresh water and clean anything that needs to be cleaned, but other than that I have limited contact. She's actually seemed "ok" with this, as far as she doesn't start hissing or striking at me.

Also Helen, I completely believe that animals inherit temperament. I started off breeding rats from a pet store and at least half of the moms would bite me if I got too close to them or their babies. After 2-3 years of selectively culling mean rats and breeding friendly rats, every single one of my tubs is 100% friendly. To argue that this wouldn't be the case for other species would be foolish in my opinion.

But who knows if this is a temperament thing with this boa or if it's just temporary? After a few months I'll know for sure but I don't feel confident making that decision after only a couple weeks of direct contact.

(phone is STILL broken, hoping that Monday I will be able to get things taken care of)
 
Old 01-02-2016, 10:27 AM   #39
bcr229
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCMB-2 View Post
Yea I took on the whole facility, so literally nothing has changed. The problem is that my involvement previously only consisted of helping with breeding plans, sexing, ID'ing morphs (the ones I knew anyway), examining for any health issues...only now am I doing the full spectrum since they're mine so I can't say for sure how she's been in that regard. He told me that he never had a problem with her, but it might just be that he wasn't trying to handle her? I really don't know to be perfectly honest.
Have you asked him to come back and show you the process he used for cleaning, changing water, etc? Are these animals on aspen so he only spot cleaned?

Even if he didn't handle her much, I would think he would have had to pick her up and move her at some point, if only to remove her from her tub so it could be deep cleaned and sanitized periodically.

Heck, maybe he threw a towel over her head...
 
Old 01-03-2016, 08:56 PM   #40
Big Borg Reptiles
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
Have you asked him to come back and show you the process he used for cleaning, changing water, etc? Are these animals on aspen so he only spot cleaned?

Even if he didn't handle her much, I would think he would have had to pick her up and move her at some point, if only to remove her from her tub so it could be deep cleaned and sanitized periodically.

Heck, maybe he threw a towel over her head...
Part of the deal was that he didn't ever have to worry about the collection again so I'm on my own. It's not that he didn't care about them, he just couldn't handle the stress of trying to do his everyday tasks/work and still have so much work to do with the snakes. If he didn't go through and spot clean them every day he felt like he was neglecting them and it was too much pressure for him. That's how I ended up with them in the first place, so it's not an option to be bothering him in regards to how he did tasks.

When I got them they were all on aspen but I dumped and put fresh aspen in all of them (not because they were filthy, I just wanted a fresh start), so maybe even the process of having the whole room torn apart freaked her out. She was in her tub the whole time except when I cleaned hers, but I'm sure they can sense when a bunch of stuff is going on outside.

I'm also starting to think that maybe the tub she's in is too big but I have no idea. When she stretches out it doesn't look too big at all, but when she's coiled up the space makes her look tiny. I'll post pics as soon as possible, keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow.
 

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