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Old 05-11-2004, 02:38 PM   #61
snakegetters
Copperheads are notorious dry biters. I've seen them do it many times to food that scares them (eg, live mice). I have heard a lot of anecdotal reports of dry bites to keepers. So your buddy who was bitten and did not need medical attention may well have recieved a bluff bite with no venom.

A copperhead envenomation is unlikely to be fatal but can result in the loss of a finger or a substantial chunk of meat and bone from wherever it bites you. Medical attention is warranted for copperhead bites.
 
Old 05-11-2004, 02:52 PM   #62
Irwin
Scott,
Thinks for all of your help. I am aware that coppers dry bite a lot, have also seen them do it on large prey items, that intimidate them, the guy always swells up really big, and one of his fingernails are completely black. Please don't refer to him as my "buddy", lol. I help him a LOT with his venomous snakes, but I don't consider that as training, as I know more about hots than him, and have only owned one.
 
Old 05-11-2004, 03:43 PM   #63
Mustangrde1
Eric and Steve.

This might help you start preparring for hots keeping down the road.

To get to my hot room you must first go through a door which is LOCKED. Then down the hall to the room which is LOCKED. On the door in to the room is a copy of all my Class permits as well as my venomous permit. Once you open the door the first thing you see is a wall of safety equiptment for dealing with the hots. All my cages are locking as well.
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Old 05-11-2004, 03:43 PM   #64
snakegetters
Irwin, I researched it and found out that your mom or dad will have to apply for a non resident Florida VR license before I can legally give them any snakes. It's not too difficult. Download the app here: http://floridaconservation.org/permits/
 
Old 05-11-2004, 04:15 PM   #65
Irwin
Scott, looks like you have a very nice set up. I also have a snake buliding which is escape proof, and locked. It has windows all around, so it is easy to see whats going on without having to enter. Ants have a hard time finding a way to get in and out of my "reptibuilding" , It is a controlled environment inside, staying 70 F, and 50% humidity at all times, so temp regulating the cages is easy. Since I read the entire snakegetters web site over and over again,I have made some changes, I have the middle of the floor completety clear, for when I graduate to more venomous species, so they are easily handled, when I turn 18, all the cages are very easy to see in, and see what the occupants are doing before you open the door. All the cages sit flat on the ground, so there is no hiding place underneath the cage. And when I say get more venomous species when I turn 18 (something i should have said earlier), I mean that between my 14th, and 18th year, I am allowed the copperhead, which i already have, and then my pick between a cottonmouth, and a pygmy rattler. I am wanting the pygmy rattler more as of now.

Tanith,
Thanks for the link, I will get my mom and dad to look at it.
 
Old 05-11-2004, 04:39 PM   #66
Mustangrde1
Good deal. I might add though Pigs are pains in the butt. As you can see by my sig I apparently love pigmies. Currently I have 12 in my collection those are my personal favorites but I have had much more then that depending on orders and request. Right now I have 4 gravid gals.

Here is an article I wrote on Pigmies I wrote a while back if you still want one after reading that then when you turn 18 your welcome to one with your parent’s approval and permits verification if required by then.


Pigmy Rattlers

Let's face it there are hundreds of books out there. Like many people I read books left and right but have came to the conclusion they are written for profit in many cases and to sell. Not taking away from the good ones but I would rather get my information from people who have and do work with species I wish to own. People who are not writing a book to sell but rather freely giving information to help the animal and the keeper. This being said on to the Bell Tail.

I have worked with Sistrurus Miliarius Barbouri “Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake” for going on 4 years now. I personally keep in my personal collection 12 specimens as of this time. They range in size from 14 inches to over 30 inches with a sex ratio of 5.7.0. I have observed this species both in captivity and in the wild.

Most pigmy rattlers you will purchase have been wild caught. This has inherited problems that must be dealt with. As with all newly acquired reptiles quarantine is a must. When I speak of quarantine I mean a room completely separate from the rest of your collection as to not introduce any unwanted pest or illnesses to your general collection.

I personally use 90 day quarantine on any and all new arrivals. First thing I do is in tank preparation I completely clean out the tank with bleach and water letting it stand for 15 minutes before rinsing it thoroughly after rinsing and drying I spray a heavy layer of "Provent O Mite"on the entire cage inside and out paying special care to the rim at the upper inside of the tank. I let this stand for 20 minutes and then add cypress mulch for a substrate and then re-spray the tank again and allow to stand 15 minutes. One thing people over look is the lid of the cage be sure to spray it as well. I repeat this procedure every 7 days though out quarantine. When you dispose of the substrate spray the inside of the trash can and the trash bag itself as well just to insure no external parasites try to get away. I have never had a mite or tick problem since I started using this procedure.

For internal parasites I have found that keeping water from the newly acquired animal for 7 days and then adding a diluted mixture of Flagella and Panacure in the water bowl works great. What I use is a 24oz bottle mixing 4cc of Flagella and 4 cc of Panacure in the water and shake it well. Then poor it in to a 4oz water dish and offer it to the animal. Remove the water dish after 2 days and then re-offer fresh water after 2 days remove that after 2 days and offer no water for 7 days then re-offer the medicated water again do this throughout the 90 day quarantine. I prefer this method over the tube in the mouth method do to the fact for their size pigmies have very large fangs and do not handle well along with its less stressful on myself and the animal.

Once they are out of quarantine I set up there standard housing cages with the same methods only adding a permanent water dish and other cage decorations. For 12 to 18 inch pigmies a 10 gallon size tank is fine. For anything over that a 20 gallon long size is perfect and will easily work for their life with you.

Substrate can very greatly I use cypress mulch or shredded coconut. When I first started keeping Pigmies I put a hide box in but have found it is not needed. They seam to prefer to actually burrow out an area in the substrate and lay in it. I still keep one in there to offer them someplace. One interesting thing I have learned is pigmies are not completely terrestrial but in fact are arboreal as well. I have one that spends 90% of its time in a bush and even when feeding will strike its prey and hold on much like arboreal vipers in the Trimersaurus family would. In the wild I have actually seen numerous pigmies hanging out in branches up to 6 feet high. Also a water dish is a must I have another that spends a great part of its time day and night in the dish. Daily changing of the water is a must.

I use a 40 watt full spectrum light in the 20 long cages and a 20 watt full spectrum in the smaller cages. I have found they prefer a day time heat range from 83 to 88 and a night time range from 72 to 83. Their active throughout the day with dawn and dusk being most active.

Feeding these little guys is a blast I thought they would be like most rattlers and be an ambush predator but have found that they actually will chase down a rodent. For pigmies from 12 to 18 inches large pinkies and fuzzies are perfect every 7 to 10 ten days. Animals from 19 to 24 inches 2 hoppers every 7 to 10 days is fine and larger specimens can take large to x breeder size mice with no problem at all every 14 days.

Daily maintenance is a must. Watering can be done very simply with using an oil funnel to add water. If you need to clean out defecation or clean the water dish ALWAYS remove the animal. Just because they are small and you think you can get in and out safely is not smart and can be a very painful mistake, like I said they will hunt down their prey and your finger is about the size of food. Have a bucket standing by with a lid. Pigmies do not ride hooks well at all. I have tried the double hook method and found it doesn't work well either. I use 24 inch tweezers which appears to work well without causing them undo stress so long as you do not apply a great deal of pressure. Usually getting them about 2 inches behind the head works fine. Be ready for a wiggle though and to have to start over. They are a very nervous snake which will strike readily so be patent.

I have not yet breed them myself but have talked to several people who have. Normal matting occurs in early spring with birth in the later summer months. The average size of the litter is from 6 to 12 live young that are from 4 to 7 inches on average. Several of the people I have spoken to suggest putting 2 males with every female and allow ritual combat to occur.

When purchasing a pigmy or any animal. Contact people that keep the animal you want ask those questions and listen to them. When you contact a seller some question you might want to ask is.

1 has the animal been feeding
2 is it a wild caught or captive born
3 has it been wormed
4 how big is it
5 if wild caught do you know the location of capture or general area.
6 Get them to take pictures with numbers next to the specimens to aid you in your purchase.
7 ask them what their shipping method and terms are. Keep in mind venomous may legally be shipped DELTA only

I know a lot of people who sell them think they are only a 25 dollar pigmy but it is there responsibility to help you as much as possible, you are the buyer. It should not matter if it’s a 25 dollar pigmy or 1200 dollar king cobra a seller must be willing to speak to you and aid you in your purchase from them. What they forget is that 25 dollar snake might mean return business in the future for higher dollar animals. Keep in mind in the that venomous may only be shipped via air cargo "delta" and the average box charge is 25 dollars shipping can be has high as 70 dollars. If a person wants to send it any other way DO NOT buy it.

Are pigmies a good beginner snake? I will let you decide on a scale of 1 to 10 in my experience 1 being easiest 10 being hardest or dangerous here is how I would rate it.

Aggression 9
Strike speed 8
Venom based on ld50 and confirmed bites 3
Handling with tools 7
Maintenance 5
Feeding 3
Antivenom availability "US" 1
Availability 3

Total out of 80 39

I hope this helps anyone who wishes to own these wonderful bell tails or just is curious about them.

Scott Bice
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Old 05-11-2004, 04:55 PM   #67
Irwin
Great article, it answered all kinds of stuff I wasn't sure about on their husbandry, especially the detailed quarantine procedure.

Steven K. Ray
 
Old 05-11-2004, 06:55 PM   #68
snakekid13
Wow

I feel like my collection of reptile handling tools is very minimal after seeing mustangs mine only consists of one snake hook but i only deal with blood pythons, solomon island ground boas, amazon tree boas, rosy boas and one hogg islands but i would also like to ask if anyone is selling any used snake hooks preferably 36 to 42 inches anyways thanks. Wow didnt think my first thread was going to be this popular guess i picked a good subject. I would also like to say thanks for responding i woke up and their were like 20 more responses lol.
 
Old 05-11-2004, 06:57 PM   #69
snakekid13
I wish i had my own room for my reptiles i have to use my bedroom maybe i could convert the guest room in to my "reptile room" well probably not that could equal a very unhappy mother!
 
Old 05-11-2004, 06:59 PM   #70
Mustangrde1
I have to say that off all the tools that 24 inch midwest ultralight is my favorite hook of choice for everything but my heavy bodied crots and bitis. for them there is a snow plow modified to move them around. The ultralight is a great tool for me on and really feals like and extension of my own body rather then a tool.
 

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