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Behavior General topics or questions concerning the way your cornsnake may be acting.

Handling a baby snake?
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:43 PM   #1
Handling a baby snake?

I posted this in husbandry but now I think it might go here instead.

Hey, I'm new here. I just got my first ever snake/reptile roughly 2 weeks ago. He's an Okeetee corn. He's a baby still, hatched in January according to the store I bought him from. Before getting him, my fiance and I did all the homework we could. We've got a 20 gallon long tank, aspen bedding, a heat pad on a prob thermometer, 2 hides, water bowl and a stick for him to climb on. He's been decently adventurous and will explore his cage every night and now even sometimes during the day. He has also eaten twice with us now [once every 5 days] which I've been taking as a good sign.

When I open the cage, his body language changes and he curls up some and stays very still. He used to hide or bury himself so i guess that's a bit of improvement. I change his water nearly everyday and spot clean his messes so I think he is getting used to the cage opening.

The problem now is handling. I read online and watched videos where the handler would gently pet the snake around it's middle to let it know it had company and was about to be held. So, trying not to startle my baby snake, I reached in slowly and tried petting him some. He gets very tense and then runs away into his hide when I do so. I let him be for the day and tried again the next day with the same result.

Does anyone have any tips about handling? Should I just pick him up regardless? Am I approaching him wrong? or does he need more time to adjust to me and his new home? any advice is greatly appreciated!
Old 03-20-2017, 05:51 PM   #2
When my snake was young, I would tap on the cage door a few times before opening it. He could feel it and knew I was there. Now for the most part when I open the cage door He will come to me and actually crawl into my hands. He never curls up or runs away anymore.

Baby corn snakes can be quite "Flighty." They will squirm a lot and you have to be careful to not squeeze them. They are quite fragile when babies. Their ribs are tiny. As they get bigger, they tend to settle down.

Mine will curl around my neck now and stay there all day if I was to let him. But he is over 2 years old now so he and I have had a long time to interact. I pretty much handle him daily except after a feeding, I leave him alone for a couple of days.
Old 03-20-2017, 10:16 PM   #3
I never understood the advice to pet or even touch a corn gently before picking it up. In my experience it just freaks them out.
Old 03-21-2017, 11:04 AM   #4
Yeah My baby hides a lot since he loveeees his aspen tunneling jobs and his little hidey holes he has found. So when he is out to be picked up he is still pretty nervous. He has gotten better though (once he is out) he for the most part relaxes as long as there are no sudden movements. Takes time and remember to be clam when sitting with them.
Old 04-10-2017, 10:49 AM   #5
The advice to touch your corn gently to let them know your there really only works with adult corns who know you already. Baby corns are just too flighty to accept you being near them when they have another choice (run/hide). When they're young, just reach on and grab them. The quicker you can do it, the less time they'll spend panicking about it. As soon as you pick them up, they change entirely and calm down within a few seconds. Within a few months the snake will get much more used to this, and may stop hiding or even crawl out into your hands as it becomes more used to you. Good luck!
Old 04-10-2017, 11:53 AM   #6
thank you for the advice. About a week or so ago, I managed to finally pick him up. since then it's been very easy. He does still run but my attitude on handling has changed and he does calm as soon as he's being held. It was mostly me being overly worried
Old 05-13-2017, 07:00 PM   #7
I am new on this sight and have been given very helpful information. I am also a new snake owner and had/have a ton of questions especially about handling. I find that just grabbing him and getting it over with is the best way with Arrie. He does calm down faster and is less hyper than when I try to take him slowly. Arrie definitely has the fight or flight mentality but he is still very young. Good luck with your new little one!

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