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Handling problems. Please help
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Old 11-21-2020, 11:39 AM   #1
Handling problems. Please help

My family finally got a corn snake a few weeks ago. She is about 3 months old. I did a ton of research beforehand and I think our husbandry has been good. Temperatures seem correct, humidity seems fine, etc.

She has taken 2 meals and it has been 3 days since her last meal so we figured it was time to handle for the first time. She usually burrows all day and then roams the enclosure at night so we waited until about an hour after her light went out to try to handle. It did not go well.

When we went to handle she was stretched out lounging at the back of the enclosure and looked to be asleep. I used a pen to stroke her mid body to make sure she was awake. Once awake I reached in the scoop her up and as expected she got flighty and quickly slithered away hiding behind the clutter. So we waited a few minutes to let her come back out so we wouldnít corner her. She came to a nice open area of the enclosure but as soon as I went to pick her up she immediately went into a strike pose and tried to strike anytime I got close. At this point it was obvious she was stressed and she remained it the strike pose the entire time I was there. At this point I gave up as I wasnít sure if I should just take a bite and force the handling or just leave her alone since she was so stressed.

Is there anything we can do to make this a more pleasant experience for us and the snake. We donít want to stress her for no reason but all resources we can find on handling seem to just say leave a stressed snake alone or just to force the handling. But there is no good in depth info it usually just says pick it up mid body and cornsnakes arenít biters. So we donít really know how to handle this type of situation. Everywhere just says more handling will calm them down but we currently canít even get her out. Please help us

Just a note. Iím not worried about a bite Iím sure it wonít hurt. Iím concerned with stressing the snake or her getting hurt if we try to force the handling while she is repeatedly striking. I have considered trying a hook to get her out and hoping she calms down but she is a little snake in a big cluttered enclosure so I donít know if I can hook her and get her out when she is flighty.

I really appreciate any advice.
Old 11-21-2020, 03:53 PM   #2
So my biggest question here is should I just take a bite and force the handling or just void handling until she is older?
Old 11-21-2020, 04:15 PM   #3
Adult corn snakes rarely bite, but babies can certainly be a bit bitey! As you mentioned, it really doesn't hurt but it will be startling. It sounds to me like she got pretty stressed due to repeated attempts to get her out and touching her while she was in the tank. This is what I would do next time: don't worry about waiting until evening - the less you have to 'chase' her around the tank, the better. So getting her out of a hide while she's sleeping will actually cause her less stress. Go in calmly and confidently. Don't worry about touching her first to let her know you're there. Scoop her up like a clump of spaghetti. The more parts of her body are supported, the easier it will be for both of you. Once she's out, she will almost certainly forget about trying to bite and will mostly just slither around on your hands. Don't be afraid to have a firm grip if you think she might make a leap. You can also sit on the floor or a bed if you're concerned about dropping her.

You got this!
Old 11-21-2020, 05:15 PM   #4
Thank you so much for the info. I appreciate finding out what I did wrong and ways to improve it. I guess I can try during the day the hardest part with the is she tends to be burrowed in the substrate and hard to find she usually isnít just sitting in a hide. I guess we will try again and see if I can find her when she is curled up and just scoop her in one fell swoop. Thanks again hope it works this time
Old 11-21-2020, 06:16 PM   #5
Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

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