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!