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is this normal behavior?


New member
Let me describe it. My baby corn snake was delivered on August 12. I was out at the time he was delivered; but, my son was here. I had prepared a Sterlite container that has the dimensions of 16 1/8" L x 11 1/4" W x 10 1/8" H. The breeder had said that I could keep him in a large Kritter Keeper. I looked up the dimensions of a large Kritter Keeper and this Sterlite container was the closest thing that I could find. My son said that the snake did not look traumatized from the trip from where he started from to where he ended up. It was supposed to be an overnight trip; but, it took an extra day. My son said that the snake immediately crawled into the tube that I had put in the container.

For the first week, in the evening the snake would come out of his tube and crawl around. I even saw him crawl up the side of the container. This container has a ledge around the top of the inside. The lid locks on so that there is no chance to escape.

The breeder had been feeding him twice a week; so, I figured that he could have his first pinky mouse on Tursday, which would be one week after he had been shipped. My son wanted to be the one to feed him; but, at the time, the snake was laying on the ledge. My son picked him up and the snake started thrashing about. Maybe there's a better word to use than thrashing; but, that's what comes to mind. My son immediately put the snake on the floor of the container. He asked me if the snake is always going to freak out when he holds him. Anyway, the snake was not too stressed out to take the pinky mouse from my son. Since that incident, the snake has stayed mostly in his tube. I hardly ever see him come out anymore. The last time my son gave him a mouse was on Friday My son ended up just leaving the mouse on the floor of the container. I did not snake come out to get the mouse; but, it did get gone.

I told my son that when he wants to hold the snake, he needs to pick it up with purpose and support his body. He was able to do that today and the snake did not thrash around as much; but, he said that the snake was vibrating his tail.

What is the best thing to do to tame a snake or get it used to being handled?
Both the thrashing and the tail buzzing are totally normal behaviors, especially for a baby corn. They're prey for a lot of things in the wild and they have very few defenses. The fact that he's eating reliably for you means he's not overly stressed.

Make sure to give him at least 2 days after eating before you handle him. When you're ready to handle him, just scoop him up and try to avoid chasing him around the enclosure or acting hesitant. If you act calm and confident, with deliberate, steady movements, it will help him calm down. Expect him to freak out a little when you first pick him up. That's totally normal and he will likely grow out of it. Keep him supported, try not to restrain him unless he's trying to fly out of your hands. Let him get that initial burst of energy out and he will likely start to calm down and explore your hands. If you continue to handle at least once a week for like 15 minutes or so, he will likely learn that you're not a threat.

No special tricks besides consistency and faking confidence!