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  • Handling suggestion

    I'm a new boa owner and have some concerns about my snake's "attitude." She basically goes crazy when I try to handle her. I wear gloves to avoid being bitten, but I'm still a bit nervous because I don't know what to expect. As a result, I jump when she strikes, and I think that scares her more. I guess I'm just a big wimp, but she does get a bit psycho. How can I deal with her in such a way that she'll get used to me? Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    Re: Handling suggestion

    Well if its a baby Boa, the bites dont hurt at all, they just scare tha s5.gif out of you. I would just keep holding her, and when she trys and strike at you dont jump that much(if it is possible) eventually she has to get use to you. or what you could do his hold her when she is cold, like in the early mourning, they arent as active when they are cold.

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    • #3
      Re: Handling suggestion

      You don't specify what kind of Boa, or how old/big... I learned early on that less is better, in terms of holding and such. If you just got her, you might just want to leave her alone for a couple of weeks. Let her settle down, make sure she is eating. 3 or 4 days after she eats a proper size meal she should be calm and relaxed.

      My brothers came to visit recently and comented on how I "handle" my Boas and BPs. Is more like they rest on my hands than "grabing".

      Last, the more nervous you are the worst it gets. Try to relax. If he/she bites you, it won't hurt (I asume a baby here). Also, don't pull back hard if he/she does, you might hurt the teeth. Most likely, if she strikes, she will release right away.

      Post pictures so we can check him/her out.

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      • #4
        Re: Handling suggestion

        She's a red-tail Columbian and is 7 months old... Thanks for the advice. Here's a pic, but I'll post some better ones later...

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        • #5
          Re: Handling suggestion

          Thats a nice lookin boa you got. I say just keep holding it,SLAponte said if it bites you dont pull back, but I always do, I think its just a natural reaction. I give props to anyone that doesnt jump or pull back when there snake bites them.

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          • #6
            Re: Handling suggestion

            Well, at least TRY not to...

            Very pretty!!

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            • #7
              Re: Handling suggestion

              HI,
              If she's pulled back in that strike pose, I try to push them forward a bit use a small stick or ruler and then pick them up as they are moving forward. be sure your providing suport but not actually squezzing her, they hate to be restrained with that much pressure, If she's extremly active I would pick her up with a tee shirt toss it over her head and pick her up. and let her come out on my lap so she can feel in control. I used to do this with a large argentine boa that I was a bit afraid of , who eventally became a really sweet snake..  try to pick her up from the side or from behind.don't try to restrain the head.  You need to work with her because this isn't going to be fun in a year or two if you don't become friends now.. My guess she wasn't handled before your purchase and she dosen't understand your motives.  
                If you uncover a boa in its hide they tend to freak for a few seconds, I try to let that adrenalin pass.. They are more scared of you than  you realize.
               Finally don't feed a young boa in the cage every time they see you they think your bringing food . They see your hand and wham.
               After they become adults they sort or accept your presence and may actually enjoy coming out or seem to.
               Baby snakes are running on instinct the smart ones live, the calm ones are lunch for a bigger animal.
               And may I say thats one pretty snake is it a BCC if it is they are much more aggresive as babies. I know I have two.. But they are sweet as adults..psps i have been bit several times by my Guyana as a baby it didn't even bleed and it felt like velcro scraping : my hand..
              Geeze at 7 mos you will proably be scratched a bit and bleed  it don't hurt just splash a little Bactine or peroxide and go back and pick that little grumpy one up..  hehe ;D try to not use gloves you can't tell how much pressure your putting on the snakes ribs..
                doug
                this little honey is two and we are best friends now but when she was a baby she huffed and puffed like a cobra and made spectacular strikes at me for a couple months,, hehe  now be nice holley..


              she wants out now and is giving me that puppy dog look.

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              • #8
                Re: Handling suggestion

                Hi Guy's

                I've got a quick question for you aswell, I've got a 10 week old male columbian redtail about 2.2 feet long (measured his shed skin!). The fella handles easily and loves being handled, my question is how should I handle him to mesure him ??? I like to keep stats on growth rate ect. I dont want "force" handle him to be able to take the necesary measurements.
                Please advise :

                Oh yes! if he is 2.2 feet long can he be only 10 weeks old? I am slightly confused about this according to the reptile shop that I bought him from he might yust be from a very big female!

                Regards
                Chris AKA CewlCat

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                • #9
                  Re: Handling suggestion

                  Hey CewlCat,
                  Keep in mind that a shed skin has probably stretched a little bit, so chances are your snake may be a little smaller. Usually shed skins are not an accurate way of determining your snake's size, although they can sometimes be close . I measure my different snakes, from small to large, by letting them crawl on a carpeted area next to a wall (if the wall is initially long enough), and they almost always crawl next to it in a straight line by using there belly scales for locomotion. There are many different ways people employ for measuring their snakes...that is just one method that I use.
                  PT

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                  • #10
                    Re: Handling suggestion

                    HI,
                    I ve heard of this method never tried it , Take a piece of string thats longer than your snake put the snake down , and hold the string  and trace the back of the snake with the string  drop the loose end and continue down to the tail and when you reach the tail hold that spot on the string .. Measure the string and you have a fairly good est.
                      Seems like it should work..  :P doug

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                    • #11
                      Re: Handling suggestion

                      I was actually able to handle her a bit last night.  She started out kind of tense but ended up relaxing toward the end.  I picked her up for the first time and was probably more nervous than she was.  She didn't try to strike or hiss, but I'm not considering a breakthrough just yet.  I'll just keep working with her.  Thanks for all the input...

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                      • #12
                        Re: Handling suggestion

                        Great! Now, just be consistent. I pick them up and make sure to hold them until they relax and start exploring, then put them back. Slowly she will learn that you mean no harm and settle down.

                        I heard about the wall method also and seems to work well. You just need a long wall...

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                        • #13
                          Re: Handling suggestion

                          well im no expert or nuthin but when i feed and the snake gets in the strike position with me......i stick a towel in the tank.....and touch its head.....just rub its head with the towel.....and mine usually doesnt strike and then i get her out.....Also when she gets in the strike position i somehow touch her neck in the back right near the head and then she straightens right out....and when your holding her/him...i know my boa calms right down when i just pet and rub her.....when she really calms down i can pet her head and it seems like she falls asleep....she wont move for hours.......Fell asleep with her i my lap once and woek up an hour later and she was still in the same position.....=)

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                          • #14
                            Re: Handling suggestion

                            That must be a comfy warm lap...

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                            • #15
                              Re: Handling suggestion

                              yes lol......i couldnt believe it.....i fell asleep and my father woke me up and all i was thinkin was s5.gif s5.gif
                              wheres the snake and i looked down and there it was on my lap

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