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  • What makes them bite?

    Ok so I got my Boa out of his cage like i always have for the past year and after a while he just bites me right on my arm but doesn't hold on. I had not been holding or been near any rodents or furry animals for that matter and it was not shedding time for him. He has never been aggressive and has never so much as hissed at anyone. He is fed in a separate feeding box and i feed him frozen rats. I am just worried that he will be biting for no reason when he is like 10 feet long and really do some damage. What in the world do you think might have caused him to tag me like that? Are they always so unpredictable?

    Mathew

  • #2
    Re: What makes them bite?

    a sudden change in temperment is usually the cause of some other underlying problem. it could be the environment, what are your temps? humidity? it also could be something going on in the boa internally. your boa really only has one way to tell u something is wrong and you have already found out what it is a vet visit may be needed

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    • #3
      Re: What makes them bite?

      The way I see it, is a snake can never feel safe with this big human messing with it. If the snake is grumpy he might bite. My Tegu has good and bad days. One day he will be calm and mellow, than the next hissing and showing his teeth.
      Like us, they arent always in a good mood.

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      • #4
        Re: What makes them bite?

        I agree with Saksta. Something that changed could have prompted this, but I think it was probably just a bad mood. Animals have mood swings just like we do.

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        • #5
          Re: What makes them bite?

          Hi,
          My Guyana's are mellow and don't require as frequent outings as my Hog island. You may want to increase that frequency of holding for a while, they sell a spray for training  young ferrets not to bite its a bitter apple spray you lightly coat your arm,hands and they hate that  bitter apple taste.I know many people use lemons and limes to help release a secure mouth on a hand the bitter apple may work with snakes.. hehe its  non toxic and such if your tired of dripping blood on the floor  .. Oh yea my hog hates arm hair period I  have very fine forearm hair ??she  likes me to wear a long sleeve shirt,,  I am guessing because ,,she dosen't jerk a way from my arm when I wear one..My wife thought she was gonna bite somebody I said nope she just hates that arm hair in her face.. Go Figure. :-/ ???
            Good luck keep working with that one ,, doug

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          • #6
            Re: What makes them bite?

            And all this time I thought they bit because they couldn't punch or kick you?

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            • #7
              Re: What makes them bite?

              I would say its just wasn't in the mood to be bothered, or may have been asleep.  I handle my Boa and Ball Python twice every day except on feediing day and the day after to reduce any chance of regurgitation.  So mine get handled 10 times a week and the Ball is as sweet as can be and the only bad reaction I ever get from my Boa is a light hiss, and that is only becuase I  disturbed it while it was sleeping. I can tell if they are asleep by looking at the size of the pupil of the eye. If the pupil is almost shut then it is probably asleep.  I have learned this through observation.

               From what I have read out of books is that if you smell like their food you could get bit.  If you make to sudden of movements you could get bit.  And from my own personal opinion if you disturb them while they are asleep you could get bit. Which is why I wave at them to see if the Boas eyes glance at my hand waving, that way it knows I am going to reach in and pick it up.   I also try to aviod sudden movements aswell and so far the only negative reaction I have ever gotten is a light hiss because I pick it up while it is asleep to clean its cage,  or because it is going into a shed.

              I would ask Clay about it, he knows Boas realy well.  But my opinion is that it was just bad timing.

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              • #8
                Re: What makes them bite?

                I have to agree that it probley just did not have it's coffee yet.. I am a jerk in the morrning too... lol. I know that my snakes seem to be very nice... The only one that has bit me is my rosy boa and well that was just funny... He was hungry... I have held a snake at a local pet store and it had not been held but for when they cleaned it's cage for 1 1/2 year's and she was just as nice as could be.... It was a breeder before that and was not held at all... You know the hole sheild in the cage to clean it thing.. They said that all it would produce is slug's... The guy that brought it in said that they kept it at 75-80 cage... with no humidity control... This snake is just as nice as could be with all of this miss handling for it's hole life... Well I guess I don't know where I am going with this so see ya
                Good luck with the snake
                Eric aka...Red

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                • #9
                  Re: What makes them bite?

                  Hi,
                  After reading your reply I see your handling your snake alot, my only addtional suggestion would be to uncover the boa's and let him chill out for maybe thirty second's, I ve noticed some snakes have a real strong (fight or flight) response to being uncovered and this depends on each animal. I try to read the posture and give them a few moments to burn off that adrenalin rush they may get from waking up and being uncovered. My guyana's sort of moan a bit when I wake them a protest hiss and such . My hog will (S) up and the relax after  about thirty seconds... see if this help's,, i love them all and the grumpy ones are a challange but that usally makes them really good feeders ,show them the rat and ,wham !  they grab it...
                          doug ;D

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                  • #10
                    Re: What makes them bite?

                    Good idea, Doug. I don't know why it hadn't occured to any of us before to suggest the chilling period. I've seen several snakes that require this.

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