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  • [Behavior] Anti-Social Behavior

    My six month old Columbia Red Tail has had a sudden change in temperament over the last few days. Since I have had him he has always eaten well and enjoyed being handled. A few days ago when I took him out for a feeding he seemed overly nervous. A few minutes after feeding when I went to put him back in his enclosure aggressively hissed at me. I figured he just got spooked, so I waited a few more minutes to put him back in his enclosure. After several more days I thought I would try and hold him, but the aggressive behavior continued.

    Here are the facts.

    1)He just shed less than two weeks ago and there is no sign of that starting again yet, eyes are not milky.
    2)He has eaten well every 7 days since I had him (fresh killed or frozen) mice, never live.
    3)Temp and humidity levels are good too.
    4)I usually take him out for about 15-20 minutes at a time twice a week.
    5)He lives in a quite area of the house, with good indirect light and two hides and two water dishes on Hot/Cold sides respectively.
    6)I don't have any other snakes or pets so he hasn't come in contact with any other animals since I got him except the mice I feed him.
    7)No sign of respiratory infection or nasal discharge, (yet).
    8)No odd cuts, marks, or scabbing on the skin.
    9) I read the "ultimate care guide" several times through before I even got him.


    Basically, the ecosystem is picture perfect and the snake "looks" healthy but is acting like a stranger. I am at a loss as to what it could be that changed his attitude so incredibly rapidly.

  • #2
    Re: Anti-Social Behavior

    boidae puberty?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Anti-Social Behavior

      Thats a funny joke, but seriouly this is our family pet so I would apreciate some usefull advice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Anti-Social Behavior

        Originally posted by Re4mer View Post
        My six month old Columbia Red Tail has had a sudden change in temperament over the last few days. Since I have had him he has always eaten well and enjoyed being handled. A few days ago when I took him out for a feeding he seemed overly nervous. A few minutes after feeding when I went to put him back in his enclosure aggressively hissed at me. I figured he just got spooked, so I waited a few more minutes to put him back in his enclosure. After several more days I thought I would try and hold him, but the aggressive behavior continued.

        Here are the facts.

        1)He just shed less than two weeks ago and there is no sign of that starting again yet, eyes are not milky.
        2)He has eaten well every 7 days since I had him (fresh killed or frozen) mice, never live.
        3)Temp and humidity levels are good too.
        4)I usually take him out for about 15-20 minutes at a time twice a week.
        5)He lives in a quite area of the house, with good indirect light and two hides and two water dishes on Hot/Cold sides respectively.
        6)I don't have any other snakes or pets so he hasn't come in contact with any other animals since I got him except the mice I feed him.
        7)No sign of respiratory infection or nasal discharge, (yet).
        8)No odd cuts, marks, or scabbing on the skin.
        9) I read the "ultimate care guide" several times through before I even got him.


        Basically, the ecosystem is picture perfect and the snake "looks" healthy but is acting like a stranger. I am at a loss as to what it could be that changed his attitude so incredibly rapidly.
        that's a lot of great info! thanks!

        as for snakes "enjoying" being handled, this is never really the case. they may learn to tolerate it, but snakes are by nature solitary, and prefer to be left alone. from the sounds of things, i wouldn't say you 'over handle' him, so it could just be a freak thing. give him a week or two and try again.

        ps~ sounds like you did a great job preparing for your new little one, and for that i say, "kudos!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Anti-Social Behavior

          Chris (dangles) covered it. Propbably let him destress for a week or so.
          Then see how he handles it might just be him challenging you testing
          his boundries much as a young child or adolescent might.

          If that is the case showing him it doesn''t work you are not afraid
          would be the approach I would use

          Let him know you are there , then Reach right in and grab him !

          Lar M
          Boas By Klevitz

          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Anti-Social Behavior

            Everything sounds awesome and looks like you really did your research well. HUGE props for that!

            Unfortunately, nothing you have said gives us a clue as to whats going on in his head. It may be that you just have an aggressive boa.

            My only advice would be to continue to work with him. Like Lar said, let him know you're there then reach in and get him. It's a balancing act. You want him to know you are not a threat so repetition is the key. You also don't want him to become over stressed so keep the handling time short.

            I'd say everyday for 10 minutes MAX then leave him completely alone.

            Hopefully he calms down for ya.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Anti-Social Behavior

              I'd say about 80% of Boas that I've had (that are under a yr old ) will be just as you've described --- handleable one day, and hissing or striking the next time . It's in their programming . Most all of them grow out of it . I still handle them , but only 1-2 times per week at 10 minute periods.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Anti-Social Behavior

                the first response wasnt really a joke lol, sometimes they can be cranky when they feel like breeding, although yours seems too young to be hitting puberty already as long as everything is good in his cage i would just say maybe hes just having a bad day, snakes can have bad day(s) just like we do. is he hitting a growth spurt? maybe hes cranky cause of that, who knows whats really going on in his little snakie head. just try again in another week or so and hopefully he will be fine

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Anti-Social Behavior

                  Thanks for the info guys. I will keep you updated as to his progress. I am going to try to get him out again soon. I never thought that his age could be the problem but at only six months old it makes sense that he would be easily startled.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Anti-Social Behavior

                    Everyones about covered it. Sometimes they just get that way, only thing you can do is let him destress ifthis is the case or just continue hlding him to get him used to it. Just like people we have bad days, weeks etc. He'll be okay, babies are also more touchy than adults, I guess because they are so vulnerable in the wild at such a young age. As they get older they almost always settle down and just become so chill. Good luck with him

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Anti-Social Behavior

                      Yea sorry it wasnt entirely a joke yearlings can be a little defensive, they are pretty tiny at this stage and thusly very open to predation. Just doing what nature intended, i suppose. Plus, sometimes, simply put, snakes bite. I ve seen completely calm, well handled "pets" even with the best husbandry, just bite.(theres two kinds of owners,those who have been bit, and those who will be bit) it's part of the ride

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Anti-Social Behavior

                        The first time could've been part of his feeding response. I would suggest feeding in his normal enclosure the next time. When he was aggressive because of his feeding response, it most likely stressed him out. The after effects of that stress are more aggression. That's just my .02
                        http://www.iherp.com/topshelfmorphs

                        http://www.facebook.com/boidsohio

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Anti-Social Behavior

                          Here is an update. We successfully got him out of the tank today and handled him for about 10 minutes. He still seemed very shy and timid but at least he did not hiss or strike. He did take S shape but only during the initial removal from the tank. I will post again in a few days when I try again.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Anti-Social Behavior

                            I have a little female hypo moving into her 2nd year and hasnt forgotten at all that she is a constrictor, the random hissing and striking occurs, but i have as of late, been removing her from her en closure with a hook, then i place her on the floor of my herp room and whenshe starts to motor i pick her up. The results have been veryrewarding its like when sensing the carpet defense shuts down,and curiosity starts. I will however say that i am a novice boa handler my background is in colubrids and pythons primarily.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Anti-Social Behavior

                              Originally posted by dangles View Post
                              that's a lot of great info! thanks!

                              as for snakes "enjoying" being handled, this is never really the case. they may learn to tolerate it, but snakes are by nature solitary, and prefer to be left alone. from the sounds of things, i wouldn't say you 'over handle' him, so it could just be a freak thing. give him a week or two and try again.

                              ps~ sounds like you did a great job preparing for your new little one, and for that i say, "kudos!"


                              I second Dangles.....if everything seems to be perfect then he/she just does not want to be touched........

                              Comment

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