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Discussion Starter #1
Dexter after a fresh shed out for a 'walk.'

 

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Well, even though I hate snakes, he is quite handsome.
 

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He'd make a pretty pair of shoes but you went and named him and spoiled it all.
 

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Watch out for Hawks! :eek:

I like snakes. Well not the 2 legged kind.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bountyhunter said:
Watch out for Hawks! :eek:
Don't worry, the photo is deceiving. He was never more than six inches from my hand! I have another snake who tries to BOLT the second he touches the grass! Impossible to get an outdoor shot of him, he scares me as quickly as he moves. But Dexter either stayed still or moved toward me so I felt comfortable taking my hand away long enough to get a picture.
 

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That's cool. I've only kept big snakes and they will usually stay pretty still out in the sun for a bit. But if they decide to go, they go fast!
 

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Dexter looks big to me. Who does he eat for dinner? What kind of snake is he? Bet it felt good to have his belly in the grass. Have we seen your other snake Eddie? (shortened version of 20 questions) :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Natalie said:
Dexter looks big to me. Who does he eat for dinner? What kind of snake is he? Bet it felt good to have his belly in the grass. Have we seen your other snake Eddie? (shortened version of 20 questions) :D
Dexter is the smallest of three. He's a Florida kingsnake and is probably 24 inches long? About as big around as a quarter.

Belle, also a Florida king, is the biggest of the three:



And Butchie is somewhere inbetween in size, he's a Kisatchie cornsnake from the Louisiana/Texas area:



They all eat mice of different sizes that I buy frozen and thaw out for them once a week.
 

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All your snakes are truly beautiful. They only have dinner once a week? :eek: I'm glad they dine on dead meat rather than eating live baby chicks. Our neighbor had a huge snake in a cage in his garage and that snake ate live baby chicks. That bothered me but my neighbor took great delight in watching. That's fine in the wild but I wasn't crazy about him inviting all the neighborhood kids in to watch the kill and feast. The kids generally expressed EWWWW! He also housed a very large tortoise and some kind of lizard. My niece has a huge iguana. She lets Iggy lose in the house and he seems happy. I like friendly dogs myself. Warm, soft, playful and loving appeals to me.
 

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Eddie, if Belle and Dexter are the same kind of snake how come they don't look the same? I assume they're kept in cages. How much trouble to keep the cages clean?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Natalie said:
Eddie, if Belle and Dexter are the same kind of snake how come they don't look the same? I assume they're kept in cages. How much trouble to keep the cages clean?
Kingsnakes (and many other types of snakes) come in many, many different patterns and colors, depending on where they are from. And then breeders combine different looks to get even new colors. I guess it's like a Great Dane that can be blue merle, fawn, black or that black and white spotted kind. They are all shaped the same but just have different colors. Kingsnakes have generally the same body shape.

They live in different sized aquariums. Just a little 'spot cleaning' does fine most of the time, and then every now and then you have to take everything out and give it all a good cleaning. But they are neat to watch and not a whole lot of work.

This is where Dexter lives, you can just see him inside his log. He loves that thing, but will outgrow it soon!

 

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Thanks for the flowers, Natalie...we pups try harder.....

Butchie's my favorite..love that pattern...
 

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What about if you go away for longer than a week? Don't they feel penned up without much roaming room? Is that being mean to the snake for our own enjoyment? I noticed in the zoo that snakes that size are kept in smaller aquariums so must be okay. Wouldn't the two king snakes like to be together for company? I see one rock has water in it. What's in the taller rock? I probably should get a book - read and learn.

Your welcome Sheepdog!

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Natalie said:
What about if you go away for longer than a week? Don't they feel penned up without much roaming room? Is that being mean to the snake for our own enjoyment? I noticed in the zoo that snakes that size are kept in smaller aquariums so must be okay. Wouldn't the two king snakes like to be together for company? I see one rock has water in it. What's in the taller rock?
Good questions! We don't go away for longer than a week, but when we do go away we have a house/dog sitter who comes in and can make sure the water dishes are full, etc. The snakes can go weeks and weeks without eating, happens in the wild all the time. But ours are spoiled and get whatever they want. :D

Snakes are different than dogs in that roaming isn't really their comfort zone. They, as they do in the wild, like to be cozy. They will find small areas in the tank and if you put a container in there that's not small enough, they'll hide underneath it!

Kingsnakes are called 'king' because they are carnivourous. King snakes eat snakes. I assume this will answer your question regarding company. ;)

Each cage has a little heater underneath one end, and a hiding place above it. Then there is another hiding place on the cool end, and a water dish in the middle. Being cold blooded, the snakes regulate their body temperatures by moving back and forth between their cool and warm hides! But you have to make sure there is a dark, comfortable place at either end for them to go into. If you had only a hide in the warm end, and they felt vulnerable or exposed or uncomfortable in the cool end, they will stay in the safe place even though it's too warm, and that would be bad.

Now go to a reptile show and buy one!!!
 

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I had a strong interest in snakes when I was in middle school but that was a long time ago. You take good care of these guys. I can understand now that snakes don't suffer in captivity. They would be interesting to watch. Thanks for the education Eddie.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Natalie said:
I had a strong interest in snakes when I was in middle school but that was a long time ago. You take good care of these guys. I can understand now that snakes don't suffer in captivity. They would be interesting to watch. Thanks for the education Eddie.
Natalie, I never imagined myself as a snake person. Mostly because I didn't understand them. My wife wanted a lizard and we were at a reptile show finding one for her. When she saw me being curious about a snake, she basically made me pick one out! Watching Belle grow and hunt and eat and shed has been a really rewarding thing. And they sure are great conversation pieces!
 

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I've learned a lot in this post...they're interestin' critters...just where do you scratch 'em when they roll on their back and put their .....scales....up in the air.....???
 

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Discussion Starter #20
sheepdog said:
I've learned a lot in this post...they're interestin' critters...just where do you scratch 'em when they roll on their back and put their .....scales....up in the air.....???
Well you know I love dogs, and dogs love you back. Snakes as pets are more than a curiousity or oddity, but certainly less than a dog.

But I do think that snakes get kind of attached to their caregiver, or let's say 'comfortable with' their caregiver. My wife told me when I was gone for a week she never spotted Belle once, as soon as I came back Belle was out and active. Whether she smelled me and equated me with being fed, or sensed the vibrations of my voice, I don't know. But two of my three snakes seem to like being handled. And when they're cold, it's kind of neat as they wrap around your arm or neck or go under your shirt to soak in your warmth. Kinda neat. I've gotten a great deal more enjoyment out of them than I ever would have imagined (hence the purchase of the 2nd and 3rd snakes!).

I'm about to get a bigger tank for Butchie, move Dexter into Butchie's tank, then I'll have a small empty tank just sitting there wanting to have a new snake in it!
 
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