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  1. #1

    Default Apprehensive about getting a python....

    Hey guys.
    So, this will be pretty silly but...bear with me.
    About a week ago I wound up at an old high school friend's birthday party and he just so happens to breed ball pythons and some leopard geckos. I was rather intrigued with his pythons. After some time seeing them being handled by other guests [and...several shots of alcohol later] I asked him if I could hold one. He placed in my hand the sweetest little normal baby ever. Up until this point, I was nervous with snakes, thinking they were chronic biters and would strike/hiss, etc and not be very "friendly pets." Well, after holding this little one my thoughts changed entirely. I let her crawl all over me and even offered him $50 on the spot for her. I was pretty in love.
    Well, he hasn't gotten back to me on the offer [I thought it was a damned good one considering she's a baby normal], so I've been looking around locally at some private breeders who specialize in captive bred balls. I'm very intrigued but now that I've had time to think about it [and, now that the alcohol has clearly worn off], I'm nervous again about getting bit.

    I understand that getting bit / struck at is inevitable. Snake handlers have called it a "hazard of the job." And I think that is why I am more apprehensive about buying my first python. My boyfriend is all excited and between him and I, the snake would have an insane amount of handling [within reason] which I have heard is good so that the snake gets used to it.
    I understand that after handling rodents, it's crucial to wash your hands before handling your snake. Handling a snake while it's hungry increases the risk of being bit as well as startling it or too much interaction directly in it's face. Providing a warm environment [which will be provided regardless of my fears] results in a little more active of a snake. Fine by me. It's not the wriggling I'm worried about, it's the snakes sudden realization that it wants to sink it's teeth into something...like me. My friend told me not to handle them while "in blue" because they have a difficult time seeing and will rely on the expression of heat to determine prey.

    Is there anything else I can do to make sure I'm less at risk of being struck?
    Would it be odd if I approached a breeder and asked if I could just relax with the snake for a little while before committing to buying? I want a "bond" like I had with that other female at the party [that sounded weird...well, this whole post is weird really..]
    Any advice is welcome.
    2.3 Leopard Gecko [Rainwater!]
    2.4 Ball Pythons
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa

  2. #2
    Member Freshman Chaos's Avatar
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    Getting bit is something that so many people worry about, me included. I've been hit a couple of times, though I gotta say it was entirely not my Albino girl's fault (I wasn't paying attention, looked away and dropped my hand while holding her dinner on tongs. She missed, hit me, and immediately backed off.). I've literally gotten worse injuries from a thumbtack.

    Keep in mind that they DO have varying personalities, though. Some are super sweet, some are secretive and grouchy, and some are very aggressive. If you get a baby you're able to influence that personality a lot.

    As for taking time to get to know the animal, I doubt any decent breeder would look down on that. This is a long-term commitment, possibly longer than any cat or dog. The majority of them love these snakes and want to see them go to people who will really appreciate them, and be happy with them. Don't be afraid to ask.

    I'm nothing close to an expert, but I've had 6 BPs. I'm down to one now, but I can say that they're awesome pets as long as you know how to care for them. If you've got any more questions please feel free to PM me and I'll share my admittedly limited knowledge.

  3. #3
    Member Freshman Akari_32's Avatar
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    Any good breeder should allow you to handle an animal and get to know it to see if it's the right pet for you, even if you don't have any intentions of buying right then, or from them at all. Not only does it make them look good (if they were nice and helpful, you'll be more likely to go back to them when your ready, or recommend them to someone else), but also helps you decide if that's really something you want to commit half a life time or more to. Reptiles live a long time, which is something to seriously think about (not that you need to be told that ).


    *edit* ha, typing on my phone takes ages LOL Got beat to it
    Last edited by Akari_32; 10-08-2013 at 11:33 PM.
    Leopard Geckos
    ~Amelia, Dreamsickle~
    ~Rowan, Snow~
    ~Raven, Tangerine Lavender~

    And goldfish. So. Many. Goldfish!

  4. #4

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    Thank you guys so much for the quick answers.
    The ball pythons lifespan is exactly the reason why I want to be sure about this before jumping in and buying one. I want to keep him / her for the duration of their life.
    So, would it be a good idea to get a young one? How young would be ideal?
    And, male/female? Are either gender more prone to being aggressive?

    Thank you again for your responses. It's really made me more confident. I think I'm at least ready to go see and hold some!
    2.3 Leopard Gecko [Rainwater!]
    2.4 Ball Pythons
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa

  5. #5
    Member Freshman Chaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akari_32 View Post
    Any good breeder should allow you to handle an animal and get to know it to see if it's the right pet for you, even if you don't have any intentions of buying right then, or from them at all. Not only does it make them look good (if they were nice and helpful, you'll be more likely to go back to them when your ready, or recommend them to someone else), but also helps you decide if that's really something you want to commit half a life time or more to. Reptiles live a long time, which is something to seriously think about (not that you need to be told that ).


    *edit* ha, typing on my phone takes ages LOL Got beat to it
    LoL. In a situation like this getting the same answer from multiple people is much more helpful than just one comment. It is important to stress the length of the commitment here, though. Captive BPs can live well past 30 years.

  6. #6
    Member Freshman Chaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perfectsoldier23 View Post
    Thank you guys so much for the quick answers.
    The ball pythons lifespan is exactly the reason why I want to be sure about this before jumping in and buying one. I want to keep him / her for the duration of their life.
    So, would it be a good idea to get a young one? How young would be ideal?
    And, male/female? Are either gender more prone to being aggressive?

    Thank you again for your responses. It's really made me more confident. I think I'm at least ready to go see and hold some!
    I'd start with a baby. That way you know you're not inheriting anyone else's issues, abuse history, or other behavioral problems.

    Personally I've never seen any huge difference between males and females as far as disposition goes, but females do get bigger.

    You also might want to consider getting a morph of some kind. Some of them, like Spiders, have neurological issues that you might want to avoid, but spending a little more and getting a Pastel or other relatively common morph will give you an extra-beautiful animal that you'll be proud to show off to your friends.

  7. #7

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    Sounds fantastic. I may go for a male being as they are considerably cheaper depending upon the morph and the smaller size does seem a little more appealing.
    Oh wow, I had no idea about neurological issues among snake morphs. Anything else I should watch out for in addition to Spiders? Anything that can tell me beforehand that there's something wrong?
    The morphs are absolutely enticing, that's for sure!
    2.3 Leopard Gecko [Rainwater!]
    2.4 Ball Pythons
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa

  8. #8
    Member Freshman Chaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perfectsoldier23 View Post
    Sounds fantastic. I may go for a male being as they are considerably cheaper depending upon the morph and the smaller size does seem a little more appealing.
    Oh wow, I had no idea about neurological issues among snake morphs. Anything else I should watch out for in addition to Spiders? Anything that can tell me beforehand that there's something wrong?
    The morphs are absolutely enticing, that's for sure!
    There's not a whole lot of issues out there due to a focus on ethical breeding. Even the neuro issues with Spiders are minor and not always present. They've got a little head wobble, supposedly all of them have it but I had a spider and never saw a single wobble. It can vary in severity to the point of being debilitating, but a disability of that magnitude is rare. Any morph that is based on Spider (like bumblebee) has the potential to have this wobble.

    Do you live in an area where they have Reptile shows? You can find some really good deals there. I bought a juvenile pastel male at a Repticon show for $35 once.

  9. #9
    Member Freshman Chaos's Avatar
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    Here's some resources that'll help you pick a morph:

    Morph List - World of Ball Pythons

    That'll give you pictures of most of the major morphs.

    Ball Pythons - FaunaClassifieds

    FaunaClassifieds is a great place to look and see what a morph is selling for. That'll help you get a good deal.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
    There's not a whole lot of issues out there due to a focus on ethical breeding. Even the neuro issues with Spiders are minor and not always present. They've got a little head wobble, supposedly all of them have it but I had a spider and never saw a single wobble. It can vary in severity to the point of being debilitating, but a disability of that magnitude is rare. Any morph that is based on Spider (like bumblebee) has the potential to have this wobble.

    Do you live in an area where they have Reptile shows? You can find some really good deals there. I bought a juvenile pastel male at a Repticon show for $35 once.

    I'm in San Diego and, ironically, the Reptile Expo is coming November 2nd-3rd. That's where I plan on getting my python. Nothing I'm too interested in, especially price wise, in my immediate area.
    Glad the issues aren't a big deal. It would definitely be nice to get a cool looking morph ;] Going to have to wait it out I suppose!
    2.3 Leopard Gecko [Rainwater!]
    2.4 Ball Pythons
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa

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