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Re: Black Rat Snake temperment (sp?)

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Posted by duffy on April 09, 2003 at 20:25:14:

In Reply to: Re: Black Rat Snake temperment (sp?) posted by Sonya on April 09, 2003 at 20:09:31:

Your final comment, that you would like to hold the snake yourself first, might be the best advice of all. I was able to hold both of my black rats before buying, and they impressed me as very docile individuals. I have had them now for about a year, and they are tame as can be. If one of them were to strike at me, I would be stunned and my first thought would be that there must be something very wrong. Great snakes!! Duffy

::I'm considering (right now I'm just in the researching stage) adding a black rat snake as my second snake (my first being a Mexican Black Kingsnake). So far what I've gathered is probably a 40 gallon (should it be a long, or is regular ok?) should be ok with it (I'm hoping to make a stand that allows its cage below my kingsnake's cage so hoping to keep it in a similar sized cage at least, my kingsnake is in a 40 long I think now).

::Anyways, one thing I haven't seen much consensus on is temperment. I'm getting the idea they can have good temperment, but I've seen everything from it's a tossup to they usually have good temperments. Anyone here have one can tell me what they experience the temperments are like? Do they need to be handled a lot to keep good temperment (my snake actuallyd oesn't get handled a lot, I found he seems to be happier that way, and still he is very good about being picked up and such the occasions he does, just doesn't act happy about the whole idea, always trying to slither away, he's all flight and no fight) or do they in general have a good temperment?

::One thing I read comparing kingsnake to rat snakes was that kingsnakes tend to stay squirmy but not aggressive or musky where as ratsnakes tend to be aggressive at first but will calm down with handling and tend to be less squirmy than kingsnakes after being worked with (this was in regards at least to wild caught ones). Does that seem to ring true (my kingsnake never really seemed to start liking being handled even when I would handle him every day, always just wanted to go back to his cage)?

:I think your assessment of a king vs a rat is accurate. I have had three black rats. One was a WC baby that I raised for a year and released. He was torqued but never aggressive and moved around a lot. He went from maybe a foot to nearly three and never really 'settled'.
: Presently I have a WC as a going on three and given to me because she was too aggressive for educational programs that the friend does. She will be okay one second and then turn and chew on you the next. That or she will be fine. That or she will strike the second you open her cage and will spend the entire time musking and striking. You can't predict her. And if anything she gets worse with work.
: The third is a male yearling plus that I got from Dwight Good, not of his breeding but a nice snake. He is calm and deliberate and while he might strike a defensive pose if startled he just watches and waits and is a love when he is out. He was CB btw.
: I am thinking that I would love to try CB, especially some of Dwights stunning breeding. I wouldn't recommend a WC for the most part....though truthfully it seems to depend on individual temperament as much as I would want to buy from a trusted breeder or hold the snake myself before buying.
:Just thoughts.

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