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Posted by terryp on April 10, 2003 at 08:50:26:
In Reply to: Black Rat Snake temperment (sp?) posted by tigress on April 09, 2003 at 14:14:49:
defensive behavior and musking. There's a lot of them that are calm and aren't flighty and nippy when handled. I would suggest getting a captive-bred hatchling or sub-adult. It will be easier to have a small snake to work with. A breeder should be able to work with you and try picking out an offspring or young black rat snake that is calmer than the others in the clutch. Black rat snakes are one of the largest North American rat snakes. If you're not experienced or dislike a flighty snake, then an adult black rat snake that is flighty or tends to be nippy will be difficult for you. The black rat snake should get larger than the Mexican Black kingsnake you currently keep. I'm not trying to steer you away from getting a black rat snake. I don't use flighty behavior or nipping that much when deciding to get a particular snake or not. If I'm interested in a particular species, I look at the husbandry that particular species requires to make sure I can provide the proper environment and care for it. Next, I want to obtain a healthy snake to start working with. A black rat snake should fall inline with the husbandry you should be doing for your black kingsnake and it will make an excellent addition for you IMHO. I'm sure several of the breeders on this forum who work with black rat snakes can hook you up with a nice black rat snake that you will enjoy. I love and enjoy having my obsoleta. My yearling pair of Kentucky locale black rat snakes are included in my obsoleta list. You've chosen a nice snake species to look at getting. Good luck.
: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)?
:Anyways, feel free to email me with replies, I'll try to keep up here.