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Posted by BrianSmith on May 01, 2003 at 04:40:42:
In Reply to: large snakes posted by Jaymz on April 30, 2003 at 15:45:27:
"none of the giant snakes are suitable for begginers..i mean they all have the potential to be deadly, and not just at feeding time, lets face it, most of the giant snakes can be downright evil at times...even the docile ones."
While I agree that the giant species are not good for a beginner, I would never clasify or refer to any of them as "downright evil". I had giant burmese retics and anacondas when I was a kid, but I consider myself lucky in scores of feeding accidents and mishaps. But not one of those events was ever the result of an "evil" snake that meant to do me harm. Snakes are very basic creatures and run solely on survival instinct and don't have the cerebral capacity to be "mean" or "cruel" or "hate" you. They may 'fear' you and respond accordinly,... but not "hate" you.
"how do you intend to house a large snake? cuz lets face it, its not a simple thing, alot of the truely giant snakes need very large cages, and with a retic, conda or burm that cage could be larger than a room."
Actually, housing large pythons IS a very simple thing. I house over 50 large pythons currently and I built my own cages and none of it was hard or overly expensive. Cages don't have to be "larger than a room". For my 10 to 15 foot snakes I provide 6 1/2 by 3 1/3 foot cages that supply them with ample space to stretch and loll about. Anything larger gets 8 foot by 4 foot cages. Even though this would be sufficient for the snake's lifespans I fully intend to provide much larger cages when I build my future facility. This is just my choice, not what is required.
"feeding is pretty expensive"
Perhaps for those that order frozen food or get their food items from pet stores this may be true, but I personally have my own rat & mouse breeding operation as well as a rabbit breeding operation and not only is it not expensive but it actually MAKES me money when I sell my overage to other snake breeders or keepers at really cheap prices. I run anywhere from 500 to 600 female rats at any one time to produce approx 400 to 700 rats per week, and 35 female rabbits to produce approx 50 to 60 rabbits per week. The rats & mice require approx 1 ton of food at $400 per month and the rabbits require approx 600 lbs of rabbit pellet per month at $85. So it costs me approx 500 dollars to produce 2000 rats and 250 rabbits, of which I use all the rabbits and sell approximately 600 rats at a buck apiece to cover overhead and even turn a buck or two. (sometimes if I have hundreds too many I will sell many more than this). Now,... I am not suggesting that everyone go to this extent. But what I AM saying is that it IS cheap and easy to breed one's own food animals. It only takes me about an hour a day to care for that many, imagine how easy it would be to breed a dozen or so to feed a few pet pythons.
I agree with all the rest of what Jay said here. Definitely learn from an experienced person or strive to learn as much as you can before owning a huge constrictor. And if you do, yes, have another adult present when handling. I have been wrapped on before, several times when I was a kid and it isn't pleasant. I was lucky. Many aren't.
"handling is out unless you have someone else expierienced with large snakes around at all time. and feeding timenow becomes hazardous...think of a 15 foot retic lunging at you and how fun 6 rows of teeth coming at you at a high speed, not fun. it takes alot of time to learn how to care for these animals properly and a large monetary investment in some cases, think long and hard about this, and remember if something happens you not only chance you life, but your right to keep these amazing animals, as well as everyone elses rights to keep these animals."