King and Milk snakes are a sensible choice as a first snake pet. These breeds are often terribly docile, extremely hardy and awfully simple to take care of. There are some species possessing a bit of an inclination to be nippy, so it is always best to be aware, particularly when you're setting up your king and milk snake care program.
Adult snakes will change in size according to the species and sub-species. However most appear to range between twenty inches, to over eight feet or more. From memory the longest recorded as at 2005 was 82 inches and it (the record) was held by an Eastern Chain King Snake. These snakes can live for anywhere between ten to fifteen years typically and up to a record twenty-three years in captivity. Naturally this relies on the level of king and milk snake care that you administer.
So far as breeding goes, it can take most snakes up to three years to reach a good breeding size, and after they reach that point, they're going to continue to grow slowly over the course of their lives. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, and are available from a massive number of breeders round the country.
It is critical to determine the snake you are about to buy is captive bred. The reason behind this is that the wild king or milk snake is probably going to be much harder to create as a captive snake, and will regularly reject rodents as appropriate food.
Straight after buying your pet, it is wise to have a vet conduct a fecal test on the snake to make sure that it isn't carrying any bugs, and to treat the snake if it is. This is one of the significant sides of king and milk snake care because in captivity, internal bugs can become fatal, due to continual re-infection. They (bugs) need to be thrown out awfully quickly if discovered to be present in the snake.
Baby king and milk snakes are very fragile, could be extremely snappy and defensive. They could also defecate on you, and release a particularly sharp odor of musk. This originates from the glands of the snake. However they may shortly get used to you if you're able to handle them for twenty minutes or so every day. This in turn will seriously slash the defensive actions against you. Actually some will become so cosy in your grasp that they may happily coil up in your hands and sit there.
Most though won't be content to sit still, and will move through your hands. Some king and milk snakes care enough about themselves to bite, and these bites may in truth bleed, because their teeth are needle sharp. However the bites won't be unpleasant to an adult. They don't seem to be a toxic snake, though some can bear a resemblance to the infamous coral snake, whose bite can be deadly.
When you first bring your snake home, it's best to leave it alone for two days without handling it. This may permit it to settle in and bounce back from any stress from the relocation. With juvenile snakes you need to permit a week between feedings, and when it does eat, again leave it alone for a pair of days so that it can digest its food correctly.
Never handle a snake if it is off its food or when it may look sick. For minors, see a vet if the snake hasn't eaten for over two weeks, and in the case of adults see a vet if the snake hasn't eaten for 3-4 weeks. Always see the vet with your snake once or more a year for a comprehensive check up.
Tom Hinojos is a king and milk snake expert. Discover the ultimate guide for king and milk snakes care and learn the secrets about proper king and milk snakes care & breeding!
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