Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Gelky, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Gelky

    Gelky In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2009
    The other day, we found a adolescent snake (about 15") right at our front door. I guess it was homeless and needed shelter or something.

    From my research it looks like a Pacific Gopher Snake and people keep them as pets.

    We are thinking about keeping it as pet.

    So far we have it (we think it's a boy) in a tank with water dish, shelter and a heat lamp (That old aquarium converted to a chick raising tank has more than a singular use). Pretty much what I read online to raise a pet snake.

    I bought a couple of frozen pinkies and the snake ate one without hesitation. So it seems like it is adapting well.

    With that said, a question to all snake owners out there. What recommendations would you suggest to make the snake happy.

    Also, someone can confirm that this is a Pacific Gopher Snake and not something more dangerous?


    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011

  2. Kudzu

    Kudzu Songster

    Mar 27, 2011
    You want to make that snake happy? Find a nice forest and let him go.
  3. satay

    satay oz-e-chick 9 Years

    Sep 2, 2008
    Esk Qld Australia
    We have pet snakes and I am not sure what your rules are over there but here if you take a snake out of the wild you face up to a $30 000 fine. We must have a licence and record of every snake we keep. If that is not the case there and you are legally able to keep it then you will need a secure enclosure and food and water is the main thing.

  4. itsy

    itsy Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    I'd also release it and get yourself a nice legal snake from the pet store, local reptile show or local breeder. There are so many people on Craigslist that try to give away snakes. As someone already wrote, it's often illegal to keep wildlife and you can face hefty fines. There are also other issues with keeping wild caught animals including stress that makes them more prone to disease, parasites or mites that may be present that you are unaware of and eating issues caused by disturbing what they're used to. Wild caught snakes may also have a hard time acclimating to eating thawed frozen rodents, forcing you to have to feed live rodents which can be a pain in the neck and have their own issues.

    In today's pet industry, there are still wild caught reptiles that are being sold as pets, but this has been reduced dramatically by modern day breeders. Generally, the most popular breeds sold in pet stores make great pets because of their temperament, although I'd stay away from baby kingsnakes. They're often little jerks until they get older.

    If you're a fan of snakes - I'd look into a ball python. They are awesome to look at, come in a variety of morphs and are generally very docile.

    I've been breeding reptiles for a while now and have a great time at local reptile shows. You should look them up. I've worked at one of the ones in New York, although they are all over the country. Prices there are MUCH cheaper than in stores and you buy direct from breeders and dealers.
  5. thekid

    thekid Songster

    Quote:X2 if its born wild, leave it in the wild!
  6. Hens & Hounds

    Hens & Hounds Songster

    May 11, 2011
    aww let it go [​IMG]

  7. ginbart

    ginbart Crowing

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    My son came in the other day with a frog I said turn right around and take it back outside. I'm not against having a snake if you get it from a pet store because they do not know what it's like to be free. Please find some brush to put it in and set it free. [​IMG]
  8. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    Awww, so cute! I am a sucker for a pretty snake, or any cute animal. I'm guessing he wanted to find a warm place for the winter. I say keep him, and see if he gets tame, likes you and seems happy. Then if he seems unhappy let him go. JMO. [​IMG]

  9. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Songster

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    Not to be a downer, but I agree with alot of people who have already answered. I am a permitted wildlife rehabber, and I work mainly with bobcats. All the time, we get people who have found a baby bobcat, and want to make it into a pet. The biggest issue I have with this, is that it was an impulse decission, and the easy way out.

    That isn't to say that people have not sucessfully kept bobcats as pets, but the ones that are sucessful at it have done tons of research on it (life expecancy, personality, wildness that has not been bred out of it, etc), and know what to expect. They have also done their research on local laws on keeping such an animal. Keeping a wild animal and trying to make it into a pet (especially when one just stumbles across it, and are not prepared to house it or don't know what kind of behavior to expect out of it) usually ends up badly.

    Case in point is that you weren't even really sure of the species of the snake but are prepared to keep it anyway. Wild snakes are more prone to carry diseases than domestic bred ones (who have also been bred to be more handleable), and they also stress from being kept in confinement. Many wild animals held captive can develop something called capture myopathy, which essentially is stressing them to death. Wild animals can also spread disease to the domestic ones (and humans) around them.

    It is really interesting that he took so readily to thawed frozen may be that he has not eatten in a while, which could indicate that he may have something wrong with him (though he does look like he is in beautiful condition), and therefore is a weak individual. I would check your local laws to see if you can even legally keep a wild animal before proceding any further, and then do some major research on keeping a snake, and look into the possiblility of purchasing a domestically bred one. If you are willing to commit to purchasing one, and providing it with a propper set up then go for it.

    If the only reason you are now interested in keeping a snake is simply because you found one, and you find that you are not interested in putting forth the effort of purchasing a captive bred one in it's place, you may want to reconsider your stance on keeping one at all. I am not trying to be mean or inflamatory, I am just trying to get you to ask yourself if you would have sought out keeping a snake if you had not otherwise found one.

    Trust me, I have had to try to reverse a lot of damage to bobcats that come in captive raised...not saying that keeping a snake is anything like keeping a bobcat, but I do know the frustration of watching an animal that by all rights should be allowed to live out his days free and wild in his secret, amazing world, only to be forced to live out his days as a prisoner in box in the human world, all through the follys of an unfortunate impulse decission.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011

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