What to look for when buying a snake
The first and most important ingredient in choosing the right snake is the health of the animal. Once that is out of the way, a number of other elements enter the equation. Species, age, temperament, color, pattern, sex, feeding habits, and price are points to think about when looking for a snake.
If you are looking at a snake in a pet store or other venue, don’t just look at the snake. Look in and out of the cage for signs of dirty and unsanitary environments. No matter how good the store is, you will inevitably find shed fur, feces, and other dirty materials in the cage. However, note the consistency of your findings and the excessively dirty environment. Overcrowding in tanks should be avoided, and if dead animals are found in nearby enclosures, avoid buying the animal. Be sure to buy captive-bred cattle; Wild-caught snakes can harbor all kinds of problems and should be avoided by beginners.
Look at the shape of the snake in its resting position. Never buy a snake that you see lying on its side, with its head bowed on the ground. If his mouth is slightly open, stay away. The backbone of the snake should be visible, but not excessively. If the snake looks skinny, don’t buy it, regardless of its feeding habits. Most snakes are generally very consistent when shedding their skin, so if you see one with bits of skin stuck all over it, be careful. Loose skin folds are evident on dehydrated snakes, let the shop owner know if you see this in stock but DO NOT buy the animal.
Never buy a snake or any other reptile based on your feelings for that animal. Many pet stores have come and gone, the best ones have always stayed longer. Negligent stores soon realize their problems and either go away or fix their problems. Buying a snake that has been neglected at the store will only cause the store to continue its attack. As difficult as it may be, remember that the death of one snake could save many more. ”
If you buy an animal knowing of any potential problems, make sure it is checked by a vet as soon as possible. Save the last fecal sample from the snake and store it in the refrigerator until your vet can examine it. Never introduce newly acquired snakes into the enclosures of other snakes without fully examining them. Larger breeders should keep quarantine areas separate from the rest of their collection. Newly acquired snakes should be quarantined for at least 3 months if this is feasible for the breeder.
With snakes, age is often an irrelevant factor in deciding which species you would like. Baby corn snakes make good beginner snakes and while they can be a bit feisty, they calm down quickly and can grow into charming animals. One thing to be careful about when shopping for a baby is to make sure it is fed. If you are unsure of your eating habits, buy a slightly grown juvenile. Adult or raised on snakes that have already been handled and are guaranteed feeders, perhaps a better option for the newbie. However, baby snakes can be more rewarding for anyone to successfully breed.
Always ask yourself; ‘quality or quantity?’ If something is cheap, there is a reasoning behind it. Often times, paying less for something you really want can, in fact, turn into something you didn’t buy for. If you pay too much, you will lose money in the worst case, but you can be sure of getting something of quality. Don’t look to buy any animals that are excessively cheap. Instead, buy the animal you really want to buy and pay what the animal is worth.
Where to buy
There are several places to look when buying a snake. I urge anyone to look for a reputable breeder who has vast experience and a good reputation in the industry. Honesty is the most important factor for any breeder selling animals; do not buy from anyone who knows they have misrepresented animals in the past.
It is important to realize that a breeder does not have to raise many hundreds of snakes. In fact, some of the best snakes will come from dedicated hobbyists, who often only have one pair of a particular species. If you are buying the most frequently seen species, you may want to seek out private individuals and seek their advice. With the more expensive snake species and color morphs, there are fewer breeders to choose from. Always contact the breeder before purchasing the animal. Ask questions about the age, size, lineage, temperament, health, and feeding habits of the animal in question. A good breeder will spend time trying to help you, while many other breeders will shrug their shoulders, giving minimal details and answering only what needs an answer. As a breeder, keep in mind that with hundreds of snakes to care for, in addition to doing various things in your personal life, time can be a virtue. Don’t expect a trial when emailing a breeder, but expect a courteous response with all the necessary information.
Most breeders will not offer a refund after the sale; This is commonplace when it comes to animals. Unfortunately, with animals, the buyer can easily make mistakes. Therefore, it is too risky for the seller to guarantee the life of an animal, when it is completely out of their hands. However, when dealing with a breeder, try to be confident that they will help you even after the sale. If you have any problems, they will be there to give you more advice.
Reptile shows / exhibitions
Reptile shows offer a great place to meet new people and see many new things, not only with snakes but also with other reptiles. Look for breeders who have spent the money showing their animals. Well-built, elegant-looking displays with clean cages and tubs show that the breeder is going the extra mile to sell his animals. It shows that breeders are dedicated and that their effort goes beyond raising and selling animals. These people are often the ones who will go out of their way to help you even more if needed after the sale.
If you buy a snake from a show, be careful. You must realize that you do not know the people in front of you, nor do you know the background behind any of the snakes. Many good breeders will have photo albums of their adult cattle on the tables. This is a great advantage; allows you to view the parents and lineage of the particular animals you are looking to purchase. It also shows that breeders are again putting more effort into selling their animals and taking pride in their livestock.
Avoid breeders who cannot answer your questions. Request dates of birth, parental information, and feeding records. These are minimal details that any good breeder should be able to offer without a problem. Any vendor at the show who cannot provide this information should be avoided.
Don’t be in a rush to buy from breeders at the table. Ask as many questions as you think are appropriate and take a look at what they have to offer. Ask for the breeders’ contact details, their email, their website and their phone number. If they are unwilling to offer your phone number, try to stay away from them. Not giving your phone number allows them to choose whether or not to reply to your emails. It is these people who are unlikely to help you after making a sale.
Newspaper ads / Internet classifieds
This is one way to collect some fantastic animals, but at the same time it is the most common way to scam buyers and often leave them with unhealthy animals. Many breeders, good and bad, will use internet classifieds. Remember to ask all necessary questions before buying, ask for photos whenever possible, and expect a courteous and informative response. Be careful when viewing photos that they are normal in color and not distorted or strange looking. Look for other objects in the photo to get an idea of the exact size and color of the animal. It is commonplace to see people falsely advertise animals and enhance images to better fit their descriptions. Try to establish a relationship with the seller before purchasing the animal.
Also remember, ‘you get what you pay for’. Don’t expect to get bargains; You get what you pay for and rarely anything else. Look for the people who are least willing to give you a good deal, often people who trust their animals and trust that another buyer will come if they don’t buy.
Beware of “free” snakes. It’s common to see ‘Free to Good Home’ ads. Ask yourself why and see if the snake is really what you want. Imagine that the snake is quite expensive; Would you still buy it? If not, please don’t understand.
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