Ball Pythons For Beginners! Handling Your Snake!

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so I picture this you get home and you

think how am I gonna pick this animal up


how you doing YouTube it's rich from

predator BP so if you want to learn more

about ball pythons and join me on my

journey keeping and breeding these

amazing animals then hit that subscribe

button so guys welcome back to my ball

python beginners series that I'm doing

just covering some real basic topics and

the longer we stay in the Hobby the more

we can forget what it's like to be brand

new you know not knowing anything about

these animals and when you're at a stage

of thinking of you know getting one so

it's really important for me to put

myself back to my real Whirley

experiences so I can cover some topics

and hopefully help some people out there

that are really looking to get their

first ball python or get into ball

pythons and they've never kept reptiles


so today's one's gonna be around

handling and I remember buying my very

first reptile my very first snake about

seven years ago I remember buying the

animal feeling really good about it

going home with this animal in the

travel top and then when I got home open

the lid and going ah how do I pick this

animal up and I'd remember it I actually

watched videos on it of how to handle

how to pick up a snake but I didn't feel

comforted as I'm doing it it seems crazy

to me now the way we just pick our

animals up when we work with them but I

thought would be really good to just

cover handling our ball pythons and

really talk about how often we should

handle them you know it's always a

debate it's always a question I see

asked by people new getting into the


it's how often should I handle my ball

python so we will also talk about that

okay guys so without further ado let's

see some snakes and let's just show you

how you should handle a ball python and

support the animal okay guys so we're

gonna start off with one of this year's

hatchlings actually hatched out in March

probably approaching 300 grams now and

this is my clown female you're probably

if you follow me on instagram you'll see

you laughs posted her a picture of her

and she's also on the thumb now because

she just recently shed just yesterday

she's looking really really vibrant now

obviously guys I'm gonna be doing this

kind of one-handed with the camera and

wherever you can you'll use your two

hands to support well what's really

important is when you go in to pick up

any animal and will do different sizes

of animals I'm also going to do

different temperaments in general

because this animals been hand it's

handled straight out of the egg she is

absolutely fine and doesn't mind

handling so you can see I'll go in that

she's acknowledged me I'm gonna go

roughly here in the middle of her body

here and I'm going to pick her up you

gotta remember this animal is

predominantly made of muscle yeah that's

what constrictors are now you see how

she's grabbed round my hand there so she

supported herself she's very used to

being handled but it's really important

that you you know handle and secure the

base of the snake when handling you know

you want the animal to feel secure you

don't want to be picking it up from

around the neck region you don't want to

be picking the animal up from around the

end of the tail okay this is not good

for the animal they're the generally

weaker areas of the body and it's just

not the way to do it guys you want this

animal to have a positive handling

experience with you and that's what

creates a great relationship now I'll

see they're constrictors yeah they know

how to tighten themselves around you and

not to fall off but it's really

important that you do watch out for any

animals that get a bit nervous or

overzealous and then just try and dart

off in any direction and generally what

they'll do when they're cold around your

hand is still have a good look around

they might start climbing around your

arm around your head

and all like this little ones doing now

sniffing around trying to work out where

she is but you can see you guys yeah

very used to being handled it's very

easy to pick this animal up and it's

particularly really easy with ball

pythons when they're in a ball because

you can pretty much pick them the whole

love the animal up you know but yeah

pick it up from its core from around the

midsection where it's a strongest pick

the animal up you know slowly not really

rapidly really fast and let the animal

feel nice and secure around you see I'm

not having to grab her as such she's

grabbing meals she's slightly tightening

around me but not too much you can tell

when an animal is really nervous because

it really will wrap itself around you it

really will squeeze my boa constrictor

does this properly the worst animal to

do it

I had another boa constrictor before

that was extremely powerful and very

nervous every time I go out and she

would scream squeeze my arm to the point

of me thinking I've gotta get off oh

yeah you can see how much this girl's

hand odd because she is really relaxed

right we're gonna pop it down all I do

when I pop the animal down I've get in

my hand as low to the ground as possible

that she's constricting around me

so I've slowly wined her off there we go

and just let her go back into her

enclosure right guys let us look at a

snake now that doesn't actually like to

be handled and see how we go about that

there you go so we're going to mr. wick

my powerhouse breed of male leopard

pinstripe double hit for hypo and for

pied he in general doesn't like to be

picked up but you won't you get him up

in the air he's usually a good boy so

what I'm going to do is I'm going to go

in from the back here remember we talked

about the core the midsection where

they're stronger it's not up towards the

neck not down towards the tail as if he

all can you hear him talking to us

alright so I'm gonna pick him up and

just secure him do the same thing I did

with the other snake I've allowed that

most of the animal to sort of call

around my hand and feel secure and there

he is

alright so you can see that it's a very

defensive hiss that's him basically

saying go away but once we've got him in

the air

he's fine what I want to create is a

nice positive handling experience with

him so he gets more and more used to me

I know what he's like I know what he's

personalities like so I wouldn't just

die in here to try and pick him up I

certainly wouldn't go towards the head

to do it although in general they tend

when anything goes above them they tend

to sort of ball up hence the name ball

python but some of them might not some

of them might strike out so yeah this is

his core here this is where his body is


he's got good muscle tone yeah he can

handle himself so in general you know

these animals stay low to the ground in

the wild I'm sure they do climb and they

obviously live in rodent burrows but I'm

sure they do get a bit of climbing in we

know they can climb I've seen them climb

like any constrictor it's able to do

that but yeah you can see this guy once

again he's not like the girl we've just

seen he doesn't actually like to be

picked up and I'm doing everything nice

and slow for him I keep his head in

general pointed away but I don't mind

him being pointed towards me if I can

see his posture is a non attack mode but

guys if you've got a snake that's wary

of you picking them up and he's very

cool like this guy here don't worry

about it just do these handling

experiences as often as you can go from

the core go from behind eventually

they'll get used to it okay guys now

we're going to pick up a full-size a

dull so unfortunately I'm gonna do some

of this with my panic to the camera

because I'm a bit of a one-man army on

these videos and but I'm just gonna show

you how you'll probably need to change

slightly and you definitely need two

hands with a larger snake because if

they're quick pretty confident they're

more than likely not gonna ball up and

they're gonna stretch themselves out a

bit and it's import

to support them you know from both ends

good thing I've checked on her this

morning as well because I need to clean

their tub it's made a very large deposit

in there she's been feeling like a champ

going into breeding season now preparing

her so I'm gonna show you my honey being

on my absolute favorite females

she's nice big and chunky as well

probably one of my biggest snakes in my

collection and by the bumblebee but

she's lost a lot of weight since laying

eggs so let two hands this time not one

I'm gonna go in from both ends one

towards the back one towards the front

I'm gonna pick her up hopefully you can

see this yeah turn around and here we go

can you see how she's stretching out now

so I want to make sure her body is

supported yeah - which is so I've got

one hand on the back end one hand

supporting the front end and in general

I'll just let her go where she wants to

go and I'll just make sure she is

supported all the time it's really

important when you put these snakes

around your neck like you see a lot of

people doing videos that you really keep

an eye on him because they can suddenly

die off and you don't want them falling

do you know how me and they will start

moving but there we go this is a

full-sized adults and it's a honey

beaters hypo in the Spidey gene I adore

this girl I love handling her and one of

the great things about handling your

animals is it's good for them because it

socializes them but it's good for you as

well because I find it's a bit of a

stress reliever you know they're on a

hard day or whatever and you come back

the way they move slowly through your

hands through your arms it's kind of

calming to you it has that effect you

know but they say the old lava lamps are

supposed to be calming the way they move

slowly it's kind of the same with snakes

you know there you go go guys there's an

adult now yeah so we've literally done a

grown on hatchling that used to be in

hand odd we've then handled a much more

grown on male that doesn't like to be

handled and now we are handling at full

size at all female so guys let's finish

off now with just a bit of a discussion

on how often should you handle your ball


now this is a bit of a hard question to

answer I would say at a minimum at least

once a week but do you know what some

animals are more confident and you can

handle them as much as you like and it

doesn't stress them out they don't go

off their food or anything like others

are more prone to stress so you really

do need to kind of judge the animal and

the temperament and make that decision

you'll soon know because if you're

handling the animal too much and it's

going off of its food and things like

that outside of the norm you'll know to

slow down and stop but in general guys

you know if you've got a new bull -

start off handling an animal once or

twice a week see what its temperaments

like see how confident it is if it's

really stressed out you know start off

going slower stuff once a week and then

gradually take it up as time goes on and

the animal gets used to you that would

kind of be my advice but I don't think

there's ever going to be a definitive

answer of this many times a week in

general with my collection everything

pretty much gets handled roughly twice a

week because I do all my maintenance

twice a week on both of my days off so I

have Monday's off five Thursday's off so

those days are split up and both of

those days I go through the collection

change a water bowl spot clean and

generally handle the animal nine times

out of ten I'll pick the animal up you

know check them over make sure they're

doing all right

spend a bit of time with them and then

outside of that ad hoc I've just got my

my sort of favourites as such my ones I

love hanging out with that I know you

could handle as much as you want

and they just don't care yeah if

anything you know I think it enriches

their experience because they seem to

enjoy exploring what you are and

climbing around you and things like that

alright so I always try and make

handling and enjoy boy experience guys I

hope this video has been really helpful

to you guys are thinking of getting a

ball python or a snake for that man

because the principles are the same and

with whatever snake you're getting it

just might be the different species of

snake are and move a bit faster yeah and

will be a bit different to a ball python

that always go from behind always make

sure the core of the snake is supported

the larger the snake makes your bow

friends are supported so the weights

there create a positive experience yeah

judge the snake's temperament to work

out kind of how many times you should

handle it

and obviously the snakes not being not

been used to handling you will need a

structure there to get the animal to

start getting used to it guys thanks for

watching I really appreciate the support

as always you know I post videos every

Sunday and Monday and Wednesday and

Thursday I'm gonna give you an update

tomorrow just a quick video an update on

the inferno egg that's in the incubator

I just wanna have a quick look at the

egg because I haven't actually got that

egg out in a few weeks I've been leaving

it be because it's been the only egg in

the tub so we're gonna get it out and

check that out on a quick video tomorrow

so guys see you tomorrow take care