Source : Yahoo AnswersQuestion : Taming a baby ball python?

I’m getting a baby ball python (captive bred) in a few months. I have been researching ball python care for about a year now and I think I’m prepared for almost everything. The only thing I’m unsure about is taming her. I’ve read glowing reviews from reptile owners who’ve purchased pets on the website I’m buying from. I know I will need to leave her alone for a few days to acclimate to her new cage when she arrives.

What I’d really like to know is how often I should hold her so I don’t stress her out? Is there a specific time of day that is best? I want her to become used to people in the most stress free way possible. Any tips would be much appreciated
In response to the post warning against purchasing online, I did HEAVY research before choosing this option, there are no breeders in my state or any surrounding states, and I missed the only nearby reptile show for the next few years. I was nervous about purchasing online as well, but after combing through breeder websites and reviews on reptile forums I found this one: backwaterreptiles.com. It breeds most of its pets on location, and all other pets sold there are purchased from other breeders. The website sells only captive bred herps, and has a live delivery guarantee which I carefully perused as well. Thank you for your concern though.

Answer by Ryan
for the most part, even baby ball pythons are fairly docile. Usually handing the snake for short times on a daily basis will tame down a bitey ball python ( if there is such a thing).

Answer by BlueDesert
Be careful about websites that carry a bunch of positive reviews. Remember they posted them there. They don’t actually have to be true-they could all be made up. Of course that website will only let you see the positive reports-never anything negative.

A better bet for you would be to go to GOOGLE and do some research on your breeder. Search for things like “Problems with XYZ Snake Farm.”
“reviews of snakes bought from XYZ Snake Farm”. Do as much research as you can.
Also check “reptile dealers” to see if there are any local to you or close enough that maybe an hours drive would get you to a local breeder.

Personally I would NEVER buy any reptile or amphibian thru the mail. You should be able to visit the breeder in person and see his collection.
It might also be a good idea to go to your local Craigslist and place your own ad under “Community / Pets” and see if any one is or knows of a local breeder in your area. I live in a small communtiy with about 100,000 residents spread over a 20 mile by 20 mile area. There are 5 or 6 local breeders near me. It’s always best to buy locally so you can meet the breeder and the critters you are interested in. You can also list the question here on Yahoo. List your area and ask if anyone knows any local breeders (Be sure to list it in the Pets/Reptiles category)

If you decide you MUST order a snake by mail make sure there is an airtight guarantee that the snake will arrive alive and healthy. There is nothing to keep a breeder from freezing dead baby snakes and them thawing them out and shipping you one. When you open the box and there is a dead snake….what next ? You can’t prove the snake was alive or healthy when it was shipped. It’ll be your word against theirs-so make sure of a guarantee.

From your original question it sounds like you know what you are doing and you are going about it in a smart way. My only caution is to do research on the dealers as well as the snakes. Good luck.

Answer by destinney
I’m always a little hesitant about buying an animal online but with reptiles it’s not a bad option for people in locations such as yours. www.faunaclassifieds.com is an animal forum/classified site that has a “Board of Inquiry” (“BOI”) that lists the good and the bad online breeders/sellers, and goes into detail as to why each got the rating it did. I would go there to see what’s being said about any breeder you may be considering doing business with. It does sound like you’ve done all your homework in that regard though, and it’s really not uncommon at all for people to order snakes online and have them shipped.

I would leave your new hatchling alone for at least a week, if not two. I’m not a breeder, just a pet owner, and since I have only one snake, I keep her tank out in the living room. Their senses work differently than ours–they don’t have external ears, so the tv or screaming kids in the background won’t cause stress. I lucked out when it came to mine–her personality is superb and she didn’t need any taming…she’s never once struck, and enjoys attention.

Once your snake settles in and you spend some time with her, you’ll find out that she has a unique personality and as such, will be prone to different moods. If you find that yours is more laid back and already okay with humans (as mine wound up being), you could handle her once a day if she doesn’t “request” otherwise. There will be times when she will make it clear that she does not want to be handled, either by assuming an aggressive or defensive position, hissing, striking, or remaining very tense in your hands. If this is an occasional thing, listen to her and leave her alone in these moods. Chances are she’ll be ready to hang out the next day. If, on the other hand, your snake comes to you a bit snappish and timid, just give her time. Let her feel secure in her tank, keep the husbandry correct, and work with her a little at a time. When you enter her cage, make sure you move slowly. Make sure you haven’t messed with mice/rats/prey items beforehand, and if you have, WASH your hands! Make sure you do not approach from the head of the snake as this will scare her. With the back of your hand facing the front of the snake, gently come up underneath the snake where her shoulders would be if she had them (about 2-3 inches from the head) and lift slowly with the other hand coming up toward the back half of the snake. I prefer the “back of your hand” method when entering the tank because: let’s face it, if the snake does strike, it’ll be harder for her to get a good grip on the smoother, tighter skin on the back of the hand as opposed to the palm and fingertips. If she’s tense and nervous, just hold her and let her get a feel for it. After about 5-10 minutes, go ahead and put her up. Do this daily or every other day (except for after feeding, ofcourse). If you pick her up and she’s gung ho ready to go with it, then cool! You can handle her daily if you like, just keep her stress low (don’t pass her around to everybody, be gentle, etc.) and don’t keep her out too long since she is a baby.

Good luck and congrats!

Source : Yahoo AnswersQuestion : How do I take care of baby doves?

I live in Maricopa Az. I had doves nesting in a palm tree in my back yard. We recently had high winds and rain. When I went out the other morning, I noticed that the momma was gone and the 2 eggs were teetering on the end of the palm leaf. I have been keeping away from that side of the yard because I didn’t want to chance scaring her away but I went out to check on the eggs. The nest had mostly blown away but I picked up what I could and pushed it back into the tree and placed the eggs back on the nest. The mother came back and tried to fix things but the nest and egg’s kept ending up on the edge of the leaf. When the momma dove would fly away, I would run out and push the nest and eggs back into the tree. We did this for most of the day. She kept trying to fix it and just couldn’t get the job done. Later in the day I even tried to help by trying to make a nest of my own for her. Nothing was working. By that afternoon there was pretty much nothing left of her nest, everything had blown away and the eggs were just laying in the grooves of the palm leaf. I kept pushing the eggs back up into the tree and the momma dove kept trying to keep the eggs under her. Nothing was working. I camped out in my kitchen all that day, watching and trying to help. At the last she didn’t come back for hours and it was getting dark and cold. I really didn’t know what to do but I didn’t want the eggs to freeze. I went out right before dark and got the eggs, put them in a box filled with felt. I put a heat lamp on them and promised the momma I would try to take care of them. Bless her heart, she had tried so very hard and had hung on through high winds and cold rain. I remembered that my aunt had gave my daughter chicken eggs to hatch when she was young and told her to turn them so this is what I did too. To be honest, I really didn’t think they would hatch but I wanted to try because the momma dove had tried so hard and had been through so much for them. I really never gave much thought to what I was going to do if they did hatch. This morning I noticed that they are starting to hatch. I need any advice on what I should do now. I’ve been checking them all day and one is starting to break through. Should I help it along or let it get it on it’s own? What do I do if they do hatch? What and how do I feed them? Should I keep the lamp on them and for how long? I am a great animal lover but I have never had birds so I’m in the dark here on what to do. I would appreciate any and all help and advice. Also, can they ever be free or are they going to have to join my ever growing family?? Thank you for any help you can offer. ~T~

Answer by volunteer annie
I am so sorry, this is a heart breaking story. It will be almost impossible to help the babies. Doves are fed “crop milk” by the parent, and without the expertise of mother dove, they have little chance of survival. Even wild animal rehabilitators have not perfected a way to successfully raise orhpaned pigeons or doves because of the feeding method. Humans are unable to duplicate this behavior.

You’ve done the best you could be taking in the eggs, and keeping them warm. There is still a chance that you could return them to mother… make a new nest, make a fake nest, use an old margarine container, with holes in the bottom, take whatever leftover nesting material you can find, use an old towel cut up, or old sheet to line the bottom and put the eggs, nesting material, and return the nest to a sheltered spot as near the tree as possible. Tie it on if you have to, make sure it is out of the rain if possible. Mother will find them if she can, and continue to care for them if she is able. They are very good mothers.

Good luck.

Answer by E-ma
I’ve been in the same situation but with only one baby. That was a LOT of work so I can only imagine weeks of sleepless days & nights if you take on this challenge.
That’s why my 1st suggestion is to locate a wild animal rescue center & see if this is something that they can take on for you.
If not, knowing that doves & pigeopns ar ethe same thing, you can hand raise them according to information you find about pigeons online.
http://rosemary-drisdelle.suite101.com/facts-about-pigeons-and-doves-a30525
Note that babies begin feeding on “pigeon milk.”
In the days before internet, all I had to go on was an encyclopedia. I read that pigeon milk was the digested seed regurgitated back up for the baby to suck out of the mother’s mouth. Now I read that there is a formula available for sale.
http://www.ehow.com/how_8237031_feed-baby-mourning-dove.html
The article gives description of how to feed the formula. I agree with the artcle that the baby will scream to be fed every 2-3 hours. I disagree that it will always feed from a dropper b/c I had tried that & it would not open it’s mouth. I was a scary thing for me to force the mouth open b/c it’s delicate tissue & not a hard beak while so young. It would not swallow the feed once I opened the mouth. It appeared to be choking & it was a mess & it even blocked the nasal openings.
So I had to go as close to nature as possible & here’s where it might get too gross for you to accept the task.
I would chew about 1 tablespoon of finch bird seed. That was about the amount my bird’s crop would hold. I’d chew it up into a fine mash. It’s important to never swallow any of the saliva that it accumulating in your mouth at this time. I’d say that this step is THE HARDEST to get done. Once your mouth is full of the finely ground up seed & spit, place mouth close to the baby. It will automatically force it’s beak into your mouth & begin sucking it out like crazy. You don’t open your mouth. You just keep your lips relaxed enough to be closed while still giving the baby’s beak enough leeway to insert it’s beak. It may take it all at once or have one or two short breaks. I used to feed until it shut up. Sometimes that meant listening to it scream while I took the time to chew up another batch. (Several minutes to get it almost liquidy.)
Once it was full, it was quiet. I put it back inside of a doubled over tube sock & placed it on top of a heating pad. (It’s head was poked outside of the sock.) It would sleep for 2 or 3 hours & the cycle repeated for WEEKS. The only easy thing was that I had to older children to rotate feeding the baby.
The baby was tame to being held by the time all the adult feathers had arrived. We’d hold it on our hands on an extended arm & begin dropping our arm just enough to make it hold out it’s wings for fear of falling. We’d do this more & more until it was even flapping it’s wings to stay on our arm. Finally there came a time when it’s flapping made it try to fly from our arm to a nearby couch. Then sometimes it didn’t want to do this exercise so it would try to runaway down the couch & to keep from getting caught, he would fly to the next piece of furniture. This was all done to get it to exercise it’s wings & become a strong flier.
It worked. Next stage was to keep seed & water by an open window. (It learned to eat seed on it’s own by always keeping it available on the floor of it’s home. I’d cut off a section of sod & scattered seed on it like it will find on the outside. One day we just caught it pecking at the seed.) In time the pigeon was taking little flights off of the window sill.
Finale? The pigeon flew off in the day time. At sunset it would come back to our home after doing beautiful looping aerial displays. Be built a little open coop for it be the window on the outside & slowly increased it’s height to the top of our house so that it was not accessible to cats. The pigeon stayed with us for years until I guess it mated & we saw it no more.

Answer by birdgirl
Their only chance might be with a wildlife rehab as they do have a very specialized diet as compared to other birds. Their best chance is with it’s parents, but if you have had the eggs for some time now..the parents are probably not going back to the nest looking for them so putting them back now would likely end up with them starving. Try and local rehab and see if they can take them in. Do keep them warm until you can transport them. Look here for a rehab near you.
http://wildliferehabinfo.org/ContactList_MnPg.htm
If something like this happens again in the future you can place the eggs in a basket with handle with some materials for warmth and tie the basket by the handle back into the nest tree as close as possible to the original nest location. Doves often nest in hanging plants and other man made objects so I don’t think the parents would have had a problem getting into the basket with their eggs.

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Written by LoveDrNikki

I was born with my innate gifts of clairvoyance (see things), clairaudient (hear things), clairsentient (know things). By the time I was 3 I knew there were things that I knew that I could not tell anyone about because they got really weird if I did. At 13 I got my first deck of tarot cards (Ryder – Waite) and started doing readings professionally.

At 16 I had my first near death experience when I was in a pick-up truck that hit a semi-tractor trailer truck. My dad had died several years earlier – and he had been a semi-truck driver. I was fortunate enough to receive my Father as a Spirit Guide that day, My second NDE was when I was 18 – I was in a Piper Cub 2 seater aircraft that did a hard landing into the side of a mountain. I have spent my entire life studying and working with the wyrd and wonderful in all its guises. While not required by any means I enjoy using the Tarot or any of the other divination tools I have at hand you may want to use for your reading.

I have Doctorate Degrees in Divinity (D.Div) and Theology (Th.D.) from Northern Lights Seminary and continue to study. Among some of my other titles are Psychic Minister, Esoteric Minister, High Priestess, Shaman, Spiritual Coach, Psychic Coach, Psychic Healer, Life Coach, Relationship Coach, Small Business Consultant, Paralegal, Executive Director and College student. I am honored to be a “reader’s reader,” meaning that many of the people do readings for are readers or spiritual workers themselves.