Garter Snakes

Discussion in 'General Snakes' started by joshmitz, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. joshmitz

    joshmitz Embryo

    a garter (wild caught no less) was my first snake and it was great. i think you need to clarify that some BP's are picky eaters. i have heard it alot but never actually experienced it. Ive never had a problem getting mine to eat mice, gerbils, or rats, live or f/t, and no trouble switching between any of them. from what i can gather (and this is just my own expereince and talking to other people who own balls) it is wild caught BP's that are picky eaters and have given the rest a bad reputation for this. for ball pythons that are captive bred, and especially ones that have been out of the wild for a couple generations or more, eating problems seem to be the exception rather than the rule. i may not be right because BP feeding advice is a fairly common topic in this forum, but again, this is just my experience and other keepers whom i know personally.

    the point is i would recomend garters or BP's as a good first snake for anyone. i have nothing against corns, other than i find them exceptionally uninteresting, but thats just my opinion and i know many will disagree... a garter is great if you want an active, very fast snake that you can watch moving around or basking in the enclosure during the day. they are entertaining on their own and will keep you busy by constantly trying to get out of your hands while you handle him. they stay fairly small and skinny. a BP on the other hand is usually much calmer and more relaxed, move much slower unless scared, gets bigger and much fatter, and will very rarely be seen moving around the enclosure during the day. both are unlikely to bite. ive heard that garters can emit a musk, but have never expereienced that through handling dozens of them around the farm over the years, and looking back they received some less than ideal handling when i would run around with them as a kid. if you do get a garter snake, make sure the enclosure is secure, because they can make it through some unbelievably tiny spaces.
     
  2. LeapinLeo

    LeapinLeo Embryo

    okay. Do you recommend good places to purchase garter snakes that are cheap? Does Petco sell them because Ive never seen them
     
  3. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Embryo

    I split this off of the Beginner Snake thread, just to keep that tidy. Carry on ;)
     
  4. LeapinLeo

    LeapinLeo Embryo

    okay yeah this is kinda off subject sorry lol
     
  5. conny63malies

    conny63malies Embryo

    the garter snake was the first snake that bit me. i saved it from my cat and let it go.
    also a good beginner snake is a kenyan sand boa. the males stay around 18inch, so they can stay in a 10gallon. they are not known to be escape artists and they are really mellow. the only minus is they burrow and you wont see them much.
     
  6. joshmitz

    joshmitz Embryo

    i'm not sure where you might find them, i one i had i caught myself when i was 15. i've seen ribbon snakes (almost identical to garter snakes, in fact, im not exactly sure what the difference is) once at a local petstore here. I think they were only about $30 canadian though, so pretty cheap if you can find them. maybe call the petstores in your area and see if they have any, or expect to get some in. if you dont have any luck there you should look into ordering one over the net. this link was posted in another thread about blue garter snakes:

    http://www.albinogartersnake.com/

    looking at this site makes me miss my garter, i want another one now...
     
  7. LeapinLeo

    LeapinLeo Embryo

    lol they sound like pretty cool snakes. Also how many guppies do you think a garter would eat in a week or so as a baby?
     
  8. 5-6 maybe? arent guppies small?
     
  9. joshmitz

    joshmitz Embryo

    i fed mine those little feeder gold fish that were about 1"-2" long. He was set up in an 85 gallon that was half land and half water. I would pick up 20-30 fish and let them go in the water and the snake would swim around under the water catching them. It would take him a week or two to clear them all out so i would buy fish every 3-4 weeks. He also got a fuzzy mouse every 2 weeks and a little frog as a treat every once and a while. I have heard that if you dont feed mice you should use some vitamin supplements.
    Mine was pretty much full grown when i got him so if you get a baby you will obviously need to feed him alot less. Just dont feed anything much bigger than the snakes width and use your judgement to determine how many he needs based on his size, as they seem to just gorge themselves if they get the chance.
     
  10. JIMI

    JIMI Embryo

    To find out anything you want to know about Garter Snakes, and a place to buy them. http://www.thamnophis.com/ They have breeders that are working with morphs also.
     
  11. yeah, the albino garters are pretty sweet... but be careful with feeding those goldfish to your garters, there's the whole thiamine issue... When I got my first gartersnake I fed her guppies, minnows, and earthworms rolled in calcium powder. She loved the earthworms...

    most breeders will have them feeding on mice, just because it's easiest for them. I love garters, but their musk is the WORST!
     
  12. LeapinLeo

    LeapinLeo Embryo

    Do they musk often?
     
  13. joshmitz

    joshmitz Embryo

    strange, one of my posts got deleted.

    I think the musking depends on the snake - i never smelled it from mine once in the two years i had him, but i think he was an exception.

    I beleive the musk is a defense mechanism for them, so i imagine a scared or stressed garter would musk more often, but thats just a generalization, and not a rule by any means
     
  14. LeapinLeo

    LeapinLeo Embryo

    okay and sorry but another question: When the musk is it just an oder or is it like a spray?
     
  15. JIMI

    JIMI Embryo

    It is definately a clear to yellowish liguid. I have at times been hit with a dark brown kinda like diarrea. :oops:
     
  16. my garters' musk was yellowish and kinda syrupy.... my kings and ratsnakes mix urates in with their musk for 'good measure' so you get a pungent yellowy paste that STAINS
     
  17. LeapinLeo

    LeapinLeo Embryo

    thats not good lol. Is it likely they will musk if you catch a wild one? Sorry for all the questions lol
     
  18. carlene pool

    carlene pool Embryo

    i have a new born garter snake pregnant mom run over by car in front of me baby came out alive rest were dead. i had a bull snake 11 yrs so im not a rookie.but i herd garters are tricky eaters and i never had such a small baby. feeding help would be very nice if you would. (not rodent i have pet rodents now and have a soft spot for the little guys) (i know silly!) but garters are not natural rodent eaters anyway:)
     

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