Facts About Bullsnakes
Here are some Bullsnake facts that you should know;
- As mentioned earlier, they are non-venomous snakes and their bite cause no harm to humans and animals. So, be assured that a bullsnake bite will not result in the death of your pets if you already have any.
- They save farmers hundreds of dollars when it comes to rodent control. Some farmers let bullsnakes live in their barns allowing these snakes to prey and feed on rodents.
- They are constrictors. They kill their prey by coiling around them and squeezing very tight. Since the bullsnake bite is non-venomous, this the only way they can seize their prey and kill them before ingesting.
- Bullsnakes are sometimes confused with rattlesnakes. Although both snakes are of different species, they are most times confused for each other due to their similar scale colour and stripes.
- They are also mistaken for rattlesnakes because they mimic rattlesnakes by hissing and vibrating their tails when they are threatened, frightened or cornered.
- The Bullsnake bite is quite painless and is compared to a nip from a cat, this is because they possess relatively small teeth.
- Another bullsnake fact is that they like to bluff, they bump their head into their enemies or preys and immediately retreat without biting. Some believe that they owe their name to this behavior.
- However, some others believe they owe their name to the loud snorting sound they make whenever they are threatened which is similar to the noise from a bull.
- These snakes have a very long lifespan; when bred in captivity, they can live for more than 20 years.
- Finally, bullsnakes are slow moving snakes, they climb well and they are easily contained in a medium-sized.
Bullsnake Size and Appearance
They are known as one of the largest species of snakes found in the United States, they are very muscular and because of their large size are very intimidating to both humans and other snakes. The Bullsnake size is quite fascinating; hatchlings or young ones range from 20 – 46cm in length and have an average length of 33cm while adults range from 122 – 173cm in length. These snakes have a yellow colored base with brown stripes around their back. When compared with other snakes of the same size, the bullsnakes are observed to have distinct heads with larger eyes and slim necks.
The hatchlings are very susceptible to predator attack. Predators like skunks, eagles, hawks, and raptors feed on the young bullsnakes. Unlike their young, adult bullsnakes are predators; they feed on small animals like rats, rabbits, mice, squirrels, and frogs. It is also not surprising that bullsnakes occasionally feed on rattlesnakes as their size gives them a lot of advantage against other snakes. The average weight of bullsnakes ranges from 1 – 1.5kg, although there are larger specimens with an average weight of 3.5 – 4.5kg. The bullsnake size is sometimes determined by how regularly they feed and how much they can consume at a goal.
One key bullsnake fact to note is that they are diurnal, they are very active during the day. They hunt early in the morning and sometimes late in the afternoon when the temperature is warm and not hot. Knowing this will give you an idea on the right time to feed your pet. These snakes do not possess fangs but they have small teeth which they use to defend themselves. Although the bullsnake bite is harmless and most times painless, they often times cause a minor bleed.
You now know the important bullsnake facts and you already have an idea of their general appearance and size. Now we can move on to the care of bullsnakes, how to keep them as pets and their specific and unique requirements.
- Feeding; unlike when they run free in the wild, bullsnakes especially have a strong appetite when bred in captivity. So, you should not encounter any problem in getting your snake to eat. Frozen or thawed foods are highly recommended because they are quite easy to feed to the snakes and are also very safe for your pet snake. The young ones could be fed every 4 – 8 days while it is advised to feed the adults every 10 – 15 days.
- Water Requirement; bullsnakes are known to be water lovers; therefore, it is required that they have water available at all times. Regular cleaning of water bowls should also be done, either with bleach or antibacterial soaps. Water should be changed immediately if the snake ever messes its water bowl up with poop.
- Handling; there are situations that require you holding or lifting your pet snake. In such situations, it is advised that you approach slowly especially if you recently just got the snake. Bullsnakes are known to be easily threatened and may occasionally try to strike you when you approach them. As mentioned earlier, their bite may sometimes cause you to bleed. So to avoid the bullsnake bite, you are advised to handle them carefully without spooking them.
- Housing; you must by now already have a clear picture in your head on how big the bullsnakes can get, therefore you need to get a suitable cage that would be very conducive for your pet snake. A small cage is okay for young ones while a medium sized cage would be suitable for adults. The terrarium should be cleaned at least once a month.
- Temperature requirement; snakes generally do not have the ability to regulate their body temperature, hence the need to provide artificial temperature sources for them. A temperature of about 23 – 30°C is great for bullsnakes. When night falls, you can reduce the temperature by a few degrees. You can supply heat to your snakes through heating pads or heating bulbs. The pads supply heat from below while the bulb supply heat from above.
- Light; since your snake is going to be indoors almost all the time, it is required that some sort of lighting is provided to replace the natural light from the sun. This light should also be equipped with a timer which will automatically turn it off and on. Fluorescent lights are highly recommended. In cases where this might be difficult to set up, the snake house or cage can be placed close to a window so that adequate sunlight can reach your snake.
THE SIMPLE TRUTH
Quite easy, right? The simple truth is – taking care of bullsnakes is not difficult at all. As long as you can regularly provide them with their basic needs, you should not encounter any problem or difficulty. You just need to always remember and put in mind the key and basic facts about their temperament, feeding, housing and temperature requirement. Finally, when these snakes bite you, try not to panic as you might be moved to hit your snake. This will probably injure the snake and depending on how hard the snake is hit, there might be more severe consequences. Remember that the bullsnake bite does not inject venom into your body. So, if you ever get bitten by your bullsnake, gently lift the head from your skin and place the snake carefully back in its cage. If you can follow all the directions given above, you definitely will enjoy keeping a bullsnake as a pet.
What You Should Know About Pet Snakes
So, you are a reptile lover and you are considering getting a pet snake. Well, you are in the right place. Snakes are definitely not the best pets for everyone as they do require special attention and care; therefore, you need to put some factors in mind when deciding to get a snake as a pet. Here is a list of things you must know and consider before you decide on getting a snake;
- You must already know that snakes are carnivorous animals; therefore, you do not expect to find their food in the cans as found in pets like dogs and cats. You must be ready to feed your snakes with their natural prey (like rodents) either life, pre-killed or frozen.
- You should also know that snakes have very long life-span and if you are getting one, be ready to stick with it for about 15 to 20 years or even more depending on the species.
- You also need to take into account where you will keep or rear your snake. Is the environment conducive for snakes? Is it escape-proof? Are there holes or gaps that snakes can creep into? These are some questions you need to ask yourself when thinking about getting a snake.
- Getting a venomous snake is not an option especially if this is going to be your first time having a pet snake. There is a number of species of non-venomous snakes that you can keep as pets which will pose no harm to you. Some non-venomous snakes recommended for beginners are; Corn snake, Bullsnakes, Rosy Boa, Milksnakes, and Ball Python.
Amongst these species of snakes, the Bullsnake is especially loved by owners and breeders. Quite a number of Bull snake owners recommend it as one of the easiest snakes to keep.