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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Snakes (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

abc
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South African in Taiwan
1081 Posts

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I do a manipulation act with cards, CDs, Doves and silks but for a variety of reasons want to start using snakes in my routine. I am thinking of doing steals similar to dove steals or to use a dove pan but I would really appreciate some advice or ideas.
Does anyone know besides ideas where I can get a book or DVD on snakes and magic.
Gerhard
SnakeBabe
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Las Vegas
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I use snakes in my act and you can pretty much use dove steals but the load would have to be customized to be escape proof. Dove pans are easy loads but if you are going to use a dove style load be prepared to have the snake not come out perfect every time. Snakes are grippy and will spread to fill the load or try to hold on. Use common sense to determine if the snake is comfortable in the load.

As a person who has a reptile rescue I also have to stress that you always have at least 3 snakes for each trick you plan on doing. Snakes cannot be used for 4-5 days after they eat and when they are shedding they can be out of commission for a week or more. All my snakes are on different feed schedules so that I always have one available if I get called for a show. I have one trick in particular where I use a Royal Python. I have 4 and one time they actually were all shedding at the same time. I couldn't believe it. I had other snakes I could use so I was ok but using a snake in shed mode can stress them out which causes bites and improper shedding. Next is transportation. If you want to have healthy, non biting snakes you will need to give them a warm transport just as their cage at home would be. If they will be out of their permanent cage long term say if you are traveling on the road they will need humidity as well if you have a tropical snake. Mine travel in bags clamped shut which are then placed inside a custom road case with holes and an infrared heat panel. I could go on and on about this so I'll stop for now.

If you like you can visit my http://www.reptilerescue.com website for care tips on snakes in general.

I don't know of any books on using snakes in magic. Maybe I should write one...
x303
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St-Hubert, Quebec, Canada.
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So, SnakeBabe what your telling ABC is having multiple snakes for his performance. Would you elaborate on the care, feeding and on temperaments of differents snakes, which ones would be best?

We can't forget a snake is not a prop either,
it must receive as much care as ABC doves do!

Owner of a Mexican Black King.
Bob
Daktari
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USA
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I have to agree with Snakebabe 100% on owning multiples of the same species when dealing with snakes. I used to be a wildlife biologist and veterinary pathologist. Now, as a full time performer, and I use a variety of animals, including snakes, in my program. I have at least 3 of each snake species, (Actually I have duplicates of all of my animals, mammals included). In addition to the feeding and shedding, sometimes they may just be temperamental on a certain day and I like to have my options. One alligator I have will perform beautifully most of the time but on occasion he is a jerk! When it comes to specific species of snakes, there are definitely some that work better than others. Some are known to be very temperamental, others calm. Some will defecate every time you pick them up. Snakebabe mentioned that she does reptile rescue, if she is like me, most of the rescues come from people who just get tired of owning the animal or the animal turns out to be too much to handle! Some reptiles get very large and have very specific requirements (Habitat or cage size, heat, humidity, UV light requirements, etc.) to allow them to live in a healthy manner. Keep this in mind when buying your animal.
abc
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South African in Taiwan
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Thanks for all the responses.
Considering what has been mentioned by everyone above would one of you recommend a book on caring that is very good. (caring for snakes)
I get a lot of stuff of the internet but I am not convinced that I can trust all the opinions. Some people say it is better to feed them live food others say dead food and the difference in opinion is very confusing.
I prefer a book written by someone like a vet or a reptile expert.
Snakebabe should write a book and then I ll buy it.
Stevenleeaugust
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The “Live vs. Frozen” Debate has gone on for years in the animal community.
I have been working snakes for 25 years and I feed only pre-killed-frozen-thawed to my snakes. Never ever live.

I have copied this from SnakeBabes website for your consideration.....

......” I am a big believer that pre-killed is better all around, if you disagree you $*%#. In the wild it is natural to kill and eat but in my home I am humane enough to step in and eliminate needless suffering. So I do. I strongly encourage you to do so also. Ask you local reptile Vet about how snakes end up in his surgery room from a rat fighting for its life and chewing the eyes out of a pet snake......
.....For those of you who never heard of the Pre-killed food situation it is simple as this. There are painless ways to kill rats or rabbits in which to feed your snakes. Pre-killed rodents are gassed. They die a painless death and are then frozen for at least 30 days. This process kills many of the bacteria and parasites that the food item may harbor. Come time to feed you defrost it the way you would any meat. I also recommend to inject the dead food with a liquid vitamin and give the snakes the healthiest meal they can get. I am always taking in pythons to relocate for idiots who buy them and want to get rid of them. They all eat pre-killed food. For some the transition is not that easy. It may require you to do some wiggling to make the snake think its alive but they do go at it after a while. They may strike at it and try to strangle the dead animal. This is normal but dangerous for you. Be careful. Never hold the food in your hands. I use snake tongs that are 3 feet long and keep me way out of reach. Their strike is lightning fast and totally cool to watch but painful to be a part of. You have been warned. Also, there are some pet shops that for a fee will allow you to watch their snakes feed. Please please please do not buy from those shops. One last note, over feeding is a problem too. Please feed regularly but not more then needed to stay healthy. An obese animal is likely to bite or even die as a result of not having enough time to digest. Remember, they are digesting bones and teeth and stuff that takes a while. Don’t rush them. To much food can block them up and stick inside their intestines. I’ve lost several savannah monitors due to people overfeeding them. Too little food will stunt their growth.”


As for a book a better place might be a forum that would allow you interaction with other pet owners just like this fine magic forum does.
For more insights I suggest you visit
http://www.redtailboa.net and read the care sheets available there for a start. You can then post questions in the forum there and you’re on your way! Tell them we sent ya!

We do have some limited care info on our reptile site listed below.
Hope it helps.
Regards,
Steve

Steve August & The SnakeBabe
http://www.reptilerescue.com
7500 W. Lake Mead Blvd
Suite # 9-478
Las Vegas NV 89128
Rob Johnston
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Utah
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I don't work with snakes, but I saw a great routine in which Apollo Robbins uses a big one in his watch steals. It was great.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Stevenleeaugust
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Yep, that was Maria's (SnakeBabe)snake and Apollo on an Animal Planet Magic special.

Steve
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