Snake tongs??

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Snake tongs??

Post  MissJennieL on Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:52 pm

Where is the best place (with the best prices) to look to get a good set of snake tongs?
Doesn't matter if it's a website, local store, or maybe someone on here has one they would part with??
I need something to handle small aggressive snakes as well as venomous snakes.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I would like to get some ASAP.

Thanks in advance!!
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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  Zak on Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:10 pm

MissJennieL wrote:Where is the best place (with the best prices) to look to get a good set of snake tongs?
Doesn't matter if it's a website, local store, or maybe someone on here has one they would part with??
I need something to handle small aggressive snakes as well as venomous snakes.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I would like to get some ASAP.

Thanks in advance!!
Alligator alley has them or you could order them from midwest tongs at www.tongs.com. I have a 4 ft one that I use to feed my big retics with.

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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  Snakeman on Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:29 am

I get mine from Alligator Alley.

That way you can see and play with/test some before you buy.

If the snake is too small (Pygmy Rattlers, yearling Copperheads, yearling Cottonmouths, etc.) I would not use tongs on them.

I'd tube them instead.

Another point to consider.

Richard Butler (okherp on this forum) has had a lot of experience handling venomous snakes and he's commented to me in the past that some brands/styles of tongs are not built/are not strong enough to handle large/strong venomous snakes.




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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  okherp on Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:48 am

It doesn't matter where you get them, but get either the Midwest M1 (which I use) or the Whitney tongs. Both are the exact same design, with 1" wide jaws which firmly grasp medium to large snakes, but with very little pressure, definitely not enough to injure the snake. Avoid Pilstrom tongs, which have slender jaws that cradle into each other, more like a pair of scissors. They have been know to break snake ribs and cause other injury. Also avoid the Midwest Gentle Giants. The oversize 2" jaws can't generate enough pressure to hold even large snakes. Large cottonmouth and rattlesnakes slip right through!

I hope this helps.
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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  MissJennieL on Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:14 am

Thanks for all the replies! I will check out those products suggested and see what I can find.

It will be small venomous snakes that the tongs will really be needed for.
We've also got a dwarf retic that's pretty moody, but we have a snake hook for handling him, so the tongs wouldn't necessarily have to be used for him. I just wanted to get something that wouldn't injure smaller snakes (around two feet in length)

Thanks again for all the suggestions.
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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  tandy on Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:49 am

I use tongs very rarely and prefer double hooks if all possible just because of the risk of injury to the snake. I don't have any issues with tongs and they're great tools, it's just my preference. It seems to keep a snake calmer (a predator would never come at it from from underneath). All of the equipment I have from Midwest Tongs has been top notch. I really like the small hooks (24" long) with the larger wooden handle. I use them to double hook all of my smaller venomous snakes to move them, etc. The grip is great. The double hooking also makes them insecure and more likely to grip onto the hooks. I would try the method for sure on the dwarf retic; you might be surprised at how well he reacts to it since tongs are great for a secure grip but that's exactly what a predator would do too. Try Allligator Alley first so, as someone else mentioned, you get personal service and can make sure you you like the feel of them.

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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  Zak on Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:27 pm

MissJennieL wrote:Thanks for all the replies! I will check out those products suggested and see what I can find.

It will be small venomous snakes that the tongs will really be needed for.
We've also got a dwarf retic that's pretty moody, but we have a snake hook for handling him, so the tongs wouldn't necessarily have to be used for him. I just wanted to get something that wouldn't injure smaller snakes (around two feet in length)

Thanks again for all the suggestions.
Snake hooks is the best for the retic for sure. I have different sized hooks for different sized retics. I also find it hard to hook retics because they are so dang quick and big. Does your retic stay moody once its out of the cage or does it go into "explore mode"? Either way I can try to help you calm him or her down. My bitey ones normaly will tag or try to tag me when I get them out of their cages but once they are out they often calm down. I do not grip them while I hold them I hold them open handed and let them move around. Like Tandy said predators grip the snakes to eat that's why they get defensive. I don't grab them behind their heads either. I fully expect to get tagged when handling tham whether it happens or not it comes with keeping any snake. Hopefully I'm not comming off as being arrogant. I've learned a lot of this by experience and by a good friend of mine, chris mcvikar.

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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  MissJennieL on Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:37 pm

So far we've only had the retic a day. The guy we got him from said he "has a nasty attitude (even for a retic)".
He is only around 4-5 feet in length (possibly over 5 ft, hard to see how long) and not very girthy, so he's not a large snake. He is definitely quick and he constantly strikes. Whether he's in the tank or out of the tank. Haven't tried holding him. Anything that comes near him gets striked at.

I know when handling any snake, there's always the chance you will get bitten. My husband tells me that it's not IF you'll get bit, it's WHEN. I feel the same way. I respect our reptiles and handle them properly, but this one i'm not sure if I will ever attempt to hold. Lol

Probably give him/her a little bit to get accustomed to the new surroundings and sights and smells. Maybe he will calm down, but the previous owner said the snake has been that way from the beginning. So we shall see...
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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  Zak on Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:55 pm

MissJennieL wrote:So far we've only had the retic a day. The guy we got him from said he "has a nasty attitude (even for a retic)".
He is only around 4-5 feet in length (possibly over 5 ft, hard to see how long) and not very girthy, so he's not a large snake. He is definitely quick and he constantly strikes. Whether he's in the tank or out of the tank. Haven't tried holding him. Anything that comes near him gets striked at.

I know when handling any snake, there's always the chance you will get bitten. My husband tells me that it's not IF you'll get bit, it's WHEN. I feel the same way. I respect our reptiles and handle them properly, but this one i'm not sure if I will ever attempt to hold. Lol

Probably give him/her a little bit to get accustomed to the new surroundings and sights and smells. Maybe he will calm down, but the previous owner said the snake has been that way from the beginning. So we shall see...
Yep some never calm down. I have a ball python that way too. I would for sure do what you feel comfortable with whether you handle the snake or not. Its all about comfort level. I hate getting bit but I accept it for what it is and I don't blame you for not wanting to mess with it because it does sound like a nasty one. I personaly like em a little bitey somewhat but not psychotic. Like I said before retics aren't for everyone. If I can be any help at all let me know. I'm like that with kingsnakes because when they bite sometimes they don't let go.

On a side note retics generaly don't get very girthy like burms or boas. They normaly stay pretty slender. As I said before if you don't feel comfortable messing with it then don't. No biggie. I give you tons of credit and I'm sure everybody else does too for knowing and realizing your comfort level with certain snakes. There's certain stuff I won't even look at and same goes with everyone. Larry isn't a big fan of big constrictors. I don't think I could even pay him to hold one lol.

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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  Spider Woman on Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:14 pm

No, just to clean out their cages! Laughing

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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  Snakeman on Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:48 pm

"Larry isn't a big fan of big constrictors. I don't think I could even pay him to hold one

lol."

Zak,

You're right and as you know, I don't keep any snakes that bite or are very likely to

bite.

I'm a BIG believer in "to each his own", but keeping big constrictors and/or

venomous snakes makes NO sense to me and I have no interest in doing it.

I can go into my snake room at any time and not have to worry about getting tagged

or getting defecated on and I don't have to worry if I'm at home alone.

Size is not the issue, I just don't keep snakes that bite.

If I acquire a 2 foot snake that has an attitude or bites, it's gone.

I give free programs on keeping snakes for adults and kids in schools, churches,

libraries, birthday parties, etc., and I can't afford to keep snakes that bite.

Yes, anything that has a mouth can bite and when you keep snakes you should plan

on getting bit.

However, since I know the species to purchase and I know what I'm doing, the

chances of me or anyone in any of my classes getting bit are very slim.

As we have discussed before, in my opinion, there are numerous reasons for not

keeping big constrictors and/or venomous, but at the same time, I firmly

believe herpers should keep what they enjoy and forget about what me or anyone

else thinks as long as they are not breaking the law and are in compliance with the

city ordinances where they live.





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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  Bryan Arens on Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:57 pm

Larry, we all know you don't care what we keep as long as we keep it on papertowels. Right? Razz Razz Razz
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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  MissJennieL on Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:41 pm

I completely agree. Usually if a snake pitches any "attitude" for any reason (other than being my own fault), then generally the snake doesn't stay long in my household. I do not care to own a snake that I can not hold or that I do not feel comfortable holding.
We have 8 ball pythons, 6 red tail boas (all but one is over 6-7 feet) and they are pretty girthy. I do not feel afraid of the big red tails and can hold each one. We prefer to feed our snakes outside of their enclosure in a separate tub, but when it comes to the dwarf retic, he may just be one that will be fed in his enclosure and only removed for tank cleanings.

There is a possibility that a small venomous snake may be joining the household soon. It will also be one that will be fed in it's enclosure as well and will not be one that will be handled at all. Still not quite sure about that snake yet, but wanted to have tongs in advance in case we do bring it home, but then again, tongs may be a good idea anyways as my husband is a police officer and he tends to get all the snake calls for people who need them removed from their home or yard. So it would be a good tool for him to have.
All of our 16 snakes are handleable except the dwarf retic and the carpet python. They are only two that are moody.
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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  Zak on Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:55 pm

Like you said to each their own. It makes sense to me. They are impressive animals. Seems like everyone keeps some sort of colubrid or ball python, mainly normals. Big snakes are for sure a challenge and I can't describe the joy and satisfaction I get when I handle them. I have joy and satisfaction when I handle my ball pythons but not like I do when I handle the retics. I've asked other people that keep them why they keep big snakes and a lot of the time the answer is "because they are big". Its not a macho thing to me, I just find them facinating. I can't believe a snake can get that big. A lot of it has to do with a childhood dream of owning one. I don't understand owning hots though. I am not against it but I just wouldn't do it. I like interacting with my snakes and I don't believe I would with a hot, but at the same time I find them interesting and beautiful. Like I told you I'm interested in seeing someone hooking and handling one. I am the same though, to each their own and I do bnot look down on anyone that keeps something that I have no interest in or that has no interest in what I keep. That attitude is unacceptable. Anyways as you knnow Larry I like asking you questions and getting information from ya even if we do not agree on the things I keep lol.

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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  Zak on Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:58 pm

MissJennieL wrote:I completely agree. Usually if a snake pitches any "attitude" for any reason (other than being my own fault), then generally the snake doesn't stay long in my household. I do not care to own a snake that I can not hold or that I do not feel comfortable holding.
We have 8 ball pythons, 6 red tail boas (all but one is over 6-7 feet) and they are pretty girthy. I do not feel afraid of the big red tails and can hold each one. We prefer to feed our snakes outside of their enclosure in a separate tub, but when it comes to the dwarf retic, he may just be one that will be fed in his enclosure and only removed for tank cleanings.

There is a possibility that a small venomous snake may be joining the household soon. It will also be one that will be fed in it's enclosure as well and will not be one that will be handled at all. Still not quite sure about that snake yet, but wanted to have tongs in advance in case we do bring it home, but then again, tongs may be a good idea anyways as my husband is a police officer and he tends to get all the snake calls for people who need them removed from their home or yard. So it would be a good tool for him to have.
All of our 16 snakes are handleable except the dwarf retic and the carpet python. They are only two that are moody.
Ya I would feed the retic in the cage for sure even if it wasn't bitey.

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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  Snakeman on Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:40 am

"Larry, we all know you don't care what we keep as long as we keep it on papertowels. Right?"

Bryan,

Right. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


Zak,

I agree.

I think ALL herps (and most inverts for that matter) are fascinating and even it's a

species I'm not interested in keeping myself, they are all amazing creatures to me.

Before I die, I'd like to convert everyone to that way of thinking.................like that's

going to happen. Razz







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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  MissJennieL on Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:53 am

Decided I'd post a few pics of the meanie dwarf retic. lol
Not the best quality, but hard to capture great pics thru the tank.







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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  sbender99 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:31 pm

Tried giving him an all you can eat dinner? Is he still mean after a few meals like that? Very Happy

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Re: Snake tongs??

Post  Zak on Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:43 pm

That's the thing, retics will eat as much as you give them. They normaly won't stop.

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