Pairs, feeding on scented rodents
$1,200.00 - SOLD OUT - Thank You!!
Hatchlings, feeding on scented rodents
$650.00 - SOLD OUT - Thank You!!
Hatchlings/Juveniles, feeding on unscented rodents
Fascination, bordering on obsession...
Feeding and housing hatchling/juvenile Ophiophagus, Best strategies for success
Jesse Black, Toxic Envy®
In nature, hatchling Ophiophagus are constantly on the run from and on the menu for everything from others of the same species, to Bungarus, varanids, and a multitude of birds and small mammals. They still are a far cry from the apex predators that we all envision.
Hatchling and juveniles are essentially arboreal animals, very much like mambas. This is no longer open for debate and even large adults will spend vast amounts of time “in the trees” if given appropriately sized branches, large enclosures, and appropriate height. All sizes, but young animals in particular, benefit from a thick tangle of foliage in which to climb and hide. Climbing opportunities and dense foliage for contact security are a must to reliably establish young specimens. They need to feel secure that they can retreat from a perceived threat, in this case us, when the cage door opens. Setting the snakes up properly is essential toward establishing solid feeding patterns. This cannot be overstated, and it baffles me that some people still insist on keeping them like ball pythons, only to complain that their snake is a sporadic feeder, or non-feeder. Ophiophagus are not a beginners snake, and it should be a given that their ownership should not be considered unless one is able to meet the requirements to maintain them successfully and for the long haul.
In short, caging breaks down to the following: Tall cage, lots of real or synthetic plants (add plants until you think you have enough, then add some more – from top to bottom of the cage), lots of climbing opportunities at various heights, fresh water daily, good airflow, temperatures between 82-88F, and a dry cage, but with at least 70% relative humidity, and you are good to go. Misting, except in the 1-3 days before shedding, is an excellent way to cook up a respiratory infection that will rapidly kill a young snake. While this may go against the normal thought process for a snake originating from the sweltering humidity of Southeast Asia, frequent misting has been a proven killer. This is no longer open for debate, either.
This year I converted all snakes to pink mice almost immediately, due to requests from customers. By the time you receive your snake, I have been feeding them 6 days per week, for many weeks. Small, frequent meals are required. Young Kings have very fast metabolisms, and require a constant supply of food to process or their body will cannibalize its own tissues for fuel. In nature, it is in their best interests to get large, fast. Remember, everything is trying to eat them when young. Large meals will be regurgitated, and just a few episodes can initiate a chain reaction that is difficult to correct.
Give the snake a few days to settle in. Leave it alone. Don’t handle it constantly or have it out to show everyone and take a million photos. The snake has been cupped, bagged, boxed, tossed around by the gorillas at Delta, vibrated in a vehicle, unpacked, and placed in a totally new environment than it was in from hatching to ship day. All of this in a snake hard-wired to believe everything is out to eat it. Your snake was used to a pattern of feeding with me and must now adjust to your schedule. Patience and restraint now will pay dividends later. Kings are smart, and if set up properly cage-wise, they will settle in very quickly and realize you are the food man (or girl) and not a threat. Once they start feeding freely, they are amongst the easiest of captives.
Your snake has been eating 1-2 F/T, unwashed, unscented, pink mice per day, 6 days per week, with occasional days skipped during opacity. 1-2 pinks should be completely processed and shat out within 24 hours. If not, food items are too bulky, or temperatures are too cool and the metabolism has slowed. This is not a good thing. Adjust accordingly. When it is time to initiate feeding, open the door, hold the pink on an appropriately long set of forceps or hemostats, and show it to the snake. Wiggle it down the plants to the bottom of the cage, leaving a scent trail. Close the cage and leave the room for many hours. Feed during daylight hours. I’ll say that again: Feed during daylight hours. Young Kings feed much better during the day. If everything is set up correctly, and 3-4 trials have been met with failure, go to plan B:
Select a clear restraining tube that the snake can just about turn around in, but not quite. Cut it to 6-7 inches, which is the most user-friendly size, in my opinion. Gently slide the snake into the tube to within an inch to ½ inch from the end. Gently, but firmly, hold the snake in that position. Grasp the pink with a set of forceps by the neck. Insert the head down to the snake’s nose. A slight tap may be required, but usually the snake will grab the mouse immediately. (You have no idea how much work it took just to get them to this point) let go with the forceps and apply just a bit of back pressure to the ass end of the pink. The idea is to keep the snake from biting and immediately releasing. After a second of holding the pinks head in its mouth, it should begin to swallow. Initially, allow it to swallow completely while in the tube. After a couple of feedings, you may allow it to crawl out the front of the tube after the pink has been grasped, and into the cage (and security of the tangle of foliage) to finish eating. Things only get easier from here, and the snake will remember the routine from its time with me, and fall right into line. Again, they are smart. Being smart, they can also be moody and stubborn. A hatchling King sometimes thinks it is a 13 foot King and acts accordingly. This is usually just posturing and they eventually give in to the program once they realize you are not going away or quitting. Working with baby Kings can be a battle of wills. This is part of the reason I love them so. They very much recognize routines, so keeping to schedules can be helpful. If you are one that has a fairly regimented feeding schedule, you will eventually find that they are waiting for you when it’s time to eat. Fascinating animals.
Tips from Uncle Jesse that I will not elaborate on further, but that may be helpful:
After a sufficient “break in” period, and when the snake is reliably feeding well, I believe frequently “working” with the snake pays dividends down the road with regards to safety and having relatively docile animals.
While it may or may not appear that great liberties can be taken with young animals, a full-on, venom-gland-emptying, chewing bite from even a 32 inch snake is no joke. A full bite from a 22 inch fresh hatchling is a VERY different bite from even a 32 inch snake, even though it is only 7 weeks older. Young Ophiophagus bites are significantly different in symptomology from adults, in some surprising and alarming ways, not often expected within the norms of neurotoxic envenomation. Untreated, the symptoms persist for an impressive amount of time for a primary neurotoxin.
While by no means all-inclusive, I believe this brief paper will allow you to fully succeed with baby Ophiophagus. Much of the information seems basic and common-sense, but is, in fact, the product of years of hard work, failures, and ultimately, repeatable successes. I hope you have found this helpful.
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Hatchlings, feeding on snakes and/or geckos
$625.00 - SOLD OUT - Thank You!!
Pricing for larger juveniles, trios, or multiple pairs to be discussed on an individual basis - please inquire.
Recognized venom-producing laboratories, recognized zoos, universities or other research or conservation entities may qualify for reduced pricing, loans, or other terms - please inquire on business letterhead.
Pairs, bullet-proof feeders on completely unscented rodents
These will tend to be larger, older animals and the product of extensive work
$1,400.00 and up
Down the hatch!
All of the hatchlings that have not been shipped out (36) are feeding! As of 07/13/16 all have 3 meals down, and we are feeding small meals on a daily basis. While incredibly labor intensive, this allows these intelligent little snakes to "catch on" faster to scent manipulated prey items. This year, we decided to attempt getting all hatchlings onto F/T rodents as quickly as possible. So far, things have been going better than expected! The feeding of all 36 has already gone from a 7 hour ordeal on day 1 to 5 hours on day 3. We fully expect each feeding period to streamline as the days progress.
Fresh out of the egg, not yet feeding. Very limited, must be shipped within 5 days of hatching.
(Suitable for confident, experienced keepers only)
$500.00 - SOLD OUT - Thank You!!
2016 King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) Offspring
**Hatching has begun as of 28 June 2016!! Accepting reservations now!!**
We thank you for your interest in our 2016 USA CBB King Cobras. We are extremely proud of our hard-won, repeatable success with these, the most magnificent of venomous reptiles. We are currently offering offspring from a golden Malaysian male selectively bred to an almost black Indonesian female. Through selective breeding, our long-term goal is to impart golden yellow bands onto a line of snakes that will ultimately turn out very dark - almost, if not black. In our humble opinion, the ultimate King Cobra will be one that retains the juvenile banding and black background through to adulthood
A Prime Opportunity
Many herpetoculturists are drawn to Kings, but few have an outlet to gain sufficient training to handle adult specimens safely. Purchasing USA CBB hatchlings and juveniles is a logical entry point, allowing the keeper to "grow" with the snake and learn in increments. Both the keeper and the kept benefit from this arrangement and the safe, confident handling techniques that result
Why Purchase From Toxic Envy?
We have been working with Ophiophagus for 30 years. While we have enjoyed and been successful with many diverse breeding programs over the years, it is our efforts and time spent with King Cobras that we are most proud of. These offspring represent an unfathomable amount of cumulative work spanning three decades. A tremendous amount of effort goes into each hatchling to establish consistent feeding patterns so we are able to offer stable animals with every expectation of continued success. If you do your part, our snakes will do theirs
Our goal is and has always been to make the importation of King Cobras a superfluous endeavor. These magnificent animals are severely threatened across most of their natural ranges, and protection status will likely be achieved in the near future. We view our relationship with our customers as a united effort to support and achieve the same conservation goals by establishing solid CBB populations. Without your trust, interest, and support, our goals would remain out of reach. We thank you for your patronage Jesse Black
2016 Pricing Structure