Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby matthew.reynolds9 » Tue May 08, 2012 12:05 pm

Thanks for all the advice gents....
Not rushing into anything!!!!!
Will look into a handling course. The more experience the better!
I only mentioned the White lip as it is the only snake i have right now, this doesnt however dispute the fact that i have in the past kept puffys, rattlers and a boomslangs..
i have some experience with venomous snakes but am not a 'know-it-all', so i will take all your advice with arms wide open!
keep the advice coming
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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby Westley Price » Tue May 08, 2012 12:08 pm

So you don't heave your heart set on a Cobra?

If not, I am sure we can all give you TONS of other species suggestions which will give you great practice, while still giving you satisfaction.
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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby matthew.reynolds9 » Tue May 08, 2012 12:15 pm

Trust i have my heart set on getting a cobra!
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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby Westley Price » Tue May 08, 2012 12:24 pm

What do you plan on doing with it?
- Just keep
- Breed
- Handle for practice
- etc

All these make a difference. There are guys on this forum who keep venomous snakes and NEVER even touch them. According to me that is the way it should be done, but opinions differ.

If you plan to handle it, a calmer, non-spitting cobra would be better, but if you want to be one of those guys who never see the need to handle, you can take pretty much anything.

On thi forum, search for "shift boxes." Ths is the most valuable piece of equipment you'll probably ever have if you intend to keep venomous snakes without getting hurt.
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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby Jamster » Tue May 08, 2012 12:32 pm

@smeegle: I find that very true aswell, someone was recently asking about a good first rattler and i was ready to suggest C.atrox as the six i have worked with are as easy as your average puffadder, but others quickly said C.atrox is a big no no. My rating as follows...From "can kill you" to "will kill you"...

Rinkhals-yes they spit but they arent too big and are relatively easy to handle

Cape cobra- very fast and can be unpredictable but will tend try and get away before going for you

pallida and mozam- these two spit readily but with personal experiences the mozams are more chilled and pallida are very naughty :twisted:

We can both agree that snouties are by far the most aggressive and forthcoming of the indigenous, we have six big +-2m snouties at work and they lunge for you as smeegle said mouth open HULLE IS BANG VIR NIKS!

I cant place forests really because we had a pair that was evil and their speed is unbelievable! we now have a big 3m black forest and he is very chilled but tends to open his mouth when you handle him so ja...
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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby Smeegle » Tue May 08, 2012 1:32 pm

Jamster wrote:I cant place forests really because we had a pair that was evil and their speed is unbelievable! we now have a big 3m black forest and he is very chilled but tends to open his mouth when you handle him so ja...


So true, I definitely depends on the individual animal. At least we agree on the snouties, they must be the most predictable species in wanting to kill you!

westley wrote:There are guys on this forum who keep venomous snakes and NEVER even touch them. According to me that is the way it should be done, but opinions differ.


Very true, Westley! In my experience it is fairly easy to hook and tail a cobra that is quite large, over 1m I would say. You even see old tannies doing this on snake handling courses all the time. But anything smaller is a gamble, especially juveniles. You definitely don't want to handle them in any way if you can help it.

Shift boxes work very well, I am slowly adding them to all my cages. They really make maintenance a non-event.
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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby michael » Tue May 08, 2012 2:23 pm

I tend to agree with Smeegle and Jamsters ratings. Of course each individual is different. For example I had a captive bred Mozambique spitting cobra that only spat once as a hatchling, after that he apparently forgot he could! I still never ever worked with him without a mask though. Also our Banded Rinkhals seem to be much more well mannered than some of their Gauteng cousins. I have seen a number of these with absolutely filthy manners; perhaps they take their cue from the snouties.

Most of the forest cobras I’ve worked with have been quite easy to manage, but they are very intelligent so you have to keep on your toes with them.

The black spitting cobra, like the Mozambique spitter is a living hose pipe!

Obviously the less you have to work directly with any venomous snake the better, shift boxes are the way!
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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby Bushviper » Wed May 09, 2012 12:51 pm

Snouted cobras are pretty easy to work with. We use them for training because they are predictable. If they can nail you they will. Learn to live with that and you will be fine.

Mathew if you think its going to be fun handling the cobra you are going to get bitten. A decent bite into a vein and you will not make it to hospital from any cobra bite.

Look at building a cage with a shift box (or two) and expect to never have to handle it after you have put it in the cage. That way the cobra will be happy and you will stay alive.
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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby Eyelash » Wed May 09, 2012 2:09 pm

You can look into building a cage like I did for my mambas. I've only handled them once on almost a year and that was when I introduced them. A cage like this will also work very well for a cobra. ;)

http://sareptiles.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=85&t=26589

I hope it helps a bit.

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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby Pieter89 » Wed May 09, 2012 6:38 pm

westley wrote:What do you plan on doing with it?
- Just keep
- Breed
- Handle for practice
- etc

All these make a difference. There are guys on this forum who keep venomous snakes and NEVER even touch them. According to me that is the way it should be done, but opinions differ.

If you plan to handle it, a calmer, non-spitting cobra would be better, but if you want to be one of those guys who never see the need to handle, you can take pretty much anything.

On thi forum, search for "shift boxes." Ths is the most valuable piece of equipment you'll probably ever have if you intend to keep venomous snakes without getting hurt.


Good advice! I admire venomous snakes, but haven't kept any. If I were to ever keep any venomous snakes, they will only be touched when I really need to touch them (almost never) and safety will be first priority.
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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby matthew.reynolds9 » Wed May 09, 2012 10:47 pm

Alright ive decided that if i do get a cobra, unfortunately i'd want an exotic!
however im not ready at this present moment so im going to chill out and wait...
I only want a one as a display feature in the house (ie 1.5m cube), and have no intention of breeding or handling...
Smeegle i see you live in assagay, do you have a venomous snake collection?
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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby Smeegle » Thu May 10, 2012 8:14 am

matthew.reynolds9 wrote:Smeegle i see you live in assagay, do you have a venomous snake collection?


I have one or two ;)
One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.
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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby matthew.reynolds9 » Thu May 10, 2012 8:33 am

Wouldnt mind coming to have a look!?
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Re: Need help on choosing my first cobra!!!

Postby Smeegle » Thu May 10, 2012 9:54 am

matthew.reynolds9 wrote:Wouldnt mind coming to have a look!?


Sure, inbox me and we can hook up:)
One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.
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