Developing A Pet/Owner Relationship
Milk snakes are beautiful, relatively small, and make wonderful captive animals. However, many are nervous, jumpy, and often prefer to remain hidden. There are always exceptions, but many milk snakes will not make good pets if your primary goal is to handle and "play" with your snake. The juveniles are especially nervous, sometimes calming down only when they reach a larger adult size. Gentle, regular handling is the best bet if you want to try to habituate your snake to handling. Some milk snakes will not calm down no matter what you try.
Because each is an individual, with different behavioral traits, you should consider the following: There are two lives to consider with regards to handling. The first is yours. If a milk snake doesn't bite you, or defecate all over you or your furniture, handling the snake will not cause you any harm. If, after being handled, a snake doesn't regurgitate meals, continues to feed, and behaves in a relatively calm manner than occasional handling will probably not be harmful to your snake. However, it is advisable not to handle your snake after a meal (as long as you can see the lump) or when it is opaque or just before shedding.
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