A lot of people that you will come across in your lifetime will discourage you from adopting a bull snake!
Why on earth would someone rain on your parade! If that is precisely what is crossing your mind right now, you need to know this and everything that we need to tell you about this pugnaciously rowdy and always impatiently moving about a snake that will, of course, make an unusual pet!
Bull snakes won’t bite!
Even though they may look threatening big and long enough to attack a human, they do not bite. Yes, that is the truth, fortunately!
If you have had any experience of having snakes as pets in the past or call yourself as having intermediate expertise in that field, you will be glad to know that you could well qualify to take them as pets. However, it would be best if you were prepared for all that they can be up to. No! We are not scaring you!
Bull snakes (pituophis Catinifer sayi) are giant and non-venomous snakes. They belong to the family called colubrid that boasts of 249 other similar species. Bull snakes have this rather rare distinction of being the only one from the colubrid family to inhabit all the continents of the world except, of course, Antarctica. They cannot manage so much cold, brrrrhh.
Bull snakes are long and large
They can look intimidatingly big and huge. They are often touted to be the longest snakes in the whole of the US and one of the largest ones in the whole of North America. They are found in almost all the countries of the NA. They grow to a whopping 8 feet! Wow!!
They lay eggs in clutches of about 20 to 30 in the sand and leave them to incubate on their own and unprotected. Some guts there.
However, when the hatchlings come out in a few months, they are not precisely docile, like most of us would like the hatchlings to be! They come across as pretty rowdy, and this is perhaps a little put off for some of the snake enthusiasts who could do with a little less attitude. Wink*
The hatchlings itself is 20 inches at birth and grey until they begin shedding for the first time in their lives.
The snakes breed sometime in March and April, and the eggs hatch in August or September max. The eggs are quite big at about 3 inches, roughly elliptical, sticky, and leathery.
Size and weight
Adult bull snakes grow to an average of 4 to 7 feet. Some of the snakes in the wild are believed to grow to a gargantuan size of 8 feet. The average weight of captive bull snakes is conservatively pegged at 2 kilos, but it is widely speculated that in the wild, they can accumulate the bulk of about 4.5 kilos too!
The bull snake’s diet is quite elaborate, and it helps that they are powerful constrictors. They can eat smaller mammals like mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, and birds at incredible speeds. They can climb trees, and that can put a lot of nesting birds at risk. They can consume half a dozen small to medium-sized birds in fifteen minutes straight. Some speed!
On the ground, they are continually munching on eggs, lizards, terrestrial frogs, and even small mice. They are all the time snacking, and that is perhaps one of the reasons for their inherent size increase.
Humans are quite weary of killing a bull snake in the wild because they are believed to be a good competition for the rattlesnake. They are considered to hunt down rattlesnakes.
One more interesting fact about them is that they have blotching on their skins that closely resemble the rattlesnake, and that is the reason also that it has managed to survive so long. They are usually yellow with marks in brown, white, black, and sometimes in red.
There is a big blotch in the middle and then sets of three blotches on the side. Their tails have black ring marks on them. Their body patterns closely resemble the dangerous western diamondback rattler. We wonder what it would think if it could make out something out of that familiarity? Perhaps capitalize on it and frighten people all the more!!
There are hundreds of morphs that are popular among snake enthusiasts, but the most popular ones are albinos.
One of the chief concerns of bull snake enthusiasts is that they do not like to be handled. Unfortunately, this is quite true. Except for a very few snakes that you can count on your fingers, handling is something that they do not particularly like. But we have heard that a few of them take well to handling if they are bred in captivity and get accustomed to it.
A lot of them are defensive, by the way.
Bull snakes have a hilariously exciting way to defend themselves when they are in the face of a threat.
Say that it comes across a vast live object like a human; its first instinct is to perceive it as a threat. It will try to remain excessively still and quiet because it assumes any movement will give him away. Their next best move is to get away from the threat as soon as possible, but unfortunately, they are no fast movers. So they do what they do best. They try to rear up and puff themselves up to look as large and significant as possible, occasionally lunging forward and retreating with a hissing sound till it finds the chance to flee and escape!
In captivity, it needs its space
If you are planning to house an adult bull snake, let us tell you that you must be able to afford it a lot of space. It will require a minimum of six feet enclosure to be able to move around freely without rubbing the nose on the cabinet. Glass enclosures are tremendous and give those mesh wired screens a break, please. They could end up with disfigured snouts or, worse, still escape without warning. We told you they are rowdies like that!!