Baby Cali King stopped eating

I’ve had my King snake since august of 2020. Always a great eater. Super active. Was on pinkies so I had him eating pinkies every 3 to 4 days. December 1st was the last day he ate. Everything after that he will hiss and strike and won’t take it, just slithers away. There was a small temp drop in my reptile room around the same time so I’m not sure if he’s trying to brumtate. I wouldn’t think that would start this but that’s all I’ve got. I tried raising temps back up and he would hide under his water dish so he currently has no Che or heat pad and is at reptile room temps (warmer then my home) I’ve tried braining the pinky, dipping it in chicken broth, leaving him in a tote with the pinky, trying a fuzzy, leaving it in his tank over night. Nothing, it’s always the same, strike, hiss and slither off like he’s in a race. I’ve tried checking for respiratory infections but he’s so tiny it was hard to see anything inside his mouth. He over all looks healthy. No scale rot or mouth rot. He’s definitely not as active anymore and always under his bedding. His tank sat at about 85-87 on the warm side and the temp drop made it about 75 during the day and 65 at night (what my reptile room sits at when it’s not freezing outside. I have 3 ball pythons and a corn snake and have never had to deal with this. I know a month isn’t long but he’s only .8 grams. Very tiny! I don’t handle much anymore other then to check weight or try feeding again. Anyone else have a baby do this?

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Not necessarily a concern. It’s possible your temps have tricked him into thinking breeding season is coming. Males won’t eat when they want to breed.

Is he cruising the glass a lot? Is he defensive to you?

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The 65F was a one time thing or do temps always drop that low at night. I’d say 65f is to low at night maybe use some supplemental heat to get up to the 70’s during night time. I’d also maybe do low 80’s in warm side with backing spot at high 80’s or 90. I’m not saying temps are reason he’s not eating but like you said a month is not long but yes since he’s a baby I’d start looking as to why not eating. If temps and humidity/shedding are good I’d wsit a bit and keep trying to bug the hell out of him with the pinky…Maybe out of anger he’ll tear in to it lol.

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Also try feeding in a tiny container with the food item with a secure lid. I like to use the containers they were shipping in. Cover it up with a towel to make it dark and leave in a nice warm (but safe) spot where the container can be warmed from underneath (helps keep the food warm and can help motivate a picky eater). Leave completely alone for 30 min.

I’ve had snakes refuse from tongs suddenly and have had to use this technique only to eventually go back to tongs as well. Some never go back to tongs and you’ll have a 5ft snake crammed into a 2 gallon Tupperware lol

Keep us updated!

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Yes actually cruising the glass A LOT. Even though he’s a baby he will still do this? And yes aggressive. He’s always fast but has never tried to strike at me until recently

That’s just the temps of my room. Each tank has its own forms of heat. When I read he might be trying to brumtate (sp sorry) I turned off his che. His tank was around 85 and read he will burn calories faster in that heat with no food. I’ve tried bugging the hell out of him with it and he just strikes and drops. I can’t even find information on this with a king because they are normally such strong eaters.

I have tried this. Even tried over night. Nothing. I was told he would not refuse. BUT it was a clear tote. I did not try anything that wasn’t clear. Even if lights are off it might help.

Yes I’m a nerd and have one in every tank. Here you see the change. It was a very cold night and I didn’t have the heater ready. Ignore that humidity spike, I spilt his water changing it lol. But none of the other snakes seemed to be affected. Or lizards.

He’s small, he’s not necessarily very young unless you know that he is.

My inclination is that it’s either that, or it’s hot. Try to get the cage to the low to mid 70s and don’t worry about there being a hot spot. They’re extremely tolerant to lower temps within reason. Do that for a couple days and see if his behavior changes. Hot colubrids are angry colubrids.

Cal Kings are my favorite species to field herp locally. Most care sheets suggest giving them hotter hot spots than I ever find them on in the wild. I also find them out and about in much cooler temps than you would expect. Yes I carry a temp gun while I’m field herping lol.

Can you take a picture of him next to a dollar or a bic lighter or something common so I can get a better perspective of his size?

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Very good information thank you. Yes the internet said around 85 for warm side of the tank but for the most part it would stay in the high 70s.

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He should be eating a fuzzy mouse. Have you tried feeding him anything with a full coat of fur?

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That’s also a fairly well developed juvenile. He could be a yearling even if he was fed lightly.

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@kacie872 hey, sorry your snake isn’t eating. Unfortunately I have nothing to add to help you. I haven’t come across this with any of my snakes… not yet anyway. I was wondering what you used to get that screen grab of the tank temp and humidity. I’m also a huge nerd and love automation and data collection and whatever you used to get that stuff, I need it in my reptile room.

Wish I had something to add to help you out =/

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Yes, he just started right before he stopped eating. He only got a few down and seemed to struggle. The last time he ate he wouldn’t take one so I gave him a pinky and he took that. Last time he ate. I’ve tried fuzzies now too.

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Oh wow! I had no idea. I know nothing about him. He was bought from a chain store (yes I know, my only snake from them) but he has a Boo :ghost: face on him. And was so active. He was smaller then this and had 3 sheds with me in that short time.

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Govee thermostats from Amazon. I have 9 on here. All set to where temps should be and humidity. It will alert me if there is a drop below or above what I sent it at. It’s amazing!!

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He’s a big boy so don’t worry if he’s struggling a bit as long as there is a bump. Given his body condition in that photo you’ve got time before you need to worry.

He could also easily be old enough he’s feeling frisky. The season is wrong but a change in the artificial environment could cause it.

Only offer food every 7 days. If he refuses wait another 7. A snake that size won’t starve itself unless it’s very ill.

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Oh my goodness you have helped my anxiety so much! Thank you! I’m used to ball pythons and my corn is full grownish and can remember that far back. I just assumed baby. And he doesn’t seem sick at all. Even feisty trying to get that picture with the lighter lol!

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Thank you so much @kacie872. I will be buying them immediately. Good luck with Boo. Hoping the best for you and your noodle.

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Thank you so much! And have fun with your new nerd toys haha :laughing:

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