Baby western Hognose problems

We purchased a baby Hognose recently and he is having feeding problems. We’ve had him about a month now (he’s 8 grams) and were not sure if more time is needed to get him comfortable or not. We’ve done scented Pinky (tuna,toad and egg) and unscented. We’ve brained the pinky, served it only the head ,put him in a container and left the pinky overnight as well. Temps are on the cool side about 72 and warm about 85 , there’s a lot of clutter and a few hides. He is in a 20 gallon tank w aspen. Our next step is to put him in a smaller tank but he seems like he’s comfortable because he doesn’t stay hidden. Is not staying hidden a bad sign? And any other suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you

I’m new to hog owning. The males can be extra difficult I hear. I have a young male as well. How are you feeding him, by tong or leaving it in there? When are you feeding him night or day? Is the enclosure open on all 4 sides? Also have you contacted the breeder or seller on how it was kept and fed? Are you handling him?

@stewart_reptiles Sounds like this is a job for you. Aren’t male hognoses harder to get feeding as well? And it is difficult to care for one that is under 15 grams too.

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The problem with hognose snakes are as followed

Sold too young with not enough meals under their belt to people with limited experience and not provided with the right environment from the start here IMO we have both. Yes males can be tricky but this usually happens at a later stage.

It’s important to understand that because of the size you need to make changes and make changes fast.

First your enclosure is WAY too big and should be put aside until your hog reaches 100 grams. Usually for a well established animal in the hand of someone with previous experience I would recommend a 5 gallons tank max, not here get a 6 quarts tub or smaller (2.7 quarts would be even better), have 1/2 inch of aspen as bedding and leave him alone.

Temperatures are too low as well, bump the cool side to 78 or 80 which would be best and 88-90 on the warm side.

After that offer food, give it 3 to 5 days to settle first.

Offer as followed

Unscented Live pink

Scented live pink with the following in order

Vienna sausage


Chicken (from chicken in a can)

Hard boiled egg



If all fails than time for Micro Links

You want to offer those different scents every 3 days and once your hognose eat you want to keep him on that for about 4 to 6 weeks before slowly weaning it of the scent.

Do not use tongs they are often afraid and I do not recommend them until the animal is at least 15 grams, until than leave the prey on a piece of paper towel in the enclosure overnight.


As far as getting hatchlings to start feeding they are equally difficult it’s once they are bigger more establish that you will see some differences in feeding pattern, usually during the first year, female will be garbage disposal, males will start being finicky.

I personally do not believe in selling hognose under 15 grams, it’s a lot of meals and breeders want to let them go soon as they hatch but with more and more people will limited experience getting them you run in more and more issues.

We feed during the day and tried initially by tongs, then hand and then just left it in a smaller container w it. It’s a glass tank. Should we try darkening three sides? No we are not actively handling him. Just to get him in the smaller container and last week we weighed him and he was the same weight when we got him. The seller said he was on unscented pinkies and he May just need more time.

We definitely are going to switch out tanks. Thank you for the other suggestions
ETA: any suggestions on getting the gradient heat in a smaller tank?

Mine use to eat off tongs from the breeder,. Now I offer it to him on tongs. He either shows interest or gets pissy. I place it on a paper towel regardless and close his tub. Sometimes he eats sometimes he doesn’t. I was hesitant to place him a in a rack system but if he’s getting a true day night cycle they’re fine. That’s why I ask about the sides. But listen to @stewart_reptiles that stuff is invaluable. I’m screen shotting and making notes now.

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[quote=“duckdangerfield, post:8, topic:10418”]
Now I offer it to him on tongs. He either shows interest or gets pissy
[/quote]It’s very typical and a hit of miss, usually with adult it’s not as bad of an issue but young individuals just feel threatened by them in my experience.

I do have adult males acting up at times and if they do I proceed the same way, I leave the F/T on the enclosure’s floor and it’s usually gone by the morning.

Little snakes but a lot of attitude :wink:

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