Would like to get some input on feeding frozen thawed.
We have 4 snakes about to be 5 and we specifically pick snakes feeding on frozen thawed. Out of the 4 in possession 3 eat like champs, our big boy declines every so often but not worries about him.
Have a new addition black pastel pied female. She has proved to be stubborn in taking to the last 2 feedings even though she ate like a champ for the breeder. Now i do know that maybe her transition period could be taking longer?
FYI We remove the snakes for feeding and feed in the dark with nice warm/hotish thawed rats.
We are feeding her a size smaller than what she is used to according to the breeder.
What methods have you used that works? I wamt to make sure that she continues to eat and be healthy.
Has anyone ever used a live feeder to trigger the feed response.
Thank you for any input
The breeder likely wasn’t moving to feed. It’s unnecessary, and can cause issues with the snake potentially regurgitating their meal, and just overall stressful.
You could try live, but I’d avoid it for now. 2 feedings isn’t at the point I’d be super concerned.
I’d also try putting some moss or crumpled newspaper in her hide. It’s way too big for her. She looks a bit stressed out.
The hide may not feel secure enough for her to feel comfortable eating. Also don’t move her to feed her.
Her posture looks almost ready to strike in this photo which has me thinking it’s more stress related than the feeder themselves
I agree with @nswilkerson1. As a rule breeders feed in the same tub that the snake is housed in. If she was eating ft when you got her then she should eat ft for you, as long as she feels safe enough to eat.
You might try waiting until the evening to offer her the meal. If she refuses wait several days and try again. As @nswilkerson1 said, no need to try live yet.
Btw she is absolutely gorgeous!
Looks young In this picture. How long have you had them and how old or what do they weight?
An older/larger snake may start to change their eating time to every other week. This can be normal.
Definitely feed in the same enclosure as they live in.
Are you dropping it in or moving it around? Movement helps. Also covering their enclosure so they can not see other movements and you, can also help. (I had one we have to cover the enclosure completely for it to eat, then we was able to just feed it normal after a few months)
Check the ones not eating temps. Make sure they are still on point.
If they refuse, try skipping a meal before trying again. Don’t try to offer several times a day or day after day. This can stress it out.
Trying live is an option, but skipping a meal or two is not a bad thing. Snakes can change their eating preferences and going to live might be the only answer. You can then try to go back to f/t after several meals.
My only concern is the substrate. I dont want to cause compaction in her. None of my snakes are in tubs. Ill try changing her hide out yo something smaller.
I make sure to provide plenty of movement when offering. So far shes my only one that doesnt eat. The rest nail it, even with being taken out of the enclsoure. Appreciate any feedback. Thank you
Don’t be. what do you think they do in the wild? I just make sure to dry off the mouse/rat so the substrate doesn’t stick to it. My texas rat snake will sometimes dig down on feeding day with just his head up and once he takes it, he pulls his head down into the substrate with the mouse so just the back half or sometimes just the tail are out of the substrate. If you are really that worried (which I really wouldn’t be but I completely understand your concern), you can also feed over a paper plate so once they strike and take it, they won’t be in contact with the substrate.
thank you. I will give it a try in her enclosure and give her a smaller hide to feel more secure. I’ll give her a week or so before trying to feed again. If I recall, she is 240-260 gram range
Update!!! Swapped out hides to give her a smaller one to feel more secure. NOTE, she lives in a 40 gallon front opener enclosure and came from a a hatching size or slightly bigger tub. Not sure if the drastic size change is an issue? She finally used the restroom which i figured was maybe one reason she didnt want to eat. Did notice her belly with a pink hew, so thinking she might be headed for shed so I know that can diminish feeding response. As of now, still no luck getting her to feed. She still shows interest in it but turns away. Ill give it a week or so of down time and try again. If no luck then I’ll try live feeding her. I know its too soon to get worried but we had one hatchling this year that had an underlying health issue we didnt know about and he wouldnt eat unless forced and he didnt make it. So having another snake not showing interest in food just has me a little on edge
Every step is help. This way you eliminate possible options. I know you don’t want to go live, so maybe next time cover the tank front, sides and top just before feeding f/t. This way it can’t see you or any other movement. We have had to do this before, with one that acted like yours. This worked and eventually we was able to feed without covering it.
Have you tried putting her in a separate smaller container inside her tank? That might make her feel safer to eat and she has to concentrate more on the food. I have to do this every feeding for my hognose. Otherwise he just hisses at the fuzzy!
I have not done that specifically. I do remove her with her small hide. Put her and the hide in a small tub, put that in a dark room. Let her settle and then offer the rat about 30 min later. As of 26NOV, she did eat but we had to assist feed. We only put the face/head of the rat in, but once she realized what was in her mouth, she did eat it all on here own from there. So hoping that triggers a feed response and in a week or so, she will eat on her own.
I would stop moving her to feed her, that’s only going to stress her out more
Are you feeding the same prey item (mouse or rat) the breeder was?
I think I’m gonna ahve to. She is the only one that has an issue with it. My others can be moved and feed no issue. I am waiting on some FB40 tubs to arrive. She will be moved to those. So hopefully that will help
same. she has been on rats. Roughly a little longer than a credit card. So I guess smalls. We fed her one a size down, but now that she has eaten, I feel better and am hopeful she can do the rest on her own
I wouldn’t do it with any of them. It’s uncessary at best, at worst stresses them out and could cause regurgitation due to moving them right after eating. Why can’t you just leave them where they are and let them eat naturally?
I was told way back when I started keeping BPs that moving them, letting them rest and then feeding was best if I planned to handle my BPS. This way they would not associate my hands with food. This always stuck for me, especially with me having kids and they get them out on their own. I’ve never had a BP regurgitate any meal. However, I do see that the ideology could be flawed and of course there are thousands of breeders that don’t remove for feedings and handle their BP’s with no issues.
Currently, I would just be worried of them ingesting coconut substrate since mine are in tanks, not tubs, but the rats are dry so don’t see a huge possibility of that happening.
I have only had a BP think I was food ONCE in many years… and that was because I had dusted off my pants after handling a pet rat and before washing my hands. He keyed in on the smell and struck at my leg but wrapped my arm I was holding him with. That was a dumb mistake. He wasn’t even getting fed, but was still outside the cage, not inside where he always ate.
Any other BP after that? It’s simply knowing your snake and the body language. There’s many other reasons a snake could strike that aren’t related to food. And they’re ambush predators, so you need to understand that if you do reach in front of the hide, you’ll still run the risk of getting a nip regardless. Either as hunt instinct or defense.
The pros of in house feeding far outweigh the cons.
Yeah, I really think it’s better and less stressful for all involved if you just feed in the enclosure. There’s no evidence I’ve ever seen that feeding in the enclosure makes snakes more bitey.
If you’re worried about ingestion of substrate, there are a few potential solutions. You could swap out for the larger chunks of coco husk, which aren’t going to stick to a feeder, or you could put something like a plate or piece of cardboard down over the area where you’re feeding, so the feeder doesn’t come into contact with the substrate.