How long to wait before I assist feed?

Thank everyone once again in the community for all of their help with my first clutch. I have posted a couple of threads about them so far with issues I was having or thought I was having. Now I am at a new Crossroads and I need advice from the community. Out of my seven beautiful albino babies, two of the males have had one meal now but I have not been able to get the other five to eat. I do not have a source for live pinkies or Hoppers currently and although I breed I do not have any that small either right now. I have offered them Frozen thawed twice and I have made sure they were the right temperature and I actually used a blow dryer to make sure they were dry. I tried moving the feeder around to simulate it being alive and I’ve also tried leaving it in the bin overnight. Now they have been out of the egg a little over 3 weeks and it’s been over two weeks since they shed out. Should I go ahead and assist feed the five that have not eaten? How much longer should I wait? They are 23 days out of the egg and about 17 to 18 days on average since their first shed.


So you are essentially two plus weeks post shed. I have gone as long as 6 weeks without them eating before I consider assist feeding. They are pretty resilient animals, so there is time. Assist feeding is stressful to both the animal and you, so delay it as long as you can. Are the items you’re offering hoppers or fuzzies. If there isn’t much fur, then there isn’t much scent. I would try using FT mouse hoppers at least and if you can, maybe use a larger mouse in the bag when you thaw them to add more scent. Give them time before you panic. I would say you have at least another month before it becomes situation critical. Best of luck,


Can you find a source for live? Reach out on facebook, craigslist, local breeders, etc?


Live will be your best bet if you can get access to it. Starting on f/t is pretty hard


I would definitely hold off on assist feeding. As mentioned above, it can be very stressful for the snake and should be reserved as something of a last resort. There are quite a few other options you can try.

If using a more furred mouse or scenting with an older mouse doesn’t work, you can try scenting it with a live mouse (you said you breed feeders, so you can try rubbing some soiled bedding on the thawed mouse right before offering it). You can also try braining (either use a pin to poke some holes in the skull or use a blade to cut open the skull). You can also try making a small incision in the mouse’s abdomen (some snakes seem to prefer exposed brain while others prefer exposed abdominal tissue). You can try putting the hatchling in a small container with the thawed and warmed feeder, as sometimes a combination of the added security and the fact they’re always bumping into the feeder seems to help them recognise it as food. And you can try live. If there’s no pet shop within a reasonable distance that sells live feeders, you can try various social media/Craigslist to see if anyone in your area breeds feeders and might have some of the proper size.


First I would suggest ensure they are hydrated.
I would humbly suggest trying other sizes and scents before live or assist feed.
My preference is if the right size rat does not work, then try heated dry if your using heated wet or the opposite.,
try dark if your snake area is light, if that fails try those options with a different smell. I.e. try ASF or mouse.
Last resort, scent the food with chick.
Just an opinion.
I am happy for others to tell me different.