Norman (my 1 year old male hog) has stopped eating. He gave me a little scare a month ago or so and didn’t eat for a week (he ate every 3-4 days then) but since then he’s gone to eating once a week. Now that we’ve been on the schedule he’s been a pretty good eater until about two weeks ago where he’s refused every pinkie I’ve given him. I’ve tried it like 4 times now (giving him like a day or two in between each try) and he still hasn’t eaten.
I’m wondering if it has to do with the pinkies being older?? I got them in April and I’m a little unsure of when pinkies go bad and I’m debating getting a new bag of frozen ones to be super safe. I’m also thinking of trying like salmon or egg to see if he’ll eat at all?
Am I overthinking this? Should I be more worried about the refusals? Just want some guidance or reassurance.
He hasn’t lost any like spunk, he’s just burrowing and digging all around his tank and making a mess of his water dish like he normally does. He’s just not eating.
Hey @ssssarah! Norman Norman Norman! Lol!
Ok so do not start worrying yet and do not start scenting because there is simply no reason to do it. At a year old he really should be eating fuzzies by now. And yes, frozen rodents can become freezer burned and even lose some nutritional value after being kept for so long a time. But you should visually see the freezer burns.
That being said, your first problem is you are trying too hard to get him to eat. Just try to leave him alone for a couple of weeks and that means handing as well. Let him do his thing and chill out for awhile undisturbed. Give him at least 2 full weeks before you offer him new pinks from a fresh group.
If he doesn’t eat you will know it’s not the old pinks. Wait a week and try again. And so on. Do not handle him until he starts eating again consistently for you. Also when he begins eating bump him up to a fuzzy once a week and then continue weekly for awhile. After that you should start feeding every two weeks until he may take a couple of fuzzies.
The main thing is not to worry about him losing weight because he could go several weeks or longer and still be fine. Trust me!
But if you get nervous in between come back by all means!
He weighs like 20 grams (which I feel is small) at the moment and I’m a little nervous to upsize his food since that’s what I’ve done (large pinkies instead of small ones) and he’s been off and on eating those.
I think I’m going to order a different brand of frozen rodent and try again whenever those come in or so. I’ve been breaking up the attempts by a few days already and we just went on vacation for like 4 days where he wasn’t offered food too.
The mice don’t look freezer burnt but I’m trying to use up some of them because I have a bunch left (didn’t realize how few you actually use).
I don’t handle him much now besides like waving at him when he’s out of saying hello. So I think I’ll just continue that sort of thing for now because he’s not overly bitey when he is handled so far.
Do you or others happen to have a chart of how much he should weigh at certain age goals?? I couldn’t find anything and I’m thinking of emailing or calling my vet about it because I feels like he’s small (but he is long and looks healthy)
Hopefully there will others to come along with ideas besides mine. If you bumped him up to large pinks and still feeding him every few days maybe he is refusing his food because he is simply not hungry. The larger the prey item the less often they have to eat.
That’s the only thing I can think of to add………
Best of luck to you and Norman @ssssarah!
I feed him every week (I switched him to large pinkies and feeding once a week) when I had an issue before with feeding too often.
So I’m confused now on what to do about him eating or not at this point
Give him a couple of weeks and try again
While I’m not overly familiar with hogs specifically, it sounds like you’re offering food way too often. Just let him chill for at least a week, if not 2. There’s no need to offer food any more frequently than once a week. Offering food too frequently can actually make snakes even less likely to eat. I know it can be hard to NOT do anything when you’re concerned, but snakes can go months without eating, so he’s at no risk of starving to death. I suspect being offered food multiple times a week is part of why he’s been refusing.
Okay. I appreciate you and Caron answering
I think I will try in about a week then and see where we’re at. I’m still really new to having him (only been like 3-4 months) and he’s my first snake so I’m trying really hard to learn everything that I haven’t already learned when researching and like behavioral stuff
Thanks for the help !! <3
I feel ya. Snakes’ eating habits are so different from most other animals, so I understand why it’s easy to panic when they refuse our offerings. I used to start spinning out when my first snake would refuse a meal, but over time you start to catch on to the fact that an occasional refusal is often just part of having a snake.
Update on Norman:
He has made a giant kinda solid poop today!! I’ve been offering food like once a week for 2 weeks now and he has not eaten. So today we offered a laynelabs large pinky (what he’s been eating for a while) to see if he’d eat since our other mice I think had gone bad.
I am a little concerned about the poop and as it is not his normal poop texture if that makes sense and it looks reallly solid. Should I bump up humidity or just make sure he has more clean water or something?? I’m trying not to overfeed him because I know hogs can get overweight quickly.
Actually @ssssarah, his poop looks ok to me…….
I’m growing a little more concerned because he still refuses to eat anything. He shows interest but ultimately slithers away and doesn’t eat at all
Should I try feeding other prey items?? I know that may not help or be the best idea in case he doesn’t go back to pinkies but I’m willing to try like anything atp lol
He’s lost 2 grams in I think 4-5 weeks (20g to 18g) which I feel isn’t terrible but he’s quite small for a yearling I think so I don’t know what’s wrong anymore
He looks good and doesn’t appear underweight and is pretty active so I feel like I’m both worrying too much and too little
Have you tried putting him and his rodent in a small Tupperware container with a few air holes for ventilation? My hoggie is in a cozy tub but he won’t eat unless I put him and his ft fuzzy in a Tupperware container and I put the container inside his tub. As soon as I put him in the Tupperware container with his fuzzy he immediately focuses on his fuzzy and eats it……
I haven’t tried that no. But I think I may try that next time I feed him, or at least putting him in his travel bin cause I don’t wanna waste the pinkies (I just bought a new brand to see if that was the issue in a smaller more expensive quantity)
Do you think if that doesn’t work I could try feeding him like a boiled egg (cut up with calcium powder on it) to see if he’d eat that instead or something that’s not a pinkie??
Well you could try the egg but I wouldn’t put anything on it. Have you been dusting the pinks?
The only problem with substituting other foods and scenting in place of rodents is that if he was eating rodents before he will eat them again eventually. My vet told me this once when I was having trouble with one of mine. And I definitely respect her opinion. You just have to figure out the best way to get him to focus on eating and not surfing his enclosure.
I am thinking the container feeding will help him focus on the task (or pink) at hand. Although my hoggie is in a small tub he just has to have his food right under his nose (snout) lol before he will notice it. Once he does it’s BAM! He’s on it.
At this point you don’t want to “muddy the waters yet” until you have tried every possible technique with his rodents.
If you just have tried to feed him wait 3 or 4 days and do the container thing. Then update. Fingers crossed !
We’ve been waiting about 4-5 days to feed him. So I will try the tub idea before going to any other options.
I don’t plan to scent any food unless we absolutely have to either!! I haven’t been dusting the pinks, I tried one time and he refused to eat it but ate an undusted one a few days later. He has uvb and all so I’ve been wondering if I should try it again or get a different kind (I got one that’s calcium plus LoD since I saw that was good for them ?)
Hopefully it goes well in a few days!! Thank you for your help
If we can figure out how to get him to be a good boy and eat his “vegetables” he doesn’t need extra calcium at all. The whole rodent, bones and all, will provide all the calcium he needs. I can understand why he refused a “powdered pink”! . A calcium supplement is just not necessary.
Also since hoggies spend most of their time burrowing, I don’t think the uvb light is necessary either. I am sure others will strongly disagree but it’s just my humble opinion. I say that because my boy is in a tub and he is eating, growing and thriving with only his under tank heat mat. However again, how you keep your hognose is a personal choice as long as it is eating and growing.
So we will wait and see what happens next……
I agree with what @caron said about the calcium. It won’t hurt to do it every once and a while (once a month max) and actually can be beneficial but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. However in my opinion, I think all animals can and will benefit from UVB especially diurnal species like hognoses. The calcium might actually be causing him to not eat because his body is telling him he has more than he needs. Just my thoughts. Hope he starts eating soon!
Just to comment, some breeders recommend feeding hogs up to twice a week, just very small meals. There’s a variety of reasons why they do it from what I read, but it isn’t entirely uncommon for people to feed on this kind of schedule with hogs.