So I have a hatchling who hatched on 5/20 and shed on 5/30. I have consistently offered him a live mouse hopper once weekly and he has not taken his first meal. He weighed 73 grams after his first shed and has lost about 10 grams since. His body condition is starting to deteriorate and I need to get some food in him. Any suggestions help!
You’re coming up on 6 weeks without feeding on its own so it is probably time to assist feed. It isn’t easy. I would suggest using a small prekilled mouse hopper and dipping it in water. Push it head first into the animals mouth and then you’re going to have to hold it there until it stops trying to spit it out and starts eating it. It may take a few attempts because the snake is going to want to spit the prey item out. Even if it takes it, you may have to assist feed it several times before it will start eating on its own. Good luck.
Would it matter if I used a fuzzy mouse or would a pinky/fuzzy rat be okay?
It doesn’t make a difference to the snake, I just find that the fur on the mouse helps it slide in a little easier, and mouse hoppers tend to be smaller than rat fuzzies. If you have a rat pinky, I would suggest using it. What did you do with the mouse hoppers he didn’t eat? Did you euthanize them and freeze them?
Small meals are easier to assist feed but make sure it’s enough of a meal that it benefits from it. They pay a metabolic cost to digest a meal, you need to exceed that cost or the snake will just tread water and not grow.
I offered the hoppers he didn’t eat to other hatchlings from the same clutch