I recently bought a retic from a third party because the person wasn’t giving it time or care it needed. He claimed it was eating L-XL rats, but also claimed it was 3-4 months old. It’s a male, Orange-glow Tiger Paradox that is about 4 feet long, and hasn’t eaten in close to 2-2.5 months. Temperatures are good, humidity is fine, keeping him in a MartyMade 4x2x2 enclosure, but no matter what I offer he is terrified and refuses to eat. I’ve tried live, stunned, and frozen/thawed with no success. Anyone got any ideas or tips?
I do not have much experience with retics. Have kept one for a short time for someone but not long term. Not sure if they adapt well to moving from a smaller enclosure to a larger one. If the person you got the retic from was keeping it in a smaller enclosure or tub it may not feel secure enough to eat. I have had a few of my reptiles that I had to reduce the enclosure size to get them back onto food then moved them back to the larger one a few months later. I also have a few of my snakes that switch from taking off tongs to wanting to be drop fed. If you have not left a prekilled/frozen overnight I would give that a try.
There are a few things you can do. If he is scared, then the first thing to do is get him in a smaller enclosure. You want the length to be half the length of the snake. So for a 4 foot snake, you would want about a 2 foot enclosure. And for the width you just want to make sure they can lay in a nice coil without being too cramped. Timid snakes may even need it to be a little bit smaller than that or add logs, hides, and plants to cover more space. I have a 14 foot pied female that won’t eat in anything bigger than a 6 foot enclosure. Once you size his enclosure down, first try offering a small frozen thawed meal. If that doesn’t work, try offering a small live meal. For both, first try with tongs, if he doesn’t take, then just leave it in there for the night. If you leave a live meal in there, keep a close eye on him to make sure the meal doesn’t injure the snake. If that doesn’t work, then you can put the snake in a small Tupperware tub with the meal. If all of that fails, you can try assit feeding. It is a bit difficult. You can check out some youtube videos on it. The difference is, I’ll only get the rat partially down the throat and put them back to finish the work. I’ve taken on a lot of rescues over the years, and for a few of them, I’ve had to resort to assist feeding once or twice before they took it on their own. And at 4 feet, i would say he’s more than likely a yearling.
I agree with both @anthonybarr88 & @c_nichols about the enclosure size and making sure it feels secure. Also I’d like to say that yes the retic can eat large rats, but I am still just giving my 6’ jag mediums weekly. The prey size may be scaring the snake if it is insecure right now. Try doing smaller sized rats weekly see if it helps. Good luck! Would love to see a pic!
Yes. And like @banereptiles said, smaller meals. I actually feed my retics smaller meals in general. The only time I feed big meals is getting a female ready for breeding season. Retics are long narrow snakes. Over fed can be as bad as under fed.
I have no experience/knowledge of retics but yes, if a snake doesn’t feel secure/safe, it will not eat, so as not to be vulnerable if attacked. Retics are no different than any other snakes in that respect.
If I could manage the care of a retic I would get one in a heartbeat! They are truly magnificent animals!
Good luck with your new boy!!!