How Do I Feed My Snake?
How do I feed your snake? What are the dos and don’ts? It’s all explained here:
Where to feed it?
It is advisable to feed it outside its terrarium, in a fauna box for example (small plastic terrarium) and those, for several reasons :
- A snake that is fed in its terrarium, will tend, by reflex, to attack as soon as the terrarium is opened.
- The rodent’s smell tends to stay and disturbs your animal, which continues to search for new prey.
- The risk of swallowing a piece of substrate while swallowing its prey (possible occlusion).
On the other hand, there are stressed animals that will not accept food after handling.
There are two solutions:
Solution number 1:
The first solution is to take your animal out of its terrarium, place it in a fauna box, and deposit the prey.
Leave him for a few hours in peace and quiet and check if he has eaten well.
Solution number 2:
The second solution is to feed your snake with tongs in the terrarium.
While making sure that it does not ingest any piece of substrate, this technique has the advantage of not being a source of stress.
Read more: What Animals Can Keep Snakes Away?
Make sure that the prey is warm enough (body temperature of prey oscillating between 36 and 38 degrees on average).
This will increase the odour given off by the rodent and encourage the snake to eat.
Some snakes whose pythons have heat-sensitive dimples that allow them to locate their meal by the heat released by the body of the prey.
The most commonly used method is thawing in hot water (be careful not to cook the animal). Depending on the size of the prey, this can take from 5 minutes for a rosé mouse to 30 minutes for large prey. You will present the prey, if possible, after removing as much water as possible by wiping the rodent.
Make sure that the entire animal is thawed (by palpation if necessary) to avoid regurgitation of your snake.
It is possible to give live animals but …
This practice, although appreciated by some owners is not without risks!
Although the attack is generally extremely fast, it happens that rodents manage to bite the snake (during constriction in particular) which can inflict serious injuries.
What does my snake eat?
What does my snake eat? An unavoidable question to ask before purchasing … Although there are exceptions, the majority of snakes are carnivorous and feed on rodents.
ou will find mainly in trade:
- Rats/mice: they are day-old newborns
- Raccoon/mouse: these are racoon/mice a few days old, whose first hairs appear.
- Jumping mice: these are young mice that usually move by jumping.
- Young rats: these are small rats
- Adult rats or mice: their weight may vary depending on the individual.
The type of prey is to be adapted according to the size of the snake:
- The rodent must be one and a half times the largest diameter of the snake’s body.
- Thus a young Panterophis guttatus (Wheat Snake) will feed on mouse roe, while an adult Boa constrictor will be able to feed on adult rats or larger prey.
Read more: The Most Dangerous Snakes in The World
How often should I eat my snake?
How often should you feed your pet? Why hasn’t it been eating for the past 2 weeks? We answer your questions …
Feeding frequency :
- A young snake will need to eat more than an adult snake, it is during the first two years of its life that its growth will be the fastest.
- We can therefore afford to increase the frequency of meals so that it has enough energy to develop.
- Thus, a juvenile will generally be fed every 5 to 7 days, and an adult every 7 to 15 days, depending on the species and individual.
Why doesn’t my snake feed?
There can be many reasons, but don’t panic, very few snakes that don’t eat will stop feeding to the point of death.
The main reasons are:
- An inadequate temperature (too hot or too cold)
- Moulting period, although some snakes will eat even during this period, most will refuse a meal when they are moulting.
- Stress, too frequent or too long manipulations, unsuitable terrarium, modification of its environment…
- Season, some species may refuse to feed during the winter (this is due to the decrease in the number of hours of sunshine in particular) such as the Royal Python.
There may also be, in rare cases, a pathological reason.
Consult a veterinarian specializing in New Pets in case of weight loss or prolonged fasting, if none of the above reasons are observed.