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FF, TF or not?

TandJ
12-26-2010, 08:56 PM
What do we think about the ethics of force feeding/tube feeding corn babies? Good or Bad?

I simple refuse to do eithier, I have the circle of life in my racks.. Eat or be eatten.. I also refuse to be responsible for passing on crap genetics if it was truely a genetic issue, like I had with the het dilute projects..


Regards.. Tim of T and J

susang
12-26-2010, 09:21 PM
My honest opinion is "way to go". It's like the big debate on hybrids awhile back and still see it: It was labeled Creamsicle but when I breed do I have to say that. I guess the way I see it the real hobby is seeing what you can get within a project if it turns out bad so be it, don't pass it on. I also have learned don't breed just to breed, yes I did, but the results were common snakes and well worth not much. Pretty butttt.
I have watched a few small breeders on here take their time work toward a goal, it's my opinion that is the way to go.
To much get everything I can as fast as I can breed it and then pass it on, doesn't help the hobby.

VickyChaiTea
12-26-2010, 09:23 PM
IF it is a genetics issue. Who's is to say that it's not a behavioral issue, brought on by environment rather than genetic disposition? What makes you think genes has to do with snakes refusing to eat?

I say you put a time limit on it. If the snake doesn't start eating on it's own by year two, at least sporadically, then it should most likely be put down.

MysticExotics
12-26-2010, 09:47 PM
I view force feeding & tube feeding a little differently. I have not force fed, but I have tube fed, with some success.
I have talked with a few breeders, & with some thread posts, my view on assist feeding has changed (& I now will tube feed, whereas before, I was hesitant to do so).

I no longer believe that refusing to eat is necessarily a genetics issue. We are offering a prey that they would not normally encounter in the wild, & on top of that, domestic mice are stinky, even as pinkies. (Which is likely why washing them can be a sucessful way to get them to eat sometimes).

(My) process will be, that if a hatchling doesn't eat within the first few feedings, I will tube feed for a few feedings, then offer again. I have had success with this method, so I will continue to do so.
I have found, that if a hatchling has not eaten for a long time, likely, even tube feeding won't make a difference.

Larger scale breeders don't necessarily have the time to tube feed babies that start off slowly, & I know some will send those babies to someone to work with, who has more time to do so. I have taken in a handful of hatchlings for this purpose. I've had success with some, & have lost a few (that never ate, for months).

IMO, I would think there is a better chance of injuring the hatchling by force feeding, than tube feeding, but tube feeding does have it's risks.

My sole surviving hatchling, from an Ultramel female that gave me a surprise clutch of eggs (on 4th of July) is a prime example of successful tube feeding.
She ate 1/2 pinky the day she had her first shed, but then refused the next 3 feedings. I tube fed her a few times, then began offering pinkies again, & she has become an established eater.

I don't fault those that chose not to tube feed or force feed.
I still am at a managable level to where I can take in problem feeders & will be more than happy to work with them. It's a great feeling to see them thrive.

MysticExotics
12-26-2010, 09:54 PM
What do we think about the ethics of force feeding/tube feeding corn babies? Good or Bad?

I simple refuse to do eithier, I have the circle of life in my racks.. Eat or be eatten.. I also refuse to be responsible for passing on crap genetics if it was truely a genetic issue, like I had with the het dilute projects..


Regards.. Tim of T and J

I wanted to add that I agree with this. IMHO, there's no need to pass on bad genetics, & unless you are allowing someone to take that animal as a pet only, & you know they won't breed them (if the animal otherwise has good quality of life), then that is fine as well.

If Joe Smoe stated they wanted one of those animals, & then decided to breed it, (he) is continuing a line that should not be in existance.

Just my $.02 :D

susang
12-26-2010, 09:55 PM
I guess part of my thinking is in nature they would either eat or die. Yes we create a non-natural environment for them and maybe should give it some extra effort but I really don't think so. Given all circumstances are the same one eats one doesn't ????
It is however nice to see this debated peacefully, as everyone has different views and criteria on breeding.

VickyChaiTea
12-26-2010, 10:18 PM
How many snakes do you think refuse to eat in the wild? Honestly, as far as I know, it's something that only occurs in captivity, meaning it's CAUSED by being in captivity.

Lennycorn
12-26-2010, 10:32 PM
Interesting.. but what make you think it's not genetic but a behavioral issue. I haven't read up on the issue so I haven't a clue either way.

MysticExotics
12-26-2010, 10:42 PM
I guess part of my thinking is in nature they would either eat or die. Yes we create a non-natural environment for them and maybe should give it some extra effort but I really don't think so. Given all circumstances are the same one eats one doesn't ????
It is however nice to see this debated peacefully, as everyone has different views and criteria on breeding.

Yes, in nature they would either eat or die (if presented with natural diet). That was my thought before discussing this topic with other breeders. Since we offer a food that they would not eat in nature, we are giving them a disadvantage at surviving.

My thought now, is that if a hatchling, such as my little girl Mystery, who might not have thrived if I just left it to "eat or die", is doing quite well, on her own now, after a few tube feedings. She's now on a path of growing up to be a healthy snake.

It does make me sad about those hatchlings that otherwise could grow up to thrive, but that is a decision that each breeder has to make.
Like I said, I do not fault those who chose not to go to any additional measures.
I, personally, don't view it as "extra effort", I just think that those hatchlings that do eat right away are super easy.

I do think it's important to offer the assisted feeding, if you're going to do so. From what I have seen, when they go too long without eating, they just cannot be saved.

For my future clutches, (since this is the first year I will have my own, planned breedings) I will offer tube feeding if they do not become established eaters within the first few feedings.

susang
12-26-2010, 10:44 PM
How many snakes do you think refuse to eat in the wild? Honestly, as far as I know, it's something that only occurs in captivity, meaning it's CAUSED by being in captivity.

I'm not sure but I do think many species (reptiles, mammals...) fail to eat in the wild and die. It's the whole circle of life, survival of the fittest.

MysticExotics
12-26-2010, 10:48 PM
How many snakes do you think refuse to eat in the wild? Honestly, as far as I know, it's something that only occurs in captivity, meaning it's CAUSED by being in captivity.
IMO, I think that the majority of the "cause" of refused feedings is that we offer a food they wouldn't eat in the wild.
I am sure there are cases where some hatchlings do not start eating in the wild, but those are more likely to be genetic problems, or health problems, that likely lead to "natural selection".

MysticExotics
12-26-2010, 10:57 PM
My honest opinion is "way to go". It's like the big debate on hybrids awhile back and still see it: It was labeled Creamsicle but when I breed do I have to say that. I guess the way I see it the real hobby is seeing what you can get within a project if it turns out bad so be it, don't pass it on. I also have learned don't breed just to breed, yes I did, but the results were common snakes and well worth not much. Pretty butttt.
I have watched a few small breeders on here take their time work toward a goal, it's my opinion that is the way to go.
To much get everything I can as fast as I can breed it and then pass it on, doesn't help the hobby.

Are you asking if you need to label a Creamsickle as a hybrid? (I'm just trying to see if I am reading this right.)
If that is your question there, IMO, I do think as a breeder, it is ethical to let the buyer know (if they don't already) that it is a hybrid morph. How much % of the hybrid, is hard to say, but seeing as many buyers are not familiar with morphs & hybrids, it's our job as breeders to make sure they know what they're getting. It may not even matter to the buyer, but I still think it's important to let them know.

ghosthousecorns
12-26-2010, 11:08 PM
I started this (http://www.cornsnakes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105714) thread with my personal view on the subject and it remains the same. I will no longer nurse along animals that are not doing well in captivity. What would happen in the wild to these is unknown but I suspect they would be food for other things. Would some of them find a lizard, small bird or other food item if they didnīt care for mice? Maybe, but I am breeding snakes in captivity to be sold as pets in captivity where pinky mice is the most popular and widely available food. I am in complete agreement with you Tim.

susang
12-26-2010, 11:09 PM
Sorry that was a question a time back (year or two). The fact that some breeders (newer ones) dont' want to put hybrid or try to redetermine their morph so it won't be a hybrid. It got very heated. Exactly if the buyer doesn't care and then breeds thats all I'm trying to say. Like they may not care it was a poor feeder but they should know.
Are you asking if you need to label a Creamsickle as a hybrid? (I'm just trying to see if I am reading this right.)
If that is your question there, IMO, I do think as a breeder, it is ethical to let the buyer know (if they don't already) that it is a hybrid morph. How much % of the hybrid, is hard to say, but seeing as many buyers are not familiar with morphs & hybrids, it's our job as breeders to make sure they know what they're getting. It may not even matter to the buyer, but I still think it's important to let them know.

bitsy
12-27-2010, 06:26 AM
Honestly, as far as I know, it's something that only occurs in captivity, meaning it's CAUSED by being in captivity.
There's absolutely no way to know that though. I do remember reading somewhere that of wild-laid Corn eggs, only 10%* hatch and have the resulting hatchlings survive to adulthood.

Non-feeders in the wild would form a very valuable part of the food chain and wouldn't live as long as they do in captivity. Non-feeding Corn hatchlings in the wild are a resource, not a waste of life. Evolution and the balance of nature are wonderful things which take advantage of weak or non-thriving animals.

In captivity, we see the tip of the iceberg in terms of natural Corn Snake mortality in their early life.

I force fed for a few seasons. However all my force feeders eventually died, despite not regurging and apparently digesting normally after feeding. I decided that either hatchlings eat D/F, or they don't.

_______
*EDIT: Sorry - stat above should read 1%, not 10%

baitman
12-27-2010, 07:42 AM
I am a great believer in the natural selection process.

The only time i would consider any of the options above would be if the subject was a rare subject.......

this aplies to ALL species, not just snakes........

just my opinion

Skully23
12-27-2010, 09:54 AM
I started this (http://www.cornsnakes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105714) thread with my personal view on the subject and it remains the same. I will no longer nurse along animals that are not doing well in captivity. What would happen in the wild to these is unknown but I suspect they would be food for other things. Would some of them find a lizard, small bird or other food item if they didnīt care for mice? Maybe, but I am breeding snakes in captivity to be sold as pets in captivity where pinky mice is the most popular and widely available food. I am in complete agreement with you Tim.

I really don't like the idea of this thread. I suppose what you and Tim are saying is that..you're not going to help a helpless animal because that is how it is in nature? Mind this but humans are often born into this world and some come out normal and some don't. There are those who need help constantly and we keep them alive. If you were to be taken into both aspects of animals and humans...you wouldn't help them get started? You would just put them down or watch them suffer? If this is even right to do to animals then why don't you and many others start doing it to the unfortunate humans who come out disformed. =equality=

There's absolutely no way to know that though. I do remember reading somewhere that of wild-laid Corn eggs, only 10%* hatch and have the resulting hatchlings survive to adulthood.
_______
*EDIT: Sorry - stat above should read 1%, not 10%

I believe this. I watched a video on crocodiles in biology. They flim natural life to get an idea of what really happens. The female lays her eggs and rests on top of them buried in the sand. She will leave every so often then come back when time to hatch. She dug them out and by the time she had time to transfer them to the water...half were taken through air, eggs were tore open to eat, and big fish ate them. By that time she had about 5 babies...out of 50 some eggs? It's sad to watch but that is how it happens.

ghosthousecorns
12-27-2010, 03:49 PM
Ummm... Skully, I suspect you might not really like my view on the human race and its worth to this planet either. But you can't possibly compare the two. Apples and Oranges...
Maybe a better analogy would be a pet dog. No I wouldn't want a weak one to pass on genes that made its offspring a bad pet that didn't want to eat and wasted away for its new owner.. Only difference is that you CAN spay or neuter a dog (or a human for that matter :idea: ) making the passing on of undesirable genes a moot point.

Jessicat
12-27-2010, 04:10 PM
I've only had one problem feeder die on me, so I don't have a lot of real life experience in the area. He came to me for free with another order, ate some meals, didn't really gain any weight, and one day was dead.

I accepted it as natural.

I feel it's un natural to force a non eating snake to eat and live. Snakes over produce knowing that not all of them will survive in the wild. In our controlled environments, many more survive than would have. Just because they can survive though, doesn't necessarily mean they should.

Considering how flooded our hobby is right now with unwanted snakes, we shouldn't be nursing sickly animals to health. Corn Snakes should need minimal assistance from us to survive.

Assist feeding an animal seems like a way of perpetuating an un natural life, and for who's benefit is this? Many people would say the snake's life, but let's get honest here and admit that keeping an animal alive that should other wise have died is really for us.

We create SO many snakes, that it seems like we will run into a lot of problems if we don't let nature take it's course at least a little, and decide when a snake just shouldn't make it.

Skully23
12-27-2010, 05:52 PM
Ummm... Skully, I suspect you might not really like my view on the human race and its worth to this planet either. But you can't possibly compare the two. Apples and Oranges...
Maybe a better analogy would be a pet dog. No I wouldn't want a weak one to pass on genes that made its offspring a bad pet that didn't want to eat and wasted away for its new owner.. Only difference is that you CAN spay or neuter a dog (or a human for that matter :idea: ) making the passing on of undesirable genes a moot point.

I don't know if I am understanding right but I value equality in life. I don't value the human race as you nor the animals. I value the life of an animal compared to a human. We act as rulers and take the lives of animals that could completely live a healthy life with a little boost. If you guys are talking about how you put a snake down because of bad genes...then I don't like it...it's a value of life I respect. Those snakes could live fine with help if needed but just don't breed them.

If their life is acceptable to living with a few changes then let them but if not I understand...(such as: guts hanging out, deformaty beyond comfortablity..etc)

Correct me if I'm misunderstanding.

ghosthousecorns
12-27-2010, 06:30 PM
In part I was being facetious because in your post I thought you were making an analogy between helping along a sickly snake and helping out a human that is born disabled and would have some difficulty surviving. I just don't feel it is a fair comparison to make. What makes us human is that we would help each other out, that we have a society, a civilization or culture that helps its own (in some cases, but man has a very ugly side also- perhaps a topic for another thread though)
Here is the comment in your original post I really disagreed most strongly with:
You would just put them down or watch them suffer?
I do everything I can to get them started, I have an extremely high success rate and have taken non feeders from others to get them started. I try a lot of things. It's just I draw the line at having to force feed or tube feed because in my experience, having bred corn snakes since 2002 every year, the ones that have to force or tube fed usually die anyway. I put them down so they won't suffer. I value their life and I don't want to see an animal existing and wasting away with a very poor quality of life. You may see it as throwing away a life, in my eyes I am sparing a living creature of having to slowly starve to death and the possibility of passing on genes that would doom other snakelings to the same fate.

bitsy
12-27-2010, 06:49 PM
We act as rulers and take the lives of animals that could completely live a healthy life with a little boost.
That's not been my experience with hatchlings that I've force fed. They've kept the food down and digested it, but have never put on weight and died anyway. They didn't go on to live healthy lives, they just took a few months longer to die than they would have. Some are born with internal or developmental defects that mean they won't survive, regardless of how much they eat. These hatchlings are doomed from the start and there's no way of knowing what is causing a refusal to eat. It actually may be a perfectly natural situation for an animal that produces far more young than would be naturally sustainable in the wild.

Those snakes could live fine with help if needed but just don't breed them.
Unfortunately once a snake is given/sold to a new home, you can have no control over whether it's bred or not. The new owner may accept this, but a) there's no guarantee that they'll abide by such an agreement later if the snake appears otherwise healthy and b) if they have to pass it on to someone else, they then have no control over breeding. There's no way a breeder could keep all of their slow starters or assist feeders. A non-breeding clause to any rehoming contract is ultimately unenforceable with Corns.

pgr8dnlvr
12-27-2010, 07:04 PM
In the past I have "nursed along" non feeders I have bred, in all manner of methods including tease feeding, force feeding, tube feeding, and live feeding. I have had a great deal of success with it. However I have not had a great deal of success with the recommendations that those animals don't get bred. I have had a number of people now that I hear of having babies from snakes placed with them as "recovered" non feeders. :(

So now, as of last season, I have decided I won't be working with the "problem" animals anymore. I guess I'm along the same lines as Tim and Ghosthouse. They were likely just not meant to be and it's better to end things quickly BEFORE they have chance of suffering. Unfortunately many people can't be trusted or they end up rehoming animals and not passing along cautionary warnings against breeding. Seems strange when you ask them to call you first before rehoming, but oh well, aren't humans grand?!

The time I would find difficult to not interfere is live and tease feeders, often times just a couple meals like that then they're usually off and running. I guess I'll still be tempted to try that in a few cases, but we shall see.

I sure wish we could find a way to spay or neuter snakes :(...

Rebecca

Nanci
12-27-2010, 07:07 PM
I have a non, never feeder that weighs 4 grams. My options are really limited, at that size. I doubt he could eat a whole live pink. I haven't tubed or FFd him yet. I think with 10 gram hatchlings like my clutch last summer, there would be a lot more options to try.

Skully23
12-27-2010, 08:09 PM
between helping along a sickly snake and helping out a human that is born disabled and would have some difficulty surviving. I just don't feel it is a fair comparison to make. I put them down so they won't suffer. I don't want to see an animal existing and wasting away with a very poor quality of life. I am sparing a living creature of having to slowly starve

I want to compare in a certain way, a disformed sickly human to a sickly snake. As bitsy said, These hatchlings are doomed from the start and there's no way of knowing what is causing a refusal to eat
No matter how much you care and nurse a human they will die in the next few years of their life, so why not keep your mind as pgr8dnlvr said, They were likely just not meant to be and it's better to end things quickly BEFORE they have chance of suffering

I'm trying to express my point as that if you're willing to put a snake down to save it's life from suffer, why can't you accept the same for a human?
and
If a snake can still live healthy why put it down? because your afriad of others breeding them? It's not right...if we can let humans sit on hospital beds their whole life or feed through their stomach and pee in a bag...taking pills, breathing through thin tubes of fresh oxygen...then why won't you let a snake live if all you have to do is tube/force/tease feed it. I see it as unequal...I'm not talking about comparing an "apple" to an "orange"....(human to a snake) I'm talking about the life...not the ability of the mind, shape, or how much intelligence one has over another.
I have had a great deal of success with it. (people can't be trusted)
Rebecca

I'm glad you have had success and dislike that you quit. If I had my own place right now and money, I would try to take every non feeder and use my time to help and raise them.

Jeff Linkchorst
12-27-2010, 08:41 PM
Tim

I try to keep it simple here. They eat or they are eaten. I don't even like to tease feed. There is nothing more frustrating then a stubborn feeder. If I have to start leaving them in their feeding container overnight to eat. They are starting down the wrong path. I will mark them as something I don't want. After a few more times of this. I start looking at the kings. If you know what I mean. Call me mean and cruel. I call it culling. :shrugs:

ghosthousecorns
12-27-2010, 08:50 PM
I'm trying to express my point as that if you're willing to put a snake down to save it's life from suffer, why can't you accept the same for a human?

In part because a snake does not have a human consciousness, the awareness of its own existence. It is a primal being.
And it is not really me that is not willing to accept the same for a human, it is this system we live in. I certainly would prefer being euthanized to living a life of suffering if I were given a choice, but in this society there is a great deal of controversy over "pulling the plug" on someone and I think in most cases it is only acceptable if the person is "brain dead" or no longer able to be conscious. ever.
It is very kind hearted of you to want to save all the non feeders out there, and many reptile keepers start out feeling that way and rescuing everything we can. But at a certain point it is better for the future of the hobby to be careful what we breed, and as Rebecca said there are no guarantees of a "pet only" home.
This is a good discussion BTW!

Skully23
12-27-2010, 08:57 PM
In part because a snake does not have a human consciousness, the awareness of its own existence. It is a primal being.
And it is not really me that is not willing to accept the same for a human, it is this system we live in. I certainly would prefer being euthanized to living a life of suffering if I were given a choice, but in this society there is a great deal of controversy over "pulling the plug" on someone and I think in most cases it is acceptable if the person is "brain dead" or no longer able to be conscious. ever.
It is very kind hearted of you to want to save all the non feeders out there, and many reptile keepers start out feeling that way and rescuing everything we can. But at a certain point it is better for the future of the hobby to be careful what we breed, and as Rebecca said there are no guarantees of a "pet only" home.
This is a good discussion BTW!

I'm liking this discussion aswell but maybe if you want to continue we should move it to PM?? I'm basically a "pet only" home and really have no interests as of now to breed.

"In part because a snake does not have a human consciousness, the awareness of its own existence. It is a primal being."I still don't get how "we" get this. I think animals know more about the world than we do. They walk, breath, and live as we do. We might have more of a mannered mind but I don't see how we can predict the mind of a non speaking animal.. It comes down to a choice which should be optional...which animals don't have because of "our" ability not to understand them by words.

Jeff Linkchorst
12-27-2010, 08:58 PM
I have a non, never feeder that weighs 4 grams. My options are really limited, at that size. I doubt he could eat a whole live pink. I haven't tubed or FFd him yet. I think with 10 gram hatchlings like my clutch last summer, there would be a lot more options to try.

Nanci
I had some good luck with runts. I would cut the pinky's head off. Feed the body section to a known eater. Offer the head to the little guy/girl. I have good luck getting runts to eat that way. It does take a bit of time to get them to whole bodies this way though. I don't offer live though just frozen.

Nanci
12-27-2010, 09:46 PM
Thanks Jeff. He has so far refused pink heads, washed, lizard-scented, brained, and live wriggling baby anole tail. I guess I still can try all the chicken and fish scents. I'm just worn down by him. He has not lost one gram, in three months. I'm a little tempted to let him go out in my turtle pen in the spring, if he's still alive. Let him go find what he wants, or become part of the food chain.

Jeff Linkchorst
12-27-2010, 09:54 PM
Darn Nanci. Sorry about it. I thought I had a good one for ya. Sorry and Good Luck with the lil one.


P.S. Did you try using chicken broth? To add a new scent.

Lennycorn
12-27-2010, 09:55 PM
I'm liking this discussion aswell but maybe if you want to continue we should move it to PM?? I'm basically a "pet only" home and really have no interests as of now to breed.



I'm liking this discussion too and Iím a pet owner of sorts but don't take it to PMs where we canít view the thoughts on the subject and come to our own conclusions.

Skully23
12-27-2010, 11:43 PM
I'm liking this discussion too and Iím a pet owner of sorts but don't take it to PMs where we canít view the thoughts on the subject and come to our own conclusions.

Don't worry, we haven't taken it to PM.

Jessicat
12-28-2010, 02:04 AM
I put them down so they won't suffer. I value their life and I don't want to see an animal existing and wasting away with a very poor quality of life. You may see it as throwing away a life, in my eyes I am sparing a living creature of having to slowly starve to death and the possibility of passing on genes that would doom other snakelings to the same fate.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. As I stated previously, when it comes to tube and force feeding, the benefit is for the human, not the snake. Weather it's perpetuating the snake's life because it's a hot new morph, or because we feel bad (this is sill a self serving purpose), it is for our benefit rather than the snake's.

Also, as Jenn stated, it seems like I read about snakes who end up dying anyway after a stressful force or tube feeding debacle.

I think one of the problems here is people project human feelings and moral codes onto the animals involved.


If a snake can still live healthy why put it down? because your afriad of others breeding them?
It doesn't seem as though you've been actually reading people's posts..
It's been said a few times by people with experience that snakes that need to be assist fed by force or tube generally end up dying anyway. They don't have normal healthy lives.
As someone who doesn't have any real life experience with this subject matter, perhaps you should just listen to the experts?

ghosthousecorns
12-28-2010, 07:47 AM
Well I also don't see the need to go to PM's as long as the discussion is still relevant to the topic, unless Timmah kicks us out of his thread... If anything maybe start a new thread?
Anyway, I did want to address the comparison between snakes and humans a little more - as far as awareness/ consciousness goes. A snake's brain is a really small pea sized organ, while our human brains are complex and contain areas where consciousness, memory, awareness, language, the sense of "I" are able to develop. But a snake can only know things that it is immediately experiencing - hunger pangs, pain, cold, urge to mate, things like that. It doesn't know "I am a snake" the way you and I know "I am a person" and it can be easy to forget that, they have even coined a word for it when you assign human feelings to animals it's called anthropomorphizing ...

Nanci
12-28-2010, 08:33 AM
You know what I always wonder about. What is a snake thinking when it hovers in the front of its viv, and you slide out the bin, and offer your hand, and the snake climbs out, and you carry it around, and it isn't getting fed, or trying to escape, or trying to hide- I wonder what the snake is experiencing. When I take a snake out and sit, watching TV, giving it a little snakey back massage, and the snake lies perfectly still- is it experiencing pleasure? I just wonder what they think, when they are appearing to enjoy, or at least not run away from, our attentions.

Skully23
12-28-2010, 10:19 AM
It doesn't seem as though you've been actually reading people's posts..
As someone who doesn't have any real life experience with this subject matter, perhaps you should just listen to the experts?

I have been reading the posts and I listen to experts a lot but it doesn't make them right.

But a snake can only know things that it is immediately experiencing - hunger pangs, pain, cold, urge to mate, things like that. It doesn't know "I am a snake" the way you and I know "I am a person" and it can be easy to forget that, they have even coined a word for it when you assign human feelings to animals it's called anthropomorphizing ...
I'm not assigning human "feelings" to an animal. I am saying they have a life which we easily take away because of our own judgement. I really don't know how any tests or studies can assume that a snake doesn't think it's a snake or what immediate experiences it has...You would probably have to be the snake's brain yourself to understand it.

You know what I always wonder about. What is a snake thinking when it hovers in the front of its viv, and you slide out the bin, and offer your hand, and the snake climbs out, and you carry it around, and it isn't getting fed, or trying to escape, or trying to hide- I wonder what the snake is experiencing. When I take a snake out and sit, watching TV, giving it a little snakey back massage, and the snake lies perfectly still- is it experiencing pleasure? I just wonder what they think, when they are appearing to enjoy, or at least not run away from, our attentions.

I wonder this also. Animals "apparently" don't have the ability to feel pleasure in ways we think is not normal for an animal. You ever wonder why a cat will come purr and rub on you? Or why a dog gets really excited when you come home? There is something deeper....but I watched a movie about dolphines once and they have made studies that dolphines have s** for pleasure and react to their own reflection in a mirror. I work with an animal sanctuary and the chimp there has done many things...intelligent things. Such as, screw driver it grabbed ahold of from someone and started unscrewing screws. It even got hold of a saw and began sawing the wood.(construction was being done on his home during the time)
You can't possibly explain how he did that because that isn't "animal behavior".

ghosthousecorns
12-28-2010, 10:46 AM
I absolutely agree that a chimp or dolphin can be intelligent,a dog or cat can experience something that is like love or affection in human terms, etc, But all of those examples are mammals. Their brains are bigger and more highly evolved than the brain of a reptile. It's been a while since I took Biology but I do recall that the human brain has a base fundamental part that is referred to sometimes as the "reptile" part of the brain? But then we and other mammals also have developed other more evolved parts to our brain that animals like reptiles and birds don't have (hence the term like "bird brain")
But kind of back on topic, I do want to say again is that I don't euthanize any snake if I do think it has a chance to live a healthy life, I think it is perfectly OK to start a snake by tease feeding, live, scenting with assorted things. I don't condemn other breeders who choose to tube feed since I know others have had success with it, including Kathy Love. But I am always able to get almost all of my hatchlings to eat voluntarily by trying many different things and I give them tons of chances to eat, I only put them down if they start to look frail. Many snakes hatch out with enough reserves to last for months without having to eat and I take that into account. My opinion is that the ones I have put down (and it has not been that many) wouldn't have made good pets and I brought them into this world so that does give me the responsibility to make that decision, as every breeder has to do for themselves.

Skully23
12-28-2010, 10:56 AM
I absolutely agree that a chimp or dolphin can be intelligent,a dog or cat can experience something that is like love or affection in human terms, etc, But all of those examples are mammals. Their brains are bigger and more highly evolved than the brain of a reptile. It's been a while since I took Biology but I do recall that the human brain has a base fundamental part that is referred to sometimes as the "reptile" part of the brain? But then we and other mammals also have developed other more evolved parts to our brain that animals like reptiles and birds don't have (hence the term like "bird brain")
But kind of back on topic, I do want to say again is that I don't euthanize any snake if I do think it has a chance to live a healthy life, I think it is perfectly OK to start a snake by tease feeding, live, scenting with assorted things. I don't condemn other breeders who choose to tube feed since I know others have had success with it, including Kathy Love. But I am always able to get almost all of my hatchlings to eat voluntarily by trying many different things and I give them tons of chances to eat, I only put them down if they start to look frail. Many snakes hatch out with enough reserves to last for months without having to eat and I take that into account. My opinion is that the ones I have put down (and it has not been that many) wouldn't have made good pets and I brought them into this world so that does give me the responsibility to make that decision, as every breeder has to do for themselves.

I like that you give it a chance with feedings.

If only parents said that lol (because they brought us here) "I brought them into this world..." I'm not going to bring something into this world to put down and I'm not going to have that kinda of attitude because of my "higher" brain. I would give it time and try every possible feeding..if it died on me then I know it wasn't meant or if it had serious problems..I would put it down.

Mammals or not...at work there are three iguanas. When I touch them to pet them they raise and close their eyes. They love being sprayed too. I think anything has some sort of feeling but not exactly "human" like. Reptiles do seem to have less intelligence as you mention but they still have something.

bitsy
12-28-2010, 06:40 PM
I would give it time and try every possible feeding..if it died on me then I know it wasn't meant or if it had serious problems..I would put it down.
So the real discussion is over where the line ought to be drawn and what constitutes "enough suffering"?

In the scenarios I've faced, what would you have done? Hatchlings that won't eat of their own accord, despite trying all the tricks (including offering live pinkies). You're force-feeding them apparently successfully, but after three months of this they still aren't putting on weight or growing.

When do you decide to euthanase? Or do you just continue the force-feeding and let nature take its course? I'm just asking because I've never euthanased anything apart from one badly kinked hatchling that could physically never have swallowed food. I sometimes wish I'd had more courage than to watch non-feeders fade in front of me over weeks or months.

VickyChaiTea
12-28-2010, 06:59 PM
One thing I don't get about all this "let nature take it's course" thing is what about all the morphs that would die in the wild? Surely, amels/lavenders/blizzards would all get caught and killed in the wild. Where do you draw the line of what is natural enough and what isn't?

And it DOES benefit the snake if after being force fed or tube fed, it starts to eat on it's own.

Skully23
12-28-2010, 07:38 PM
So the real discussion is over where the line ought to be drawn and what constitutes "enough suffering"?

In the scenarios I've faced, what would you have done? Hatchlings that won't eat of their own accord, despite trying all the tricks (including offering live pinkies). You're force-feeding them apparently successfully, but after three months of this they still aren't putting on weight or growing.

When do you decide to euthanase? Or do you just continue the force-feeding and let nature take its course? I'm just asking because I've never euthanased anything apart from one badly kinked hatchling that could physically never have swallowed food. I sometimes wish I'd had more courage than to watch non-feeders fade in front of me over weeks or months.

Basically I'm trying to say where the line should extend and not be taken.
I have taken this thread as if the snake does not come out "healthy, strong, and undeformed" then put it down for the lack of wanting to give it a chance.
Your scenario makes sense and yet I don't believe you should view every snake as not gaining any weight within "3 months"...maybe it takes longer? Maybe reading Kathy Love and taking time will give it a chance to finally feed on its own. (some pointed out Kathy) I read that many of these members have success with tube feeding.)

To be honest, I don't know where I would draw my line without being faced with the scenario. Like I mentioned before...the line is quickly drawn at these examples: guts hanging out, deformity beyond comfortablity, etc..
I have never killed an animal by choice or accident. I have almost hit a dog and two deer(with my truck) but managed to steer myself away safely...I'd hate to take the life of anything with no positive reason.

Nature will always take its course no matter how hard you try or how experienced you are.

TandJ
01-22-2011, 02:02 PM
I say you put a time limit on it. If the snake doesn't start eating on it's own by year two, at least sporadically, then it should most likely be put down.

I have a time limit.., three monthes it doesn't eat, it gets eatten.. Don't really care what others feel is the right or wrong thing to do, this is what I do.. No force feeding, no tube feedings, no prolonged suffering. IMHO, what I do is what I can live with..

Widget
01-25-2011, 12:05 AM
Man...go away for a few months and look what happens. :)

So standard disclaimers apply. I haven't breed my snakes, but I've breed lots of other things so I've had to make some tough choices on how far could I reasonably take things before saying enough is enough and doing what is right. That said.

I've dealt with several non/fussy eaters. 2 didn't make it. 1 (corn) died shortly after hatching, the 2nd (cal king) was a sporadic eater that once in a while would only take live, but would occasionally take a f/t, sometimes would refuse for weeks on end. After 6-8 months of stress for both of us he died. I have a 3rd that as a baby wouldn't touch a mouse if he was about to shed/was shedding/just shed. He's mostly outgrown it. If he doesn't eat that time, he gets to wait until his next feeding. Period.

I've tried tease feeding. All it seems to do is stress them out and make it harder to feed them next time. Same with force feeding. I would only consider tube feeding on an established snake that had some sort of illness that was temporary.

Food preference is partially genetic. It's part of the selection process. Those that prefer a given food source that is abundant in one area will not do as well if taken out of that environment and given something else. Some may adapt, others will die. The one's who adapt will produce babies that are more likely to choose the more abundant food source. We are breeding animals in a artificial environment. We can select for animals that do better in that environment. Corns have been breed in captivity for decades and as a result of that selection now have the reputation of being easy to care for eating machines.

So to sum up. I will offer f/t, live, leave them overnight, wash/brain/some scenting (I draw the line at lizard scenting. I see no reason to do in the lizard for this). No force feeding or tube feeding.

Breeding should be taken on with a goal in mind, not just because you have two animals of the appropriate gender. If you can't add/improve something to the breed. Don't do it. Breeding is a serious responsibility and should be treated as such.

Hmmm...I appear to have found a soap box. I think I'll get off it now, I'm afraid of heights.

Oh yeah, my snakes are living, breathing creatures with individual personalities. I've also seen deeper puddles.

Shannon

Dreamsnake
01-25-2011, 02:12 AM
This is my second time reading this thread. I am a mother, but if I was not I'd still be appalled at the idea of equating a snake's life to a human's. I've know many mothers who've had to make the decision that determines the end of their newborns. I experienced the worst depression of my life after having my first son. If there was any complication that ended his life I would have killed myself. Yes, the postpartum depression and amnesia was that bad. A snake would not feel that was for her own young, she may even eat them for dinner.

Anyway...
I love animals, I am in school trying to get into a Vet Tech course, and I think that there is a purity in nature that human's may only strive to achieve. However, human's have perfected domestication from a long time ago. Captive bred corn snakes with all their fancy morphs and recessive hets are a part of human engineering just like any dog breed, house cat, race horse, and farm animal. Many of these animals have gone through massive changes in design over the centuries of human captivity. Several hundreds of dog and horse breeds have gone extinct as well, or were turned into another breed entirely. Culling is a part of captivity, it is not cruel if used as a method to strengthen the lines. I hope there will always be wild corn snakes in gardens everywhere and as long as we continue with breeding wonderful healthy snakes we will not take from the natural environment.

El Jefe
01-25-2011, 09:43 AM
Just to be a stickler...

For those of you who think it is "survival of the fittest" or natural selection--it is not. Unless you have a very large tract of land an allow the snakes to breed with who they want, when they want, and eat whatever they want, you are not participating in natural selection. Some would argue even that scenario is a closed system that has been manipulated as only certain snakes make it into the area based on what humans put in the area. Nevertheless, everything we are doing in captivity is artificial selection. Now, if you want to artificially select those critters that do not eat mice to be out of the population, so be it. But it is NOT natural selection.

Dreamsnake
01-25-2011, 12:40 PM
The first section of "On the Origin of Species" Darwin describes variation under domestication. As humans are a part of the ecosystem, so the animals we select from the wilderness to propagate or not is in term "natural." Human propagation and selection is systematically an evolution of a species. Would anery and amel corns exist in the wild? Possibly. Would they survive to reproduce and make snows? Unlikely.

Our genetic manipulation has caused the morphs of corns to develop. They exist because we let them. Keeping the stock strong is a part of the cycle. Some weak ones will exist, but it is the responsibility of the owner to know when to breed or not as it is the responsibility of the initial breeder to provide the best quality they can for the selection. Snakes are not dogs or cats who can be neutered and adopted out as "pet quality."

Naagas
01-25-2011, 03:12 PM
I know that when dopamine production is lowered in lab mice, the mice will stop eating and breeding.

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that makes us want to eat.

I would think that a snake that had no drive to eat would have a brain chemistry unbalance, where eating wasn't a pleasurable or desirable activity.

In mammals, neurotransmitter deficiencies are genetically linked- or caused by some physical deformation in the formation of the offspring that often comes with a host of other physical problems (think Down's Syndrome).

In a snake, there is no way to tell the difference between a brain chemistry mess-up and a physical condition that isn't able to be genetically passed on that may make life difficult but live-able.

If a snake doesn't eat, you have to wonder if maybe this is nature's way of making sure the snake doesn't survive to suffer even more, or breed young who will suffer.

How will you know if the snake that you force fed for two years is miserable and in pain constantly? Chances are if you can see one serious problem with your snake (its lack of desire to eat), then there are more problems that you can't perceive.

Euthanization may be the kindest fate for a non-feeder, despite any desire we have to see a snake live or die.

And as for humans, I don't think we should make suffering humans live either- but the law in the U.S. says otherwise. You aren't even allowed to end your own suffering. Having watched my great grandmother attempt to end her life in a nursing home, I can say that we don't deal with human suffering in a dignified manner either.

El Jefe
01-26-2011, 09:32 AM
Would anery and amel corns exist in the wild? Possibly. Would they survive to reproduce and make snows? Unlikely.



Exactly. Therefore, is the process that results in a snow natural or artificial?

Dreamsnake
01-26-2011, 02:26 PM
A snow corn is as natural as a bulldog.

The question is do we have a duty to the individual or the collection? Do we keep the gene pool healthy or allow poor material to flourish?

I know people who will not have children because there is a schizophrenic disorder within their family.

Autism runs in my family, but I chose the risk by having children.

Is the point of this thread about humane practices involving snakes, or the implications of genetic conditioning within Homo sapiens?

cthulhu73
01-27-2011, 08:52 PM
Tim

I try to keep it simple here. They eat or they are eaten. I don't even like to tease feed. There is nothing more frustrating then a stubborn feeder. If I have to start leaving them in their feeding container overnight to eat. They are starting down the wrong path. I will mark them as something I don't want. After a few more times of this. I start looking at the kings. If you know what I mean. Call me mean and cruel. I call it culling. :shrugs:

Well done. I used a Large Savannah Monitor

Naagas
01-27-2011, 11:02 PM
A snow corn is as natural as a bulldog.

The question is do we have a duty to the individual or the collection? Do we keep the gene pool healthy or allow poor material to flourish?

I know people who will not have children because there is a schizophrenic disorder within their family.

Autism runs in my family, but I chose the risk by having children.

Is the point of this thread about humane practices involving snakes, or the implications of genetic conditioning within Homo sapiens?

Well said.

El Jefe
01-28-2011, 10:24 AM
Exactly. Therefore, is the process that results in a snow natural or artificial?

A snow corn is as natural as a bulldog.


My question was on the "process" that results in a snow corn in reference to artificial or natural selection. Natural selection does not necessarily refer to whether something is "natural" or not in the truest sense of the word. I will not argue that a snow corn is not natural as it is a snake and was created through natural means of serpentine reproduction. I will, however, assert that the process to create a snow corn is not natural selection and instead artificial selection.

Dreamsnake
01-28-2011, 11:46 AM
I would think that a snow would be unlikely to be produced by nature, much like two wolves having a bulldog type pup in the litter. The multiple recessive snakes are produced by selective breeding contrived by the human element, or the accidental encounters of chance within a breeding room. Human kind has breed animals for thousands of years, now we have the technology to produce these reptiles all across the world. I think it is great that the same garden snakes I played with as a kid are in South Africa, Great Britain, Germany, and where ever else on this planet. I love the morphs that are produced as well as the normals and localities.

I will add that I saw my first snow in 1988 or 1989. I remember the price being well over $400. I now have a snow of my own for which I paid significantly less. If there is a snake that we want and can't afford we can wait until the supply is higher then the demand. Breeders set the price, consumers control the worth.

I'm taking a Bio class and lab this semester, so I'll be learning more about proteins and DNA strands and the like. If I am ever wrong in my statements and conjecture, I will refute them as I believe the spread of knowledge to be more important then opinion.

Asbit
02-02-2011, 11:34 AM
My take on the whole FF or TF idea is this:

If can can visibly see a problem or deformity that I know will cause the snake thriving problems or pain in it's life, it is immediately culled. My reasons for this are:
1) I have taken on the responsibility of the care of these creatures, so I feel that I must make the "hard or not always pleasant" decisions in the best interest of the animal NOT based on my human emotions or moralities. I truly believe that letting my human emotions or moralities get in the way ultimately result in extended suffering for the creature in my care.
2)I am working towards breeding here in Saskatchewan (hopefully this spring) and I believe that if I am going to breed snakes (anything) that I will not keep the animal and sell it if I know it is genetically inferior.
3)I do not want to propagate weak genetic stock. I am working toward genetic goals why would I want to potentially delay that goal by attempting to keep inferior stock alive and then find out it is unable to produce or unable to produce viable stock for my project. As well I would like to be able to let people know that to the best of my knowledge, they are buying healthy strong snakes from me, whether or not they choose to breed them.

Now on to the application in relation to non or problem feeders.

I have 4 snakes that fit into this category in some way shape or form. These are the brief experiences and what my opinion is as a result.
1. Corn-foster snake, pet store-fed a couple of times, then regurged 4 times, stopped eating, improper set up at store, took it home fixed the set up and it ate right away, no problems, no regurges. (total time 5 mths)
2. Cal-King great, breeder reported it was a good eater (7 mths), great eater for 2 mths but weight kept bouncing up and down, started sporadically eating, 1 mth later quit eating, 4 mths later euthanized as he would try to eat and get food part way into his throat and then force it back out, he also stopped drinking. (total time 13 mths)
3. Rootbeer hatchling willingly fed once, developed kinks at vent and past, ended up trying FF and syringe feeding, progressively lost weight & muscle tone, then died, which was terrible to see happen to her. (total time 3 mths)
4. Corn hatchling, ate for breeder, sporadic here, then quit eating, syringe fed 3x, changed set up, she eats like a champ now. (total time 5 mths)

So in my experience 50% or less of those that have feeding problems are likely to survive and even at that, snake #4 has only been alive for 5 mths and who knows what the future will bring. Will she end up like #2, a great eater for a time and grow to a point and then seemingly have an internal issue which causes her to be unable to eat? I know that each time I FF, or syringe fed it was very stressful for the snake, we know that stress is not good for them. So for me, I will stick to trying every thing but Syringe feeding or FF, including moving them to another area to be isolated, from other snakes and activity, as that has been the thing that was successful with both #1 & #4.