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Worried about post-feeding behavior.

Animal_gal
07-06-2008, 12:41 PM
Hey guys.
In 03 i got my snake Smeagol. He had been bred, raised, and hand fed by the owner of a pretty private pet shop for over a year. He was born a runt and was the only of his siblings that the owner kept; the owner had a hard time letting go of him.

He's been feeding well the whole time I've had him. He had a respiratory problem at one point and has regurgitated once. He's only refused food once, probably about the second time I fed him. These were all several years ago. Otherwise he's been completely healthy and happy.

Initially he only ate one mouse but he's grown quite a bit and he progressively began eating bigger mice and more of them. Right now I'm feeding him three large adult mice every two weeks.

In my curiousity I weighed him today. He's 6.5 years old, 651 grams, and about four and a half feet.

My problem is that after he eats he doesn't go into hiding anymore. When I put him back into his cage he immediately gets a drink of water and crawls around like he's just as hungry as when he started. This has been going on for a while. Sometimes after a couple days he'll kinda give up and disappear for a while. This has been going on for a while now.

After he eats three mice there's a good sized lump in him that remains for a few days, which if I remember correctly is one sign that I'm not necessarily underfeeding him.

I've tried giving him a fourth mouse once in the past and he acts that same way afterwards.

So I have a few questions. I've done some research and tried searching some of the forums here but thus far none seem to cover my issue. Why would he act this way? Is his size and weight fairly healthy for his age? Am I over or under feeding him in any way? Should I look into getting small rats or try a different feeding system?

I feel like an idiot--he's been doing so well for so long now, and now that something seems a little off I really don't know what I'm doing wrong, if anything at all.

Thoughts or feedback would mean the world to me. Thanks.

doortech9
07-06-2008, 12:53 PM
I havent kept snakes as long as you have, but i think thats normal. I would say 50% of the time one or both of mine stay out for a while after feeding. My jungle stays out all night after feeding sometimes, and comes out the next night as well. She just seems comfortable digesting in the open, exploring her digs. My amel stays out sometimes, even climbing his vines vigorously. I can see how you would be worried, after keeping a snake for such a period of time, a behavior change would be concerning to me as well. IMO it's nothing to worry about, but thats just me :)

alan
07-06-2008, 01:30 PM
Hi Gal,
Looking for more food is instinctual behavior, they don't know when the next meal is coming.
As a comparison my >900 gram snake eats one adult mouse alternating between a 7 day and 10 day schedule. This maintains her weight properly, more often made her a bit round. I'm sure each snake is different. Your schedule is basically 1.5 mice a week, not too much more than mine. If your snake isn't overweight that's probably what it needs.
OT: Sméagol? I had no idea Gollum had other names.

Animal_gal
07-06-2008, 01:35 PM
I havent kept snakes as long as you have, but i think thats normal. I would say 50% of the time one or both of mine stay out for a while after feeding. My jungle stays out all night after feeding sometimes, and comes out the next night as well. She just seems comfortable digesting in the open, exploring her digs. My amel stays out sometimes, even climbing his vines vigorously. I can see how you would be worried, after keeping a snake for such a period of time, a behavior change would be concerning to me as well. IMO it's nothing to worry about, but thats just me :)

That's certainly reassuring. Thanks for the reply. :]

You're right--it's not so much that he's crawling around after eating but the fact that he hasn't always acted that way. Which leads me to the question of whether I'm feeding him enough or not. Why else should he change his behavior?

I hate the concept of power feeding but even more I hate the concept of starving a snake.


It's not just that he crawls around after feeding but sometimes he'll actually start twitching and/or preparing to strike and/or quickly investigating sudden movements, as if he's still hungry.

Nanci
07-06-2008, 01:51 PM
Sounds normal to me. Are you positive he's a male? He could be having his first spring of searching for a mate, but without the hunger strike!

NFS07
07-06-2008, 02:22 PM
Maybe you could step up the size of the meal rather then adding more and more mice to the feeding. What is the weight (in grams) of the mice you are feeding now?

Nanci
07-06-2008, 02:57 PM
Maybe he's just a little piglet! I have an 1100g snake that grows on two mice one week, three mice the next.