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Health Issues/Feeding Problems Anything related to general or specific health problems. Issues having to do with feeding problems or tips.

House snake "self regulating"? Another not eating thread.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:29 PM   #11
Tavia
Wish more people talked about the ins and outs of House snakes, LOL!
When I was first deciding to get a pair, I'd liked the looks of them for a few years, I read as much as I could get my hands on, which wasn't a great deal.
But a very consistent picture emerged from everything I read, easy husbandry, ridiculously easy to breed, to the point of being a potential downside, and very good eaters from the egg on. In short, basically the perfect "easy" breeding project to add in with my more complicated species ... Yeah, no other breeder admitted anywhere that babies are actually very often stubborn about getting eating for the first 2 to 4 plus months after hatching.
Wasn't until I'd flailed around with my first 3 clutches wondering what the heck I was doing so wrong, that a few breeders took the time to quietly tell me that what I was experiencing was more or less normal. I've now heard from a great many breeders all saying the same thing. I've had to mentally adjust to just accepting that about half of them will require force feeding for a few months before becoming established and that going nearly right to force feeding isn't some kind of failure on my part.

Just knowing that took them from the hardest species I've actually bred, to a challenge but not hair tearing species. I might not have gotten them had I had accurate info on them in the beginning but I feel like I'd have lost fewer hatchlings to starvation had I been informed.
 
Old 05-18-2017, 09:52 PM   #12
albertagirl
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tavia View Post
Wish more people talked about the ins and outs of House snakes, LOL!
When I was first deciding to get a pair, I'd liked the looks of them for a few years, I read as much as I could get my hands on, which wasn't a great deal.
But a very consistent picture emerged from everything I read, easy husbandry, ridiculously easy to breed, to the point of being a potential downside, and very good eaters from the egg on. In short, basically the perfect "easy" breeding project to add in with my more complicated species ... Yeah, no other breeder admitted anywhere that babies are actually very often stubborn about getting eating for the first 2 to 4 plus months after hatching.
Wasn't until I'd flailed around with my first 3 clutches wondering what the heck I was doing so wrong, that a few breeders took the time to quietly tell me that what I was experiencing was more or less normal. I've now heard from a great many breeders all saying the same thing. I've had to mentally adjust to just accepting that about half of them will require force feeding for a few months before becoming established and that going nearly right to force feeding isn't some kind of failure on my part.

Just knowing that took them from the hardest species I've actually bred, to a challenge but not hair tearing species. I might not have gotten them had I had accurate info on them in the beginning but I feel like I'd have lost fewer hatchlings to starvation had I been informed.

Wow, and how on earth do you force feed such a TINY hatchling?! Aren't they quite a bit smaller than corns at first? I should maybe rename this thread to "things you didn't know about house snakes"!

I do just want to clarify my final question though, about whether I should continue offering food at the same size and frequency? Or should I start offering her something smaller? Do their stomachs shrink? And is offering weekly too often when she's only eating monthly at best? I don't know if that does more harm than good. Or if it does any harm at all?
 
Old 05-18-2017, 10:00 PM   #13
Tavia
I usually move to offering every 10-14 days with my snakes that are on strike, waste less mice and sometimes it might be less stressful on the snake.

I've not noticed a big difference with the house snakes in particular responding to smaller prey but it does often work well with several of the other species to offer a smaller than normal meal while they are on strike. Sometimes they will take the smaller item. It's certainly worth a try.
 
Old 05-19-2017, 08:02 AM   #14
albertagirl
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tavia View Post
I usually move to offering every 10-14 days with my snakes that are on strike, waste less mice and sometimes it might be less stressful on the snake.

I've not noticed a big difference with the house snakes in particular responding to smaller prey but it does often work well with several of the other species to offer a smaller than normal meal while they are on strike. Sometimes they will take the smaller item. It's certainly worth a try.
Beautiful. Thank you so much. This has been extremely helpful!
 
Old 05-30-2017, 01:16 AM   #15
albertagirl
Daddio207 and Tavia... when your house snakes were fasting, did they still act hungry? That's what confuses me the most. Eve still acts hungry, if I go into her cage while she's awake she acts like she's ready to eat anything that moves... following any movement closely and looking ready to strike, but not in a defensive way at all. Simply in a "I wanna eat that" way. She just won't actually take the prey item, but looks like she really wants to. I went in to change her water tonight, absolutely no mouse smell involved, and she looked like she was ready to attempt to eat my hand. Yet when I offer her food, she looks at it exactly the same way, and will come over and tongue flick the mouse, and follow it around if I do the "dangle dance", but won't actually eat it. I'm just wondering if that's normal? To show complete interest in food while fasting?
Thanks.
 
Old 05-30-2017, 09:03 AM   #16
DollysMom
I know you didn't ask me, but no one else has weighed in yet. My experience is that behavior is curiosity. Clyde is the most inquisitive little snake I've ever met. He stretches out to flick my nose and even my eyelashes. It's extremely endearing, btw. He often pops up to follow movements when no food is involved.

Right now if I dangle a mouse he flees, but if I quietly lay it on the plastic lid of his humid hide and leave him totally alone in the dark, he's eaten within three hours. I absolutely do not handle or otherwise disturb on feeding day now. I'm not saying it will work for you but if you haven't done it, it is worth a try. At least Eve is interested in the mouse! Obviously Clyde is too but only on his terms.

Best wishes.
 
Old 05-30-2017, 10:55 AM   #17
albertagirl
Quote:
Originally Posted by DollysMom View Post
I know you didn't ask me, but no one else has weighed in yet. My experience is that behavior is curiosity. Clyde is the most inquisitive little snake I've ever met. He stretches out to flick my nose and even my eyelashes. It's extremely endearing, btw. He often pops up to follow movements when no food is involved.

Right now if I dangle a mouse he flees, but if I quietly lay it on the plastic lid of his humid hide and leave him totally alone in the dark, he's eaten within three hours. I absolutely do not handle or otherwise disturb on feeding day now. I'm not saying it will work for you but if you haven't done it, it is worth a try. At least Eve is interested in the mouse! Obviously Clyde is too but only on his terms.

Best wishes.
Thanks DollysMom. I appreciate any feedback! I feel like sharp-eyed, quick, tense movements isn't her normal curiosity behavior. When curious she's more relaxed and follows movement with her eyes and head without actually coming over and bringing enough body over to allow for a strike. I could be wrong, my experience is limited, but I try to watch body language carefully to try to learn and understand the behaviors of all my animals. I know I'm getting better, but still so much I don't know! Snakes are definitely different than dogs and horses! But in the past, any time there's been a refusal of food, it's never been "I'm totally interested but won't eat". It's always been "I'm ignoring you or actively avoiding you, I don't want that".

To be honest, I've tried not handling her at all, just not handling on feeding day, handling every day. I've tried leaving the mouse in her cage overnight, leaving her in a feeding tub with the mouse overnight, feeding in tub, feeding in cage, dangle-dancing, holding still, presenting nose first, butt first, smaller sizes. I just don't know what else I could do differently aside from trying a different type of prey. I may pick up some ASF's next time I get feeders, just to see if she finds that more tempting.
 
Old 05-30-2017, 11:11 AM   #18
Tavia
Can't say I've noticed it with the AHS in particular but some of my other snakes, the males in particular, do that when breeding season fasting, especially the corns. Act very interested for a bit before turning away or sometimes they will even grab the mouse and I think they are going to eat it, only to come back later and find it abandoned uneaten. I think it's because they are actually hungry but their instincts are also telling them that they need to be able to move, find a mate, breed, and not be heavy with a meal. That's why sometimes a much smaller prey item works, I think. Less incapacitating for them. But even that doesn't always work.
 
Old 05-30-2017, 11:33 AM   #19
albertagirl
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tavia View Post
Can't say I've noticed it with the AHS in particular but some of my other snakes, the males in particular, do that when breeding season fasting, especially the corns. Act very interested for a bit before turning away or sometimes they will even grab the mouse and I think they are going to eat it, only to come back later and find it abandoned uneaten. I think it's because they are actually hungry but their instincts are also telling them that they need to be able to move, find a mate, breed, and not be heavy with a meal. That's why sometimes a much smaller prey item works, I think. Less incapacitating for them. But even that doesn't always work.
Oh that makes sense. I love a logical explanation for things! Whether that's what she's doing or not, it makes me feel more at ease to have some explanation other than "just because" or "well, Sharan, it's because you're doing it wrong". LOL
Thanks for visiting this issue again with me. I'll definitely let you all know when she starts eating again.
 
Old 05-30-2017, 12:08 PM   #20
DollysMom
I'm sorry I couldn't help, and I'm glad Tavia could. Her explanation of why they refuse food during mating season(s) is exactly what I have believed. It all makes perfect sense.

One thing I hope is that in explaining what has worked for me, you found no criticism of your feeding tactics, most of which I didn't know. No criticism was intended, that's for sure. Still I fear I may have stepped in it so I'm definitely sorry for adding to your stress in any way.

Since Clyde is on the path Eve followed, I may soon get my turn with longer fasts. Even one refusal bothered me and stressed me out, though viewed logically it is no big deal. I can imagine, extrapolated from my brief experience, how stressful it feels when they stop eating for longer periods. I hope Eve starts eating again soon.
 

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