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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.

My corns does nto want to eat freely
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Old 03-26-2002, 03:22 AM   #1
Unhappy My corns does nto want to eat freely

Hi all, i have a problem with my okeetee female,..she is a very slow eater..i have had her now for 3 months and by trial and error i have managed to get her to feed , but she will only take frozen pinkeys , she looks as if she is scared of live prey .
The first 2 months she did not eat anything , and then with a frozen very small pinkey that i thawed out se took it , before she ate her first meal she was very frail and did not want to move either , but now i can feel she has gotten stronger but still refuse to eat when i feed the other snakes , this okeetee female only takes prey smaller than her head ( looks like she does not want to get strech marks :-) , she is a lady afterall )

has anyone got any advice on how to get her to eat more and more freely .....i bought 2 at the same time and the amel corn is much bigger because it does not have feeding problems...
she is 30 cm long compared to the other one which is exactly the same age but is already 53 cm long...

any help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 03-26-2002, 05:38 AM   #2
I am in no way any type of corn expert, but I don't think you should really worry about getting your female to grow faster rather than make sure she's healthy and ok. It's usually better to feed snakes frozen and thawed mice anyway since they can't fight back and hurt a snake. Females are usually smaller than males anyway and if you overfeed a snake that's not good for it anyway. Also make sure you're not trying to feed her too often..they get more stressed out and may refuse food. I think on the kingsnake forum there was a guy that was trying to feed his snake like everyday and the poor thing was so stressed out and wouldn't eat. Anyway, what I'm trying to say in my bumbling, drawn out way, is that if she's only eating pinkies, that's great! At least she's eating. I'm sure someone else here can help you more than I did [if i helped at all.. ]

Old 03-26-2002, 01:44 PM   #3
Unhappy i helps thanx

Thanx , yip it helps definately ..every bit of info helps...but this baby have only eate 3 very small pinkeys in 3 months, and that i believe is a bit slow dont you guys think ??
Old 03-26-2002, 03:31 PM   #4
well, yeah, but as long as she doesn't stop completely, it's probably not life threatening. In the wild they can go months without eating. I do understand your concern though..I hope someone else here can help out.
Old 03-26-2002, 08:39 PM   #5
My little suggestion

Well I wouldn't really go on trying to make her eat more at this time. Since you say that she is so weak, I would just let her continue to feed on pinkies frist. At least she is eatting. You can try increasing the number of pinkies once it starts to show interest in eatting again. From the description that you mentioned above, she is really stressed out. Let her decide whatever she wants. Eating slowly and slow growth isn't a problem, eating a lot and regurgitating and not growing is the biggest problem that you'll get. So don't force it. Keep it at one or two meals pinky per week and let it grow for a while. Once it shows more interest in food then increase the size or number.

Good Luck and Happy Herping!
Old 03-27-2002, 07:51 PM   #6

Keep a very close eye on your little one. It may be OK for an adult snake to go 2 months without eating, but not for a hatchling or yearling, especially one that small. Good thing it has started eating again, and small pinkies right now are much better than large ones. Too much at one meal could really stress her past what she can take right now. Offer small pinkies every 3-4 days, whether she eats or not. And make sure she is warm enough. Being small and stressed, a little higher than normal may be better, say 84-87 F, in one spot at all times. She can have a cooler side of the cage if she wants, but I'll bet she stays on the warm side. I hate to sya it, but, in my experience, if a small hatchling doesn't eat well for awhile, it doesn't usually end up good, even if it starts eating again. I just lost an Aug '01 hatchling that ate well, but only very small pinkies and never really grew well. But, to give you hope, I also have an Oct '00 hatchling that would eat 2 out of 3 meals, only very small pinkies, never grew much, but has JUST started to really take off! He is still smaller than most of my 2001 hatchlings, but is catching up.
Good luck!
Old 03-27-2002, 08:13 PM   #7
If she's eating pinkies that are smaller than her head, perhaps you could add another small pinkie to the meal by holding it to the rump of the one being eaten and she'll end up swallowing both. It sounds like the size of the meal you're offering is so small that twice that amount won't stress her out and she should gain condition quicker.

Another thing: have you tried scenting the pinkies with lizards, like green anoles? I have a young male who won't touch a pinkie unless I've rubbed its head on a green anole I keep in the freezer. This guy won't respond to Lizard Maker or to other lizards, such as geckos. Green anoles are indigenous to the area where corns originate and they are the staple diet of baby corns in the wild.
Old 03-27-2002, 11:39 PM   #8
sue frederick
One question for you.....

one question (okay, maybe more than one) that I have is: How many snakes do you have in the tank with her? Is she the only snake in there? Not eating is a classic sign of stress and/or intimidation response. So if she is not the only snake in the tank, I would strongly suggest separating her into a tank where she cannot even see any other snakes and in an area of the house that is pretty quiet. I would also minimize handling to about once a week at the most for about 10 minutes or so. As she gets stronger and eats better, you would probably be able to increase handling. You do have the suggested number of hides in there - one in each temp gradient and not too big so the snake feels secure, right? I had also heard that if your humidity is too low, sometimes that affects appetite. In the winter around here, we get down to desert humidity.
Just my opinion, take it or leave it.
Old 03-28-2002, 02:43 AM   #9
Thnx all

Thankyou all for your responces ....i will definately try that , it could vry well be stress, because of the other snakes i have 11 and this one is with a anyrthristic, both still very small , but i think i will seperate her completely from the rest of the corn tribe

She has the right humidity and the temp in th cages is about 28 -30 degress celcius , it is still quite hot here in SA so i dont need any heating mats ect yet.

They have 2 hides, one on each side of the tank, cool side and warm side, well actually all is the same temp until winter comes.

Thanx again you guys ...will try all the things and give some feedback on what is happening to her.

happy herping all
Old 03-28-2002, 08:12 PM   #10
Lightbulb some advice

Well u say ur corn is still very young so my guess is that maybe she's still a bit shy. Don't worry thoe, I imagine that over time she may adjust.
While where on the subjes thoe, i did read a book about the topic of getting hatchlings to feed this is what it says

"Tease-feeding a stubborn baby corn first involves gently restraining it in one hand while offering a baby mouse in the other. You want to forget the fact that it's being held in your hand. Hold the food source inches away from it's snout,bumping it against the snake's body-not it's head!-until the corn lunges for it. Cease all motion when the snake connects by sinking it's teeth into the mouse.Don't move a muscle while the snake decides to continue swallowing or releasing the morsel in it's mouth. Let the snake finish swallowing the meal befor laying it down."
-Kathy love

ok? also you should bye the cornsnake manual has great tips and info. Wll hope that helped

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