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Miscellaneous Corn Snake Discussions This is a "none of the above" forum. All posts should still be related to cornsnakes in one form or another, but some slight off topic posting is fine.

Just a question
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:54 PM   #11
Seeing the difference in a live vs. frozen diet i feel like something is lost in the freezing process. Adding vitamins is something im thinking about start doing.
Old 11-14-2017, 01:15 PM   #12
Give them a try. Vitamins are relatively inexpensive, and used sparingly, will have no adverse effects. One 3 ounce bottle will last a long time.
Old 11-14-2017, 01:53 PM   #13
Anthropomorphism is a continual issue in pet care. It was the #1 problem I had when trying to explain proper care of animals sold in my pet store. So many customers would apply what they thought was common sense decisions based their own experiences in life to their animals. We also see reptile owners applying what is good for a lizard to a snake.
When it comes to the topic at hand I can tell you that myself and many of the keepers and breeders I've known with decades of experience feeding 10's of thousands of snakes that we know supplementation of vitamins and minerals is unnecessary. It can even be harmful to the snake. To give vitamins and minerals to a snake for something that we have no idea it is deficient in seems a bit extreme.
Just as we learned through decades of experience that supplementation is necessary with certain lizards. We also know that it is totally unnecessary with corn snakes.
Old 11-14-2017, 04:36 PM   #14
Other than overdosing with vitamin A, give me some proof that vitamins or minerals when used sparingly are harmful to snakes. Where are you getting this assertion? I would be glad to read any article that states vitamins or minerals when used judiciously are harmful to snakes. I've raised snakes and reptiles for decades but am always willing to learn something new. Don't cite friends who raised thousands of snakes as experts, I want to read scientific evidence to support your assertion.
Old 11-14-2017, 05:57 PM   #15
Brian at BHB ( snake bytes tv ) conducted a feeding experiment with 4 groups of corn snakes. You can check out the results on YouTube. I'll give you the episodes at the end of this post if you want to watch them. I don't like the antics of his employees, as they tend to diminish the importance of the topic, but some may find them funny.

The corns were set up in 4 different groups, 5 in each group, with all about the same weight in grams ( 15 grams ). All corns fed using the Munson feeding plan which Brian outlined.

1. Group 1 fed one pinkie every 5 or 6 days.
2. Group 2 fed slightly smaller pinkies twice per week.
3. Group 3 fed one pinkie dusted with vitamins once every 5 or 6 days.
4. Group 4 fed one mouse 20% larger than the others once every 5 or 6 days.

The results were dramatic, as you can see if you watch the videos.

Group 4 had huge gains in size and weight. Although Brian said he preferred raising the corns at a slower rate.
Group 3 with vitamins was next in growth rate. I guess that answers the question of whether vitamin supplementation is worthwhile. Brian admitted that he was surprised by the results, as he didn't usually recommend vitamins. This group gained 10-15% more than groups 1 and 2.
Group 1 actually grew slightly larger than group 2, even though eating just one pinkie of the appropriate size.
Group 2 came in last, even though fed twice per week.

Go to YouTube and search for the snake bytes tv episode "How do I feed my snake."
The results are in an episode titled " satan snake vs Chewy." You may also search BHB feeding experiment.
Old 11-14-2017, 06:23 PM   #16
Exactly! Not all vitamins are bad in excess.

And I've been keeping snakes 42 years myself and have been doing this with no detrimental effects. I'll admit, I didn't "Used to Have a Pet Shop" but I was recommended to do this by someone who did. And is my 42 years of keeping healthy happy snakes lesser than some pompous a-hole just because he "used to have a pet shop?"

Nobody can convince me that an indoor raised mouse fed on pellets in a cage is of equal nutritional value of a wild mouse eating a variety of things and exposed to natural conditions and sunlight.
Old 11-15-2017, 12:20 PM   #17
Twolunger : Just because a post follows yours doesn't mean it is an attack on it. I did NOT tell the OP to not follow your advice or TO follow mine. This is how forums work. Are we not allowed to give our experiences, thoughts and feelings even if some of it contradicts others. I actually had the BHB study in the back of my mind when I wrote my post. It doesn't answer the long term effects on a snake taking vitamins. What has been proven by 100's of keepers and breeders of 10's of 1000's of snakes over decades is that supplementing is totally unnecessary. As you and Karl keep pointing out your 40+ years of experience I also point to my 40+ years of reptile experience in posts. A person that has raised thousands of snakes is not an expert? If those years don't make us experts then they at least make us highly experienced albeit at times with different outcomes.

Karl: Karl, the self proclaimed "snowflake remover'' who melted like the snowflakes he's "gunning" for to name calling. You tout your 42 years of experience but I'm a "pompous a-hole" for owning a pet store? LOL !
Love the avatar and title so I thought I would post it here before you change it again.

Snowflake Remover
Old 11-15-2017, 01:26 PM   #18
First, some questions on his test:

Did he show starting weights for each individual baby, and then final weights? Because a hatchling that starts at 5 grams isn't going to gain as much weight as a hatchling starting at 8 or 9 grams.
Was each group a single clutch or a mixed bag of clutches? If a single clutch each group, that doesn't rule out genetic tendencies towards faster growth.

Unnecessary vitamin supplementation can be detrimental to health; you can overdose on vitamins and minerals and considering the 'safe' doses are typically measuring in IUs per *kilogram* dosing a hatchling appropriately is going to be extremely difficult and you'll already be giving it more than it actually needs as it's getting that from its food already. Too much vitamin A, for example, and the snake basically continually sheds over and over, back to back, using up vital resources. Too much calcium and they can build up calcium deposits in the skin that cause tissue irritation and even ulcerate- this is a chronic condition from long-term excess calcium called calcinosis cutis.

There is also medical concerns with feeding too large and too frequent prey items; it might actually be decreasing our snakes' lifespans.

Also anecdata from an exotics vet where one of their clients had seen a significant decrease in lifespan for their snakes:

It is well known that after snakes eat their metabolisms are kicked into high gear to help digest the meal. Studies in Burmese pythons show that their hearts actually grow larger in size after a meal to accommodate the increase need for oxygenation of the tissues and to supply more blood to the GI tract. I never really paid much attention to this as a clinician until I had a client who breeds several species of python tell me that his snakes just arenít living as long as they did when he first got into the business. After spending several days pouring over all of his data (he keeps meticulous records on each snake) and running diagnostics on a few snakes and necropsies on those that had died, I only really found one main issue- he was feeding larger prey items more often starting about a decade ago. I looked into the literature and spoke with some other herp vets and found that animals that are fed more often age faster than those that eat less.

Who cares right? The difference seems only to be a few years in longevity. For breeders whose main goal is producing young to sell, it probably is insignificant. But for people that own snakes just for their own enjoyment or those in zoological institutions those extra years may really matter, especially for endangered species. I see a lot more obesity in reptiles than I used to due to over feeding so not only are we making reptiles fat which causes health problems, we are shortening their lives just be speeding up their metabolisms.

Below are a few of the articles if you would like to read them and form your own conclusion.

Eating increases oxidative damage in a reptile.
J Exp Biol. July 2016;219(Pt 13):1969-73.
Michael W Butler 1, Thomas J Lutz 2, H Bobby Fokidis 3, Zachary R Stahlschmidt 4

Effects of meal size on postprandial responses in juvenile Burmese pythons (Python molurus)
Am J Physiol. March 1997;272(3 Pt 2):R902-12.
S M Secor 1, J Diamond

The effects of fasting duration on the metabolic response to feeding in Python molurus: an evaluation of the energetic costs associated with gastrointestinal growth and upregulation
Physiol Biochem Zool. 2002 Jul-Aug;75(4):360-8.
Johannes Overgaard 1, Johnnie B Andersen, Tobias Wang

Physiology: postprandial cardiac hypertrophy in pythons
Nature. March 2005;434(7029):37-8.
Johnnie B Andersen 1, Bryan C Rourke, Vincent J Caiozzo, Albert F Bennett, James W Hicks

Respiratory consequences of feeding in the snake Python molorus
Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. November 1999;124(3):359-65.
J Overgaard 1, M Busk, J W Hicks, F B Jensen, T Wang
And a thing of note with obesity; you only see external signs of obesity once the body cavity has reach max fat storage capacity. A snake that visually appears to be in good body condition could still be obese.
Old 11-15-2017, 04:10 PM   #19
Twolunger- did brian mention what supplements he used. Im still interested in using them. Nothing said here has convinced me otherwise. Im always better off listening to myself
Old 11-15-2017, 04:34 PM   #20
Even knowing that over supplementing vitamins and minerals can cause health deficits and that you don't know the correct doses for this species won't deter you? (says the vet tech who won't do this to her snakes)

Is your only interest truly in growing them as fast as possible, or in taking proper care of them?

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