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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.

Feeding Oversize Mice
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:50 PM   #1
Feeding Oversize Mice

I have heard so much regarding the proper size prey to feed to corn snakes that I decided to do an experiment. If you follow the Munson feeding plan you have a pretty good idea of the gram size prey to feed corn snakes, depending upon their weight in grams. For my experiment I took 8 corn snakes between the weight of 42-47 grams that were usually fed 9 gram fuzzies. I fed each of them weanlings last week that weighed 17-18 grams. Way larger than I would typically feed. All the corns ate the oversize mice with no problem, and the large bulge in their stomachs was obvious. Much to my surprise none of the corns regurgitated their weanling. While I'm not suggesting that you should jump up that far in size, it goes to show that perhaps we keep young corns on small prey items too long.
Old 05-08-2019, 09:49 PM   #2
Frank Pinello
Are you far enough along with this experiment to compare growth rates between the Munson plan group and the larger food item group?
Old 05-08-2019, 10:10 PM   #3
No, the experiment was more curiosity than anything else. Typically, I grow my retained young corns slowly, not rushing them to breeding size. I do like them to grow steadily, and move up from pinkies quickly, but don't push them much beyond that. That doesn't mean that someone else may want to grow their corns at a faster rate though. What I'm wondering now is whether the young corns will be happy with their 9 gram fuzzies, after eating the weanlings. LOL
Old 05-08-2019, 10:19 PM   #4
Frank Pinello
I agree with slow and steady growth. I've notice some lines seem to grow faster than others on similar size meals so they tend to move up on meal size sooner than others. I'm never weigh food items but instead I eye-ball it And feed them what I believe they can easily digest. Want to see a slight bulge in the snake right after they feed.
Old 05-09-2019, 07:50 AM   #5
I love seeing testing in the name of science

So were these rat fuzzies that you fed? It looks like according to the snakes weight they are on the upper end of their tier for the Munson plan and could soon be swapped to hopper mice which isn't very far off from a rat fuzzy.

My first snake I probably pushed to hard and fast. By the time he was 2 he was 42". He has since been on a diet to keep his size under control. My second corn was about 28"-30" at 2 yo with a much more reasonable feeding plan and schedule. I also noticed when I switched from bulk f/t to the mice I bred I had to cut back on the prey size because mine were making the snakes fatter. So not just size but the quality of rodents and the rodent diet probably plays a role in the growth rate of the snake.

If I get any hold backs this year that match (2 males, or 2 females from the same clutch) I plan to do some testing with feeding and see their growth rate on asf vs mice. They will each get 3 mice pinkies to get them established. After that one of the hold backs will get switched to ASF's and the other will remain on mice. I will follow the Munson plan for feeding. Each week the snakes will get weighed prior to feeding. Prey weighing exactly the same will be given to each of them in hopes that the only thing different is the nutrition of the mouse vs asf. I breed my own asf and mice so I have plenty of supply and know they are both rodents are on the same diet.
Old 05-09-2019, 10:39 AM   #6
I feed mouse fuzzies to them normally, but last week I fed mouse weanlings. I am stock piling ASF's in a few sizes, but only fed them to adult corns, as another experiment. You may want to check out Brian Barczyk's ( BHB reptiles) experiment with growth rates of young corns. I found it on YouTube. Quite interesting as he fed some of them more frequently, larger sized prey, and added vitamins to one group.

I had an adult Amaretto female that quit eating for two weeks because she was getting ready to lay. She refused a small mouse, but I offered her a weanling ASF and she ripped it right off the tongs. She laid eggs the next day. The following week I offered her an adult mouse to see if she would eat it, or hold off for another ASF, but she ate the mouse.

Then I had a male lavender that was searching for a mate and hadn't eaten for a few weeks. He refused a mouse, so I offered him an ASF, and he ripped it off the tongs also.
It would seem that having a few ASF's in the freezer could help snap a reluctant feeder out of the self-imposed diet.

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