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Feeding Help!

Discussion in 'Milksnakes' started by aromatherapykim, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. aromatherapykim

    aromatherapykim Elite Member

    So I got waldo 2 weeks ago. He's an albino hondurian milk snake, about 3 1/2 feet. Fed him for the first time 1 week ago. It didn't go so well. He struck at the mouse about 3 times and missed, the 4th time he got it by the tail. It turned around and bit him in 3 different places. I feel horrible!! (This whole time im trying to get it to stop with a long pen). Waldo seems fine. The bites don't look very deep just a few scales damaged. He didn't bleed. I tried to hold him about 3 days later and he was not having it at all. His temps are 85 at the surface on the hot side under his hide and 73 on the cool side. He is almost always under ground under his water bowl.
    So my questions are:
    How to I prevent the mouse from biting him? Is there a humane way to daze the mouse to slow it down some?
    is it normal for him to just stay under the water bowl?
    Is a snake hook a good option? He moves so fast when i touch him I think it would help

    Thanks in advance. I'm feeding again tonight and I'd love some advice!
     
  2. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Your housing sounds ok, and I know mine spends a lot or most of his time in the cooler areas of his cage, so I don't see a problem there. As for feeding, have you considered feeding frozen-thawed? No risk of injury that way, and most colubrids will take ft with gusto. I know mine doesn't care either way.
     
  3. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    I would try feeding frozen/thawed, it's safer for the snake. You were really lucky that the mouse didn't do any significant damage, because potentially it could have (a bite e.g. to the eye would be nasty). Try doing that, and if he doesn't want to take it, just notify someone here, there's plenty of tips to convert snakes from live to f/t. Alternately, you can knock the mouse out by hitting it over the head, although I wouldn't recommend that; if improperly done, it will merely cause unnecessary suffering to the mouse. Really, f/t is the best way to feed IMO. If your snake is shy, I would leave it be for the time being, remember he's been through a rough time. Don't handle too much and let him relax, also make sure he has a secure, tight hiding spot (except the water bowl:)). I'd recommend feeding outside his enclosure in a separate box. Avoid handling 24-28h after he's eaten. For the time being, just watch him and give him some time to 'chill' before attempting to handle again.
     
  4. aromatherapykim

    aromatherapykim Elite Member

    what are the up and downs to feeding f/t? obviously f/t cant hurt the snake but I really do like the idea of letting my snake have as natural of an environment as possible including feedings. That being said I am not 100% dead set on it, but I think I'd like to continue to try to feed live if possible.
    Are there good ways to prevent the mouse from biting? I had someone tell me whack the bag against a wall or table before putting the mouse in...is that humane?
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    F/T is the way to go. No chance of injury to the snake. And its much more humane than the feeder slowly being constricted to death.
    Also no chance of a feeder carrying mites in to infect the snake.

    But the problem is that the snake is not in a natural environment. It's in a cage and both predator and prey are confined together into basically a locked box. There is no where for either one to go to escape so the only thing left is to fight.
    And rodents have killed snakes.
     
  6. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

    And if you want it toe as.natural as possible you.can always use tongs and pay with he snake by dragging the mouse around as the snake chases it.
     
  7. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    My bigest pro is the convenience. I buy my frozen feeders in bulk, so I can feed whenever I feel like it. With live feeding I had to drive about 30 min one way just to pick up a rat or mouse once a week. This was a pain, and as I added more snakes, all eating different sized prey on dif schedules became impossible. Its also much cheaper then buying live at a pet store. A bulk order of frozen rodents is usually around a dollar or less per rodent. Live feeding really isnt all its cracked up to be. I know as a new snake owner it seems exciting to watch them hunt and kill their own food, but the thrill wears off pretty fast.

    Their are a couple of cons to feeding frozen. One, some snakes just dont take to feeding well on frozen, or are problematic to switch ovet. Ive never had an issue with it, but it does happen. There is some prep and handling with f/t, which is kinda gross at first.

    That about covers it.
     
  8. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

    But like I said if you want to keep.the wild hunt drive in them all you have to do is use tongs and play with them and it is actually kinda fun to do too.....
     
  9. aromatherapykim

    aromatherapykim Elite Member

    Thank you guys. I talked to my local exotic pet store and they said he should eat fine on f/t but wanted me to give him another week to rest before feeding again so he can get over the getting bit situation. I think I will switch over to f/t
     
  10. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    That's honestly the best thing to do. It won't impair your snake's instinct in any way and it will protect him from any damage a live rodent might cause. Feeding live is much more dangerous in captivity, since predator and prey are kept in very close proximity without the ability to escape. And sometimes it might not be possible for you to intervene and you'll just be blaming yourself if anything bad happens. The only things I feel safe to feed live are pinkies, anything bigger is a potential hazard. Your snake will be forever grateful for f/t :)
     
  11. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

    like I said try and play with him with the tongs..... its actually kinda fun for him and you..... I used to do it with my friends savy and I thought it was cool making him climb over stuff
     

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