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Garter not feeding!!!

Discussion in 'Garter & Water snakes' started by steel rip, Nov 8, 2004.

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  1. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    my garter hasnt eaten now for about 4 months, and now I am getting really worried, his size was real good I was really pleased with him, now he seems to of lost a bit, not much, but im worried, I have fed him mice from day one so hes never really had the chance to taste fish or frogs, I think I gave him fish for his very first feed, but from then on he has been on mice with no problems, he has been a great eater up until now, I was thinking now he is bigger his water bowl might not be big enough for him to fish in, it is quite big and he does fit in well, but I thought he might want something bigger to fish, I was thinking of putting him in the bath with his next feed to see if it makes a difference, what do you guys think? hes still active some of the time and then he will go into hiding for long periods, I have never seen him behave like this before, the only time he usually hides a lot is when he is getting ready to shed, he is about one and a half years old and I have had him from being a hatchling.

    Do they brumate in the winter, and go off food, even if you dont make temp changes?
     
  2. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Do you know what kind of garter it is? Many species of garters hibernate. However, the onlly way yours would be getting ready for that woud be if its too cold. I don't hibernate mine, so they're up and active all year, but in the wild they would hibernate for 7 months or more back home. Garters do prefer a lot of water, but they don't need a lot of it to fish. So long as they can reach in a dish and grab a fish (hey, that rhymes :rolleyes: ). Have you tried offering some fish or frogs lately? How big rae the mice you're feeding?
     
  3. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    I haven't tried him on fish, I don't think we can get frogs here as food here, I didn't really want to try the fish incase he wont go back to the mice when he does finally eat again, the size mouse he was on when he stopped eating was hoppers, he managed them no trouble, since then I have tried him with smaller food items, he did fish one out of his bowl, but then dropped it and lost all interest, which I thought odd, I have been thinking about the fish tho, just to get something down him, but i don't want him then to just refuse the mice and eat the fish and end up having seizures.
     
  4. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    I fed my garter nothing but fish and the occasional worms for more than a year before he started to have seizures, so if you have to, I'd start feeding him fish for now until a permanent solution can be found. Try offering them and see if he actually accepts them. If he's rejecting mice right now, then feeding him fish probably won't change much. I'd get some minnows or goldfish and see if he takes them. Minnows contain less thiaminase than goldies though, and are usually cheaper. There are many other fish out there that don't really have much, if any, thyiaminase in them, but they are also smaller and more expensive than minnows or goldies. I feed my garters large fuzzies, but I rub the fuzzies on a frog first to make them smell like food. Its the smell, more than the taste, that catches the snake's interest, so if you feed him fish, it shouldn't cause him to reject mice any more than he already does.
     
  5. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    Heres what i have done, i have bought him a new viv, as I think the one i got for him wasnt suitable, he hasnt eaten since we put him in it, when he was smaller he was in a glass viv and he did fine up until we upgraded, and when I think about it now he hasnt eaten since we changed it, so i thought it could be temp issues and the such, as the one he is house in is plastic and gets very hot and humid, we have now purchased a 36" x 12" x 14" all glass viv, hopefully with the enviomental change he will start to eat again, i am pretty certain its the viv he is in now why he isnt eating, but if not then its back to the drawing board. :)
     
  6. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Yeah, that could have been it. Do you know what species he is? That'd help keep the temps at the right levels. Garters live from Mexico to Canada, so the proper temps depend a lot on the species (and subspecies!).
     
  7. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    He is a common garter, i hope now that with the viv change he will be ok, i'm going to leave him a few days to settle and adjust then try him with a feed.
     
  8. Dave68

    Dave68 Active Member

    Hi Donna, I think your garter is just doing what comes naturally with the onset of maturity in your case. Garter snakes will all hibernate given the chance to,as it is impossible to breed out instinct, even captive bred animals will. What you are describing sounds like winding down behavior to me. I would just turn off external heat sources including lamps etc...and not worry about him not eating for at least two months. Then you can bring temps back up and almost guaranteed he will eat again for you without any problems. When hibernating the temps can range from high fifties to low seventies for pre breeding conditioning. Many colubrid snakes hatched or birthed late in the season won't eat until the following spring , after hibernating. This happens in the wild and in captivity. Just my opinion, good luck

    Dave
     
  9. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    i have considered lowering temps for a while, as i thought that could be a reason, but its a long time since he has eaten, if the envorment change doesnt work, that is my next step. thanx for the input :D
     
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