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Snake feeding styles

Discussion in 'Feeders' started by Microscope Jockey, Oct 11, 2004.

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  1. Microscope Jockey

    Microscope Jockey Elite Member

    Pre-post Disclaimer: Yes we all know that we should feed prekilled rodents to serpents whenever possible due to the danger posed to the snake by the rodent following it's instincts and doing everything in it's small fuzzy bitey power to survive, including inflicting serious, sometimes fatal damage on your snake. However, those of us not trained to force feed who own finicky snakes are sometimes forced to comprimise so...................

    Actual Post:
    At one point in time or another all of my snakes (except Ginger) have had to kill a rodent in order to eat it and I've noticed that all my different kinds of snakes have different ways of eating. Ginger, the bullsnake, who has never ever eaten a live rodent since the day she hatched, does not constrict. She prefers to gnaw on her food after the initial strike, which never is aimed at any particular part of the rodent. Boyd on the other hand, who by all accounts has never once eaten a dead rodent, eats rats the size of lap dogs (I am NOT exaggerating) always strikes the rat under the throat and only constricts with the first 12-14" of his 7ish feet. He is either a very efficient hunter or extraordinarily lazy ;) Now Rose is a complete failure at hunting :rolleyes: Ok so maybe she can be excused because she is slightly malformed either due to congenital problems or because a large live mouse worked her over when she was a baby BEFORE I aquired her. Anyway she makes an enormous deal out of stalking very cute juvenile mice and acting like she is insatiably bad while doing so. Anyway when she strikes she always does so in a way that invariably leaves the rodent head exposed in a way that ensures she will be bitten if the rodent is anything but a juvenile. She had some very extensive scarring when I first got her but fortunately it has cleared up with her shedding. The ball pythons have kind of a mixed reaction: Clove was started on hoppers as a hatchling before I got him and I immediately switched him to prekilled. He's always had a very strong strike and constrict even if the meal isn't very warm. He usually hits the prey item near the head in a way that he is very unlikely to be bitten. Godiva has always been slightly pickier. She also had been fed prekilled since hatching but I decided to give her a ratling this evening (graciously bred by Lyn, very plump and nutritious). She did very well constricton-wise but the head protruding in a way that would have been troublesome with a larger rodent. Anyway that's my speil, I just thought it was interesting to see the different ways that they all eat. Any other interesting observations?
     
  2. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    lol, that is very interesting:D Hehe, I love Boyd's lazy/efficient way of hunting. My garters aren't the most exciting things to watch eat, but still provide amusement. When I hold the pinkie in the cage, Slyther will perk up once she catches the smell, then follow the trail to the food where she'll curve her head around the prey and grab it. Almost like she was gonna constrict it, but then she just carries it off and "sits up" with it hanging from here mouth and just swallows it while its hanging from her nouth off the ground. Snaker strikes at anything that smells strongly enough like his prey till he actually hits it, then swallows it. Sometimes he has trouble getting it head first, but he usually manages without assistance;)
     
  3. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I just got my BRB, Talyn, a month ago and have fed her twice. Before I got her she was fed alternately live and F/K. I decided to switch her to F/T from the beginning. Since she is already about 4 years old, I thought this might be difficult, but it wasn't at all. I think she was being under-fed before and so she was willing to eat anything I gave her.
    I just drop the thawed rats in the feeding tub and wait. She usually stays completely still for a LONG time, then her tongue starts flicking like crazy and she makes her way over towards the rats. Then she lifts her head and points her nose straight down over the rats body and touches it in different spots, checking it out.... Slowly she works her way to the head, calmly opens her jaws and gently, gently gets a grip. She usually works it in horizontally for a while, but sometimes she'll lift herself up, sit the rat on it's backside and push her head down over it.... I thought that was an interesting technique :cool:

    Since she wasn't used to being handled and has a tendency to be nasty, I read that it's better to feed her like this, so she doesn't have to "attack" to eat.
    I tried wiggling the first rat I fed her with tongs, but I ended up bursting the rats guts out, and the speed and force of her lightning strike scared the heck out of me causing me to drop the tongs (fortunately not on her, but scattering rat guts all over my table -- eeewww :eek: !!!!) I decided this was not a safe way for any of us and it has worked out fine to just leave the rats for her to pick up at her leisure.
     
  4. Inphormatika

    Inphormatika Elite Member

    My hybrid Dingie doesn't strike or constrict. She just opens up and swallows it down. She's never been fed live prey. Mae West has also never been fed live prey, however she has a VERY aggressive and strong attack. Tallulah is aggressive as well, but not nearly as fast as Mae. Sadly, I don't know how Wringie eats, because he escaped and hasn't eaten since I got him anyway.
     
  5. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    Tolkien strikes and constricts with gusto,,,,we initialy started with f/t but have since switched to f/k,,,which she seems to enjoy more.
     
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