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Advice For A Nervous Ratsnake?

Discussion in 'Ratsnakes' started by KhantiMetta, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. KhantiMetta

    KhantiMetta Active Member

    Hey guys! I have a female Korean Ratsnake who has been acting very nervous, especially when being fed and I wanted to know if you guys had any advice!

    I've had her for several months now, and lately she's been becoming crazier and crazier during feedings. When I first bought her she was in a tank that was too small, but she did fine aside from the usual nervousness that comes with a new home. After a couple weeks I was able to get her into a much bigger enclosure with plenty of paces to hide and feel secure. Of course she was still nervous with a new home and everything, but now after months she still seems more nervous in the larger enclosure, which is strange because Korean Rat snakes are known to like big areas and having room to climb around. As far as handling goes, she is a total sweetheart, but she just gets freaked out when I come near the cage. I now have her cage toward the back so i don't walk by it very often, but feeding is still a big issue.

    When feeding her I place her in separate tote, as I do with all of my snakes, and I feed frozen/thawed. My 3 other snakes have never had any problem with this, even when I first brought them home and they were a little nervous, but something about all of it really makes her nervous and I'm not sure why. As soon as I put her in she gets into a defense position and will sometimes even strike at me through the the plastic if i make any movement. I usually let her sit in there for a bit before trying to feed her so that she can relax, which helps a little but not much. When I offer her the mouse she will strike at it defensively, even if I am holding it a bit away from her. Sometimes she will take if I ease it closer to her very slowly and let her smell it for a really long time, but my best luck has been to leave the mouse in with her, put a towel over the tote so she can't see out, and then leave the room. Even then she still may not eat the mouse and just curls up in a corner instead.

    I have another snake that is a little nervous, but not at all as defensive and I have no idea what is causing her to be so much more reactive. I wish I had remembered to ask the breeder how he fed and kept her, but because she seemed so calm and docile when I was holding her before buying her, I didn't think it would be a problem. She really is a super calm snake when it comes to handling, so it seems so strange to be that handling is no problem but feeding is such a hassle.

    Sorry this was so long guys, but thank you in advance for any advice or tips you have! I really want her to be able to eat well and feel relaxed, so I really appreciate the help.
  2. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    Why are you moving her into a tote for feeding? Try feeding her in the enclosure.
  3. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    I have to agree with the above, the feeding outside the enclosure seems to be causing too much stress. May I ask your reason for doing it? Typically it causes more problems than it solves.

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