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Advice needed feeding large burm

Discussion in 'Burmese Pythons' started by Ssativa, Apr 2, 2006.

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  1. Ssativa

    Ssativa Subscribed User Premium Member

    Its been awhile since I asked for advice in feeding Dubious. I was offered good advice then. Here is a link to that post if you want to know the history.

    Dubious has grown to about 7 ft. now. I have been feeding him bi-weekly 2 large rats, and occasionaly a few gerbils or an extra rat between feedings. I am suspecting that I need to increase the volume of food due to the changes in his temperment. He is super-nippy. The past few times I've taken him out to bring him to the room for him to eat, I've had to dodge strikes to my face! The last time, he struck at me a week ago, was when I was trying to get his whole body off of me into the shower where I feed him. As soon as he let go he turned around and stuck at my face. Lucky for me, my boyfriend grabbed me by the waist and pulled me backwards and closed the door. I got a good view of the inners of his mouth. They are incredible. I have decided to wear a paintball mask this time I feed him. I do not want to get bit in the face. If I cant figure out how to handle him I will have to consider finding him a new home.

    I would feed him something larger, such as chickens, but they are not available where I live. Does any one have advice? What am I doing wrong. I've decided to feed him weekly so that I can eventually handle him for reasons other than feeding, but it just seems like he is always hungry. Advice anyone?
  2. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    rather then chickens try rabbits, and rather then feeding him yourself try getting a 2nd or even 3rd person to hold him, at this point if you havnt handeled him alot it will begin to show. Rehoming him at this size could be rather hard, since hes not even to his halfway point growth wise.
  3. Ssativa

    Ssativa Subscribed User Premium Member

    Rabbits are very expensive. I myself would not eat a rabbit. I grew up with pet rabbits. I would much rather feed him chickens because they are cheaper, they come from an egg, and they are not so cute and cuddely. Why don't I ever see whole frozen chickens for sale on-line?
  4. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    you dont see them online prob cause ive never heard of anyone feeding chickens to their snake, only rabbits and im not so sure chickens would be as healthy for a snake as a rabbit would be
  5. Ssativa

    Ssativa Subscribed User Premium Member

    I have heard of lots of people feeding their burms live chickens but not frozen.
  6. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    hm, maybe youll have to buy some live ones and co2 em then freeze em
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Many people feed their larger snakes poultry in additon to the rodents as a cost cutter. However poultry does tend to make the feces much looser and more odorous!:eek:
    I also know of people that will feed turkey legs. They tie the turkey leg to the leg of the rodent and let the snake swallow both.
  8. petsareusrescue

    petsareusrescue Elite Member

    Feeding Your Burm

    We feed our burmese several different items.
    See if you can find some jumbo rats and feed atleast 2 at a time. All our snakes get fed once a week especially those that are under 15 feet. We find feeding weekly prevents having to feed larger prey. Many companies offer, g. pigs, bunnies, rabbits, jumbo mice, and yes you can occasionally feed chickens. Unfortunately the chicken do not supply all the nutrition the snake needs.
    Pets Are Us Rescue:) :) :) :)
  9. Ssativa

    Ssativa Subscribed User Premium Member

    Good to know. I certainly don't want to deal with anything loose and smelly. The turkey leg idea is disturbing, yet an ingenious idea when you think about it. I suppose the turkey legs are f/t? Do they but them at the grocery store? And what do they use to tie the turkey leg to the rodent?

    When the snakes are over 15 feet, does their appetite slow down?
    I appreciate the info regarding the lack of nutrition in poultry, but how do you know how much nutrition chickens provide compared to the other animals you mentioned? Is there some sort of nutritional analysis of chickens, g. pigs, rats, mice, rabbits...etc. available? Someone must have researched this and if not, maybe I'll be the first.:p
  10. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    I've got some very annoying cats that i'll send you. ;) Goodluck with the feedings, don't get bit, and if you do, take some pictures to remid people of the power of large'll be educational.
  11. Brittone05

    Brittone05 Elite Member

    lol Lacey the ever concrned herper - don't worry about having a big snake wrapped roudn your head just take a pic so other people can be reminded you got eaten heheheheee

    Good luck wit the feeding thing - I hope you resolve your problems and manage to calm him down a touch :)
  12. petsareusrescue

    petsareusrescue Elite Member

    feeding burmese pythons

    There have been several studies concerning the difference between red meat and white meat. Red meat has more protein and other needed enzymes etc, where as white meat (chicken) unfortunately does not. We had a 22 foot burmese python (not recommended unless experienced handler and never handle alone) we fed a variety of foods all were frozen-dethawed rabbits, jumbo mice, chicks, g. pigs, we also allow the snake to get exercise to keep the muscles taut and healthy. One of the provlems with the larger snakes is lack of exercise and improper diet. Yes you can feed chickens, turkeys, etc but it must equal the amount of red meat(50% to 50%). This will ensure the proper amount of fats and protein for your snake. We will search for the articles on this subject. Check out reptiles magazine there are some good dealers that offer a variety of frozen prey. Rodent Pro is one that we recommend, they have sales on rabiits that can be purchased occasionally for $3.00 a piece. Burmese should be lean and slick not short and fat. Before purchasing a large snake like a burmese it is always a good idea to investigate the foods and the costs of keeping these snakes.
    This is a great site wher we can discuss all these issues.
    Pets Are Us Rescue:) :) :rolleyes: :eek:
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    A small peice of cotton string. It is digested.

    Well said indeed!
    It costs a lot to feed one of the big boys.
    Fluffy, Bob Clark's big retic, gets 40lb PIGS!
  14. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    That's a good point, of course, but if I remember correctly, Ssativa inherited her Burm from her brother when he passed away. :(

    Ssativa, I think you've done a great job handling Dubious so far. I would be nervous too at any snake that was striking at my face. Protect yourself with whatever it takes to keep from getting bitten.
    As far as feeding: I agree that F/T jumbo rats, guinea pigs or rabbits would be the best food for him and keeping him well-fed might slightly reduce the risk of getting bitten.
    What is VERY important is that he doesn't smell the food thawing or warming up before you've got him in the shower or wherever you feed him. They can smell food in another room, so if possible thaw as far away as you can. Otherwise, he smells warm rat in the air and your warm hand comes near his head... bang... you're bit.

    Good luck!!:D
  15. Ssativa

    Ssativa Subscribed User Premium Member

    Yes, thankyou Blackjack.
  16. petsareusrescue

    petsareusrescue Elite Member


    I did not know how the snake was acquired :confused: but we included that statement to prevent anyone from accidently purchasing a big snake without considering the costs.
    Another trick we use to feed our big snakes is to ensure that our hands have alchol on them. We keep a spray bottle of alchol handy at all times just in case of a large snake bite.:eek: :eek:
    You can also place a towel over the head and keep there until you get the snake to feeding area.
    We are here to help:)
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    As are we.;)
  18. Ssativa

    Ssativa Subscribed User Premium Member

    That trick is out of the question. For some reason, he always strikes at towels. If they were nutritious I would just feed him those. I am now locked out of my own bathroom. I opened the door slowly to get him out the day after he ate, and he struck at and proceeded to wrap around a bathrobe that was hanging on the back of the door. I swear he was trying to eat it. When he realized that it wasn't moving, he turned to me with that same look. I guess I will have to feed him some more rats before returning him to his enclosure.

    This is all very disappointing since up until recently, I had no problems with him. I never feared him even when he would come up to my face and flick his tongue. He has become aggressive seemingly over night. I hope that adjusting his meals will do the trick. I want my Dubious back; he's becoming a monster.
  19. petsareusrescue

    petsareusrescue Elite Member

    feeding burm

    OK we can't do the towel looking over my notes I have had some snakes actually bite and attempt to swallow the towel, it was a moving object and it assumed it was food. Although he is only 7 feet the snake may be going into puberty especially if a male, they breed in early spring.
    Just a few questions, you were handling him everyday? It is essential to do so. We deliberately put rubbing alchol on our hands and let the snake sniff it through the screening (only done with aggressive snakes) this is done several times a day. This is done so the snake will get used of us smelling like alchol so we can take them out without a problem.
    Burmese pythons are endless pit eaters they can eat until they regurgitate although we have never had that happen.
    I think I would purchase a large plastic container for feeding and not give the snake so much room to hunt.
    Another issue we occasionally have with these snakes is the feeding frenzy, this is when they maybe getting a growth spurt and need more food, most of them are starved by the time we get them. We feed them almost everyday until they don't want the food. We would rather they be full and maybe throw away a rat or too than have them hungry and strike.
    Are you afraid of the snake when you go near him now that it has gotten aggressive?
    It is very unusual for a docile burm to get aggressive after being docile, but handling is the key.
    These are just a few more suggestions to help you. We have been known to use a box or anything that is flat when the snake decides to strike and hits a flat object they don't like that. I would recommend having another person with you until he decides to settle down.
    You are welcome to contact us any time our number is on our web page. we will do everything we can to help you.
    Pets Are Us Rescue
  20. Ssativa

    Ssativa Subscribed User Premium Member

    LOL. That is exactly what he tried to do with the bath robe that was hanging on the back of the door.

    How big are they typically when they go into puberty? and how old?

    What about when the snake is digesting? I always assumed that my snake should be given time for digestion and was uncomfortable being handled after eating for at least three days?

    I always just wash my hands first with dish soap. I think he is used to the smell of that.

    I will definately look into that. How big of a container would you suggest?

    Me too but unfortunatly the $20.00 a week that i pay for the two jumbo rats is all that I can afford. As it is I've been feeding off the pet gerbils in my household. There are only two left. I consisered breeding them for more food, but they take a long time to grow and at their adult size, they are hardly an appitizer.

    I'm not afraid of the snake as far as me getting close to him. I just worry about anyone else. I'm afraid, for Dubious, that he would bite someone accidently and that someone might hurt him. That is one reason I why I don't have help when I am feeding him. The box sounds like a much safer shield to use when necessary than a towel which or other cloth which he will see as a target.

    Thanks for all the advice.
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