This Disappears When Logged In

Am I feeding her enough??

Discussion in 'Burmese Pythons' started by Ssativa, Sep 22, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ssativa

    Ssativa Subscribed User Premium Member

    I have a Burmese python that is about 5 feet long that I inherited this snake from my little brother who died a year ago from germ cell cancer. Anyway, I've been feeding my snake, Dubious, one medium rat about every 2 weeks. I've been feeding Dubious the same portion for quite some time and the last time I feed her she seemed like she wanted more. I don't want her to grow any faster than necessary, because she already needs a larger enclosure then we have and I don't have a lot of $$$, but I don't want to starve her either. My question is, what is a normal, healthy portion of food and frequency of feeding for a Burmese python of this size?
    Dubious just 2 years ago

    And here she is now.
  2. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    Sorry about your little brother, is that him in the first picture?

    She looks healthy enough to me :)
  3. BOA68

    BOA68 Member

    I would say that a 5ft burm needs more than that. Of course she can live on what you are feeding her now with no problems at all. This will also keep her growth rate down a little. She could probably handle a few medium rats every two weeks or even a large rat or two though.

    5ft is fairly small for a 2 year old burm she should have a few more ft on her than that. My RTB is that big and he is 2. Burms grow faster than RTB.
  4. Lord_Jason

    Lord_Jason Active Member

    Firstly - 5 ft and 2 years? That snake is probably permantly stunted due to lack of nutrition.

    Secondly - you should feed one medium meal a week, or one large every 10-11 days, or an extra large once every two weeks. For this measure I use Snakes body diameter is medium, 1 and 1/3 the diameter is large, and 1.5 to 1.75 is extra large.

    Also - if you dont have money to care for an animal, some times its better to give it up than to force it to suffer.

  5. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    Wow! What gorgeous snake!
    I think she needs more to eat than what you are feeding her though.
    As for her needing a bigger cage...ask around the neighborhood for any extra wood or sliding glass doors (the house kind) that they are throwing out and build her a new cage. :) Just make sure it's tough enough to keep her IN there though and don't forget to ask for extra locks people have lying around ;) You would be amazed at the stuff people are willing to give away and yet they won't throw any of it out :p
    OR!! You can offer to mow their lawn or wash windows or something to buy the wood you need for a cage. Plus you will make enough extra $$ to buy more rats....
    Where there's a will, there's always a way ;)
    Let us know how it goes k?
    Hugs, Jem
  6. Ssativa

    Ssativa Subscribed User Premium Member


    Thanks for all the replys. Yea that is my brother in the first pic.

    The reason I still have this snake is because I have yet to find someone that I feel is responsible enough and also willing to make a the commitment to keep a snake that will eventually grow big enough to eat a deer. I have grown attached to her, but I keep in mind that one day, if I find a better home, it might be best to give her up.
    The simple act of feeding her is quite tramatic for me, but I love my snake so I do what I have to do. I can't even look at the rat that I feed her. I just open one end of the box, shake out the rat, and close the door. (I feed her in my shower which I line with newspaper.)

    Has anyone had any experience with frozen rodents? I was thinking about this as an alternative to live prey, but I want to find out more about it first.
  7. Lord_Jason

    Lord_Jason Active Member

    Frozen rodents are the bomb. Very easy to deal with - try for pricing and purchasing. Secondly, I doubt she'll ever get big enough to eat a dear. a 300# snake might be able to eat 50 pounds in one sitting, and not even FLUFFY is that big. At most, she'll eat some baby goats or small sheep. (or REALLY big bunnies)

    If you want to keep her, Im saying that you dont need to get rid of her, just understand your responsibility to her. If you can make her a cage that is 4' deep, 8' long and 2-4' high, she'll be set for LIFE. Trust me...

  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I too, as well as many keepers of various types of snakes, use frozen. It's much easier and safer for the snake. I too use Rodentpro. If feeding live is bothering you the frozen will sove that. Its also much cheaper.
  9. Jay DeMore

    Jay DeMore Elite Member

  10. Todd

    Todd Elite Member

    I agreee with what BOA68 and Lord Jason said on the feeding frequency of the Burms. :)
  11. Ssativa

    Ssativa Subscribed User Premium Member


    About my snake being stunted; It is hard to swallow all the info that I've gotten from you all. I can either choose not to believe it and risk that you may be right and compromise the life of my snake, or I can accept that ignorantly harmed my snake by not feeding her enough and try to make up for it from now on.

    The recommended amount to feed a burm is just so unclear. People have told me that I should feed Dubious more, but those people were all into power feeding burms. People actually feed their burms too much as if there were this competition to have the biggest snake. I know they are overweight because the snakes body feels really gushy and fatty. A healthy (not overweight) burm should feel firm like a muscle right?

    Oh yea, about the frozen rats, thanks for the support. I did not know that it was possible to buy small quantities of frozen rodents, but I went to that link and I can get a bag with as little as 5 rats at a time. The only other thing I have to figure out before making the switch from live to frozen is, where do I keep frozen rats?? Not in the same freezer I keep my food! Do you have to buy a special freezer to keep the frozen rodents in?
  12. Hippolyta

    Hippolyta Member

    I keep my frozen rodents in thier individually sealed bags in a sealed tupperware container labelled "Specimens" on it's own side of the freezer. Whether you know it or not there are germier things than rats among (and on and in) the food in your freezer anyway ;)
  13. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    I agree with Hippolyta.....if the rodents are frozen there are no "active" germs. The frozen chicken in your freezer is worse off than the rats.
  14. Todd

    Todd Elite Member

    Ssativa, I would recommend that you make your own assessment after soaking up all of your info. (You never know, if you do enough research about a subject, people may begin coming to you for answers!) I really don't think anything mentioned will be compromising the health of your snake. While there will always be risks when power feeding, if you just stick to a moderate feeding schedule, you'll be fine. Always question your sources (especially the owners who like to talk about the giant size of the their Burms). Nevertheless, knowledge is the answer. You may not ever find a perfect answer to things, but you can search enough to find an answer that is comfortable for you to accept and utilize.

    When I haven't been content with what I have understood about a particular subject, I researched until I found an answer that I thought was a good one. If it sounded odd, then I researched it more, looking for similarities. When writing caresheets, I would look for 20 or more good references (depending on the obscurity of the subject) to make sure that I felt what I was going to share with others was as accurate as possible (I would also share it with colleagues who I felt to be esteemed in the particular area before sharing).

    Since Burmese pythons are perhaps the most popular larger snake, I will tell you that these answers your search for are out there. Talk with burmese owners, look up caresheets on burms, find the consistencies, look for the differences, read about overfeeding in burms, for example. You'll begin to develop a sense for what is more factual and what is more opinion as you compare information. If nothing else, consult a reptile veterinarian to determine if the Burm is underweight or overweight. (and get the snake a fecal exam while you're there.)

    I say this out of response to your level of commitment and concern for your Burm. And I do not see your concern of its weight to be life threatening at this time, but moreso, as a good opportunity to learn. Snakes are very hearty and tractable animals. You can make mistakes without severly harming them. And they (Burms) will acclimate to your caregiving. I'm very happy that you are so committed. :)

    You never know? Maybe you'll learn all kinds of interesting and unpopluar info on Burms in your quest for answers that may promp someone to ask you to write a caresheet!?

    The answers are out there. :)
  15. smallgrayfox

    smallgrayfox Contributing Member

    I was very squeamish at first about keeping mice in the freezer with our food...but they're in a plastic bag in a plastic container clearly labeled "Spectre's Dinner", and they don't bother me anymore. In fact, like others have just said, once it occurred to me that my chicken was probably germier than the mice, I even quit minding if, heaven forbid, a box of frozen vegetables brushed up against the plastic container of "Spectre's dinner". :)
  16. Lord_Jason

    Lord_Jason Active Member

    Ok, Ssativa. Firstly, I have yet to see ANYONE reccomend power feeding to you from this site, and please allow me to tell you that it is not an option. All I am trying to tell you is that providing a snake with the nutrition that it needs to be able to grow is an important thing, and depending on the size of the meal, will tell you your frequency. A normal or slightly larger meal is probably a weekly thing. The larger you go, the further apart you can get.

    Power feeding does 2 things in particular: 1) causes large amounts of physical size growth in both girth and length, and 2) reduces the lifespan of most animals. it is BAD.

    A healthy burm that isnt fat will feel solid to the touch, and with a little force you should be able to feel ribs. It will have a clearly defineable neck, and the head will appear porportionate to its body. You will not be able to tell where the body ends and the tail begins, and the snake will have a smooth appearance with out any skin showing through the scales.

    I think im the only person that has posted in this thread that has first hand experience with Burmese pythons. (I own two). I dont want "big" snakes, I want healthy snakes.

  17. Jay DeMore

    Jay DeMore Elite Member

    The burm I fostered was a victim of overfeeding, the owner "enjoyed" feeding her. She was 9' long and was over 100 pounds. She was very thick, out of proportion. Can you take her to a vet and get a professional opinion on her size. (sorry the pics aren't better)

    Attached Files:

  18. Inphormatika

    Inphormatika Elite Member

    Yeah, it's a beautiful-looking snake, but definately small. F/T rats are the way to go. As an added bonus, you don't have to worry about them suffering! As a negative thing, however, thawing rats don't exactly smell the best. :p And if you should try to thaw one out in a toaster oven, it's worse. :D

    I would go with feeding 1 medium/large rat every 6-8 days. That way, he won't get overly hungry and perhaps strike at you. A burm bite, even from a small burm, is nothing to laugh at.
  19. Jay DeMore

    Jay DeMore Elite Member

    The best way to thaw is to put them in a ziplock bag and float them in warm water. No smell, no mess.
  20. Inphormatika

    Inphormatika Elite Member

    I had to find that out the hard way. :( I can still smell them a bit through the bag, though.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page