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Baby Garter

Discussion in 'Garter & Water snakes' started by Brewster320, Aug 26, 2008.

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  1. Brewster320

    Brewster320 Elite Member

    Yesterday my father randomly brought a baby eastern garter snake he got on a job in NH. Normally I don't like keeping wild caught herps but I don't want to let I go because it's from a different locality and I don't want to contaminate the local population. Plus it's just cute honestly haha.

    I did some reading online to learn as much as I could about the keeping of garters because he probably going to stay here now even though my brother and I just got 2 frogs and my mom's not thrilled about the snake lol.

    Now the snake is about 4 and half inches long and is missing part of its tail so it could be maybe 5 inches if you include what's missing. I have it in a 2 and a half gallon vivarium (which is in fact quite spacious for him) my brother and I made from spare parts from the frogs vivarium. Now I found information on the care of garter snakes but I couldn't find anything on the care of neonates. All I know is they are born 5-9inches long so this little guy must be a new born.

    I know I should leave him be for a week for him to get used to everything. But the reason I'm posting here is I want to know what is best to feed a very young garter and if there is anything else I should know about their care. Thanks
  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    They'll eat bugs and worms at that age. Crickets, night crawlers, roaches, etc..
  3. leslielenee

    leslielenee Elite Member

    Mine have never touched an insect of any kind. The books say that nightcrawlers are too big and might crawl back out and that the little red worms are a bit bitter. I feed my adult garter hoppers, fish filet, rosies, and worms. She gladly eats anything. The babies are a bit different. They are noticeably diverse in their eating habits and it shows in their size. Some of my best eaters take two pieces of worm and three rosies every three to four days. I have two very peculiar snakes that might eat once every four feedings. They are like half the size of the others.
    Note: worms are like a delicacy...They love them, but the meal provides no calcium. Protein is also a must. Try them on everything listed above and then switch it up between feedings to make sure your snake is getting the most from its meals...Pinky parts are highly recommended but messy, ewe, your choice.
  4. Brewster320

    Brewster320 Elite Member

    Thanks for you help guys, a few minutes ago I cut up an earthworm and put it in the vivarium outside one of her hides and s/he gladly started eating the worms. I know your not supposed to feed a snake with in the first week but she's WC and I wanted to make sure it was eating.
  5. Ashuresque

    Ashuresque Elite Member

    I must say that's a mighty cute little snake. How big do they get?
  6. Brewster320

    Brewster320 Elite Member

    Well most I've seen are only 2ft or a little more. But a few years ago at my uncles's cabin in New Hampshire one of my uncles caught a massive one that was definitely in 4 foot range. Honestly I wouldn't have been surprised if it was 4 1/2. It was bigger than most corn snakes I've seen. But I think it could be to a 6ft corn snake, they only happen on rare occasions. I'm not sure though, hopefully someone who knows more about garters will shed some light.
  7. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    Garters supposedly only get 2-3 feet. But I have occasionally seen some in the 4 and 5 foot range.

    He is a cutie. Maybe it's hatching time for them. I found a little 4" one yesterday under a rock near my boat when I went to work on it. I let him go in the garden after we took in his cuteness for a few mins. Good luck with him. From what I have experienced, wild caught garters aren't the friendliest of snakes. At least the ones I rescued from my cat and nursed back to health years ago weren't. Once they fully healed, they would hiss, snap, and poop all over anybody trying to touch them.
  8. Brewster320

    Brewster320 Elite Member

    When I first got him he was snapping and everything, but when I go in there now like to feed him or fix something in the tank I can just pick it up and move him and he just chills until I put him down. I think he might have been stressed out when I got him. So hopefully I can get him used to people.
  9. leslielenee

    leslielenee Elite Member

    OOOOH...My babies would be sooooo jealous. That is a nice viv. I bet he loves that swimming pool.
  10. Brewster320

    Brewster320 Elite Member

    Ya it looks nice and he/she loves it. But I'm starting to learn why people say snakes and vivariums don't go together, I'm always in there fixing it because it destroys everything in the vivarium and it's only 5 inches long haha.
  11. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Most garter snakes prey mainly on worms, fish, and amphibians. Some, but not all, will eat insects and/or reptiles and/or mice. It depends on the species of garter and where it came from.

    At that size I'd feed him mainly worms and small fish. As far as fish go, livebearers are best. Guppies just happen to be an example that's both good for them, and small enough for a neonate to eat.

    You'll want to start introducing him to pinky mice as soon as he's big enough to swallow them. If he won't take them naturally, you will have to scent them with fish or worms by rubbing the mouse on fish or worms. As he grows you will upgrade from pinkies to fuzzies, and as he gets used to eating mammals, you can eventually stop scenting them. Just try an unscented one now and then and see if he takes it. Once he starts eating mice, these should be the bulk of his diet, but continue to supplement that with worms, fish, and tadpoles if you can.

    The reason for the mouse diet is because a diet of almost nothing but worms is not nutritionally balanced enough, and a diet of nothing but fish will eventually lead to a Thiamine deficiency which could kill him. Since mice are far easier to come by than amphibians, it's best to stick with mice as the staple.

    Oh, and if your garter will take crickets, you can add those to the diet as well, but I've personally never seen a garter snake that will eat insects, though I know there are some out there.
  12. belle

    belle Elite Member

    Very cute snake :) The viv is beautiful.
  13. leslielenee

    leslielenee Elite Member

    This is what I have for my remaining 12.
    I recently had to split them because of age and size.
    I am not looking forward to another upgrade because we are anticipating a new boa and his sibling ball into our home. That makes our herp count at a fantastic 17. Which reminds me, anyone looking to care for a captive born eastern garter... feel free to contact us for pictures and picks.
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