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Feeding Question

Discussion in 'Burmese Pythons' started by re13lynn, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. re13lynn

    re13lynn Member

    I have an almost 6 month old burmese python named Akasha. I just had a question if his eating is normal. He does eat live, he wont touch F/T food. Lately I've noticed when he initially strikes at the food, he is missing the face or main part of the rat. The very last time he ate he missed completely and got the rats tail, and then wrapped around the rat. He was able to kill it and still eat it.

    I wasnt sure if he just needs practice and will get better at striking, or if there is another reason for it.

    Thanks for the help!!
  2. bighog85

    bighog85 Elite Member

    That is pretty normal so no worries there. You do however need to get him switched over to F/T. It's not hard to do and really just involves not offering anything but F/T until he takes it. Don't worry about him starving to death or anything like that. Just offer once a week until he takes it. I guarantee that he will eventually. You just have to be consistent and don't give in and feed live.
  3. re13lynn

    re13lynn Member

    Why do I need to switch to F/T? I had a boa for 20 years and he only ate live. We never had any problems with him getting hurt
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Yes and you can close your eyes and walk across a busy street and may be get lucky and make it a few times.
    But all it takes is one time when you don't.
    And that should have been your first notice that there is a danger to the snake!
    A single well placed bite can seriously injure or even kill a snake. A rat has large teeth and will be in the act of fighting for its life.
    Do a search for "Rodent bites on snakes".
    It will be quite enlightening.
  5. hennisntacanibal

    hennisntacanibal Elite Member

    And remember, the bigger the snake, the bigger the prey. The bigger the prey, the more damage they can do.
  6. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    I know that everyone supports F/T and I'm not here to argue with it, so please don't take anything the wrong way anyone...

    It's a preference in the end, but if you are going to feed live never ever leave them alone. When I feed I stay there and use a smaller snake hook to manuever the prey when it's struck. If the strike misses the head I usually (stop reading if you're squimish or soft please) pull it back and away from the snake. I wont go into detail but you get the idea of how it goes. (PM for full details) I only say this because though snakes can take care of themselves and in nature it's perfectly normal to be bitten, as pets they require some more help. They're not in a natural enviorment and who wants to see their pets injured. All I'm saying is be vigilent! Happy feeding!
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Yes and in nature its perfectly normal for the predator to become the prey and DIE!
    My point exactly! Who wants to see their pet injured or killed when they could have easily prevented it. The problem being that no matter how fast that you think that you are, if it does happen you are no where near fast enough to prevent it.
    There really is no good reason to feed live to most snakes and it is done solely for the entertainment of the keeper.
  8. re13lynn

    re13lynn Member

    I dont feed him live for entertainment. I feed him live because he is a snake and thats how they eat in the wild. Im not here to argue either, but thats what they are designed to do. Hunt and kill. I've tried frozen and he wont even look at it. If all he wants to eat is live then I have to feed him and just be careful. No one in the wild is throwing snakes pre-killed food. I dont want my snake to get hurt either, but I think he'll be just fine.

    Thanks for all the advise!
  9. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I think you miss the point entirely; it may take a little while for a "stubborn" individual to accept, but captive snakes in the overwhelming majority of cases DO take p/k, f/t... What you do increases the risk of serious injury to the predator, because the whole thing takes place in a "match box"... Not fair fair to the prey either. Can I ask just how long you tried feeding dead?
  10. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    HI, I don't want you to take anything the wrong way. I don't think you should feel as though people are attacking you. Trust me I feed live and in the end it's my decesion and that's pretty much the end of it. Think everyone wsa just trying to say be extremely careful. My current adult misses the face often and I just have to be quick that's all. Trust me when a snake is feeding and actually grabs and animal it's pretty much over if they're healthy. Takes more then people think to actually injure an animal that's all muscle. Once prey gets bigger or the snake is not hungry is where more care is required.
    What I have done for bigger snakes taking adult prey that only eat live is stun the prey. Though most people think it's cruel, in the end I like snakes not rodents so my pets are more important then the prey. That's also another choice as yours gets bigger, but if you had a boa then I'm sure it's just things you already know.
  11. justor

    justor Elite Member

    The thing about feeding live to a larger species like a burm, is that as they get bigger their prey must get bigger, and stronger. An adult rabbit could do some very extensive damage to a snake. Like you said you must be careful, but what exactly are you going to be able to do when you witness your snake being torn apart by a rodent? Removing a rodent that is fighting for it's life from the enclosure isn't going to be easy, and you could very well receive some collateral damage yourself.

    Point being... make the switch. It's better for your snake in the long run. Nobody says wild snakes never get attacked by their prey. And in the wild if the snake misses a strike, the prey will likely run away as fast as it can. In an enclosure, the prey has nowhere to run, and thus with no option to flee it must fight for its survival.
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    But thats the kicker! This snake is not in the wild!
    That arguement, though commonly used as an excuse by someone who wants to feed live, really doesn't stand up. This isn't a snake out in the wild. In the wild both snake and prey would have the chance to flee and go on their seperate ways if the snake really wasn't that hungry at the time.
    And in the wild the snake would have just as good a chance of being killed itself as it would being the killer.
    A wild dog would be feeding on live prey.
    But do you feed your house dog live food?
    No! You make allowances for the fact that it is an animal that is in captivity.
    And I can guarantee you that should you find yorself in the predicament of trying to intervene in a feeding of a large constrictor that is going bad,...YOU are going to get hurt!

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