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Intro... and a Question, Naturally

Discussion in 'Kingsnakes' started by heysharon, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. heysharon

    heysharon Member

    Hi all,

    My 9 year old daughter is a proud new owner of a kingsnake she named Gilbert. We purchased "him," after months of begging, from Petsmart. I'm not opposed to snakes (I quite like them, in fact), but I'd hoped to find one from another source. At any rate, we brought Gilbert home a week ago, after we had purchased and set up a 20 gallon tank, under tank heater, hides, water dish, and cypress mulch substrate. So far, he has a lovely mild temperament and tolerates handling well. I don't have a scale to weigh him but he's about 20 inches long and roughly the circumference of my ring size 7 finger. Petsmart gave me documentation that shows he arrived at the store about 9 months ago, and was eating pinky mice from the first week. I'm not sure how old he was when he arrived, but I'm guessing he's probably a yearling? Their feeding schedule showed him being fed weekly from the start, and recently consuming 1 fuzzy and 7 pinkies in one feeding. That seems like an extremely large meal compared to what I'm reading on here and other sites. We fed him 4 pinkies two days ago, and he ate them very enthusiastically, and I believe he would have eaten more. It's been almost 48 hours and I can still see lumps in his body. I went back to the store and bought a small box of fuzzies to see how he takes them this week, so I'll know before placing a mouse mail order.

    So, do I feed him until he stops eating? Limit to one fuzzy per week? Twice a week? Two fuzzies? It is killing my daughter to wait the 48 hours after eating to handle him, lol. So I was hoping we could stick to once a week.

  2. heysharon

    heysharon Member

    I thought a video might garner more views... :)[video=youtube;uXTaCkRd6qM][/video]
  3. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member


    At 20" that's a good size corn snake. It was probably a hatchling when they got it. I think he would be fine to move up to maybe even hoppers or a small small mouse. I wear q size 7 ring also. The food can be 2times the widest part of his body if that helps. The larger the food (at his age) the less you feed.

    I would move up to 2 fuzzies once every 7 days for 2ish weeks then move to the next size if he starts 'searching for food'. Example: you can always tell when its close to feed day at my house. The snakes get really active.

    Regardless of what I feed and thier age I only feed on Fridays. Its the only day I do.
  4. heysharon

    heysharon Member

    As it turns out, I overestimated his circumference. While Cami was holding him tonight, I slipped my ring over his tail and up his spine. He may be as thick as my pinky, and I have slender fingers, about ring size 5.5 on my pinky. Tomorrow I will try putting him in a pillow case and weighing him on an old postage scale I have.
  5. rimridge

    rimridge Well-Known Member

    Regardless, at 20 inches it should have no problems with hopper mice. 1 say every 4-6 days or even 2 every 7 to 10 days. I would start out with the one for the first few feedings.
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Your video is set to private and will not play.
    If you feed one feeder and it leaves a noticeable size lump, you are good to go. Kingsnakes are opportunists and will feed to obesity if allowed. Look at it this way. In the wild they come across a nest of rodents. they consume all that they can eat. But it may be quite a while before they find such a bounty again.
    Doing this on a regular basis will lead to an obese snake.
    Feed one appropriately sized item once a week and you should do just fine.

    What temperatures do you have in the tank?
  7. heysharon

    heysharon Member

    Hi! Thank you for your responses. I thought I'd bookmarked this forum, but I couldn't find it after I'd posted that one day. Gilbert is doing great. I fed him two fuzzies and a pinky last week. I have another question I will post about temperatures in another thread...
  8. heysharon

    heysharon Member

    Oh, and I fixed the video, I think. Gilbert started getting dull about a week ago, and yesterday his eyes turned blue, so he's getting ready to shed for the first time since we got him. I started misting the tank a few days ago. Today his eyes were clear again and he ate a fuzzy.

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