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Is This Mouse Too Big?

Discussion in 'Milksnakes' started by aromatherapykim, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. aromatherapykim

    aromatherapykim Elite Member

    Hi everyone! So waldos been eating 1 f/t adult mouse once a week and been doing great. We noticed he would get the mouse down very easily and his body had a bulge for only a short while so we felt he may need more so we decided to try a jumbo mouse. I attached a picture of him working on it. It definitely took him longer to get down and this morning (a little over 30 hours later) there was still a jumbo mouse sized bulge about midway down his body.
    Was this too large for him?

    Attached Files:

  2. king1239

    king1239 Elite Member

    Most of the time if they take it its okay normaly about as big as the thickest point
  3. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    It is a bit big, though not drastically oversized:) If it was, he would've spat it out; it wouldn't have got past the head. However, if you can, it might be better to feed two smaller items per meal. The bulge is normal, if the prey item was big then it can stay there for the next day or even two.
  4. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Its not better to have two smaller items, this seems to be a good size for him. The general rule of thumb is one and a half times the largest girth of the snake.
  5. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    I'm of the other spectrum, Smaller is better. Over sized meals can fester if conditions go wrong causing regurgitation. Smaller meals cause less stress on the system and are not as likely to cause trouble if conditions get out of sync.
  6. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    I tend to agree with DwarvenChef. Our animals are just like us. If they overeat they get fat and lazy. Our animals live a very lazy life free of predation. In my opinion, You should be asking how small a mouse can be fed.
  7. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    Not to mention bigger meals are risky since the snake might choke on them, if they get lodged in the mouth and the snake is unable to spit them out. Smaller=safer. At least in the majority of cases.
  8. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Snakes know what they can handle and won't take meals they can't swallow. Our animals are not like us because we can't go months without food nor are we cold blooded. A snake can digest animals in a matter of days regardless of size. If something goes wrong it won't matter what size the meal is. Without heat any size will be an issue for digesting and most animals will the regurgitate the food.

    Their systems are stressed more by multiple meals as opposed to one of appropriate size. One to one and a half time its thickest is fine and quite safe. There are some exceptions to this rule but it works for the average snake. Arboreal snakes are a bit different due to their life style. Most people judge what an animal can take by the size of the head which is quite wrong and often leads to under feeding animals.

    After all this, the meal used was quite appropriate and I think you should keep going with it. Everyone is different and thus have their own opinions. There's plenty of research on snakes eating habits and digestion that's available
  9. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Not arguing the topic :) Just stating that because there is so much data on diet and feeding you can find a very wide opinion base. I stated my personal interpretation and others have stated there valid interpretation.

    Read up and decide what is good for you and your snake. You are there seeing what is going on, your the best person to understand how your snake responds to your methods. Research will set you free :)
  10. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Agreed :)
  11. Poison

    Poison Elite Member

    I've heard of snakes taking down large prey in the wild but regurgitate it later on.

    Such as these photos of a black head eating a road killed monitor

  12. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    They are opportunistic and optimistic little buggers :p
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Actually that is EXACTLY the size feed I would recommend for that snake.
  14. Knox

    Knox Elite Member

    BHB did a feeding comparison on baby corns. Small pinkies more frequently, small pinkies with vitamin dust, larger pinkies / fuzzies.

    What they found was that the larger mice gave the most growth - DRASTICALLY more growth. Next was the vitamin dusted. In last place was the smaller mice.

    Start at about the 2:15 mark:

    Same age corns in this pic. Different feeding tactics. And not even "power feeding"
    Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 10.16.33 AM.png
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The thing with feeding multiples is that with any feeder, you have parts which are non-digestible. So by feeding multiples you are also feeding more amounts of non digestible material. This results in less nourishing material and more waste.
  16. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

    I agree I little bigger then the girth of the snake is fine due to the fact that most if not mistaking all snakes have hinged jaws and are able to take pray larger then themselves due to this! they are opportunistic eaters and will take what they know they can swallow.....
  17. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    So do you reckon I should switch over from feeding my snake two mice per meal to just one? I used to feed him two mice every 12 days or so, would this be OK with just 1 large mouse or should I feed more often?
  18. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    I would switch to a larger feeder. How old is your snake? If younger, then you can feed once every seven to ten days, but if he's older then every two weeks should be fine.
  19. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    He's 5 years old, more or less. He was found in a backyard when he was about 2 feet long, so I don't know exactly when he was born. Don't know whether to count this as young, though. But if it'll be better to feed just 1 item, then I'll happily change his schedule:)
  20. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Avoid long hair mice, less indigestible hair. Cleaning up is not an issue for me I'd rather clean a mess more than worry about other issues.

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