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New Snake Owner Here W/ a Feeding ?

Discussion in 'Corn Snakes' started by ZandraO, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. ZandraO

    ZandraO Member

    We just bought two corn snakes from a local pet store, though I will mention, I did the knowledge part of the research ON MY OWN, rather than take their word for it. We were going to order from a breeder but I felt so bad about the shipping trauma I chose the store instead. We got two cage mates, so we knew they already get along. One the pink/white/pale colored one you can see his (we call him a male but don't really care what gender it is) past two spots in his body. The other standard red/orange corn of course with her (refer to earlier comment) we can't. My husband went in and got them while I was with the kids, he gave me the food chart, and first looked at our lighter colored one, every recent attempt (past month) he has happily eaten...then I flipped the page and looked at the other snakes chart, since april 5th when they arrived the store has attempted to feed her 4 times and for each of those they have a O meaning she didn't eat. I'm planning on trying for the first time with them both (separately of course) on Saturday. The pale colored one is certainly more active but both have been circling the 15 gallon tank. Though mostly the red stays hidden...should I be concerned?

    I read that they may not want to eat close to shedding and may hide...but I do not know how long that process is?

    Another new environment in less than a month I'm sure is stressful, and even though my kids are DYING to touch the snakes (we just bought last night) I am not letting them till tomorrow.

    We have a 14-day return policy on them, should I wait and attempt 2 times to feed in that time and if still not eating return or save the time and return now?

    The kids love the snakes to watch them in the tank, but I would hate to have spent 50 bucks on something that is about to die. I did read they can go months without eating but I would hate to wait it out and then the snake die from not eating (though I did see her drink lots of water last night hours after being in her cage) I just want some advice as what you would do knowing all this???

    Thanks for any tips

    OH one more thought- It's right that I am to feed them in a different container than their cage right? so they don't think every time we put a hand in there it is food? And then how long do I wait after they eat to put back in the cage? I know you are to wait 48 hours to handle after eating, but I didn't see anywhere how long I wait to put them back in the cage?

    You are all going to become my new friends!!!! Husband and one child want nothing to do with these snakes so it's all me here!!!! So I'm very thankful I found all of you!
  2. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Are you keeping them both together? Probably not a good idea! Its better to keep them separated, then you will be able to know which snake has a runny poop. Also some have been known to be cannibalistic, not all, but you never know if it will be yours that are.

    Did you get them last night, if so you really shouldn't handle them right away, let them settle in for a week.

    Here is a caresheet on them!
    Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus) Caresheet
  3. ZandraO

    ZandraO Member

    We are keeping them together, they have been together before we got them. They were cage mates already, so I think/hope they will be okay. I did see the care sheet which had some great info. I had not previously found, thanks for that!!!

    Yes we did get them last night, so I shouldn't even then try to feed them or hold them for a week???

    Should I then not be too concerned the one snake has not eaten since the pet store got her 4-5-11???

    Thanks for the SWIFT previous reply!!!!
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    LOL! Questions, questions!
    Ok lets give this a go! First off, you want to let them be for a week to destress from the move and get settled in. No mucking about unless necessary(cleaning poop, changing water etc). No little ones banging on the side of the tank to get them to do something.

    ADULT snakes can go months without eating, not hatchlings. Which is what I am assuming that you have. And going into shed should not have caused them not to feed for 3 weeks.

    Feeding in a seperate container with corns is more so that they do not ingest the substrate. Corns are pretty docile and unless the only time you open the cage is to feed you should not have an issue. You also have to feed them in seperatly. If one is swallowing a mouse and the other one wants it they may have a swallowing contest and one snake can end up swallowing the other.

    Its also best to have seperate enclosures. Cannabalism is known to have happened with cornsnakes. Just because they were in the same container at the shop doesn't mean that they will "get along". Snake minds don't work that way.

    When feeding as soon as the rodent is out of sight you can gently pick the snake up and return it to the enclosure.

    To be honest since you are worried about the snake not feeding, you might want to go ahead and exchange it and let someone with a bit more know how take it and try to get it to feeding. Some hatchlings are difficult to get started and some never do feed and die. If that is your decision it will be easier on you to return it now rather than when you have had it for a while and really gotten attached to it.
  5. ZandraO

    ZandraO Member

    Good news...the one who was not eating at the pet store GOBBLED up her pinkie last night, only had to dangle it near her twice. I think she just has a more timid personality and got scared the first time. Then the second she grabbed a foot, realized that wasn't going to work and moved around till she found what she wanted. It took less than a minute for the pinkie to disappear. She moved around the tank for a while, had some water, and has been mostly hidden in a cave since then, which I think is probably a good thing helping her to digest it. I'm so happy she is eating! Going to feed the other tomorrow. Thanks so much for all the tips!!!
  6. Kernel

    Kernel Elite Member

    If she ate it that quick then you need to go up fuzzies. Anyway, congrats on getting him to eat.
  7. ZandraO

    ZandraO Member

    Really? how long should it take them to eat to know its the right size? I know what they say about the biggest part of their body and such, but just wondering if there is a general time frame. And should the "lump" move down quite fast? I remember with my boa as a kid it took a while before it moved through the body. Last night after about 10-15 min.s it was already more than a third or halfway (largest part) of her body. I thought that seemed fast but maybe not with a corn? Plus it has been years since I have had a snake so maybe I just don't remember right either! haha She had not eaten since before April 5th when she arrived at the pet store, so I'm glad she got hungry enough to eat but if I need to go up I have no problem with that either. Just want them to be healthy and grow!!!
  8. Kernel

    Kernel Elite Member

    Some times my smallest snake won't eat the mouse so, I just give it to another snake. Anyway, so when one of my snakes eats a mouse that is too small, it disappears in less then a minute like yours did. That's how I knew you needed to bump it up to fuzzies.
  9. Flint

    Flint Elite Member

    You've been given some great advice so far. Congrats on the new snakes!! Corns are certainly on my list.

    As for the feeder size, I've read corns are basically garbage disposals, meaning they are fantastic feeders. I would certainly stick to the size rule. How fast a snake eats can depend on a lot of things; how warm the snake is, is it tired, how hungry is it, is it stressed, all sorts of things. But if a food item is too big, its just too big! No need to go too big too fast, that's borderline powerfeeding which is overfeeding a snake to get massive growth. And that drastically reduces the health and lifespan of the snake.

    Good luck with your new family members!!!
  10. teach920

    teach920 Subscribed User Premium Member

    Ditto on the above..stick to the size rule..considering it had been such a long time since his/her last feeding the speed in which it ate doesn't necessarily mean it is ready to move up in size....(granted it could be, but without seeing your snake's size, it is difficult to say.)
  11. Kernel

    Kernel Elite Member

    You all maybe right on that. I was just going on my own experience. Can you post some pics so, I can see for if she needs go up a size?
  12. ZandraO

    ZandraO Member

    I will try and get some better pic.s today when I take Bellatrix (traditional corn colored one) out of her cage, but here the two were yesterday.


    Hope these pictures work on that one you can really see the LUMP on the far right! haha


    Again I'll try to get some better ones later! Thank you all so much for all the info. I feel the love we all have here for our family members!!!!!
  13. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

  14. ZandraO

    ZandraO Member

    OK take two...I was posting the quick reply so didn't get the "manage attachments"

    Thanks for the assist Michele!!!!

    Attached Files:

  15. teach920

    teach920 Subscribed User Premium Member

    Very nice looking snakes....Just a suggestion, but when you take the next picture, if you could put something next to them for a size reference, it would be easier to tell..(for example, place a pinkie or even a nickel/dime or such next to the snake to give some perspective for their size.)...
    You mention that you can still see a "bulge", so if this helps any, for my own young snake, I switched up to the fuzzy size when she ate a pinkie and the "bulge" was not quite as noticeable anymore.
  16. ZandraO

    ZandraO Member

    Good idea about the coin...I was just trying to snap a picture of them together cause it was so cute. Here's another of the snow in my hands. I'll get better at these pictures!!! Thanks for the tip about the bulge that makes good sense!

    Attached Files:

  17. Kernel

    Kernel Elite Member

    They could probably manage a fuzzie but, you should probably keep them on pinkies. As teach920 said, ou really don't need to go up a size until you can't see a bulge anymore.
  18. ZandraO

    ZandraO Member

    okay sounds good it took my snow about 5 minutes to fully eat his today...after 20 min.s of coaxing...they are being very shy and timid now that we are holding them for about 5 min.s a day. I don't to stress them, but going to keep holding just a few min.s a day (minus those after eating) and hope that they will adjust.
  19. aquarles

    aquarles Elite Member

    Beautiful corns! I also have a snow corn myself, she USED to be that little lol She's growing and growing.
  20. smallgrayfox

    smallgrayfox Contributing Member

    Awwww...they're adorable! :)

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