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Not Eating for 3 Months!!

Discussion in 'Kingsnakes' started by Tabitha943, Dec 12, 2008.

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  1. Tabitha943

    Tabitha943 New Member

    Tabitha is our Lavender Kingsnake. She used to be a healthy eater and would eat atleast 3 fuzzies a week. One week she just stopped eating and hasn't eaten anything in 3 months. I attempt about once every other week now. She looks healthy, we often find her out and about in her tank seemingly searching for food but when I take her out to feed her she shows ZERO interest in her food and more interest in trying to get out of her feeding tank. Externally she looks fine. Her personality has not changed and she is still the most friendliest snake I have ever met.

    So why cant I get her appetite back?
  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Some snakes go off feed for the winter months. I know ball pythons are notorious for this. And given that you are in Rochester (I grew up in Buffalo) it IS winter up there and has been for a while. Even though snakes are in a controlled environment, they can sense it.

    As long as he is healthy, he should be fine.

    And 3 fuzzies? It sounds like you might need to go up in prey. You would be surprised what they can get down. It will save you money too. Remember, the prey should leave a bulge in the snake that is visible.
  3. danomite7

    danomite7 Banned User

    I don't know much about snakes but since it is looking for food in his/her tank then why don't you put the food in his/her tank?
  4. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Because you don't want the snake associating your hand coming into the tank with food. That's a good way to get bit.
  5. TwoFace

    TwoFace New Member

    with frequent handling and a steady feeding schedule usually snakes wont associate your hand with food. Moving your snakes for feeding is not always the best and not really a option with larger species.
  6. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Our snakes at zoo are always fed in cage, simply because moving dozens of snakes is not really practical. Often, they do not even see the rodent delivery as many of them are nocturnal. They will find it when they find it, and won't necessarily associate the rodent with a human if they didn't see it delivered.

    I feed out of cage if they have substrate, but I keep many of my snakes on carpet style cage liners for the ease of cleaning, and re-using. They can be fed in there no problems, and bites here are VERY rare on my part.

    Maybe I just got lucky with smart snakes or exceptionally docile ones (well, mostly.)

    It's a pretty mixed argument for feeding in cage and feeding in separate containers, and there are pros and cons of using both methods.
  7. Tabitha943

    Tabitha943 New Member

    There are many good reasons to feed a snake in a feeding tank separate from its exhibit. If Tabitha eats in her tank she will start to associate the opening of her tank lid to mean a possible meal. She could strike if she is hungry enough. Also if she ate a soggy thawed mouse in her tank it might get substrate attached to it that could eventually impact her. She is not a large snake and will never be a large snake. Moving her shouldn't make a difference if she is hungry.

    Most the snakes at the Buffalo Zoo are fed outside of their cages so they can be handled. I used to be an intern and was a paid apprentice keeper for a summer while I was in college and fed many of the non-venomous snakes myself. Venomous snakes either had a door to open leading into a feeding 'room' if you will, like the king cobra, or if they were less venomous like the eyelash vipers they were fed in their exhibit or in a large trash can meant for feeding that particular tank. Rita, the Reticulated Python didn’t have a separate feeding area since she was so big.

    Tabitha stopped eating at the end of summer so your theory makes sense. However, the only way, as I see it, that she could sense the season she is in, is by daylight. I came to the conclusion that she must be in daylight for much too long in the day. The room she is in flooded with light in the day and by the time I come home from work and it would be dark out I turn on the lights, and her UVB light (I know its unnecessary but we have it for viewing purposes). I am probably screwing her up. I suppose I will either put that light on a timer or remove it completely and see if that helps. She has been on this schedule for a long time now so I am surprised it would finally start affecting her now. Thanks for your help I will let you know if it works...

    any other suggestions?
  8. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    You worked at the Buffalo Zoo!! I try to go whenever I'm back in town. I just saw the new rain forest exhibit. Its pretty nice.

    It's the first place I ever saw Red Eye Tree Frogs in person, and I fell in love. Are they still working on the reptile house? It always seems like a work in progress when I'm there. I have been following their huge female retic (Rita) for years. She was featured in the Buffalo News a little while ago. I think it was taking 5 keepers to get her out, and she's always laying eggs.

    As for the lighting, I would try a timer. for $4 you can have a piece of mind, for all you need is a simple appliance timer. Makes life easier.

    Is she losing any weight?
  9. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    A timer would be a good investment, though I don't believe that this is affecting your snakes appetite. Out of the 4 species of snakes that I keep my ball pythons are the only that go off feed during the winter months. I have noticed over the past 3 years that this is also related to age. Younger snakes under a year of age will rarely if at all miss a meal. While older snakes will go weeks to months without eating.

    While I don't keep kings, I can say I've had no problems with Corn or other snakes going off feed during the winter months. So their feeding their feeding habits seem to be more based on temp and availability, then other outside factors such as hours of day light.
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