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Skinny Snakes

Discussion in 'Burmese Pythons' started by IrishSerpent, Apr 18, 2009.

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  1. IrishSerpent

    IrishSerpent New Member

    Hello. I have two Burmese Pythons. They are almost emaciated. They don't seem to want to eat what they should. They are eating. What would be the best food to give them to gain weight fairly quickly? The don't seem to like chicks - too small. Is there something more fatty? They are about 12 feet long.
  2. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Hi, How long have you had these burms? Did you rescue these snakes? If you are trying to feed a 12 foot burmese python with chicks you are going to starve them to death. I have a 12 foot burmese and he eats 5.5 pound rabbits usually about every 5 weeks or so. If yours are that emaciated they would probably need to eat every week to ten days until they get some weight built up in reserve. Please understand I am not trying to blame you-I just need to know these things so I can help you. What are you keeping them in (size of enclosure,temps,substrate,how thin are they-pictures would really help me to help you). I am glad to help you out as much as I can. We need to get those little guys back up to fighting weight A.S.A.P.

  3. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Sorry- I forgot to add welcome to HCN!! We're here to help you.
  4. Aalamil

    Aalamil Elite Member

    My Burm died at 13ft long and was eating 7 to 9 pound rabbits every other week. How big is yours?
  5. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    I have a normal male that is 12 feet long and weighs around 65 pounds and I have an albino female that is about 8.5 feet long and weighs around 25 pounds. They were rescued from a guy in Florida who was afraid of them and was either going to set them loose or kill them. They were not well-fed and their growth was stunted. He had them both in a 55 gallon tank. The male could probably take larger rabbits but I still have a few from rodentpro that are the large. Next order I plan on getting the extra-large.
  6. IrishSerpent

    IrishSerpent New Member

    I've had them since they were yearlings and I've only fed them chicks once because someone told me that that would add weight. They ate about 16-20 at a time. I had over 150 chicks. They were too small - didn't give off enough heat. They are in the right temps and enclosures. I've rescued snakes and other reptiles as well. Loki is a finicky eater as is and Serendipity has always had problems. We couldn't get her to eat live before. She would try to eat them without killing them. We've since moved everyone to frozen. They just don't seem to gain weight. I was just wondering if there was something better to add weight.
  7. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Chicks are absolutely useless for a 12ft. python, I agree, you need animals the size of rabbits, or giant rats, and other similar-sized prey items. Also you don`t need to give live animals except in rare instances. Live rabbits and rats etc. can cause severe injuries, recently pre- killed prey is fine, you can always "warm them up" before offering them.
  8. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I would indeed change your prey to rabbits. They aren't getting enough nutrition from the chicks. Sort of like if you had to make your entire dinner out of 1/4 sized peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

    You also say you have the "right" temps in the enclosure, but what ARE they? Often people think they have the right temp, but sadly they don't and its the little adjustments that can make the big differences. Also, what size is your enclosure(s)?
  9. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Welcome to HC. :)
    Good luck with your Burms: I'm sure they'll start gaining weight if you feed them some large prey items.
    Also I would recommend getting a stool sample from each of them sent to the lab to check for any internal parasites.
  10. Aalamil

    Aalamil Elite Member

    Excellent thought on the parasites, didn't think about that one. I forgot to add my burm was 13ft and 73lbs when she tragically died.
  11. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    One thing to also keep in mind-- your burms are not going to start out eating rabbits in the 5-9 pound range. Start them with smaller rabbits 2-3 pounds and feed them more often maybe once every week. Once they start to gain weight then you can increase the prey size and start to decrease the number of feedings. I only feed mine about every 5 weeks or so now because that is about what they would eat in the wild. Usually about 10-15 meals a year. Over-feeding them can lead to obesity and internal problems like renal disease. Mine were severely under-fed when I got them, now they are still stunted in their growth but they are vet checked and very healthy. They may never grow to the normal size but that is okay with me as I don't think I want to breed them.
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