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To Feed in the Cage or Outside the Cage.....what Do U Guys Do?

Discussion in 'Boas *General*' started by jezabella1982, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. jezabella1982

    jezabella1982 Well-Known Member

    I used to hear all the time to feed outside of the cage, because of associating the hand with food........

    but now, im hearing some people prefer to feed IN the cage, and they say the snake will associate being picked up for feeding time.

    makes sense to me actually......


    i fed my snake outside his cage for the first time tonight because i didnt like feeding in the cage, but when I went to pick him up to put him back in the cage, he looked really scared and like he was gonna bite me.
    now he is hiding behind his tree in the corner.......i felt like i was stressing him out...:-(


    What do you guys prefer?
     
  2. jamesw

    jamesw Elite Member

    Feeding in the cage. Handling a snake after eating can cause regurge and if dealing with large snakes, you wouldn't want to have to pick one up still in feeding mode.
     
  3. crepers86

    crepers86 Elite Member

    Through my experience, I have never had one that I feel is associating my hand with feeding. I feel they do this when I put them in what I am feeding them in. My feeding tube smells like mice and so far when I put my baby ball and my rescued ball in that that feeding tube they have a tendency to strike at any warm item that comes with in striking distance
     
  4. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    Feed in cage. I do not notice any cage aggression that can be attributed to cage feeding, all of my friend feed in cage with no issues. I did tub feed my northern pine snake, only because that was what he was used to doing, but when I started cage feeding him nothing changed with his behavior, he still had a nasty attitude LOL
     
  5. crepers86

    crepers86 Elite Member

    See this is something I wondering. I mean why not feed in the cage. not every time I am putting my hand in there I am feeding only 7 to 10 to 14 days the rest of the time I am reaching in to picking them up to hold or for maintance.
     
  6. Knox

    Knox Elite Member

    I feed in cage all the time.
     
  7. jabberwocky

    jabberwocky Elite Member

    the whole in cage vs out of cage debate has most to do with the substrate getting eaten with the rodent causing impaction. if your snake is on wood shavings or chips, feed outside. if on carpet or newspaper, there's nothing wrong with feeding inside.
     
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Your "large snake still in feeding mode" point is valid. The not handling because you might cause a regurge is concerned with a novice playing with a snake who has a full belly. Gently picking them up and returning them to the enclosure after feeding is fine.
    I feed my big boa in her cage since she has a horrendous feeding response. All the others I remove and feed outside the cage.

    Thats the problem. some people only handle the snake to feed. And so the snake associates the opening of the cage with food coming. with regular interaction that should not be an issue except with perhaps an aggressive species.
     
  9. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    I feed in the cage with all of mine and as Merlin stated, I handle mine snakes frequently, so there is no cage open/feeding time response. In the end though, the only right answer is what you want to do. As long as the snakes eat well and are healthy, either way is acceptable.
     
  10. jezabella1982

    jezabella1982 Well-Known Member

    Wow, thanks everyone for the awesome feedback!!
    I think I'm convinced I'm gonna feed in Cage now.

    He seems docile, and I always let him smell my hand to let him know it is not food, and he seems fine with me picking him up....

    Also I take him out often so is used to being handled.

    But he looked SO freaked out and was coiled all up when I tried to take him out of his feedin tank last night and like he might bite me, So I don't think I want to continue to do that..... Too stressful seeming.....

    :)
     
  11. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I feed my Ball Python outside of the terrarium because he has humus substrate and it gets stuck all over the wet F/T rat and he gets it all stuck in and around his mouth. Picking him up and trying to rinse off his mouth would be far more stressful than moving him back into his terrarium from the feeding box. I just wait about 20 minutes after he's finished swallowing and then pick him up. By then his feeding response is usually gone.
    We feed our GTPs in the enclosure: they have paper towel as a substrate and they usually hang from the perches to eat anyway never touching the ground.
    As far as associations, my BP seems to recognize his feeding box and comes to the glass, I open the door and let him slither right in. Whenever I reach in to his terrarium, it's always for cleaning, water changes or to pick him up. If he seems hungry and I HAVE to go in, I have a snake hook handy... but he's never bitten me.
    The GTPs associate ANYTHING warm coming into the enclosure AT NIGHT as potential food and will usually strike. During the day, they are snoozing on their perches and we can water their plants, change the water or paper towel or even pick them up and take them out without any problems... BUT don't open that door after lights out unless you have a nice warm F/T rat on the end of VERY VERY long tongs!!! ;)
     
  12. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    We feed in the cage and we have paper towel substrate. We fed out of the cage for our ball when he had aspen substrate..but we discovered that if he got stressed(being handled and moved to feeding tank) he would not take f/t. So to get him on f/t we had to change up his home and make it a little more sterile so that he could be fed in the comfort of his own home. Ours is a wild caught male, though, so he's always had extreme stress issues sadly!

    I prefer in the cage so you don't handle them, but even in the cage I've found with Nagini I still have to move her after she eats. She's a little insane with her strikes. She ends up hanging out of the cage, completely submerged in her water bowl, lands in my lap(THAT was a scary one. Glad she got the rat and not me!) and sometimes just needs a little bit of relocating to get her in a safer eating area, heheh.

    We are also hook training the boa as she associates everything with food, so everytime we take her out to NOT feed her, we tap her gently on the head with tongs. It interrupts her feeding mode a bit and she is able to be picked up without confusing us for food.
     
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    What you are seeing is defensiveness. When a snake is eating or immediately after they are at a vulmerable stage. Its hard to move fast when you have a belly full. After a few feedings this behavior should cease.
     

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