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Young Underfed Rescued Bull Snakes- Will They Ever Reach Proper Size?

Discussion in 'Pituophis (Pines, Bulls, Gophers)' started by Bitlove, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Bitlove

    Bitlove New Member

    I've obtained two bull snakes that were fed on a maintenance diet from a relatively young age to keep them on the smaller side by the owner (He was having health issues and became disabled a few months long after purchasing them as hatchlings; couldn't handle them getting ~3 feet in their first year which is what I've heard is the norm) I've taken them on for the owner who has said I'm to keep them since there are no other proper homes for them in our area. According to their age/length/weight do any of you think they'll reach a decent size eventually given enough time? I'm thinking if they reached around 4 feet eventually that wouldn't be too bad, right? I don't have experience with pits and how they eat/grow but I've kept my rat snake for 3 years so I do have snake experience.

    The owner told me they were never allowed to starve or dehydrate, just fed small prey every 1-2 weeks to keep them small.

    These are approximations based on my ability to measure and weigh them-
    When I received them:
    ~8+ months old, ~22-26 inches, and ~50-75 grams, visually healthy but small, and no spine showing. No signs of dehydration. No retained eyecaps. Feces looked normal.

    As of 1/31/12:
    ~16+ months old, ~175-200 grams. Still healthy, perfect sheds every month, healthy looking feces. Feisty as...a bull. They stretch across my 32 inch tanks, give or take. They digest and poo within about 4 days.

    When I got them, for a few months I sized up the meals slowly so I wouldn't overwhelm them. Then 4 months ago I bumped them up to small-med adult mice which really triggers their feeding response. They wrap and coil and huff and puff at me and everything. ^_^ I didn't get that sort of fanfare with the smaller mice. Since then their growth has been on the increase (not just weight but length as well) so I'm hopeful that they're adjusting and doing better now, and perhaps reach a normal, if a bit small, adult size.

    Or perhaps I'm being far too cerebral and it's not that big of an issue. I've always been a paranoid snake keeper.

    (If I've made any typing errors, please forgive me. It's 4am here.)
  2. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Glad that you were able to take them in and offer them a better life!

    I'm sure that someone will be by to answer your questions!
  3. bigboas

    bigboas Elite Member

    It sounds like your doing everythng correctly with them. Keep feeding them once a week and they will grow to a healthy adult size. Whut the previouse owner did wont efect them, unless there sick but sounds like there healthy. Congrats on the save and keep up the good job!
  4. Bitlove

    Bitlove New Member

    Thanks guys, I feel a lot better now. I guess their growth will just be slower than it normally would have been. I think maybe this hobby is so obsessed with the size of snakes that we think bigger=healthier so it's been so ingrained in me. I guess I was a bit overly concerned. If they're healthy, that's more important than being huge and beefy.
  5. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    they are young so hopefully with proper care they will attain adult size
  6. Notafrog

    Notafrog Active Member

    Pictures would be wonderful. We don't get too many bull snakes here. :)
  7. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    Yes... I second the notion of pictures! lol
  8. Ghost09

    Ghost09 Member

    The bull snakes will reach 6+ feet as it all depends on how much there fed. you can increase the size and frequency of the meal and they will jump in growth if that is what you want. I have a male and female that jumped almost two feet just by giving them appropriate size food compared to the previous owners that gave them smaller meals.

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