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Old 03-15-17, 01:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The most passive live feeding I've ever seen

I have a 2-year-old corn snake named Gendry I've had since (s)he was a baby, for the first year and a half he's been feeding frozen thaw. Very reliable feeder, always fed regularly, normal behavior towards food, consistently striking.

I recently got a beautiful baby ball python that feeds live; Out of curiosity (and convenience, I will admit) I tried switching Gendry over to live feeding. He took to live rat pups instantly, no hesitation. He seemed to me glowing and happy for the switch (personification much?).

All was sailing smoothly for few months and seemingly for no reason he stopped feeding altogether. After a month of not feeding, I tried frozen thaw again, with no luck. After a month and 2 weeks of rejecting food, I tried adjusting the temperature gradient in his tank and voila he was fine. He finally fed! On a small weaned rat, I was happier than ever.

Ten days later here I am today baffled by what I just saw. Gendry didn't strike his live weaned rat, just passively chomped onto it and slowly wrapped it up. The rat didn't flinch, the little fella just took it. It surrendered to the whole long grueling scenario. I'm afraid that he won't always be so lucky, I wager I will have to switch to frozen thaw again.

I'd like to know what other snake enthusiasts would have to say about this scenario as I'm very curious as to what would prompt this sort of behavior?
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Old 03-15-17, 04:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: The most passive live feeding I've ever seen

Maybe getting too much food in? Rats are much higher in fat content than mice. Have you tried waiting a bit longer between feeding and/or switch back to mice?

Also, it's getting to breeding season..
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Old 03-15-17, 05:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: The most passive live feeding I've ever seen

I was thinking the same thing, but being a n00b at herp hobby I didn't want to stick my foot in my mouth with silly advice.

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Maybe getting too much food in? Rats are much higher in fat content than mice. Have you tried waiting a bit longer between feeding and/or switch back to mice?

Also, it's getting to breeding season..
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Old 03-15-17, 10:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: The most passive live feeding I've ever seen

What's the issue? The inconsistent feeding or the lazy kill?
The inconsistent feedings could be due to the cooler temps or breeding season. If it's eating erratically just offer food less often. I wouldn't worry about the lazy kill either. Snakes will use the appropriate force needed to subdue their prey. Maybe it sensed that particular weaner would surrender peacefully. Do you raise your own feeders? If not, can I ask what are the conveniences of feeding live vs. f/t to you?

@ TRD- I'm not sure about the nutritional benefits of mice vs. rats but I'd like to see those studies. Also, I'm not sure how large the OPs critter is but I don't think a weaned rat every 10 days is too much food for a 2 y/o corn snake.
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Old 03-16-17, 02:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: The most passive live feeding I've ever seen

It seems like a lot of food to me but the person I get rats from has super rodents. My over 3' bull couldn't eat one of her "pups". They were probably at about 3weeks old. I ended up sending 2 to the freezer and keeping 3 as the start of a breeding plan because they were way beyond my blood python and bull snake. The ones in the freezer still are. My corn snake is on fuzzies so I really can't imagine him eventually eating those but I'd think one every 2 weeks would probably do it. As I said though I have noticed a huge size difference in rodents. Especially rats. What I ask for from the pet store isn't anywhere near what this person kept giving me and wow are those weanlings I picked up recently tiny. I'm not sure another 2 weeks older they are even the same mass as the pups in the freezer. I can really see the benefit of going by weight and establishing a percentage of the snake's weight to feed that seems to support good growth without refusing food often. If they do refuse food I found it best to try a size smaller instead of continuing to try the same prey week after week. Adults long established on the size and live or f/t rodent I could see going to a larger break being better than changing size. My adult rosy boa barely ate over winter but I really expected her to pick up when the others did with our early warm weather so instead after continuing refusals she is back down to hoppers after eating a large mouse at one point. She has gone back to eating the same schedule as before winter.
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Old 03-16-17, 06:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: The most passive live feeding I've ever seen

As far as the passiveness, a rat pup doesn't put up much fight. I'm willing to bet your snake would be a lot less passive with less passive prey.
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Old 03-16-17, 08:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: The most passive live feeding I've ever seen

The passive feeding is what concerned me; I'm relieved to hear that it seems it's not all that abnormal.

@EL Ziggy: the convenience was that ft is very pricey where I purchase live food, and petsmart is on the opposite end of the city from the shop I buy live.

@akane: the weaned rats vary in size with the guy I go to, but they are usually no larger than an inch in diameter -- if that -- and Gendry seems pretty comfortable with taking them. Feeding by weight sounds like a smart move though, and I am actually very excited to try that out. Eyeballing a rodent at the store and getting home to find out it's not the right size is very frustrating. Coupled with perhaps moving feeding from 10 days to 14 days for his age, I think I'll have a happy snake on my hands.

Thank you for all this knowledge!!!
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Old 03-16-17, 09:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: The most passive live feeding I've ever seen

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Originally Posted by EL Ziggy View Post

@ TRD- I'm not sure about the nutritional benefits of mice vs. rats but I'd like to see those studies. Also, I'm not sure how large the OPs critter is but I don't think a weaned rat every 10 days is too much food for a 2 y/o corn snake.
Zig - Weanlings are far more nutritious than adult mice, no doubt, but if we are talking pups or smaller, they are definitely higer in fat and lower in all the good stuff. Case in point; a lot of hognose breeders used to have issues with egg binding and poorly calcified eggs when feeding their females rat pups, but once switched onto adult mice or hopper mice, those problems drastically decreased and it's no longer a common issue. Hardly a study, I know, but enough proof for me. Saying all that...for the species that are going to be rat eaters, I've always switched them over as soon as possible.

As far as feeding regimen coimbra...I would be keeping that corn on a 10 day schedule for another year and then going to every 14 days...but that's just me. You may want to look into buying frozen/thawed rodents online. In the long run it is definitely cheaper and safer for your snake.
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Old 03-16-17, 09:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: The most passive live feeding I've ever seen

I switched to online FT purchases where they're sold by weight, and it was a good move. Feed is now more consistent for my snakes, it's more obvious (to me) when they need to be bumped up a size. Turns out it was also cheaper, but I was spending like $200/month in feed at my local pet shop. Now I spend about $100/month. It was worth it to switch to online. Shipping cost is big, though, so if you only have 1 it may not make sense.
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Old 03-16-17, 10:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: The most passive live feeding I've ever seen

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As far as the passiveness, a rat pup doesn't put up much fight. I'm willing to bet your snake would be a lot less passive with less passive prey.
My baby sumatran python apparently hasn't learned that yet. lol If it's worth killing it's worth going all out and he'll slam even a fuzzy hard enough he continues into the side of the bin or a rock and I worry he's hurt himself. Although he's bluffed me and slammed the side of the bin just as hard on purpose next to my hand when he's being pissy about something I'm doing. I am so glad he is done shedding and back to being fairly mellow.

My corn is actually the most likely I have to bite but I think he was pushed into it by at minimum his previous owner. I don't know his start before that. She pretty much gave him away saying he has a horrible attitude but his bite doesn't hurt anyway like she just ignores it and grabs him despite him biting her. I don't hold him as much as I should to fully tame him but I've been working on the fact that if he coils back I will drop my hand lower for him to climb over by choice without threat. He now sits there even if I take his hide off until he thinks I will touch him and then he usually flees instead of gathering to strike. I figure when he's not so tiny he'll probably be confident to make progress easier so waiting some isn't entirely bad provided he's learning to accept me in his enclosure and checking on him.
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Old 03-17-17, 09:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: The most passive live feeding I've ever seen

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Originally Posted by eminart View Post
As far as the passiveness, a rat pup doesn't put up much fight. I'm willing to bet your snake would be a lot less passive with less passive prey.
This is actually very true. Your snake realizes it's prey isn't much of a threat so no point in putting out a ton of energy to kill/eat it.
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