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Old 01-12-18, 12:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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prey size and weight

Very often I see question about prey size and I think it depends on snake. Pythons can eat up to 5 time bigger prey but corn can't. So this is clear.

And what about weight of prey ? I can see ppl advice to feed small or medium rat. But it don't say about weight.
I feed my python 30% weight from her weight. Why ? I have read scientific article about boas and pythons and they say babies of this snake eat up to 30% from their weight.
Are you bother about food weight ?
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Old 01-12-18, 12:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

My snakes eat roughly 10-20% of their body weight per feeding when they're young. After they turn two I feed them mostly by prey size which is sometimes close to the percentage of body weight anyway. Two of my carpets weigh about 3kg each. They eat anything from a medium to a jumbo rat every 2-3 weeks. The mediums rats are 100-150g, the large rats are 200-250g, and the jumbos are 300g+. My Olive Python is about 1400g and he eats a small or medium rat every 2 weeks.
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Old 01-12-18, 01:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

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After they turn two I feed them mostly by prey size which is sometimes close to the percentage of body weight anyway.
so 100% for adult?
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Two of my carpets weigh about 3kg each. They eat anything from a medium to a jumbo rat every 2-3 weeks. The mediums rats are 100-150g, the large rats are 200-250g, and the jumbos are 300g+.
3kg/0.3kg=10%

So I confused. 100% or 10% ?
By the way that scientific article says boas and python when adult eat up to 1/5 weight prey.
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Old 01-12-18, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

I never feed anything that would be the max my snakes could eat, but I will downsize on occasion and adjust days between accordingly. And I switch between mice and rats also. I've always tried to mimic what they would be exposed to in the wild to some extent.
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Old 01-13-18, 04:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

I feed smaller meals less often, so my boa's meals tend to be under 10% of their weight, and that percentage goes lower as they get bigger. I don't feed my snakes based off of weight, but my boas' meals TEND to be 6-8% for babies, and 2-6% for adults. That's just finding the percentage of their average meals, I don't feed them with the intent to reach those percentages, so sometimes they may even get something a little bigger. In those cases, I give an extra week and then reduce the prey size again next feeding. Frequency depends on species and age.

I've only had 2 pythons, but my adult ball python gets meals that are 3.5-6% of his weight, roughly, every 2-3 weeks. I did start out feeding my retic 10-15% of her weight, and then 15-20%. Most recently, her meals have averaged 11-13% of her weight, but I'm just feeding her the biggest meal I feel comfortable giving her. Those rats/rabbits leave a huge lumpy bulge, so they're more than adequate.

A rat 10% of my adult ball pythons' weight is 1.5 times bigger than the biggest meal I'd give him and nearly 3 times the size of the smallest I'd give him. He could not physically swallow a rat 15% of his weight. The biggest rat I gave him was maybe 175-180 grams, and he struggled to get it down, he'd never be able to swallow a 200+ gram rat. In this way, I don't feel like feeding by weight is a realistic way to feed our snakes.

Maybe for hatchlings of *certain* species, but it's better to go off of how large of a bulge it leaves immediately after swallowing. For my boas, I feed meals that don't leave a noticeable difference in girth, or a barely noticeable one at most for babies. For my adult pythons I also feed meals that leave no noticeable difference in girth, but I allow for much larger bulges during adolescence.

Most of the rat sizes I refer to are based off of this chart, and I've tried providing gram weights when I mention rat/mouse/etc. sizes lately to reduce confusion for people in other countries with different sizing scales or people in the US with suppliers that use a different sizing method.

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Old 01-13-18, 08:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

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I don't feel like feeding by weight is a realistic way to feed our snakes.
it depend on snake. Carpets can eat food up to 5 times bigger their heads. But if it's a corn he couldn't. I thought all pythons can manage much bigger prey.

It's very interesting how weight of prey affect to growing of snake.
that is very interesting experiment to have two carpets and giving one snake 10% prey and 30% to others.

For example all ppl say don't feed carpets fish. But when I was feed my carpet fish she was shedding every 2-3 weeks. And it's much faster than on mice. It means fast growing. Too bad I couldn't feed other carpet 30% mice and compare. I don't call anyone feed snakes fish.
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Old 01-13-18, 08:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

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For my adult pythons I also feed meals that leave no noticeable difference in girth, but I allow for much larger bulges during adolescence.
that's right. Baby snakes need more food to grow.

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or people in the US with suppliers that use a different sizing method.
it's really weird US use non metric system.
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Old 01-13-18, 10:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

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Originally Posted by kazz View Post
it depend on snake. Carpets can eat food up to 5 times bigger their heads. But if it's a corn he couldn't. I thought all pythons can manage much bigger prey.

It's very interesting how weight of prey affect to growing of snake.
that is very interesting experiment to have two carpets and giving one snake 10% prey and 30% to others.

For example all ppl say don't feed carpets fish. But when I was feed my carpet fish she was shedding every 2-3 weeks. And it's much faster than on mice. It means fast growing. Too bad I couldn't feed other carpet 30% mice and compare. I don't call anyone feed snakes fish.
Just because they can, doesn't mean they should. There are more calories in a prey 5x a carpet's girth than they would ever need on a regular basis in captivity. I wouldn't feed a meal like that anymore often than every few months, and I'm not sure how viable meals of that size are as a regular food size. I wouldn't feed it every meal at least.

Best case scenario, a varied diet is best. But with the current constraints of our society and my own brain, I find it best to mainly feed smaller meals less often to all my snakes with only the occasional larger prey. Maybe a couple times a year, depending on how often I'm feeding that snake.

Fish - so long as it's thiaminase-free - could be a good variety in a snake's diet, if fish makes up a decent portion of their natural diet. Fish high in thiaminase can seriously harm or kill snakes, so those fish should be avoided.
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Old 01-13-18, 10:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

bigsnakegirl785, so you think 10% prey it's ok for 6month python ?
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Fish - so long as it's thiaminase-free - could be a good variety in a snake's diet
too bad there is no full table of thiaminase in fish. And ppl have written here thiaminase depends on a habitat. (I personally think thiaminase depends on DNA I mean depends on species )
I think if a fish is good food for a human it's also good for snakes(thiaminase free of course).
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Old 01-14-18, 03:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

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Originally Posted by kazz View Post
bigsnakegirl785, so you think 10% prey it's ok for 6month python ?

too bad there is no full table of thiaminase in fish. And ppl have written here thiaminase depends on a habitat. (I personally think thiaminase depends on DNA I mean depends on species )
I think if a fish is good food for a human it's also good for snakes(thiaminase free of course).
Depends on the species and how big the 6 month old is.

There are pretty big tables, unfortunately nothing complete, but there are decently big lists out there. We can eat far more types of fish than a captive snake can, as our diets are highly varied (usually) and we're much bigger than they are. I wouldn't necessarily feed a fish to my garter just because I can eat it.
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Old 01-14-18, 04:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

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We can eat far more types of fish than a captive snake can, as our diets are highly varied (usually) and we're much bigger than they are.
As far as I know thiaminase is destroying by temperature but this problem is actual to snakes.
I suppose if carpet eat a fish from aquarium it means carpets eat a fish.

Quote:
Depends on the species and how big the 6 month old is.

It's a table about my snake was gaining her weight.
So if she ate 30%(from her weight) prey she gained about 10-15% (from her weight) for 5 days. Now she is about 160g.
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Old 01-14-18, 05:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

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Originally Posted by kazz View Post
As far as I know thiaminase is destroying by temperature but this problem is actual to snakes.
I suppose if carpet eat a fish from aquarium it means carpets eat a fish.



It's a table about my snake was gaining her weight.
So if she ate 30%(from her weight) prey she gained about 10-15% (from her weight) for 5 days. Now she is about 160g.
Yes, but heat does not destroy mercury. So just because we can eat small amounts of tuna, doesn't necessarily mean a snake can eat tuna without becoming ill, for example. This is an example of why I say not to feed a snake a fish just because you can eat it. I'm also not sure how nutritionally viable cooked fish is for snakes, or if certain cooking methods are better than others.

If she's 160 grams, 10-15% of her weight is likely ok. I assume this is a carpet python? 20% would probably be my max, I don't even like to feed my retics meals much bigger than that. Not as a regular prey size, anyways.
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Old 01-14-18, 05:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

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Originally Posted by bigsnakegirl785 View Post
Yes, but heat does not destroy mercury. So just because we can eat small amounts of tuna, doesn't necessarily mean a snake can eat tuna without becoming ill, for example. This is an example of why I say not to feed a snake a fish just because you can eat it. I'm also not sure how nutritionally viable cooked fish is for snakes, or if certain cooking methods are better than others.

If she's 160 grams, 10-15% of her weight is likely ok. I assume this is a carpet python? 20% would probably be my max, I don't even like to feed my retics meals much bigger than that. Not as a regular prey size, anyways.
As a general rule, outside of perhaps some monitor species, (they like hard boiled eggs) reptiles (almost all animals) should never be fed cooked anything. No snake in the wild has ever eaten cooked food (perhaps some have eaten heated road kill on the road) but overall its not an ideal food period.
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Old 01-14-18, 05:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

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I'm also not sure how nutritionally viable cooked fish is for snakes
Scientists suppose humans made this huge evolution step and became most smart creatures on Earth bc off food cooking. Humans can't eat raw meat now bc off lack some enzymes with we lost bc of food cooking.
One guy o Russian forum ask about feeding his rat snake cooked chicken. And of course everyone say no. But some days ago humans don't eat cooked food just like cats, pigs, birds, dogs. And how they can eat it with no problem.
Anyway those guy said his rat snake was so loved cooked chicken. I don't call feed snakes cooked chicken - it's just what I have read.
Quote:
If she's 160 grams, 10-15% of her weight is likely ok. I assume this is a carpet python? 20% would probably be my max, I don't even like to feed my retics meals much bigger than that. Not as a regular prey size, anyways.
I see.
take a look at that ) Carpet prey size.
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Old 01-14-18, 05:21 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: prey size and weight

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Originally Posted by kazz View Post
Scientists suppose humans made this huge evolution step and became most smart creatures on Earth bc off food cooking. Humans can't eat raw meat now bc off lack some enzymes with we lost bc of food cooking.
One guy o Russian forum ask about feeding his rat snake cooked chicken. And of course everyone say no. But some days ago humans don't eat cooked food just like cats, pigs, birds, dogs. And how they can eat it with no problem.
Anyway those guy said his rat snake was so loved cooked chicken. I don't call feed snakes cooked chicken - it's just what I have read.

I see.
take a look at that ) Carpet prey size.
Well you're from the Ukraine, stop paying attention to those darn Russians. lol.

I believe they'd eat it though, but it being good for them is an easy no.
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