border
sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum
 

Go Back   sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum > General Information Forums > Food For Thought Forum

Notices

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-07-19, 11:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 20
Country:
Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

Hello everyone, new guy here. I looked through the posts to see if there was anything the same as what I'm talking about here but couldn't find anything readily available. This is a bit of a long post so I hope I don't bore anyone:

I have a 10-month old female Jungle Carpet Python who I love more than life named Medusa. I got her when she was about half a year old from a very reputable breeder who continues to help me through what has been a difficult time getting her to start feeding on frozen/thawed.

When I first got her on 1/29/2019, she did indeed eat 3 F/T pinkies but since then she's only been interested in live. She had a perfect shed mid-March but then a bit of a flaky shed on 4/17 because I wasn't keeping her enclosure humid enough. (This has since been rectified.) Since this shed, she has not eaten because I really want to get her feeding on F/T. I closely monitor her every feeding but feeding live is just too problematic and dangerous. There haven't been any real problems but I don't want to wait until something happens.

She's only about 1.75' long so I've been feeding her in a blue plastic bin about 15"L x 11"W x 6"H. She has fed fine on live hoppers in there many times but all she seems to do with F/T hoppers is what I call "dumb striking" by which mean strikes seemingly not intended to kill but rather to back away the offending party, in this case the F/T hopper.

Actually, she will occasionally strike and begin to constrict the F/T hopper but then she immediately lets go. It's like she can tell the mouse is dead so she immediately loses interest. I've had 2 Royal Pythons and 1 Jungle Carpet before and all 3 of them ate F/T without problem so I do have some experience doing this.

I've tried 2 approaches with thawing the hoppers: the one with the mouse in a Ziploc in warm water and the other very gradually defrosting with a heat lamp. I'm very careful not to burn the mouse with either technique. The guy that I learned the heat-lamp technique from (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSX79DpN2b8) did the defrosting in the same room as the snakes and his pythons were clamoring to get out and feed. I did the same thing but Medusa remained unaroused.

I've heard of a 3rd technique where you just keep presenting the snake with F/T prey and eventually she'll get so hungry that she'll feed, but this seems a bit dangerous to me. Does this work or will the snake just starve herself to death?

The breeder who sold this gorgeous lady to me says that I need to try feeding her in her enclosure but I've heard over and over again from other snake experts that this is the last thing you want to do. They say she'll get used to a foreign entity in her enclosure and the next time I reach my hand in there, she'll bite. Obviously, I'm not concerned about a bite from a juvenile python but when she gets to be an adult, I'm sure she'll have no problem drawing some considerable blood.

Last thing -- and again I apologize for how long this is but I wanted to be detailed so as to head off any questions from the start -- she has a fairly sizeable glass enclosure: 3'L x 1.5'W x 3'H. And she never goes in her little black plastic hide, which is 9"L x 6"W x 3"H at the bottom of the enclosure. She's always up coiled around one of the many branches that reach up to the very top. Hence, she's quite the arboreal little serpent.

I think that's finally about it. Sorry this was so long, but like I said, I didn't want to make readers feel like they needed more details from me. I'm sure there's something I'm forgetting as it is, but I wanted to write down everything I knew. As previously stated, I had a Jungle Carpet before her and she was healthy for about 4 years but then got sick after I had to transition her to a smaller enclosure mid-move. I think I kept her area too humid and she got a mouth infection which spread. My vet insists her death wasn't my fault but I feel sure that it was.

She died 11 months ago and I still cry about it. Hence, as you can imagine, I've promised myself I absolutely cannot let anything happen to this new little girl I've got. She -- along with my German Shepherd puppy -- is my life.

To futher illustrate the situation, here's a video of the last feeding I attempted 2 nights ago on 5/5/2019. I'm sorry it's not very clear but what she does there is constrict and then immediately release: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KQ...oe3TzDNqLZkYoz
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 05-08-19, 07:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Feb-2019
Posts: 130
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

Have you tried feeding her inside her enclosure? I don't know if that would help, but it wouldn't hurt to give it a try. You could also try dragging slowly on the surface of her enclosure or feeding tub instead of dangling. (Again idk if that would do anything)
Veronica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-19, 08:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
MDT
Member
 
MDT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct-2005
Location: Oklahoma
Age: 53
Posts: 1,719
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorgon View Post
The breeder who sold this gorgeous lady to me says that I need to try feeding her in her enclosure but I've heard over and over again from other snake experts that this is the last thing you want to do. They say she'll get used to a foreign entity in her enclosure and the next time I reach my hand in there, she'll bite. Obviously, I'm not concerned about a bite from a juvenile python but when she gets to be an adult, I'm sure she'll have no problem drawing some considerable blood.:
I can assure you that if anyone recommends feeding in a separate container, they are not a snake expert. Listen to the breeder and feed in her enclosure.

Use a cage hook to hook train the snake and to remove or manipulate the snake in its enclosure.

Your snake will not starve itself. Make sure the F/T prey is sufficiently warm, and use tongs to simulate movement. It will catch on eventually.
MDT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-19, 07:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
Forum Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec-2002
Location: London
Posts: 3,332
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDT View Post
I can assure you that if anyone recommends feeding in a separate container, they are not a snake expert. Listen to the breeder and feed in her enclosure.

Use a cage hook to hook train the snake and to remove or manipulate the snake in its enclosure.

Your snake will not starve itself. Make sure the F/T prey is sufficiently warm, and use tongs to simulate movement. It will catch on eventually.
All of this. 100% Especially the part I have bolded.
Andy_G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-19, 11:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Apr-2019
Posts: 20
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

I have placed my feeders on a human heating pad with a towel on top of them. This seems to get the rodent closest to a natural temp without danger of cooking them. I have on occasion scented them with chick down. Lastly I wiggle the rodent while the animal is constricting it to simulate a struggling animal. These three have always yielded success for me.
Andy27012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 05-09-19, 04:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 20
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

This is awesome. Thank you guys very much for the feedback. I will take advantage of it all & I appreciate it more than I can say. I'll definitely post with an update.
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-19, 10:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
Forum Moderator
 
Aaron_S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov-2002
Location: Toronto
Age: 34
Posts: 16,894
Send a message via MSN to Aaron_S
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorgon View Post
This is awesome. Thank you guys very much for the feedback. I will take advantage of it all & I appreciate it more than I can say. I'll definitely post with an update.
We look forward to it.

As an additional piece of information, I agree with everyone suggesting feeding in the enclosure is just fine and hook training to get around any cage food responses when you don't want them.

The logic behind feeding in a separate tub is that the snake will see something coming into the enclosure and think it's food. However, this also applies to the idea the snake getting conditioned that it's coming out of the enclosure it will also think it's getting food and thus react the same. This is why it's suggested to just feed in the enclosure.
Aaron_S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-19, 11:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 20
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

Again, I really appreciate the help, you guys -- and I definitely appreciate you reading through everything I wrote in my original post. I tried an intra-enclosure feeding last night but no success as of yet. She's still doing her dumb striking, behaving like she just wants the prey to go away. I attempted 4 intra-enclosure feedings for the duration of an hour, spaced 15m apart. I then moved her to the tub to try that once more and was greeted with the same behavior. There are a couple of 1 to 2 min videos below that were taken during this stage:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1T7e...u0fk2hGgd/view
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PY8...vBlbAHroH/view

(For the first one above, sorry but you'll probably want to just skip 30s in.)

Can anyone further advise on what I should be doing? On the final feeding attempt in the tub, I just left the hopper in there to see if she would feed, but she didn't. I've never had such a difficult time with feeding as this and I've had 2 Royal Pythons and 1 Jungle Carpet before for a number of years. I still feel confident that she'll eat live but I *really* don't want to go back to that. Obviously, it's cruel for the prey (though I know this happens regularly in the wild) but it's also very easy for the prey to bite the snake, as I'm sure you all agree..

Andy27012 -- can you tell me what kind of heating pad you use and where you get your chick down? Does everyone else agree that this is something to try? I've never had to go this route but then again I've never had a snake that's been so resistant to frozen/thawed feeding.

MDT -- you're positive she won't starve herself, correct? As in, if i just keep trying f/t then she'll eventually become hungry enough to eat? I desperately hope so...

Does anyone else have any input and/or suggestions? Thank you all in advance for your help...
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-19, 02:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
MDT
Member
 
MDT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct-2005
Location: Oklahoma
Age: 53
Posts: 1,719
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorgon View Post
Again, I really appreciate the help, you guys -- and I definitely appreciate you reading through everything I wrote in my original post. I tried an intra-enclosure feeding last night but no success as of yet. She's still doing her dumb striking, behaving like she just wants the prey to go away. I attempted 4 intra-enclosure feedings for the duration of an hour, spaced 15m apart. I then moved her to the tub to try that once more and was greeted with the same behavior. There are a couple of 1 to 2 min videos below that were taken during this stage:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1T7e...u0fk2hGgd/view
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PY8...vBlbAHroH/view

(For the first one above, sorry but you'll probably want to just skip 30s in.)

Can anyone further advise on what I should be doing? On the final feeding attempt in the tub, I just left the hopper in there to see if she would feed, but she didn't. I've never had such a difficult time with feeding as this and I've had 2 Royal Pythons and 1 Jungle Carpet before for a number of years. I still feel confident that she'll eat live but I *really* don't want to go back to that. Obviously, it's cruel for the prey (though I know this happens regularly in the wild) but it's also very easy for the prey to bite the snake, as I'm sure you all agree..

Andy27012 -- can you tell me what kind of heating pad you use and where you get your chick down? Does everyone else agree that this is something to try? I've never had to go this route but then again I've never had a snake that's been so resistant to frozen/thawed feeding.

MDT -- you're positive she won't starve herself, correct? As in, if i just keep trying f/t then she'll eventually become hungry enough to eat? I desperately hope so...

Does anyone else have any input and/or suggestions? Thank you all in advance for your help...
Other carpet keepers may want to add to this, but typically, they will "just start" to eat one day. I have had several hatchlings that seemed like it took forever to get eating. keep offering food. Give it a couple of tries, but if no dice, leave the thawed rodent in the enclosure overnight. Sometimes, they will eat later. It can be VERY frustrating. If worried about starving, get a small digital scale and monitor its weight.

I re-read your original post... you say it was feeding for the breeder, right?
MDT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-19, 02:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
Forum Moderator
 
EL Ziggy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun-2013
Location: ATL
Posts: 6,603
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

I didn't see it mentioned so I'll ask. What are your temps like and how are you heating your enclosure? I agree with MDT. She'll catch on eventually. I've had a couple of carpets that were slow to get started but once they get going they're usually full steam ahead. I've also never seen a healthy snake starve itself to death and I strongly believe that hunger will always win in the end. I'd suggest you not worry and don't force it. The snake has pretty good body tone so as long as she doesn't start to lose a lot of weight just keep offering food every 14-21 days until she gets the message. Keep feeding in the enclosure and if she doesn't take the food from tongs either leave it in overnight or remove it after a few hours and give it to another snake. Please keep us posted on your progress.
__________________
0.1 Albino Bull Snake (She-RA)~ 1.0 Snow Bull Snake (Apollo)~ 1.0 Coastal Carpet Python (Chomper)~ 1.0 JCP (Shredder)~ 1.0 Bredl Python (S'ven)~ 0.1 JJ x JCP (Trinity)~ 0.1 Albino Carpet Python (Akasha)~ 1.0 Olive Python (Nigel)~1.0 Scrub Python (Klauss)~ 1.0 BCI (Monty)~ 0.1 BCO (Xena)

Last edited by EL Ziggy; 05-13-19 at 03:02 PM..
EL Ziggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 05-13-19, 09:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 20
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

Hey there MDT and El Ziggy. Understood about taking Carpets an unusually long time to start eating, so thank you for that, MDT. I *have* left the hopper in her tub before but not in the enclosure, so I'll try that. I've only left the mouse in there for max a half hour though. Are you sure the mouse won't rot overnight and poison the snake? And you're right, I should get the scale -- good idea. If I notice her losing any weight at all (she doesn't seem to be so far), then you're saying I should feed her at least one live to compensate, correct?

But no, Medusa is mine -- not the breeder's. He's just been helping me throughout this entire process, which I know is unusually generous for a seller to do. Believe me, I'm grateful.

El Ziggy -- my temps are 90 F at the top, 80 F just below midway down, and I can only think it'd be 70 F at the bottom but I don't have a temp gauge down there to confirm. As you can see, I have 3 gauges across the top and 1 in the middle so I can get an extra-comprehensive idea of the temps throughout the enclosure since it is rather large. I expect you'd also say something about having her in front of a window, but believe me, I keep a hyper-watchful eye on her temps and I've never forgotten to do that -- ever. (Her well-being is basically somewhere in my mind at all times.) Plus, there's blinds right in back of her enclosure, so if it gets too hot, I just pull the blinds. (I know I need to get a temp controller as well.)

However, I'd been attempting feeding every week -- is that too often? I'll definitely keep trying in her enclosure, so that's a given at this point. Thank you also for your kind assurances, you and MDT both. They mean a great deal.

Enclosure (close-up): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1P7...YxYZmJSmz1GkSR

Enclosure (wide): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1YQ..._WEx8xRzTqWihX

Last edited by Gorgon; 05-13-19 at 09:33 PM.. Reason: Trying to get images to show up.
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-19, 04:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
MDT
Member
 
MDT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct-2005
Location: Oklahoma
Age: 53
Posts: 1,719
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

Overnight is fine, it won't harm your snake. But, I wouldn't leave in there past 24ish hours. As far as the scale goes, do not fixate on this. Just weight your snake every week and look at trends to give you an idea if there may be a catabolic state. You might give your snake a week off food attempts and try after 7-8 days.

As far as the breeder goes, how well was your snake feeding when you got her? I start all of my carpets out on rat pinks. Only rarely have I had to go to mice. At 10 months, she should easily be on rats. I watched your feeding video (beautiful JCP btw!). I have had good luck grasping the prey by the neck and presenting it at ground level rather than dangling it overhead. I have no data or studies to support this (it just seems logical to me), but a smaller snake may feel threatened by an object towering overhead like that rather than presenting at "face level". Just throwing suggestions out there. You will prob try about 100 diff things but at some point, she will likely start to feed on her own.
MDT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-19, 12:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
Forum Moderator
 
Aaron_S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov-2002
Location: Toronto
Age: 34
Posts: 16,894
Send a message via MSN to Aaron_S
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

All good suggestions given. I am no expert on carpet python babies but I can tell you the piece of advice given to me when I had a stubborn eater was just be consistent.

Offer the same type of prey item (maybe a rat would be better but whatever you decide stick to it)
Offer every 5 days or every 7 days.
Offer at night/dusk and leave the item in there until morning. It won't harm the snake.

As El Ziggy said, a healthy snake, and yours definitely seems to be one, won't starve itself to death.
Aaron_S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-19, 12:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 20
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

MDT -- thank you immensely for being so quick and thorough in your replies: definitely much appreciated! Understood about leaving the mouse out overnight being ok -- and yeah I'm pretty confident in my ability to tell if she's losing weight. Still, I might buy the scale just to be sure. I do currently attempt feedings weekly so I'm already on the 7-8 day schedule.

Four days after I first got her -- and this is the strange thing -- she ate 3 F/T mouse pinks right off the bat. So that's the frustrating thing: I *know* she can do it! (Apparently, she just has to get hungry enough.) But yes, true about the rat issue: the latest word from the breeder (just last night) was that I should be starting her on rat pinks, so good call on that. Thank you also for the compliment for her: she's a looker, right?

Also, very true on the level of the prey thing: I find she strikes far more often if the mouse is close to the ground as opposed to dangling in the air. A bit more on what my breeder recommended last night: he suggested I get a 24oz deli cup, put the snake in there, close the perforated lid, and lay the prey on top of the lid. He said this is because he'd like to see the feeding space minimized and she'll also be smelling the rat this whole time, hopefully making her all the more hungry.

Do you have any thoughts on this?
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-19, 01:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 20
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

Aaron_S - thank you, man -- I appreciate it. Yeah the consensus is that I should be giving her rats so I'm definitely going to start doing that on a weekly basis as well. And yes -- going to try leaving the prey overnight. Thank you for the compliment on her appearance, by the way -- everyone here has helped alleviate my fear of her starving and that means more than I can say. Any thoughts on what my breeder recommended above in my response to MDT? Thank you in advance, Aaron, very much.
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:48 PM.

Powered by vBulletin®
©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2002-17, Hobby Solutions Inc.

right

SEO by vBSEO 3.1.0