border
sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum
 

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

Notices

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-08-20, 12:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 35
Country:
Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

Hey there guys! You all really helped me out about a year and a half ago with transitioning from live to f/t for my beloved female Jungle Carpet Python, Medusa. She's fed pretty ravenously since then with the current exception: she hasn't eaten since beginning of August 2020 (about 3 months).

She's 2 years and 3 months old and currently weighs 2043g (4.5 pounds) but I've only been tracking her weight for about a month and during this time she's lost ~20g.

I've been trying to feed her once a week but I understand I should not be doing this, correct? I should attempt every other week if my understanding is accurate. The prey I've been offering is large mice and during my attempt 3 weeks ago she opened her mouth like she was going to feed and then relented at the last second. I've been keeping her enclosure at the standard Carpet temp/humidity though it *is* a bit cooler in the house since we get a substantial winter here in Albuquerque.

Is this what is triggering the pause in feeding? Should I be concerned that it's been 3 months since she last fed? If so, what suggestions might you guys have that could help here? (You were very helpful before so obviously that's why I'm coming to you with this new issue.) At what point should I attempt an assist-feed?

Thank you again in advance for any help and I hope you all are staying healthy and (relatively) happy in this crazy age of COVID.

Aaron
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 11-08-20, 12:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 35
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

Quick additional note: I know there are other threads regarding feeding pauses but I couldn't find a recent one about Carpet Pythons specifically. Also, she hasn't defecated for about the same length of time she's not been eating, which again is ~3 months.
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-20, 12:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 35
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

Sorry, one more note: I spend a half hour with her at least once a week and she's still really strong, great grip, very active, and she constricts around my neck stronger than any snake I've ever had. (In the past, I had another Jungle Carpet about her same age and then 2 Royal Pythons about the same age as well.) So her strength hasn't waned at all is i guess all I'm saying. She's still perfectly alert and aware of her surroundings as well.
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-20, 08:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov-2014
Posts: 708
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

I noticed you said that you're feeding mice. Is that correct, or are you feeding rats?

I say this because a 2000+gram snake should be eating ~200 grams of food once every two weeks. Adult mice run about 20 grams, with extra larges at maybe 35 grams. A medium rat weighs in around 100 grams, large rats around 200 grams.

That all said, your snake did grow well on the diet you offered it. In fact, it grew to breeding size, which is just about anything over 1300 grams. It is possible that your python developed eggs and that you need to wait for her to either reabsorb or lay the eggs. Not all female pythons will produce eggs without being with a male, but it can happen. I'd give her a lay box and see what happens.
chairman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-20, 01:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 35
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

Chairman -- thank you very much for your reply.

Correct, I'm actually feeding a combination of large and extra-large mice. 2 reasons for this: I ordered too much of this prey from RodentPro.com and am just working through my stockpile *and* I think feeding more of a smaller prey item as opposed to less of a larger item will hopefully result in a larger snake. I know the first reason isn't the greatest but what do you think of the second? Do you think, at her age of 2.25 years and weight of 2043g, she's grown more than the typical Jungle Carpet?

Something else is that she seems to be *really* sensitive to heat. I have her in a 3'(w) x 3'(h) x 1'(d) glass enclosure with 80 F at the top and 70 F at the bottom and she spends most of her time at the very top among the branches but off a bit to the side so she's not directly exposed to the heat lamps. (Heat lamps are suspended about 8" from the top of the enclosure using 50w bulbs.)

About the gravid-potentiality, when I feel her during the weekly half-hour visit, she doesn't feel like she has eggs. Also, if she did have eggs, wouldn't she be gaining weight -- not losing? If she is, however, will she lay eggs in her enclosure instead of a lay box? At that point, I feel like I could transfer her into a lay box with enough time before the eggs go bad since I monitor her so often. What do you think of this?

If she is gravid, how much more time should I give her to lay her eggs? If she isn't gravid, how much longer do you think I should weight before I attempt an assist-feed?

Thank you again for all of your help. I am truly beyond grateful.

Aaron
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 11-09-20, 03:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov-2014
Posts: 708
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

For multiple prey items, I prefer to feed multiple lean animals over one fatty animal. For example, extra large rats and mice tend to be older, less healthy, and fatty retired breeders. I'd rather feed multiple younger, healthier, and leaner prey items and make up the weight that way. It doesn't have anything to do with the size of the snake to me, they'll grow as big as they're going to grow, it is just about trying to keep them on a healthy diet.

Some people are of the opinion that single prey items are healthier, regardless of the condition of the prey. It has to do with how much work a stomach has to do in order to digest its way through all the fur and other indigestible bits, and the potential for multiple prey items to be longer than the stomach itself is.

What you are doing meal-wise with your carpet seems fine to me, carpets tend to not be picky when it comes to prey species or size.

However, the size of your prey item may temporarily be an issue. I would attempt to feed a small or medium rat if you have one, just to see if that interests her. She might want something bigger. If she takes rats then you can feed smaller rats and offer a mouse chaser after.

I bred my carpets and my female went off food for several months as a result. When it came time to eat again she did the opposite, she acted 'afraid' of rats but enthusiastically ate mice. She switched back to rats after a couple meals.

My carpets are high % Irian Jaya mixes but they tend to prefer temps in the low to mid 70s most of the time as well. I wouldn't worry about that.

By lay box, I mean a box you place inside the enclosure. For a lay box, I used a 15qt rubbermaid tub with a hole cut in the lid. I filled the tub about half-way with substrate, either moss or coco coir. It was a snug fit but my snake found it acceptable. She still uses it as a hide every once in a while.

Different species, but years ago I had a female cornsnake that ate up to a half dozen mice a week for 6 months and fasted the other 6 months. I wouldn't repeat that schedule now but a well fed snake can go months without eating and be just fine. I don't remember how long my carpet python fasted for while gravid but I want to say it was 90-120 days or so.

Before assist feeding I would try other prey options. A rat, quail, chick, rabbit, or maybe something scented with low sodium chicken broth.
chairman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-20, 09:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
Forum Moderator
 
EL Ziggy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun-2013
Location: ATL
Posts: 6,745
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

It’s that time of year when lots of snakes stop eating. She’s pretty well established so I see no need for assist feeding. She’ll eat when she’s ready. The cooler temps could be slowing down her appetite. A few of my snakes go off food in the winter and pick up again in the spring. It happens more with my males than the females. They haven’t shut down yet but I am starting to spread their meals out a bit. Your enclosure temps seem a little cool to me at 80/70. My carpets have a hot spot of 86-90 and my ambient temps are in the low-mid 70s during fall/winter. They might even hit the high 60s at night. If she’s only lost 20g in 3 months I wouldn’t be concerned at all. That’s a pretty good growth rate for a mouser so if it works for you there’s no need to change it. At 2kg my carpets were eating large rats every 2-3 weeks. I’d suggest boosting your temps and to keep offering food every 2-4 weeks until she decides to eat again.
__________________
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)
EL Ziggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-20, 10:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 35
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

CHAIRMAN -

Thank you again. The one time over the past 3 months that she *almost* ate (opening her mouth and then relenting last second) was an extra-large mouse so I've been starting with that every weekly attempt. Last attempt (2 nights ago) I started with a large mouse but it didn't make any difference. Regardless, I get what you're saying about smaller, leaner prey. I'll take that advice once she starts eating again.

With regard to digestion, it actually makes more sense to me that smaller, multiple items would be easier to digest. I use the "jawbreaker" idea: if you eat one huge jawbreaker, it'll take forever to dissolve. But many small ones will dissolve quicker because you're increasing the surface area for the same amount of weight, thereby augmenting the efficacy of the dissolution/digestion. Do you not agree?

She doesn't currently have a lay-box but she has a hide that she loves. It's an all-black, non-BPA cover that accommodates her size really well. If she was gravid, do you think she would use that to lay eggs? I really don't like using heating pads so what I did was I cut out a large circle in the wood on which the enclosure sits and set up a heat-lamp to point through the hole into the glass. I then have a piece of fabric that I use as a heat-sink that's Velcroed to the glass so it doesn't overheat. Then I have substrate on the other side of the glass (the side she's on) to deflect and propagate the heat further. As you might expect, this took some trial & error and I had to get a whole new enclosure when the glass cracked on the previous one. The reward is she really loves it in there.

Sorry for all the info but I'll also take your advice on varying the prey items to see if that helps.



EL ZIGGY -

Thank you for joining in! I get what you're saying that I might be overthinking the situation this early on. My 2 Royal Pythons stopped eating about the same time my current girl has and I think they didn't even eat for 5 months. The only real concern I have is that I think Medusa (my girl & currently the only snake I have) stopped eating a couple months earlier than they did while it was still summer.

I've tried increasing the heat by the tiniest increments, believe me, but she doesn't like it. She barely tolerates the 80 F as it is. I've never had a snake that was as sensitive to heat as she is. (Then again, I've only ever had 4 snakes, including her.)

She hasn't only lost 20g though. Since she stopped eating 3 months ago, I think she's lost 60g - 80g. However, I suppose that still isn't very much. But of course you make good points: I should stop offering food every week and offer it at the most every other week, correct? Also, she's traditionally been a voracious eater within the confines of her enclosure so it's not like she's just going to permanently stop doing that, right? I hope not.



Just going back briefly to the being-gravid issue: I hope she's not as I'm not a breeder. I would have no idea what to do with a bunch of baby Jungle Carpets. As fascinating as it would be and as cute as I'm sure they are, it wouldn't make sense for me to have them and I'd just have to sell them -- something I really don't want to do. One thing I will not do is take the eggs from Medusa and put them into an incubator. I'm certain doing this traumatizes the mother. I'm convinced that no mom -- reptile or mammal -- wants to lose her babies. So, if she does lay eggs, I'll build her a lay-box in addition to everything else she has in her enclosure, take the very best care of her I possibly can, and let her bring her babies to term. I don't have it in me to take the eggs from her. I love this snake with all my life. She's just about the best thing that ever happened to me.

Aaron
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-20, 10:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov-2014
Posts: 708
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

On the feeding advice, I personally prefer to feed one lean prey item when possible, but will feed multiple lean items over one fatty item. I provided the alternative information because plenty of keepers feed their snakes that way without problems. I got my first snake somewhere in the neighborhood of 1993-1995; a lot has changed since then and I am constantly keeping my eye out for ways to adapt/improve how I keep snakes.

In terms of heating, perhaps you need a basking spot. I keep my carpet pythons' enclosures at 76F in warm weather and 72 in cool weather. They have a 4' long branch with heat cable wrapped around about 16" of it to create a basking spot that is 95F. The snakes perch over the cable to bask and perch on the unheated part of the branch when they are done. The cable does increase the temperature of the enclosure by a couple degrees on that side but, for the most part, it provides a local area of higher heat without significantly increasing the enclosure temperature. There are other ways of adding basking spots, that's just how I'm doing it for my carpet pythons.

It is interesting that you mentioned maternal incubation, as my female python used her basking spot significantly more when she had her eggs. It was actually when she was basking that I was able to remove her eggs and incubate them without getting bitten.

The odds of your snake producing fertile eggs is very low. I believe parthenogenesis has been documented in some snake species but it is quite rare. If the eggs look healthy then you could incubate them, at least for a couple weeks so you can see if they rot or develop veins, but generally you could probably just throw them away. The snake isn't going to care.
chairman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-20, 12:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 35
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

Thank you once again, Chairman. Your thorough information is tremendously appreciated.

I hear you on the feeding. I won't make the same mistake I did before by ordering too much from RodentPro.com. Just not worth the potential jeopardy to Medusa's health. And if it comes right down to it, I'll just have to jettison the larger, fatty food reserves in favor of the leaner.

I will likely try the basking spot so thank you for suggesting this. She hasn't had one before and she has many perfect sheds under her belt but I'll give this a shot and see if she migrates over to the hotter side.

If she does yield a clutch, frankly it's going to either be her incubating them herself or I'll have to destroy them. The only way I'll destroy them is either if she abandons them herself or if I can tell they're going bad. I'll definitely feel sorry for her if either of these things happens but I'm just not prepared equipment-wise to incubate eggs.

But I almost certainly won't take them out from under her. I feel sure that snakes are smarter than we give them credit for. I always see YT breeders like Tyler Nolan, Chandler, Venomman, and ViperKeeper comment about how intelligent venomous snakes like Cobras, Vipers, Taipans, Mambas, etc. are but I'm convinced my favorite snakes (Pythons) are just as intelligent. It also breaks my heart when I see these breeders use f/t Retics and Burmese as feeder items for other snakes. I know some snakes are cannibalistic (for lack of a better term) but I just hate the idea of violence against any snake.

For me, anyway, they are sacred animals.

Aaron
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 04-04-21, 01:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 35
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

Ok guys, now I'm pretty afraid. My female Jungle Carpet *still* hasn't eaten. This would mean she's gone without food for 8 months now, which I understand is pretty rare. However, we *did* have an unusually long and cold winter here in Albuquerque which, despite the fact that Medusa (my snake) has a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled environment, still affects her as the general temp of the house falls during this time. (Yes, I have a great A/C system but it can only do so much.) It only in the last couple days has started to warm up with summer temps.

I spend at least a half hour a week with her wrapped around my neck and she's still as strong and alert as ever and active within her enclosure: fairly consistently switching from the branches during the night to her hide during the day. (Sometimes she'll just stay up in the branches for days at a time though.)

So typically I clean her enclosure thoroughly once per week then re-introduce her to the area after cleaning at about 8p. Then, I immediately offer her F/T large mice and she's always fed well this way. (When I first got her, she only ate live, but with your guys' help, I transitioned her to F/T.)

Hence, here are what I think should be the next steps and I'd like very much to know if you agree with me:

[1] I just tried feeding her last night so I'm going to wait another 2 weeks and then I'm going to offer her food *without* interrupting her by cleaning her enclosure first. I'm going to wait until she becomes active at night and then just offer her that F/T large mouse in her enclosure just like if I had cleaned it first.

[2] If that doesn't work, 2 weeks after that I'm going to go back to the cleaning but after I re-introduce her to the enclosure, I'm going to wait about half an hour instead of offering her food right away.

[3] If that *still* doesn't work, 2 weeks later I'm going to do what I absolutely hate to do, which is offer her live.

[4] If she won't eat live either, another 2 weeks later I'm going to attempt an assist-feed. I know this should be absolutely be my last resort because the danger of injury to the snake is so great, but what other options do I have?

All of this feels weird since she's still so active and alert but by my estimation, she's lost ~200g since she stopped eating at the beginning of August 2020. She's 2 years, 8.5 months old. The last time she pooped was about 1.5 months ago and she last shed about 2.5 months ago. The poop was just a little bit of the dry white and the shed was not great either as I had to assist with about half her body. But she looks great: I always look her over completely every week and her coloring is solid and consistent and there's no redness anywhere.

So any suggestions at all regarding what steps to take at this point would be greatly appreciated as you all have helped me tremendously in the past. I *cannot* lose this snake as she is my one and only and, along with my German Shepherd, the love of my life. I had one Jungle Carpet before Medusa and she passed away at the middle of 2018. (I think it happened because I was keeping the enclosure too humid and a mouth infection traveled from that area and ended up causing a granuloma/abcess around her middle. Even after diligently keeping up a rigorous medical process daily plus an operation that removed the granuloma, the poor girl ended up passing away in my arms about half a year after the discovery of the granuloma.)

Thank you in advance for any help you can offer,
Aaron
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-21, 01:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 35
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

P.S. I should also add that her weight still feels really good. Despite the ~200g weight loss, she still feels solid in my hands and I *cannot* feel her skeleton easily at all. She's still pretty bulky and, like I mentioned above, she looks good. She doesn't look thin.

Aaron
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-21, 09:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov-2014
Posts: 708
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

Eight months is a pretty substantial break from food but it sounds like the snake is still doing fairly well, considering.

If the snake isn't defecating then you probably don't need to clean as frequently as you are. That said, your plan of not disturbing the snake prior to feeding sounds good.

Other options you could pursue include attempting to feed a f/t rat or a f/t chick. Carpets are natural bird eaters. You could also scent a mouse/rat with low sodium chicken broth, or even just cook up some chicken soup and allow that bird scent to put your snake in feeding mode prior to a feeding attempt (I mention this one because my carpets go into feed mode when they smell rodents thawing).
chairman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-21, 03:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 35
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

Thank you, Chairman! I know, 8 months is at about 2 months longer than any snake I've ever had. (Then again, I've only had 3 Royals and 1 Jungle Carpet before the girl I currently have.)

About the cleaning, I'm definitely a tad obsessive about that. I started doing it every week because I wanted to prevent water residue build-up on the glass. Since I use spring water instead of distilled water, this has been an issue for me in the past. Just cleaning with light soap and water hasn't done it for me before so now I start by rubbing actual cut lemons on the glass, then carefully and thoroughly clean over with light soap, then water rinse, then dry. It's a bit of a process.

Anyway, I appreciate very much the advice. I've seen Tyler Nolan use chicken broth as well to help prompt the food response as well. I've always thought the scent of an actual bird would be too different from a broth made from its insides and that a snake would balk at that difference. If you're suggesting it as well though, I have to assume I'm wrong about that.

Though I don't understand why she didn't need it before. Would this be to just get her started again and after a couple initial feedings this way I wouldn't have to do it afterward? It's not a big deal, of course, just something I didn't have to do before.

In any case, I should attempt the broth approach *before* resorting to live, correct? I'm thinking that even if live works, I'm going to have to do that live-to-f/t process all over again..

Thank you for reading through all my verbosity, by the way. Unfortunately, it seems I never learned the virtues of brevity.

Aaron

Last edited by Gorgon; 04-06-21 at 03:21 PM.. Reason: Left out signoff.
Gorgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-21, 08:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov-2014
Posts: 708
Country:
Re: Jungle Carpet Python: Feeding Pause.

I would attempt scenting with chicken broth prior to feeding live. I have scented with broth successfully in the past, albeit with a sand boa.
chairman is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Reply

Tags
brumation, carpet python, feeding, female, weight loss

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 11:51 PM.

Powered by vBulletin®
©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2002-2020, Hobby Solutions.

right

SEO by vBSEO 3.1.0