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Old 12-31-20, 10:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
DDW
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Feeding advice?

I have been growing paranoid about the amounts I'm feeding my dear snakes. I get so many mixed answers. Some places say I should be feeding my adult ball large rats, another says I should be feeding her medium rats. I'm just so confused now even after being pretty confident about my choices before.

See, I know have three snakes, which I will be listing here in a bit. I need some advice on how much I should be feeding each. We tend to keep feeding day all the same for each (usually on mondays) and each of my babies have pretty good feeding responses. The problem is I'm not sure if I'm feeding enough or too much. So, I weighed them all today, and gave them good soaks to check their scales and general health before posting here.

First is Glitch, our adult ball python. A local breeder suggested, for a full grown ball, to feed a medium rat every week (7 days). I was feeding her large rats before, but was experiencing a small bit of lack of feeding response. Now she's hitting them dead on every time but I'm not sure if her weight is right. Her weight, as of today, is 2,164 grams.

Second is Mouse, our young BCI. Now, she has a pretty strong feeding response and shes only ever refused once. Their body type is very different from Glitch's and sometimes I think we might be feeding her too much, but other times I'm not sure if it's enough. I know it's hard to overfeed a growing snake, but I just want to be sure. She weighed in at 106 grams today. I was told she was a year old when we got her, but that seems kinda small for that age in my mind tbh.

Last is Byte, our very young corn snake. We got him on sale on black Friday. Don't really know how old he is but he's pretty small (assuming it's a male). I've been working on socializing him because he's a bit flighty, but that seems like normal behavior for a corn snake. Anyway, he weighed in at a whopping 6 grams today.


Thank you all for your help and time!
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Old 01-01-21, 11:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding advice?

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Originally Posted by DDW View Post
I have been growing paranoid about the amounts I'm feeding my dear snakes. I get so many mixed answers. Some places say I should be feeding my adult ball large rats, another says I should be feeding her medium rats. I'm just so confused now even after being pretty confident about my choices before.

See, I know have three snakes, which I will be listing here in a bit. I need some advice on how much I should be feeding each. We tend to keep feeding day all the same for each (usually on mondays) and each of my babies have pretty good feeding responses. The problem is I'm not sure if I'm feeding enough or too much. So, I weighed them all today, and gave them good soaks to check their scales and general health before posting here.

First is Glitch, our adult ball python. A local breeder suggested, for a full grown ball, to feed a medium rat every week (7 days). I was feeding her large rats before, but was experiencing a small bit of lack of feeding response. Now she's hitting them dead on every time but I'm not sure if her weight is right. Her weight, as of today, is 2,164 grams.

Second is Mouse, our young BCI. Now, she has a pretty strong feeding response and shes only ever refused once. Their body type is very different from Glitch's and sometimes I think we might be feeding her too much, but other times I'm not sure if it's enough. I know it's hard to overfeed a growing snake, but I just want to be sure. She weighed in at 106 grams today. I was told she was a year old when we got her, but that seems kinda small for that age in my mind tbh.

Last is Byte, our very young corn snake. We got him on sale on black Friday. Don't really know how old he is but he's pretty small (assuming it's a male). I've been working on socializing him because he's a bit flighty, but that seems like normal behavior for a corn snake. Anyway, he weighed in at a whopping 6 grams today.


Thank you all for your help and time!
When it comes to snakes, especially for just pets, you can err on the side of caution and feed smaller meals and a little more spaced out.

Rat sizes for me are roughly these sizes - Smalls 90 grams to 140, mediums are like 150 - 200 grams, largers are bigger than that.

Ball python - My breeder females get a single medium rat a week. As a pet snake, yours would be fine with this regime. You could go longer in between meals if you wanted to and feel free to change up the size if you wanted. If you want you can feed a single small rat one week and then a medium next. If you fed a large rat I'd wait at least 3 weeks.

BCI - I would feed weekly and use about 10 - 15% body weight, maybe even 20%. These guys need a little less intake than balls and grow a little slower so no worries on this.

Corn - I would obviously stick with pinky mice and just feed weekly.

You only have pets at this time and there's been a lot of discussion regarding overfeeding our captives. In your case, there isn't a reason to really feed larger meals or if so, really ensure they are kept spaced out.
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Old 01-01-21, 12:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding advice?

Many people feed their snakes appropriately sized meals (like a medium rat for an adult ball python) on a weekly basis and the snakes live long, healthy lives. Other people feed the same meals with the same frequency and end up with obese snakes with related health issues.

Beginning snake keepers should probably stick with a feeding schedule of an appropriately sized rodent once every 5-7 days for the first year of a snake's life, every 7-10 days until the snake hits adult size, and every 10-14 days once the snake is an adult.

More advanced keepers, or a keeper whose snake is having issues, can adjust their feeding amounts and schedules based on the needs of individual snakes. Everyone's husbandry is just a little different and the snakes are all just a little different, so feeding routines may need to be a little different too.

That all said, I used to feed my snakes weekly. I switched to feeding every two weeks and everyone seems just as healthy. The only real difference is that I clean up slightly less fecal matter. If I ever observe a problem with one or more of my snakes then one or more of them will get an updated feeding schedule.
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Old 01-01-21, 08:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding advice?

I think feeding an adult BP a large rat weekly is a bit much. My 8’ olive, 8’ bullsnake, and 7’ scrub don’t eat that often. I feed my pythons and colubrids weekly for the first year. My boas eat every 10-14 days the first year. After that they all eat every 2-3 weeks on average in the warmer months and every 4-6 weeks during the winter months. My colubrids eat more frequently than the boas and pythons. They eat every 10-14 days as adults.
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Old 01-01-21, 09:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding advice?

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Originally Posted by EL Ziggy View Post
I think feeding an adult BP a large rat weekly is a bit much. My 8’ olive, 8’ bullsnake, and 7’ scrub don’t eat that often. I feed my pythons and colubrids weekly for the first year. My boas eat every 10-14 days the first year. After that they all eat every 2-3 weeks on average in the warmer months and every 4-6 weeks during the winter months. My colubrids eat more frequently than the boas and pythons. They eat every 10-14 days as adults.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chairman View Post
Many people feed their snakes appropriately sized meals (like a medium rat for an adult ball python) on a weekly basis and the snakes live long, healthy lives. Other people feed the same meals with the same frequency and end up with obese snakes with related health issues.

Beginning snake keepers should probably stick with a feeding schedule of an appropriately sized rodent once every 5-7 days for the first year of a snake's life, every 7-10 days until the snake hits adult size, and every 10-14 days once the snake is an adult.

More advanced keepers, or a keeper whose snake is having issues, can adjust their feeding amounts and schedules based on the needs of individual snakes. Everyone's husbandry is just a little different and the snakes are all just a little different, so feeding routines may need to be a little different too.

That all said, I used to feed my snakes weekly. I switched to feeding every two weeks and everyone seems just as healthy. The only real difference is that I clean up slightly less fecal matter. If I ever observe a problem with one or more of my snakes then one or more of them will get an updated feeding schedule.
Both great advice.

Speaking of less fecal matter. Has anyone noticed there's less fecal matter when feeding appropriate sized meals versus larger ones?
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Old 01-03-21, 07:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding advice?

Thank you all for the advice, I was just getting paranoid and am glad to hear I'm not screwing up. Haha
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Old 01-03-21, 07:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding advice?

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Thank you all for the advice, I was just getting paranoid and am glad to hear I'm not screwing up. Haha
It's difficult to screw up I think. If you're ever in doubt you can always slow down a bit. Snakes are built for going awhile without meals so it won't hurt them!
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