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Old 09-03-19, 08:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Snake not eating

I bought a Nelson's Milk Snake for my son 2 weeks ago. We have been trying to feed it thawed pinky mice but it will not eat them. It is a little over a foot long and a 2019 hatchling. We have tried everything from braining to feeding in a separate smaller enclosure. We put it on a solid lid in the snakes tank and have left it there for several hours to wake up to it still being there. The snake is currently in a 40 gal vivarium with one side of the tank at 75-80 degrees and the other side of the tank between 80-85 degrees. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-05-19, 12:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

Other than my Hognose, my Pueblan Milk is my worst eater, refusing prey week after week. As long as the snake isnít visibly starving, continue to leave the prey as usual.

What temp did you heat the prey up to, and how?
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Old 09-05-19, 01:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

How often are you offering food? Offering too often can stress the snake and lead to further refusals.

Also, be consistent with offerings. Feed at night, inside the enclosure.

I've been keeping snakes for almost 20 years and have never heard of braining being successful.

Feed inside the enclosure. Seperate feeding tubs are old school and proven counter productive over time.
There's literally ZERO benefit.
In fact, seperate feeding tubs can:
A) lead to refusals. Moving the snake = stress. Stress = refusal
B) lead to the snake regurgitating it's meal. Moving the snake = stress. Stress = regurge.
C) drastically increase your chances of being bitten.


Also, are you handling the snake at all? You should be refraining from any handling until the snake has eaten 3 consecutive without refusal.
You'll have plenty of time to handle the snake, making sure it's eating should be too priority.

Lastly, you may want to switch to a smaller enclosure for a while. The snake may not feel safe and secure in such a large enclosure. Many juvenile snakes do better starting in a smaller enclosure and upsizing once the animal outgrows the smaller one.
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Old 09-05-19, 08:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

We are thawing the pinky in the fridge, then placing it in a ziploc bag in water that is around 95į for 20 min
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Old 09-05-19, 08:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

We have not handled the snake at all since it hasn't eaten yet. We usually try to feed at night putting g the pinky on a lid I. The enclosure so she doesn't accidentally swallow the Aspen bedding in her enclosure. We had been offering everyday, but switched to every other day. Tried again this evening but she just slithers right past the pinky.
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Old 09-06-19, 01:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

Only offer food every 5-7 days to stop wasting prey items. I feed my juveniles on that same schedule, and sub adults every 10-14 days.

Increase the temp to 98-102 degrees to mimic the actual body temp of mice/rats and see if that helps.

Get some tongs (Zoo Med stainless steel) and dance the feeders around in front of the snake to mimic live prey.

I usually feed my snakes at dusk or early night, not during the full light of day. If it’s after 8pm (for me) and my tank lights shut off, I turn on a room light, but that’s it.

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We have not handled the snake at all since it hasn't eaten yet. We usually try to feed at night putting g the pinky on a lid I. The enclosure so she doesn't accidentally swallow the Aspen bedding in her enclosure. We had been offering everyday, but switched to every other day. Tried again this evening but she just slithers right past the pinky.
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Old 09-06-19, 09:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

Ok, don't offer again for AT LEAST 5 days.

Unfortunately, you're stressing the crap out of that little snake. Leave the snake alone, no handling, no hanging out by the enclosure. Is there a dog or cat at home? If so, keep them away from the enclosure.

Let your new pet settle in and get acclimated to new surroundings.
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Old 09-06-19, 07:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

Thank you both for your help. We will definitely try all of the help and hopefully we will get some positive results. Getting worried since its been 3 weeks since she ate
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Old 09-10-19, 04:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

I'm having similar issues with a new pueblan milk snake. She's about a foot long. I've had her a little over a week. Turns out she was in shed when shipped to me and had problems shedding. I had to assist and she seems happier now. I've tried 2-3 times with f/t pinkies. When do you start worrying? She's been about a week without eating but was in shed. Sorry to jump on the post with my issue but we are having the same problems. I've tried braining one and leaving them in tank. I plan on trying again Friday, which will be 2 weeks. I'm pretty sure she was stressed after being force soaked and peeled last night.
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Old 09-10-19, 10:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

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Originally Posted by David339 View Post
I'm having similar issues with a new pueblan milk snake. She's about a foot long. I've had her a little over a week. Turns out she was in shed when shipped to me and had problems shedding. I had to assist and she seems happier now. I've tried 2-3 times with f/t pinkies. When do you start worrying? She's been about a week without eating but was in shed. Sorry to jump on the post with my issue but we are having the same problems. I've tried braining one and leaving them in tank. I plan on trying again Friday, which will be 2 weeks. I'm pretty sure she was stressed after being force soaked and peeled last night.

It's only been a week!!! Let the poor animal acclimate to it's new surroundings. Snakes can go MONTHS without eating.

I've literally never heard of braining working in almost 20 years.

You're stressing the crap outta that poor animal..
What the heck is a force soak and peel???

This is why it's important to RESEARCH ANIMALS BEFORE BRINGING THEM HOME.

I feel bad for these poor animals.
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Old 09-10-19, 06:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

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Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
It's only been a week!!! Let the poor animal acclimate to it's new surroundings. Snakes can go MONTHS without eating.

I've literally never heard of braining working in almost 20 years.

You're stressing the crap outta that poor animal..
What the heck is a force soak and peel???

This is why it's important to RESEARCH ANIMALS BEFORE BRINGING THEM HOME.

I feel bad for these poor animals.
Oh. I haven't been doing much with her to stress her. She was delivered in shed and I didn't realize. I guess this was why her shed was incomplete. I made that sound worse than it was. I had barely any water in a bucket. Warm water. I put her in and mostly supervised for about 10 min. She was about half shed. One spot was stuck pretty good where it had broke. I gently moved my finger across the wet skin and it just peeled off. Other than that one spot it pretty much came off like a glove. Afterward she was more active in her tank. I've seen her coiled up in the fake pothos but she was all out slithering through the fake vine. Other than that I haven't been trying to handle her or anything. My other snakes eat great and were on my feeding schedule within the first week. This is my first milk snake/kingsnake. That was my first braining... I tried on the second pinky attempt. My first attempt was the day I got her, she was interested for a minute but didn't bite. Now I'm waiting a week before trying again. I have 19 snakes all together atm. None of these snakes have had any trouble shedding or anything. My albino striped corn snake and garter snake hatchlings (also about a foot long) are in the exact same tank set up. I tried extra misting and gave her a few days to shed on her own before I assisted in shedding.
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Old 09-12-19, 12:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
It's only been a week!!! Let the poor animal acclimate to it's new surroundings. Snakes can go MONTHS without eating.

I've literally never heard of braining working in almost 20 years.

You're stressing the crap outta that poor animal..
What the heck is a force soak and peel???

This is why it's important to RESEARCH ANIMALS BEFORE BRINGING THEM HOME.

I feel bad for these poor animals.
Man, I'm in the same boat. I've never seen braining work or heard of it working. Has to be a random myth from way back in the day that worked like once and became this "thing".
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Old 09-12-19, 12:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

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Man, I'm in the same boat. I've never seen braining work or heard of it working. Has to be a random myth from way back in the day that worked like once and became this "thing".
Right??? I actually wonder how so many new keepers have heard of braining but not a thermostat...
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Old 09-12-19, 12:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

I need everyone who has a feeding problem with a new arrival to take a deep breathe. Relax, enjoy your new animal a little bit. Enjoy the excitement.

The suggestions here are all good. I strongly recommend just offering consistently and spread out. Every day or every other day is too much for the snake.

My most problematic feeder was the first hatchling I ever hatched. It didn't eat for 3 months! What did it was being patient and offering only once every 5 days, in the same manner. All the little tricks are not needed.

So be consistent in your offering and the time frame between attempts. If you begin to feel it's getting to be too long then switch to a live prey item before going to all the random tricks.
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Old 09-12-19, 01:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Snake not eating

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Originally Posted by aaron_s View Post
i need everyone who has a feeding problem with a new arrival to take a deep breathe. Relax, enjoy your new animal a little bit. Enjoy the excitement.

The suggestions here are all good. I strongly recommend just offering consistently and spread out. Every day or every other day is too much for the snake.

My most problematic feeder was the first hatchling i ever hatched. It didn't eat for 3 months! What did it was being patient and offering only once every 5 days, in the same manner. All the little tricks are not needed.

So be consistent in your offering and the time frame between attempts. If you begin to feel it's getting to be too long then switch to a live prey item before going to all the random tricks.
fantastic reply top to bottom.
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