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Old 09-23-03, 01:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Weird Snake Eating Pattern

My female Arizona Mountain King has started eating again. The problem is, she's about four feet long and will only eat f/t pinkies. I tried a hopper and she refused it.

Any ideas?
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Old 09-23-03, 01:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Has she ever had a meal that wasn't pinks? At four feet she should be taking small adult mice. How do you feed her? (Tongs, setting it in her enclosure, putting her in a smaller container with the prey item, ect.) Did you get the fuzzie from the same place you got the the pinkies? I could go on. Need more info on her history.
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Old 09-23-03, 06:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Try rat pups or if using frozen thawed feed split the skull to expose part of the brain on the adult mouse.
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Old 09-23-03, 08:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My similar experience with a mexican milksnake that, as a youngster, was progressing from pinks to fuzzies (all F/T) and when a fuzzy mouse was jiggled it too much it frightened him. From that point forward he seemed intimidated by anything bigger than a pinky and refused F/T. I backed him off to pinkies (afraid he wouldn't eat at all) and he continued to refuse all else for 2 years. I brumated him last winter at 2 years of age and he came out of that willing to take F/T fuzzies and small hoppers that are appropriate for his size. I have since read that some of the smaller milk and kingsnake species are easily frightened by prey and reluctant to take on anything that they perceive to be a threat.

Your female had gone quite a long time between when you bought her and when she finally accepted feed - which was only about a week ago. I suspect that many of these snakes are more traumatized by changes in their lifestyle than we understand - especially those that come from a breeder where they have the security and quiet of a rack system into a busy household - with many vibrations.

I would give her time to adjust, give her pinkies for a while, offer fuzzies intermittantly - but just let her get some nutrition into her while she learns that the new place is not so threatening - then cool her for a short period over winter and hope she will feed more aggressively in the spring. Go slow to make progress rather than push her and bring on a set back,


just my opinion

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Old 09-23-03, 03:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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At 4 feet she should be taking small rats, or large adult mice.
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Old 09-23-03, 03:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've had this kingsnake for approximately two months. The info I got is that she was used to eating two live hopper mice every one to two weeks. I tried that, as well as f/t brained hoppers. In fact, the last time I fed her, she rejected a f/t brained hopper. Two hours later, I placed f/t brained pinkies in her enclosure and she snapped them right up.

Because she seems rather nervous, I've been feeding her in her own enclosure. Apparently, even dead hoppers a bit intimidating. Maybe she decided she doesn't like hair?

>Your female had gone quite a long time between when you >bought her and when she finally accepted feed - which was only >about a week ago. I suspect that many of these snakes are >more traumatized by changes in their lifestyle than we >understand - especially those that come from a breeder where >they have the security and quiet of a rack system into a busy >household - with many vibrations.

I think you are 100% right about this. The snakes at the other place had their own room where they were rarely bothered, no vibrations, different heating system, different elevation, etc. The change didn't bother the male at all, but the female's disposition is quite different.

It doesn't help that she just had a tough shed.

Her last two meals weren't very large. I just want to get her system going again. The hopper I tried was more on the "fuzzy" side and shouldn't have seemed threatening since it was dead, but hey...who knows what she was feeling?
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1.1 Arizona mountain kingsnakes (Chris Baubel and Gerold Merker)
1.1 Louisiana milksnakes (John Yurkovich)
1.2 Okeetee corns (Kathy Love)
1.1 albino Okeetee corns (Kathy Love)
1.0 hypo crimson corn (Kathy Love)
0.1 hypo corn / het for ghost (Kathy Love)
1.0 double-yellowheaded Amazon parrot
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