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Old 11-02-03, 10:47 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Excellent points Slannesh. What is most important is offering the snake food at appropiate intervals. Of course these intervals vary based on species. I know not every snake within a species is the same but the vast majority are similar. Now perhaps this snake Ramses only likes to eat every 6 weeks or so and he is doing well on that regimen. Good and I hope he stays healthy, but what I think the concern is that it sounds as if Ontario Herper is saying all balls can go on this regime. That I do not accept for second. No offense to you but just because you say so doesn't mean I'll accept it. If herpers listened to every croonie that spit out some advice we would have alot of hurting snakes on our hands. Experiment and refine...do what works best for the animal in question but of the vast majority of adult balls I still think every 7-10 days is proper. That what mine and many hundreds of others have been following for years and I know mine are very healthy and NOT over wieght by any means. We learn by doing things differently thats the way it is and maybe...just maybe...there is something to what you guys say. But what has been working successfully all this time and continues to work is what I and hopefully the majority of others will follow, if it isn't broken why fix it.
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Old 11-02-03, 11:50 PM   #47 (permalink)
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I wasn’t aware that there were questions regarding temperature, enclosure size etc...???

I would advice that you could go beyond just care sheets. Try reading some of the various books out there. Keep in mind that many (if not all) of the care sheets out there are either written by, or ripped off from breeders. That said, many breeders feed their animals as much as possible so that they can prepare there animals for breeding. Female pythons use huge amounts of fat (and other resources) to produce eggs. This preparation for breeding may reflect on said care sheet.

My BP is an adult animal. I have no intentions of breeding this animal while it is in my care. This animal is fed roughly once a month. That said, the snake is of an appropriate weight, is quite alert, as active as you can expect a BP to be, and seems to be in a “happy” state. I’ve been keeping snakes for roughly nine years and this snake behaves in a similar manner to the hundreds of other snakes that I have kept (yes this includes many animals that were fed weekly).

Do not think for a minute that I am some low-life keeper that only feeds his snake once a month so I can afford beer money on Friday night. I have a freezer full of rats and if I felt that my BP needed an extra meal I’d give it to him (which I do from time to time). But the fact remains this snake holds a good weight and appears in all respects to be a healthy captive. So my question to you (and anyone else) is why would I feed it more?

I’ve heard repeated comments on this thread about how you know a snake is hungry when it starts moving around. And oh man! When it starts moving around you better feed that sucker! WHY? My adult carpet pythons and my water pythons will eat till the cows come home. Yet I only feed these snakes every 2-3 weeks. Is it because I’m a cruel keeper or I’m too cheap to feed them? NO! It’s because they maintain a very good weight on this feeding schedule. Why feed beyond that just because some care sheet tells me to?

BTW my female water python is “fat” at a feeding rate of every 2-3 weeks (usually more like 3).
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Old 11-03-03, 12:25 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Ontario: You seem to be very selective as to what you read and comment on in other people's posts.

I've never said that the caresheets are gospel. But they are a very good guideline for basic husbandry when taken as a whole. Some of them contain bad info i'm sure, which is why I find as many as I can and cross reference them, when 98% of them say the same thing it's usually a safe bet that there's a reason for it.

I'm sure some breeders only care about producing as many animals that grow as fast as they can so they can sell them. I'm also sure that most small breeders take exemplary care of their animals and treat them as beloved pets. I know I do.

The suggestion to look for books on the topic is a good one as well though, I should have suggested it sooner.

As i've said several times now, the whole point of this thread was basic husbandry. Feeding only once per month seems too far between feedings for me, but do what you like.
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Old 11-03-03, 12:38 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Hehe I'd like to see someone *vomit with rage.* That sounds kind of violent and painful.
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Old 11-03-03, 09:20 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Now now, Vanan, don't be a hypocrite here:

Quote:
Originally posted by Vanan
I've only heard too often, people advising newbies that an indicator to feed is when their snakes start roaming. I guess they're all wrong in saying so?


Then you also say:

Quote:
Being the majority doesn't mean a thing.
So, the majority of herpers think that an active BP is a hungry BP? Well, as you said, being in the majority doesn't mean a thing. So yes, I say that they ARE wrong in saying so, since myth herping seems to be more rampant with ball pythons than with any other snake currently in captivity. I think this myth is the worst out of all of them. Just because a BP is curious or likes to roam around DOES NOT necessarily mean it is hungry. Not all BPs are cut from the same cloth.

Quote:
Who's to say that your snakes weren't still hungry and looking for more food just after you've fed them. Or heck, they could just as well be looking for a place to go hide and digest their bellies. The heightened activity I'm refering to is days after they've fed and they start moving around more than just hugging the basking spot.
First off, if you saw the size of the prey we give them and the size of the enclosures we keep them in, you'd eat those words. They are not looking for a spot to digest, as their rubbermaids are quite small - there is a finite number of "spots". Secondly, anyone who knows me knows that I advocate huge prey items for boids. Believe me - they are NOT still hungry.
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Old 11-03-03, 09:50 AM   #51 (permalink)
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Slannesh you seem to live and die by care sheets posted on the net. All of your arguements have no original thought and you seem to be blinded by these care sheets. Pick up a book on breeding pythons (care sheets aren't detailed enough).

The Reproductive Husbandry of Pythons and Boas by Ross and Marzec clearly states that adults being preped for breeding should be fed heavily, the female to the point of being just overweight. But that adult animals NOT being bred should be maintaned on a lean diet because of the risk of obesity.

The main topic of this post was feeding. This is the base topic I have stuck to in all my posts.

My whole point is that ball pythons CAN and DO live on one rat a month. People have come on here and said that I am cruel and shouldn't keep herps. One even went as far to say he wouldn't sell me a herp (I don't remember offering to buy?). People's only defense for why they should be fed every 10 days (or whatever period) is that once a month is too long and they wouldn't do that. Well WHY wouldn't you?

As for snakes running around cages in search for food...

Last time I checked it was impossible to talk to a snake. We don't know for sure why they are out "hunting" around. It would seem likely that at least some of the time they are out looking for food. In the case of a ball python I would guess they are out looking for a place to employ the "sit and wait" strategy. I would also guess that many times in the wild their hidding spots many be chosen for reasons other than catching food at said location. Perhaps they enjoy the temperature and tightness of that spot. When the snake decides that it's hungry it may move to a location where it thinks it will have the best chances of catching prey.
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Old 11-03-03, 09:55 AM   #52 (permalink)
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Snakes in the wild have to deal with seasonal variations in the food supply. That translates to a feast or famine type of existance. One would assume that through evolution, nature would program snakes with a strategy to deal with that fluctuation ie storing fat .
Snakes in captivity on the other hand are fed regularly and roughly the size of meals that the keeper deems appropriate. WE can see our snakes all plump and contented looking. But caresheets and advice from more experienced keeper notwithstanding, we are not 100% sure what their needs are.
It comes down to observation in my opinion. I also agree with Invictus that an active snake is not necessarily a hungry one.

This is one of the topics that is almost certain to bring out a healthy debate and sometimes a nasty one. People have their beliefs and it is not surprising that they defend them. So I post this and raise shields.
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Old 11-03-03, 10:01 AM   #53 (permalink)
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there are times when some of my snakes go a whole month with out eating. also how often do we see "my ball python hasn't eaten in 2 months!".
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Old 11-03-03, 10:14 AM   #54 (permalink)
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Often enough, Lisa that it shows that there may be a mechanism at work that causes the behaviour.
What I would like to see is information from people who feed smaller meals more frequently and periods of going off off feed. Is there a difference between feeding that way and the bigger meals method? Is feeding them heavily and fattening them triggering a behaviour where they go off feeding because their fat reserves are optimal?
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Old 11-03-03, 10:24 AM   #55 (permalink)
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Last year my BP fasted for 7 months. I was bringing home small rats ever two weeks and he showed no interest. Then I cut back, and offered a meal once per month..and still no interest (even though he was active at night). This seems to be common behavior with BP's...thats why this summer I fed him often and he plumped up nicely. Now for this year, his last meal was the beginning of Oct....two weeks ago I offered him a small rat and he showed no interest. Last night he was moving all around. I am going to try to feed him again today. Most likey he will not eat. But I will try, and then I wont try again til the end of the month. If this year is anything like last, he wont eat until May.

So I wouldnt classify feeding once a month as starving, but I definately would not hold back feeding, if your snake will eat more often than that. One thing I know from keeping a BP for the last two years is that when they are NOT fasting...they eat like pigs and will take a meal every 7-10 days..or 10-14 days depending on size.
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Old 11-03-03, 10:56 AM   #56 (permalink)
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A friend of mine has an adult BP that went off feed last December and didn't eat until I think the middle of May. Funny thing is that it didn't look like it was losing much size until the last two months.
My BP is still eating well so far. He hasn't refused a meal yet. Heavy emphasis on yet!!!!
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Old 11-03-03, 11:04 AM   #57 (permalink)
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Quote:
Snakes in the wild have to deal with seasonal variations in the food supply. That translates to a feast or famine type of existance. One would assume that through evolution, nature would program snakes with a strategy to deal with that fluctuation ie storing fat .
That there is the essence of my arguements. What works for one may not work for another. Yes, I do concede, an active bp isnt always a hungry bp, but it sometimes tends to indicate that. If everything else is well, it may be safe to try feeding it.

Quote:
They are not looking for a spot to digest, as their rubbermaids are quite small - there is a finite number of "spots".
So you're saying that being in a small container means that they have ample space to look for a hiding place. Try this lil experiment. One with a snake in a bigger enclosure with many hiding spots, and one with a small rubbermaid with no hides cept for a water dish. It's an age old thing,small doesn't mean adequate hiding places. Seems like an contradictory statement to me.

Oh and btw, I wasn't being a hypocrite when I was refering to two seperate issues there Invictus.

I think there has been enough said and common ground has been struck, i.e. each individual snake has its own needs. There's is no blanket rule. This was why I even bothered participating in this debate. To show people to use their own judgement for their own snake.
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Old 11-03-03, 11:46 AM   #58 (permalink)
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I dont know if 1 rat per month is enough or not. I do think it's a mistake to underfeed based on the ir feeding habits in the wild. A wild snake is responsible for it's own welfare. You are responsible for the welfare of your snakes. Nature is cruel. Why would we want to replicate that cruelty?

In the wild snakes die. They starve, they get eaten, they freeze to death, and meet their demise in a variety of other ways. Few animals in nature die of old age. Is this what we want for our snakes? Even humans before agriculture ate what they could get, when they could get it. Many starved, and the life expectancy was half what it is now. Should we go back to that because it's natural?

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Old 11-03-03, 12:13 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Personally, I do not skip meals, expose animals to internal or external parasites, or expose animals to less that ideal temperatures in the pursuit of re-creating their natural environment. But there are things that you can learn and apply to captive husbandry from reptilian natural history.
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Old 11-03-03, 12:17 PM   #60 (permalink)
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And now let me pose this question……

Is it cruel and in-humane to breed reptiles?

After all I was accused of starving my ball python by feeding it only once a month. How about cooling an animal and not feeding it for several months? Breeding can be extremely taxing on the health of a reptile, females especially. So how do you feel about putting animals through this sort of ordeal?
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