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Old 03-17-17, 11:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Can my Burm skip a meal?

Hi all, I have a 6 month old burmese python who is in shed right now. I offered her food but she won't take it, and I figure there a couple of days to a week till she sheds completely. Last time she ate was 6 days ago. Will waiting for her to shed be harmful? She's never eaten in shed
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Old 03-17-17, 11:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

She can safely eat 2-4 weeks and still be healthy. I wouldn't worry too much about skipping a meal, if you're feeding her every week. If after 2 months she hasn't eaten, there *may* be concern, but right now, withhold offering her anything until after she's finished shedding.
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Old 03-17-17, 01:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

ok, thanks!
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Old 03-17-17, 03:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

I often don't feed my snakes when in shed. Usually it's due to spotting it and trying not to disturb them. Sometimes I miss it until I'm offering and realize. Usually my snakes will still eat unless they are in blue. Some snakes refuse to eat in shed while others will eat no matter what. A week or two will have no ill effect. You can offer once she finishes.
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Old 03-17-17, 03:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

I regularly skip meals when snakes are in shed.
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Old 03-26-17, 03:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

Every 6 days is too often, even for a young burm. Don't be in a hurry to grow it in to a big snake-you'll only do it harm in the long run.

What size prey are you feeding it?
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Old 03-27-17, 02:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

I feed her small rats. Only leaves a lump for like 12 hours
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Old 03-27-17, 03:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

Still too often. A snakes digestive system is hugely complex and entirely unlike anything else in the animal world.

Digestion is actually quite stressful for them and it needs time to recover between feeds. I'll dig out a paper specifically on the digestive system of a burmese python and you'll see just how long it takes to reset.

Sounds like you need to up the meal size and feed less often. Snakes can take big prey and so long as you're not daft with it they'll be fine.

Perhaps Dave Himself or Tsubaki can advise on an appropriate prey size.
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Old 03-28-17, 04:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

I agree with Danny every 6 days is too much for a 6 month old Burmese, even for a newborn it's stretching it a bit. I fed my baby burms once every 7 days but moved up in prey size and slowed down in frequency as soon as I deemed appropriate (When they went up in prey size). Without knowing your animal so purely based on age I would say once every ~10 days for now would be better, a prey item that is about twice as thick on its thickest part than your snake is. You could probably space it out more, but like I said I don't know the animal so can't say if that is wise. I never feed in shed, if they're in shed when they were supposed to be fed I skip that meal. Any kind of overfeeding is more harmful than a little bit of underfeeding, so I'd rather hang out on the low end of the feeding scale than on the high end.
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Old 03-28-17, 02:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

Thanks! I will feed every 7-8 days but I thought it was better to feed smaller more often that bigger more spaced out
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Old 03-29-17, 12:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

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Originally Posted by BURMS View Post
Thanks! I will feed every 7-8 days but I thought it was better to feed smaller more often that bigger more spaced out
Pretty much the exact opposite.

To be honest by the time my snakes are of any age, bar the C paulsoni which is a difficult feeder, I don't have a rigid feeding plan every x days.

There's a maximum length of time I'll go to and this varies with the snake and a minimum time I'll wait, again varies by snake; but other than that they get fed as and when.

Again in the wild they eat irregularly so I look to mimic this.
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Old 03-29-17, 03:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

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Originally Posted by BURMS View Post
Thanks! I will feed every 7-8 days but I thought it was better to feed smaller more often that bigger more spaced out
This is more the case for species with sensitive stomachs, like true red-tailed boas And then still a minimum of 7 days interval for newborns. 7-8 days is still a hatchling feeding rate and too much for a 6 months old burm imo.
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Old 03-29-17, 12:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

Hm...Now I am confused. Pretty much everything I have read until now suggests feeding every 7 days and move up to 14 days when the snake is between 1 and 2 years old. As for the prey size, I have heard something like between 15% and 20% of the burm's weight, always keeping an eye on the girth as well. And then I read something completely different: Bob Clark wrote that he feeds his burms "whenever they're looking hungry".

Right now, I have a 6 month old male burm, that is weighing roughly 180g. I am feeding him every 7-8 days. Am I also doing it wrong? Here is a pic, for orientation:



PS: sorry for highjacking the post
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Old 03-29-17, 02:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

here is a recommendation from a reputable breeder in California:

Burmese pythons are carnivores that will eat a wide variety of warm-blooded vertebrate prey. Young animals will be happy feeding of appropriately sized mice or rats every 7 to 10 days. Larger animals will require larger prey such as rabbits. An appropriately sized prey item should leave a noticeable lump in your snake, and should hold it over for at least a week.

Very large specimens that have completed their rapid growth phase may be fed less frequently. A 12 or 14 foot animal will likely be content with a sizable rabbit every 10 to 14 days. Every animal is different, so learn to identify signs of hunger in your pet, and be prepared to fluctuate the feeding schedule as needed based on the animal’s behavior and the time of year.

Website link for reference: https://www.lllreptile.com/articles/153-burmese-python/
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Old 03-29-17, 02:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Can my Burm skip a meal?

I'd also like to note that Burms have a high metabolism, and are also prone to obesity. Check with some reputable breeders and herp vets in your area to confirm growth rates for these guys. I feed my yearling a medium rat once a week, and her growth rate has been consistent with a healthy cycle for her type of snake. We are about to bump up her size to a large (not XL) in the next month, decreasing the frequency from once a week to once every 10-14 days. When we first got her, she was about the size of a 6 month old, and we fed her once a week, without consequence. Again, these guys have high metabolisms and are less prone to hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) than boas.
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