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Old 12-31-15, 02:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

So as many of you have read I've had a few threads about MBKs over the past few months. Growth rates, cage size etc. I was still tossing the idea around and waiting for the next expo to come around. Last night I decided to check the local classifieds and see what kind of kingsnakes were for sale and if any were MBKs. None were but I saw a great deal on a California Kingsnake and cage. A few texts later and it was done.

Met this morning. Had to go to reptile store for a few supplies. Seller was using a lamp for heat and had gone years prior with no heat source. I kept quiet about that being wrong as she was selling the snake anyway. I wanted to use a UTH instead so got a new water dish, UTH and some bedding.

The cage as you can see was really dirty and needed a clean but other then that it's in great shape. It's supposed to be only a few months old. It's a 36x18x18 front opening. As you can see the king also didn't have any hides and had to burrow to feel secure. She now has 1 hot 1 cold 1 skull "hide" and a humid hide in the back right. There was no maiden release pics as I had her in a 10g while I was cleaning her new home up. She ended up curling around inside the empty humid hide so I didn't want to disturb her yet again so moved the whole thing into the new home. I'll add moss once she moves on her own time.

She is a very relaxed snake, despite being driven around, tank jostling, picked up and probed her response was curling around my arm and resting her head. She is in fact a she, seller didn't know. I was told she is 10yrs old. She is a bit smelly lol but that's due to her cage condition. She has fresh bedding, cleaned everything and a big stable water dish.

The pics in the add she looked black and white but clearly is brown and white. I don't know if she will change colour with proper husbandry and feeding. She was fed bi weekly rat pups.

What is the correct feeding frequency for an adult king?

Regardless she seems to be fairly cage active, was exploring the 10g within an hr of being put in it and she is very easy to handle so I'm really happy with her. She is a tough SOB to survive years of no heat, dirty cage and no hides but is so calm to handle and just pick up. When I got home she had buried herself completely and had to dig around to find her and even then after a jostling drive home she didn't bite or strike or any defensive behaviour just tried to wiggle free but calmed down in my hands in seconds.

A pic of the tank before and after and few snapped while I was cleaning her cage. I'll snap some more in her new home once she settles and starts moving around. Her hot side is set to 85f and is centered front to back about 2-3" in from the left side.
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Last edited by trailblazer295; 12-31-15 at 02:46 PM..
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Old 12-31-15, 02:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

She's beautiful! I love getting great deals like that!
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Old 12-31-15, 03:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

Great score blaze! That's a beautiful striped Cal King. I have a 3 y/o banded male. Your enclosure looks perfect too. I keep my warm side at 86-88F. I also like to cover 3 sides of my tanks to give the snake a greater sense of security but if she's made it this far in an open tank then it may not be an issue. I do think she might be a bit underfed on her current schedule. My kings are 2.5 and 3 y/o so I consider them adults. They eat every 7-10 days if they're not on a food break. They prefer mice and chicks but will occasionally eat rat weaners and small rats. A typical meal for them is a 2 jumbo mice or a jumbo mouse and a chick. That's usually a 60g meal for them. My Cal King is about 500g and my female MBK is about 750g. Best wishes with the new girl. Keep the pics coming!
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Old 12-31-15, 04:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

Thanks, I didn't think of the exposure before but wanted to get home. Being winter with a reptile in my car I bought the essentials and went home. I'll see how her behavior is once she settles in. I can wrap the tank later. I'll bump the temps when I get back home.

I thought the schedule seemed a bit long for a king. I'll try weighing her in a few days and offer food next week when I feed Banzai again. I think I'll try weekly rat pups and see how it goes. Don't know how shell react to increased feeding schedule. She isn't near 750g as my BP is 1100g and a lot heavier.
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Old 12-31-15, 06:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

Nice grab! I've been eyeing a cal king myself. She's going to thrive in her new home and finally get some good digested meals in her! Congrats!
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Old 12-31-15, 07:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

She is my slightly belated dirty thirty gift to myself.
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Old 12-31-15, 08:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

Happy belated birthday blaze!
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Old 12-31-15, 08:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

Brown and white Cal kings are quite common, I doubt her colors will change any.

I'm not sure of the size of the prey item, but feeding whatever size is proper every 2 weeks should be plenty often. It's not really necessary to feed most adult rodent-eaters (of any species really, except garters) more often than every 2 weeks, but it's a personal choice.
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Old 12-31-15, 10:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

@ BSG. I agree that most adult snakes can easily survive being fed a maintenance diet of every 14 days but what's the benefit? My kings and bulls usually poop 4-5 days after a meal. They're usually chomping at the bit by day 7. They're really active and obviously hungry so why wait another 7 days to feed them? I will sometimes push them back to 10 days but that's just because I like watching them forage for food. I don't condone power feeding but I do believe in feeding my snakes well. I want them to have the best life possible in my care. That means they get fed when they're hungry but always in moderation.
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Old 01-01-16, 04:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by EL-Ziggy View Post
@ BSG. I agree that most adult snakes can easily survive being fed a maintenance diet of every 14 days but what's the benefit? My kings and bulls usually poop 4-5 days after a meal. They're usually chomping at the bit by day 7. They're really active and obviously hungry so why wait another 7 days to feed them? I will sometimes push them back to 10 days but that's just because I like watching them forage for food. I don't condone power feeding but I do believe in feeding my snakes well. I want them to have the best life possible in my care. That means they get fed when they're hungry but always in moderation.
Longer life, healthier body. Imo. Snakes don't stop digesting after they poop. They eat, their organs swell, they poop, and then their organs return to normal after a few days. Giving them additional time off food after this process before giving them more is beneficial, as the digestion process is rather hard on their bodies. Their organs swell specifically to speed up digestion.

Again, whether you go 7 or 14+ is personal choice, I just view giving them 14 days as opposed to 7 days is more beneficial, but it's your animals your rules all I can do is state my opinion for whoever reads it to digest it and think about it.

Also when I read stuff like this....it just solidifies my opinion that conservative is better. You can't always tell by looking at a snake that it's being fed too much. This ball python wasn't fed all that much, and yet still got fatty liver disease. It was fed weekly and offered extra meals, though.

I am of the opinion less is better. Not to the point of starving, but snakes only need a fraction of what most people feed them to thrive.

(Also every two weeks is nowhere near even approaching a maintenance diet, and a snake "acting hungry" isn't a reliable gauge to judge on whether or not they should be eating. They're opportunistic, chances are they're always hungry.)
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Old 01-01-16, 08:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

And all of that, while probably true, is different for individual snakes. Colubrids naturally have a higher metabolism, so require more regular feeding, where as a large boa or burmese can, and should go longer. That's why some snakes like indigos and cribos require ALOT more food, more often, than ither colubrids. They are in the family, but need, and thus produce more.

There is nothing really 'wrong' with maintenance feeding at any age really. That's the great thing about reptiles. Even a meal knce a monthwont starve most snakes. (But it will others).

So, feed weekly, or bi-weekly as you choose. Though I will believe that most will encourage you to feed weekly. =)
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Old 01-01-16, 10:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

I'm in the mind to spilt the difference I've never understood the multiple food items at one time but can't hold them for 2 days. In the wild they'd never feed back to back. And I don't understand how holding a calm snake after feeding is bad but them coiling around second prey with a full stomach is fine. Probably feed a decent prey item weekly.
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Old 01-01-16, 01:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

I usually feed my adult colubrids roughly 10% of their body weight per feeding. I'll sometimes feed two smaller prey items if I have an abundance of them or if I want to offer different prey items. Since my kings prefer mice over rats they get two (30g) jumbo mice, or a 30/30g chick and mouse vs. a small (60g) rat. It's the same amount of food just smaller bites . I can't imagine one or the other being more stressful on their digestive systems so again, it's all about choices. There's no right or wrong, just different methods that hopefully achieve the same results of keeping our animals strong and healthy for many years to come.
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Old 01-01-16, 02:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

Feeding amounts and frequencies will always be a subjective issue. All we can do is research the opinions of experienced breeders and keepers, listen to and learn from our snakes, and make what we believe are the best choices for our animals. When my snakes are being finicky, or when they're off feed, I offer food less often. When they're striking at the glass and pacing relentlessly they get a meal. It's more fun than work for me so there's no rock solid schedule, just guidelines I like to follow. I also think it's good to mix things up and try new methods. That's how we find out what works best.
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Old 01-01-16, 03:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Welllllllllllllll it's not an MBK.............

Very well said Ziggy!
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