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Old 11-03-17, 10:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation California Kingsnake not eating?

Hello!
Sorry to post again but I'm getting little freaked out. I tried to feed my new california kingsnake for the first time in his new home today, but he didn't eat. At first he acted very defensive, but later tried to grab the food offered twice but dropped it immediately. After that, he only acted defensive as if the food was a threat. I tried again later and he just had absolutely no care for the food. I left it sitting in his tank to see if he'd eat it, but he just seems to be ignoring it.

My ideas are that he is either not hungry, or worrying more about me than about eating, he ate the day before I received him (a saturday). Also he could still just be adjusting to his new environment, and I kinda broke the rule to not handle them within their first week, should i just try to leave him as alone as possible for the next week or so for him to get acclimated? It is very possible that I'm overreacting lol, this is my first snake and I just expected him to take it right away being a Kingsnake after all. However, I did remove him from his hide to feed him, so he wasn't to calm and he was moving around a whole bunch so I'll try again tomorrow, any suggestions?

(Btw he has been pooping, but just a few little micro poops. and he is about 16 inches long.)

Thanks,
Caden

Last edited by FLUGATRON; 11-03-17 at 10:09 PM..
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Old 11-03-17, 10:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake not eating?

Just another quick addition:
If he doesn't eat tomorrow, should i wait until next week to offer him some more food? Or try every day from that point?
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Old 11-04-17, 05:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake not eating?

Hello Flugatron,

California kingsnakes can be pretty tough as hatchlings, most hatchling snakes in fact are scared and defensive, so I wouldn't worry about that. I wouldn't recommend handling your kingsnake for at least 1-2 weeks after you received him. And you should give your kingsnake at least 5 days before trying to feed. How long has it been since you got him? Has he eaten at all within that time period? I would recommend letting him get at least 3 days just to get acclimated to his new enclosure, but you can try leaving mice near the hides he likes the most. He may not have noticed the mice, or was to scared to go after it, but if you leave it near his hide, he might take it. Just make sure not to disturb him. Also, what size cage are you keeping him in? Hatchling snakes enjoy small spaces because it makes them feel more secure. If you are using a bigger size cage, put several more hides into his enclosure, you would be surprised what they can squeeze themselves into. Try to make a almost a cavern in the substrate under his water bowl, my corn snake loves to stuff himself under there, and perhaps, your king will too. You can use, yogurt cups, the cardboard part on paper towels (cut about four pieces to length), or even cereal boxes, the possibilities are endless.

Hope this helps!
-DJC Reptiles

Last edited by DJC Reptiles; 11-04-17 at 05:13 AM..
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Old 11-04-17, 01:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake not eating?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJC Reptiles View Post
Hello Flugatron,

California kingsnakes can be pretty tough as hatchlings, most hatchling snakes in fact are scared and defensive, so I wouldn't worry about that. I wouldn't recommend handling your kingsnake for at least 1-2 weeks after you received him. And you should give your kingsnake at least 5 days before trying to feed. How long has it been since you got him? Has he eaten at all within that time period? I would recommend letting him get at least 3 days just to get acclimated to his new enclosure, but you can try leaving mice near the hides he likes the most. He may not have noticed the mice, or was to scared to go after it, but if you leave it near his hide, he might take it. Just make sure not to disturb him. Also, what size cage are you keeping him in? Hatchling snakes enjoy small spaces because it makes them feel more secure. If you are using a bigger size cage, put several more hides into his enclosure, you would be surprised what they can squeeze themselves into. Try to make a almost a cavern in the substrate under his water bowl, my corn snake loves to stuff himself under there, and perhaps, your king will too. You can use, yogurt cups, the cardboard part on paper towels (cut about four pieces to length), or even cereal boxes, the possibilities are endless.

Hope this helps!
-DJC Reptiles
I got him last Sunday, he had eaten in the store the day before. He hasn't eaten anything since then. I have a pretty large tank with a whole bunch of cardboard and other hides, I also just added a normal incandescent bulb today for some added heat, (getting to around 90). I also just dropped some food in his tank in the entrance to his favorite hide, should I just leave it there for a few hours?

I also asked someone else who has a young Cal King and they said whenever it acted like this they put him in a separate tub and left him with the food, if the putting food by the hide doesn't work, I'm going with that next.

Thanks,
Caden
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Old 11-04-17, 07:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake not eating?

Awesome, that will definitely work. Patience is probably the most important aspect to keeping snakes, they are beautiful when they work with you, but are a pain otherwise. I keep snakes because I like the challenge and the reward. Raising a hatchling is the pain, but when you raise them right, and you train them, keeping the adults will be the best thing you've ever done, same can be said with all reptiles.
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Old 11-05-17, 04:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake not eating?

Personally I wouldn't revert to feeding in a separate container. It increases stress and increases the inherent risks of moving after feeding.

There is also the increased risk of feeding related bites.

We're getting into winter in the northern hemisphere and it's not at all unusual for temperate snake species to slow down feeding or stop eating altogether.

Is he properly hydrated and what are you using for heating and controlling the heat? What are your temperatures hot and cold side? I see you note around 90f with the bulb - how are you measuring this temperature?
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Old 11-05-17, 10:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake not eating?

I wouldn't recommend feeding in a separate container either, but it is a great way to get a fussy snake eating. If you can avoid it, don't feed in a separate container.
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Old 11-05-17, 08:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake not eating?

Just got him to eat today! I was measuring with an Temperature gun.

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 11-05-17, 08:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake not eating?

Awesome, good luck to you and your snake!
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