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Old 11-04-17, 09:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I think my snake eats too much - advice

Hey guys,

Little background, this is my first post. I got my male (maybe) snake as a baby from a national chain in May. The little guy was very emancipated and covered in duct tape. Removed the tape with veggie oil and bonded, moved him from pinky mice (ugh) to large mice by stepping him up one size each week. He handled the small and mediums very well and the large mice kept him satisfied for 5-6 days before he starts roaming at night.

Moved to 50g small rats at about 400g weight, back in mid September. He was 600g 3 weeks ago as empty as I can get him. switched feeding to 100g medium rats because roaming started at 3-4 days on 50g rats, back to 5 days before roaming on 100g rats. He is at least 2 1/2 feet long now which is based on his enclosure which is is longer than. When feeding, once he smells the day he strikes at any movement and bounded his enclosure around before I open it, you would think there was a small dog in there. Never bite me and very friendly but quite the hisser.


From what I can tell I am feeding him a lot and he is growing extremely fast, almost irresponsibly so, but it seems to be the only way to keep him happy. How would you respond? Should I continue to feed him large prey or should I step him back down and ignore the roaming? He seems happiest around 15% of body weight every 7 days which isn't outlandish, but definitely a lot.
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Old 11-04-17, 09:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Am I overfeeding or is my snake a born monster ?

Hey guys,

Little background, this is my first post. I got my male (maybe) snake as a baby from a national chain in May. The little guy was very emancipated and covered in duct tape. Removed the tape with veggie oil and bonded, moved him from pinky mice (ugh) to large mice by stepping him up one size each week. He handled the small and mediums very well and the large mice kept him satisfied for 5-6 days before he starts roaming at night.

Moved to 50g small rats at about 400g weight, back in mid September. He was 600g 3 weeks ago as empty as I can get him. switched feeding to 100g medium rats because roaming started at 3-4 days on 50g rats, back to 5 days before roaming on 100g rats. He is at least 2 1/2 feet long now which is based on his enclosure which is is longer than. When feeding, once he smells the day he strikes at any movement and bounded his enclosure around before I open it, you would think there was a small dog in there. Never bite me and very friendly but quite the hisser.


From what I can tell I am feeding him a lot and he is growing extremely fast, almost irresponsibly so, but it seems to be the only way to keep him happy. How would you respond? Should I continue to feed him large prey or should I step him back down and ignore the roaming? He seems happiest around 15% of body weight every 7 days which isn't outlandish, but definitely a lot.
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Old 11-04-17, 11:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: I think my snake eats too much - advice

What species of snake is it?
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Old 11-04-17, 11:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: I think my snake eats too much - advice

How old is your BP? Do you have any pics of the snake? Some keepers never give their BPs anything larger than a medium rat. It sounds like you're feeding him heavily but not to the extreme. I don't keep BPs anymore but I usually start my critters on mediums when they're about 700g. A medium rat every 10-14 days would be fine for any adult BP.
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Old 11-04-17, 12:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: I think my snake eats too much - advice

Snakes can become very food aggressive, this is only normal. I would recommend using a snake hook, or a roll of paper towels to let the snake know it is not feeding time. This is what I do with my ball python. Once they know it is not feeding time they generally calm down. She currently is 710g and I am feeding her a small adult rat a week, and she is pretty happy all around. For your snake I would recommend you follow the same sort of schedule (if it is a ball python). Tone down the size of the rat and then feed once, or even every two weeks for an adult. I agree with EL Ziggy, the majority of ball pythons can be maintained and kept happy with just a medium adult rat every two weeks. Ball pythons are notorious for going off feed for several months so don't be to worried about feeding them too little. In fact, it is common to see overweight ball pythons in captivity.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-04-17, 12:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: I think my snake eats too much - advice

Sorry - I didn't notice the forum this was posted in. My bad!

Yes age would help. For an adult P regius I would feed a little more often than most other python species I keep but I would be looking at feeding every 4 weeks or so at the most.

If I discovered that as DJC mentions, I had one that went off for for a few months then I'd feed every 2-3 weeks for 8 or 9 months of the year then nothing for 3 - 4 months.

Again quite agree with DJC - far more captive snakes are overfed sand overweight than underfed.

Note feeding frequency is very much linked to the species. An active colubrid may get fed every 10-14 days, a big old boa constrictor a few times a year.
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Old 11-04-17, 03:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: I think my snake eats too much - advice

He is about 7 months old by my best guess. He was about 18" or so when I got him 5 months ago, so I can only guess bas for a pic I am out of town on business but will try and get one posted soon.

Is roaming a sign they are ready to eat again or is it just natural once they have digested? Roaming is at night so nothing concerning, and yes just a regular ball python, no special breed
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Old 11-04-17, 07:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: I think my snake eats too much - advice

Ball pythons are nocturnal hunters in the wild, they will leave their hide to explore their surroundings and look for food. The same natural instinct can be seen in captivity. In the wild, most snakes are consistently hungry, so they will always search for food because they don't know when they will get it next. The same happens in captivity and that is why snakes will eat so much if you let them, just because they look or act hungry, it doesn't mean they are starving, they just want to get as much nutrition as possible when they feel safe. Overtime, this usually tones down a bit as they learn to be fed a different way, but they will still explore their enclosures at night to look at their surroundings. Ball pythons are very curious snakes at night so this is completely normal behavior. Don't feed your snake just because your snake looks or acts hungry, just stick to your schedule and you will be good to go! Seriously if I fed my snakes as much as they wanted they would explode.

Hope this helps!
-DJC Reptiles
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Old 11-05-17, 09:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: I think my snake eats too much - advice

Well said DJC.
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Old 11-05-17, 10:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: I think my snake eats too much - advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by EL Ziggy View Post
Well said DJC.
Thank you EL Ziggy
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Old 11-05-17, 04:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: I think my snake eats too much - advice

BPs are so overfed in captivity.. if you feed them a lot they will have so many issues later on due to obesity. These can easily go 4 weeks between feedings, especially when receiving larger meals. Captive BP usually look like sacks of fat compared to their wild couterparts.
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Old 11-08-17, 09:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Am I overfeeding or is my snake a born monster ?

15% of his body weight every 7 days is fine. You can move to every 10 days if you wanted.

Thing is, even if the snake is roaming, it doesn't mean it needs to be fed. Snakes, ball pythons in particular, are opportune eaters. They will eat when food is present because their instinct tells them they don't know when the next meal will come.

You'll be fine letting the snake roam around for a few days without feeding. I feed my ball pythons weekly or every other week for males. If they roam then they roam.
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Old 11-08-17, 09:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Am I overfeeding or is my snake a born monster ?

This is the second time you have posted this question...

Last edited by DJC Reptiles; 11-08-17 at 09:59 AM..
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Old 11-09-17, 12:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: I think my snake eats too much - advice

Merged threads. Please refrain from making multiple threads about the same topic. Thank you.
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Old 11-14-17, 05:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: I think my snake eats too much - advice

Sometimes I will skip a feeding or two, sometimes I will feed slightly more than usual. I like to see my snake exhibit natural behaviors such as searching for food.
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