garter snake feeding schedual

hassman789

Arachnobaron
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Hi I have a WC garter snake that I have been feeding small "comets" (the feeder fish at the petstore). I have been feeding him one a day, and I always thought this was ok because he took them without hesitating. I just read though that they should be fed a fish big enough to make a small buldge once every 5 days. And I read some fish have a dangerous enzyme. Does anybody know if these fish have that enzyme? And I am thinking about switching to pinkies (I think he will like them because he just snaps at and eats anything that dangles in front of him) how often should I give him one of those?
 

Crysta

Arachnoprince
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dont feed those - feed earthworms, and frogs, slugs or other fresh water fish FILLETS (forgot the name)
you can also try scenting pinky mice with frog to have less messy poop.

too much petstore fish can endouce b12 dificiantcy, especially with comets (minnows?)

garters digest pretty fast, every 3 days for earthworm slug, fish full meals

about every 5-7 days a pinky....

how big is the snake?

http://www.albinogartersnake.com/care.html
 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
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Hi I have a WC garter snake that I have been feeding small "comets" (the feeder fish at the petstore). I have been feeding him one a day, and I always thought this was ok because he took them without hesitating. I just read though that they should be fed a fish big enough to make a small buldge once every 5 days. And I read some fish have a dangerous enzyme. Does anybody know if these fish have that enzyme? And I am thinking about switching to pinkies (I think he will like them because he just snaps at and eats anything that dangles in front of him) how often should I give him one of those?
Goldfish has this enzyme, which is called thiaminase. It predominantly affects younger, growing snakes so older ones aren't much at risk. Baby snakes from newborn to 14" can be fed once every 3 days, anything bigger than this twice a week, and large adult females/males once a week. It also depends on what you're feeding; worms, slugs and frogs make up the bulk of a wild garter's diet (in most cases.) Feeding a mix of feeder fish (treated to make sure they're parasite-free, of course, and fed a decent meal, such as spirulina flakes) fish fillet pieces from the grocery store(stick with tilapia, salmon, and trout), worms, slugs, and pinky/grown mice will make sure your snake is getting the appropriate nutrients it needs. If your snake gets a neck that is indistinguishable from its head, cut down on feedings, and cut the pinkies/mice out of its diet (T. butleri and T. brachystoma, however, look like this naturally lol.). It should be noted that most subspecies of Thamnophis sirtalis NEVER eat rodents in the wild (Same with T. radix, T. butleri, and T. brachystoma.) and that the species which mainly encounter them (T. marcianus and T. vagrans) will readily accept them.
 

hassman789

Arachnobaron
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Ok I want to get out of the fish habit anyway. they are a pain in the but to have to buy them every week. Can I train a garter snake if his attitude is already crappy? By taking him out to hold everyday and then holding him longer when he bites me? Or is he already a lost cause. Because I would like to make simple tasks such as changing water to be less frightening lol.
 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
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Ok I want to get out of the fish habit anyway. they are a pain in the but to have to buy them every week. Can I train a garter snake if his attitude is already crappy? By taking him out to hold everyday and then holding him longer when he bites me? Or is he already a lost cause. Because I would like to make simple tasks such as changing water to be less frightening lol.
They can be tamed. It takes more work if they're already rowdy; best to start them when they're about 14" long and have been in your care since birth or close to it.
What you can do is get the snake to associate you with food. Just make sure your hand/face is visible when you're feeding him and he'll get the idea eventually. Handling helps A LOT. I suggest starting off with once every 3-days handling. No matter how much he squirms or thrashes, let him "run forward" on your hands. Eventually he'll calm down and become curious. When this happens, especially if he hasn't become your friend yet, avoid all sudden movements. Stroke his back about 1/3 of the way down his body. Avoid the head/neck/tail areas. This taming technique works better if the room is colder than his enclosure; he'll cling to you for warmth and associate you with it. They're very intelligent snakes; he'll get the idea eventually. :)
You may get musked though. lol Citrus soaps/fruits help to get the smell off.
**NOTE- if he manages to get loose, do NOT try to catch from up top. In the wild, something coming down from the sky=predator. Get on your hands and knees (preferably army crawl even!) and slowly bring your hands in from the sides towards him. This way he won't panic nearly as much and he probably won't try to musk or bite.
 

Crysta

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I think it really depends on the garter from the wild if its a lost cause or not. I had one garter snake for about a year, a female she was the nastiest snake I ever had... lol never calmed down.

But there are some garters I caught would musk me once then be the most curious snake ever. lol

A garter encounter I will never forget, back when I was 15 in the days of having not a very nice camera lol (3mp?)




and one of my nasties back around 14


and my awesome lil guy


 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
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I think it really depends on the garter from the wild if its a lost cause or not. I had one garter snake for about a year, a female she was the nastiest snake I ever had... lol never calmed down.

But there are some garters I caught would musk me once then be the most curious snake ever. lol

A garter encounter I will never forget, back when I was 15 in the days of having not a very nice camera lol (3mp?)




and one of my nasties back around 14


and my awesome lil guy


Those are beautiful snakes! Are they Thamnophis sirtalis pallidulus?
 

hassman789

Arachnobaron
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I don't really know how to associate hand with feeding. I feed him from tongs and just dangle it in front of him and he takes it. and with the handling. Do I free handle and let him try and run and just go hand over hand or do I sort of lightly grasp him and let him slide through my hands but keep grabbing him so he dosn't run away?
 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
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I don't really know how to associate hand with feeding. I feed him from tongs and just dangle it in front of him and he takes it. and with the handling. Do I free handle and let him try and run and just go hand over hand or do I sort of lightly grasp him and let him slide through my hands but keep grabbing him so he dosn't run away?
Free handle until he calms down. If you try to lightly grasp him too early it will make him thrash and musk, possibly even bite.
**As for associating your hand/face with feeding, if he's in a glass fish tank or even a plastic bin, make sure he can see your face/hand and possibly even smell you. The more you show of yourself the more he'll know of you and he'll become more comfortable when he detects you and associates you with food.
 

hassman789

Arachnobaron
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Free handle until he calms down. If you try to lightly grasp him too early it will make him thrash and musk, possibly even bite.
**As for associating your hand/face with feeding, if he's in a glass fish tank or even a plastic bin, make sure he can see your face/hand and possibly even smell you. The more you show of yourself the more he'll know of you and he'll become more comfortable when he detects you and associates you with food.
So I just take out by the tail and then let I try to run and keeping going in front of it? This should be interesting! Lol I will be trying this in the bathtub so the little rascle has no where to run!;)
 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
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So I just take out by the tail and then let I try to run and keeping going in front of it? This should be interesting! Lol I will be trying this in the bathtub so the little rascle has no where to run!;)
I advise not grabbing it solely by the tail; it might start spinning and the tail could snap off. :eek:
Try gently grabbing it by the middle of its body and hold gently but firmly.
 

hassman789

Arachnobaron
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I advise not grabbing it solely by the tail; it might start spinning and the tail could snap off. :eek:
Try gently grabbing it by the middle of its body and hold gently but firmly.
Oh my! I won't do that. Although By tail i didn't really meant that far down. I meant a little past the middle of his body.
 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
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Oh my! I won't do that. Although By tail i didn't really meant that far down. I meant a little past the middle of his body.
Just making sure. XD
I remember a few years ago when I got into snakes I went camping and there was a boat launch that had tons of fat water snakes next to it. I didn't have good reflexes like I do now, so I went to grab one and I got it by the tail. I never thought snakes could do it but she spun around until it popped off! If I'd known she could do that I wouldn't have tried to catch her so late after disturbing her.
It's never happened to me again with all the garters I catch though; They may actually be unable to do it. I do see plenty of wild ones missing tails, however these could be due to a nematode that makes the tail wither off.
 

pitbulllady

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Just making sure. XD
I remember a few years ago when I got into snakes I went camping and there was a boat launch that had tons of fat water snakes next to it. I didn't have good reflexes like I do now, so I went to grab one and I got it by the tail. I never thought snakes could do it but she spun around until it popped off! If I'd known she could do that I wouldn't have tried to catch her so late after disturbing her.
It's never happened to me again with all the garters I catch though; They may actually be unable to do it. I do see plenty of wild ones missing tails, however these could be due to a nematode that makes the tail wither off.
I get LOTS of Water Snakes with bob-tails. Most of the time you can tell beyond a doubt that it is the result of some sort of trauma, and I've had both Garters and Water Snake do that spin if they are picked up the wrong way, which will no doubt increase in the risk of a tail popping off. Unlike some lizards, whose tails are designed to come off if attacked, and which can regenerate, snakes' tail stumps can bleed profusely and often become infected, resulting in more and more of the tail rotting off. I'm treating such an injury right now in one of my Bandeds. I don't know how she lost the end of her tail, but just when it seems to be healing, she manages to reinjure it and bleed like the proverbial stuck pig all over her enclosure. They are almost as bad as a tail injury in a dog or cat. An adult, wild-caught, wild-raised Nerodia with a full tail is actually a bit of a rarity.

pitbulllady
 
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