Snake Feeding Trouble

MOBugGuy

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
183
I put my rat snake in a tub to feed and I put in a mice for her an all she does is strike at it and Not eating it. My other one ate just fine. There WC. Any tips and help would be great Thanks, Matt.

One mouse was black and the other thats not bein ate is Tan,(if that matters)
 

VickyChaiTea

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
Messages
97
Color never matters.

What are the temps in the viv? (warm side and cool side) Are you feeding live or frozen/thawed? Are they being housed together? Has the snake had a record of refucing food or no? When was the snake last fed?
 

MOBugGuy

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
183
Warm side lower 80's Cool side Lower 70's Both housed in one tank its a 40 Gal. Im feeding Live. They snakes were feed 2 weeks ago maby. I got both in the mail 1 week ago today. The other snake ate the mouse less than 2 secs but this one bites then lets go.. I Take the snakes out of the tank in put them in seperate tubs to feed. There Both 3 feet male an female.
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 1, 2004
Messages
2,290
Try a rat pup. I've got snakes that will only eat mice, and others of the same species that will only eat rat pups. They might show some interest in the other, but won't actually eat it. You might also try leaving a dead mouse in with the reluctant snake overnight, since I've also experienced shy feeders who refuse to eat while someone is watching. DO NOT do this with a live mouse, unless you want a mutilated snake! Also, you have to take into consideration the time of year. Many native North American snakes are going into brumation now, which means that they will stop feeding. Already, several of mine have stopped eating altogether and I'm getting ready to cool them down for winter. Even with indoor household temperatures and artificial lighting, most native snakes still know that it's time to go into that semi-dormant state and will simply stop eating, so that they do not have undigested food left sitting around in their digestive tracts when cold weather arrives.

And yes, Vicki, mouse/rodent color DOES matter a LOT with some snakes! I've had snakes for nearly half a century now, and I've experienced quite a few that were very picky when it came to rodent coloration, and this is especially true of wild-caught snakes. I've had many that balked at a white mouse, but would readily devour a gray, wild-colored mouse. I have a Colombian Boa now that will only eat white rats; he won't touch a hooded rat or dark-colored rat at all, won't even look at it!

pitbulllady
 

MOBugGuy

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
183
Thanks for the info pitbullady Ill by a dead one 2marrow if that doesnt work Then Ill see if I can get a rat pup.
 

the toe cutter

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
Messages
424
I would advise feeding frozen thawed mice simply for the fact that mice can and will kill snakes in an enclosed space, and may cause more stress when coupled with moving the reptile around alot. Especially if they are recently WC. Anyone who has been in the hobby long enough knows that live rodents are extremely injurious to other inhabitants in an enclosure. I personally have had 2 deaths due to live rodents, and 1 supprisingly enough was a Canebrake rattlesnake. Attempt a F/T mouse or small rat and leave it there with the snake for a few hours. I have kept Pantherophis lindheimeri and they had no issues whatsoever about eating F/T so it shouldn't be an issue. As far as not eating for 2 weeks, if they are WC and not LTC, they may be starting their brumation cycle and will eat less frequently anyway. They look to be about or a little over 2yrs age so they are breeding size. Don't be too worried too much about it. I have a pair of WC Broadband Copperheads from Texas and they have been refusing meals for the last 2 weeks as well so it may just be that time of year! Hope it helps
 

VickyChaiTea

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
Messages
97
Try a rat pup. I've got snakes that will only eat mice, and others of the same species that will only eat rat pups. They might show some interest in the other, but won't actually eat it. You might also try leaving a dead mouse in with the reluctant snake overnight, since I've also experienced shy feeders who refuse to eat while someone is watching. DO NOT do this with a live mouse, unless you want a mutilated snake! Also, you have to take into consideration the time of year. Many native North American snakes are going into brumation now, which means that they will stop feeding. Already, several of mine have stopped eating altogether and I'm getting ready to cool them down for winter. Even with indoor household temperatures and artificial lighting, most native snakes still know that it's time to go into that semi-dormant state and will simply stop eating, so that they do not have undigested food left sitting around in their digestive tracts when cold weather arrives.

And yes, Vicki, mouse/rodent color DOES matter a LOT with some snakes! I've had snakes for nearly half a century now, and I've experienced quite a few that were very picky when it came to rodent coloration, and this is especially true of wild-caught snakes. I've had many that balked at a white mouse, but would readily devour a gray, wild-colored mouse. I have a Colombian Boa now that will only eat white rats; he won't touch a hooded rat or dark-colored rat at all, won't even look at it!

pitbulllady
But you see, I can't think of any logical reason why a snake would prefer one color over another. They make the same amount of dander, they have the same body heat, the same scent, etc. Snakes don't have the greatest eyesight anyway, and though I am not sure I would think that they can't see too many colors anyway. It doesn't make sense for snake to prefer one color over another. Do you think wild snakes pick out the right colored prey? Of course not. It has to be tied to something else. Sometimes it's just luck.

Back on topic. I would separate them, being housed communally stresses snakes and can cause them to stop eating. Since the snakes are wild caught, it may take a while to convert them to prekilled foods but it's well worth it, both for the snakes sake and the mice.

Also, if you do go with rats, keep in mind that they are higher in fat and should be offered less often. Or you could offer a smaller rat, so a rat pup would be fine.

The toe cutter is right about brumation, especially since they're wild caught, so it may be a seasonal fasting. I would keep offering food though.
 

kevin91172

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
407
I put my rat snake in a tub to feed and I put in a mice for her an all she does is strike at it and Not eating it. My other one ate just fine. There WC. Any tips and help would be great Thanks, Matt.

One mouse was black and the other thats not bein ate is Tan,(if that matters)
One of them I feed a live,the smaller one(head) just a few days before I shipped and it went threw before shipping(pooped) Color does not matter only scent of rodent.I some times have probs with snake not eating in tub being shy so i usually throw a blanket over it for privacy because my house is REALLY LOUD!!! # boys behaving badly and me yelling at them at times.but love them all

I have a w/c copper head i had to force feed 2 days ago that was fun:mad:
but anyways never had a rat snake to have problems eating to much,they will when ready, let me know if it does not I got some more tricks up my sleeve:D
 

Dyn

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
364
I'm not sure what it is but I've seen snakes that wouldnt touch a rat or mouse if it had any color on it.

Just some weird thing that pops up sometimes.

Have you tried leaving a prekilled rat in overnight?
 

kevin91172

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
407
I would advise feeding frozen thawed mice simply for the fact that mice can and will kill snakes in an enclosed space, and may cause more stress when coupled with moving the reptile around alot. Especially if they are recently WC. Anyone who has been in the hobby long enough knows that live rodents are extremely injurious to other inhabitants in an enclosure. I personally have had 2 deaths due to live rodents, and 1 supprisingly enough was a Canebrake rattlesnake. Attempt a F/T mouse or small rat and leave it there with the snake for a few hours. I have kept Pantherophis lindheimeri and they had no issues whatsoever about eating F/T so it shouldn't be an issue. As far as not eating for 2 weeks, if they are WC and not LTC, they may be starting their brumation cycle and will eat less frequently anyway. They look to be about or a little over 2yrs age so they are breeding size. Don't be too worried too much about it. I have a pair of WC Broadband Copperheads from Texas and they have been refusing meals for the last 2 weeks as well so it may just be that time of year! Hope it helps
Really a cane break?Wow good to know.I have been wanting one of those.I am in the process of a permit for one of those because they are endangered here.and plus those rats are most likely in the cooling mood
 

kevin91172

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
407
Try a rat pup. I've got snakes that will only eat mice, and others of the same species that will only eat rat pups. They might show some interest in the other, but won't actually eat it. You might also try leaving a dead mouse in with the reluctant snake overnight, since I've also experienced shy feeders who refuse to eat while someone is watching. DO NOT do this with a live mouse, unless you want a mutilated snake! Also, you have to take into consideration the time of year. Many native North American snakes are going into brumation now, which means that they will stop feeding. Already, several of mine have stopped eating altogether and I'm getting ready to cool them down for winter. Even with indoor household temperatures and artificial lighting, most native snakes still know that it's time to go into that semi-dormant state and will simply stop eating, so that they do not have undigested food left sitting around in their digestive tracts when cold weather arrives.

And yes, Vicki, mouse/rodent color DOES matter a LOT with some snakes! I've had snakes for nearly half a century now, and I've experienced quite a few that were very picky when it came to rodent coloration, and this is especially true of wild-caught snakes. I've had many that balked at a white mouse, but would readily devour a gray, wild-colored mouse. I have a Colombian Boa now that will only eat white rats; he won't touch a hooded rat or dark-colored rat at all, won't even look at it!

pitbulllady
cool interesting...I have been keeping snakes for along time and other peoples experiences are a most;)
 

MOBugGuy

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
183
I tried puttin a hoodie over the tub but still does the same thing. Ill buy a f/t and leave it in the tub over night. She doesnt look skinny so Im not worried Ill just try again in a few days. Thanks for the help guys.
 

the toe cutter

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
Messages
424
PBL is absolutely correct about the color of prey items. There actually have been entire herpetological studies/papers done on the subject. Harry W. Greene a graduate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University has written and observed alot about it as well! Especially with colubrids, who have better vision than previously thought. Most colubrids are vision hunters, not ambush predators like vipers and boas and pythons. and visual cues ie. hair coloration in rodents, plays a major factor not only in food determination but survival modifications of indigenous rodent populations. I REALLY encourage anyone who is into any animal hobby to do more research into their animals as far as behavioral and the natural evolution of the animals they keep. Not just read a few care sheets, own a few animals in captivity for however long and get most of your behavioral info from forums like these that are mainly comprised of hobbyists with no basis in any scientific research discipline, just captive husbandry experience! Basically, read a book! There is ALOT of information about all kinds of reptiles and their natural behaviors and mechanics, adaptation and modification, species radiation, etc.,etc., etc. You like snakes? pick up a Herpetology college text book, or Snakes: The evolution of mystery in nature, by Harry W Greene. It is a fantastic herpetology book and pretty cheap on amazon.
 

Bengal21

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
42
Another thing you can do to help, if feeding F/T, is a quick dip of the prey item in chicken broth. This will sometimes make hesitant eaters get in the mood. I wouldn't be too concerned yet. One of my snakes won't eat if he is anywhere near shedding. It usually clues me in a shed is coming sometimes up to ten days before, and well before he has gone into "blue".
 

the toe cutter

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
Messages
424
Really a cane break?Wow good to know.I have been wanting one of those.I am in the process of a permit for one of those because they are endangered here.and plus those rats are most likely in the cooling mood
Yup I was completely surprised when I went to check in on the hots a few hours after feeding and the rat was still alive and 3ft male Georgia/Florida border Canebrake was chewed all to h#!!. The Canes from the Ga/Fl border are the best looking too, from real nice hot pinks to steel blues.
 

AprilH

Petridish
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2005
Messages
85
I wouldn't keep them together.

You haven't had them very long. I wouldn't worry at all yet.
 

Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
4,212
Try a rat pup. I've got snakes that will only eat mice, and others of the same species that will only eat rat pups. They might show some interest in the other, but won't actually eat it. You might also try leaving a dead mouse in with the reluctant snake overnight, since I've also experienced shy feeders who refuse to eat while someone is watching. DO NOT do this with a live mouse, unless you want a mutilated snake! Also, you have to take into consideration the time of year. Many native North American snakes are going into brumation now, which means that they will stop feeding. Already, several of mine have stopped eating altogether and I'm getting ready to cool them down for winter. Even with indoor household temperatures and artificial lighting, most native snakes still know that it's time to go into that semi-dormant state and will simply stop eating, so that they do not have undigested food left sitting around in their digestive tracts when cold weather arrives.

And yes, Vicki, mouse/rodent color DOES matter a LOT with some snakes! I've had snakes for nearly half a century now, and I've experienced quite a few that were very picky when it came to rodent coloration, and this is especially true of wild-caught snakes. I've had many that balked at a white mouse, but would readily devour a gray, wild-colored mouse. I have a Colombian Boa now that will only eat white rats; he won't touch a hooded rat or dark-colored rat at all, won't even look at it!

pitbulllady
hey PBL, question about replicating brumation in captivity with WC snakes. with normal house temps (60 at night), is there anything more i need to do to simulate this or will the snake "know" as you had sort of mentioned? the snake has already stopped eating a month or so ago.
 

MOBugGuy

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
183
I wouldn't keep them together.

You haven't had them very long. I wouldn't worry at all yet.
I got them from kevin in this post so They were cohabitating together before I got them I think. They show know aggression with each other and sometimes they layin together sokin in some heat.
 

kevin91172

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
407
I got them from kevin in this post so They were cohabitating together before I got them I think. They show know aggression with each other and sometimes they layin together sokin in some heat.
Yes sir I kept them together.I just separate them like I do with all my non venomous and put them in my steralite "feeding" tub
 
Top