the two week rule (snakes)

Gillian

Arachnoblessed
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Hi all,
Ok. I've heard that snakes do best when fed every two weeks. What about the case of the young? Or, those who only eat for a few months out of the year?

I have a very young Corn (maybe a foot), and a young BCI (under three feet). Should they be fed every week or, every two weeks?

As well, I have a Ball Python (that most here have helped me with..thank you..:) ). He eats maybe 6 months out of the year. If I don't feed him every week, and get hime "fattened" up, much like a bear does before the lean winter months, I'll have the situation I had this past winter, he had to be forcefed.

Thanks in advance..
Peace,
Gillian
 

Craig

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when the snakes i had were younger i fed them every week(sometimes twice a week). some pythons have really high metabolisms, and i don't regard this is power feeding. as for non-python or boa species I feed them once evry week to ten days. when they get older every two weeks is great. when they got large enough to eat rabbits i would feed them every two weeks to a month depending or species and rabbit size. the tiger retic i had i fed her a rabbit once a week for a while. i think this method of feeding will produce a healthy and robust snake.

the bci and the corn snake i'd feed once a week , unless there is a problem
 

Bry

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While it is true that snakes do not eat anywhere near as often as they are fed in captivity, like tarantulas, I have not heard of anyone saying that they do best if fed every 2 weeks. It's pretty common practice to feed the young specimens of more commonly-kept species every 7-10 days. When they get close to adult size, they are usually switched to every 10-14 days. Or in the case of large snakes that have large meals, they're fed every 14-17 days. In the case of some arboreal species, they actually do better when fed every 2-3 weeks. Anyways, I'm getting off-base here. Although I can't imagine feeding your corn and boa every 2 weeks can't hurt, I don't think feeding every week is necessarily bad either, myself and many other snake keepers have done it for years with no ill effects. Personally, I would go for a 7-10 day feeding regimen until the corn reaches 3', and the boa reaches around 4-4.5' in length.

As for your ball python, forcefeeding can be quite stressful to them, as you probably know by now. As long as he eats well through the rest of the year, and doesn't seem to lose significant weight during the winter fast, there's no real need to forcefeed. Plus, wild ball pythons only eat an average of 13 meals in a year. That's an average of once every 2-3 weeks, including the winter fast/brumation, which I estimate would last around 3-4 months, according to the average length of the fasts in captivity.

Bry
 

Phillip

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for a young snake...

Once per week is ideal for young growing snakes. Once adult they can be dropped back to once every two weeks but the routine I follow is once per week on everyone and skip a meal every month and 1/2 two 2 months just to let their system clean itself out. Now if I'm going for maximum growth I wont skip the meal but usually it's good to skip one every now and then.

Phil
 

Gillian

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Hi all,
Thanks for the help. Of course, those who have a nice, healthy BCI, or a Corn, for that matter, know that they'd eat every thirty minutes, if you'd let them. :)

Bry,
Hmmm..really? That's all wc Balls eat in the wild? I had to have Othello forcefed because he got horribly thin. True, its traumatic for him, but, I had nightmares for a good week afterwards. I'll do everything in my power to keep him healthy. No way in Hell do I want to go through forcefeeding again.
Peace,
Gillian
 

Phillip

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I forget what college it was...

But to put the snakes need for food into perspective I read once where some university had a timber rattler. They fed it either 3 or 4 times per year and that is all. It lived some 20 odd years or so and grew to something like 48 inches. Now this isn't to say by any means that you should feed your snakes that little but to merely point out that captive snakes receive far more food on average than they really need to survive and do quite well on.

Phil
 

Arachnopuppy

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Re: I forget what college it was...

Originally posted by Phillip
But to put the snakes need for food into perspective I read once where some university had a timber rattler. They fed it either 3 or 4 times per year and that is all. It lived some 20 odd years or so and grew to something like 48 inches. Now this isn't to say by any means that you should feed your snakes that little but to merely point out that captive snakes receive far more food on average than they really need to survive and do quite well on.

Phil
Someone on this board stated out earlier that this case is a matter of survival versus thriving.
 

Phillip

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exactly...

That would be why I put the part about by no means am I saying to feed your snakes this little. :)

Nor was I implying that this was a good feeding schedule merely pointing out that it takes far less food than people think for snakes to live on.

On that topic many if not the majority of folks actually feed their snakes too much as they try to humanize them and tend to think they must be hungry. The ol they must be starving after a week school of thought when in fact in the wild very few snakes are going to come across food as frequently as once per week. As a matter of fact over feeding can cause problems as well such as captive snakes recieving far too much food and too little excercise as opposed to wild snakes which in turn produces larger clutches of eggs from a snake with less muscle tone. The end result of this is more problems with egg binding and such.

Phil
 

Bry

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Originally posted by Gillian
Bry,
Hmmm..really? That's all wc Balls eat in the wild? I had to have Othello forcefed because he got horribly thin. True, its traumatic for him, but, I had nightmares for a good week afterwards. I'll do everything in my power to keep him healthy. No way in Hell do I want to go through forcefeeding again.
That is what I have heard about how much they eat in the wild. When you think about it, eating every 2-4 weeks isn't too far-fetched. As for Othello, I can understand why his loss of weight would warrant forcefeeding. I said what I did, because in most cases it's not needed, but some people will panic and opt to forcefeed.

Bry
 

Gillian

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Aug 13, 2002
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Bry,
Thanks...:) Last year unfortunately, Othello only ate for 3 months. So, when winter got here, he was horribly thin. This year, I'm experimenting with alternative ways of keeping the heat up in the room. Plus, I've moved, and, he and the other snakes are staying in a smaller room, which will hopefully increase my chances of keeping the temps more constant. :)
Thanks for the help all..
Gillian
 
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