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  1. #1
    Registered User TattedLass253's Avatar
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    Am I overreacting? Corn not eating

    Hi all,

    I rescued an adult corn snake a few weeks ago. I have offered her mice three times and she hasn't accepted any yet. I can see a bit of a fold where there is looser skin than I think is normal, so that's telling me that she isn't drinking water either - is that a reasonable assumption?

    I have handled her twice and she seemed to be comfortable/friendly. I have kept her environment as calm as possible to let her adjust, so she shouldn't be stressed out other than coming to a new home.

    How long is a normal adjustment period for adult snakes? When should I be worried about her hunger strike?

    Thanks!


    Bri

  2. #2
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    Re: Am I overreacting? Corn not eating

    Nobody has replied (yet), so I will try to start the ball rolling.

    I've only had experience with a couple of wild caught adult corns. They ate for me within 10 days of arrival. Three weeks is a bit worrisome. But not a lot worrisome.

    Has the snake defecated anything other than white urates? Does the snake have a hiding box where it can feel secure? What is the cage temperature? I kept mine in cages that were 85 degrees Fahrenheit at the hot end, and I turned the power off at night. The cage cooled off to room temperature and warmed up the next day when the power was turned on again. This simulated the natural daily temperature cycle.

    Were the mice dead or alive? Frozen/thawed, fresh killed or live? Were the mice opened up so the snake could get a good whiff of blood smell?

    I wonder about the fold. Is the fold located in the forward half or the rear half of the snake's body? Does it run down the snake's side or parallel to the backbone about 45 degrees down from the backbone? Hunger folds are located in the rear half of the body and run parallel to the backbone about 45 degrees down from the middle of the back. Hunger folds indicate months of starvation.

    Possible causes for not eating include a preference against mice, cage too cold, and mating season. For the first, try a baby rat or a baby chick or a mouse soaked in chicken juice. If you know a pigeon breeder, then a 3-4 day old baby pigeon would be ideal. Corn snakes really go for birds. If the snake is a male in reasonably good condition and is focused on breeding, then about all you can do is wait him out. Exposing him to a natural day/night light cycle helps here.

    If the snake doesn't seem to be drinking, put him in a closed plastic box with about half an inch of water in the bottom and leave him there for half an hour. Try to give water that is neither hot nor cold. Coolish to your finger is about right. If the water feels warm to you, then it is too hot for the snake.

    Do you have a copy of Kathy Love's book, Corn snakes: a comprehensive owner's guide? I recommend it for low cost and high quality.
    Also check out the web site www.consnakes.com. There is much more corn snake traffic there than on this forum.

    All this could help if the snake is basically healthy. Diseases like mouth rot, gastro-intestinal problems and worse stuff require veterinarian care.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Registered User Prognathodon's Avatar
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    Re: Am I overreacting? Corn not eating

    My husband's adult female corn Does. Not. Like. Rats., so a food preference could be at play. Both she and the male will skip meals on occasion, even when only offered every other week. So a healthy adult not eating for a couple/few weeks wouldn't concern me.

    Can you post some pictures, they'd help us with the other questions.

    The only problem with our female refusing is that she drags them around the enclosure and "hides" them under the substrate. We've learned the hard way to check her enclosure *thoroughly*! 🤢


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  4. #4
    Registered User KingNoFace's Avatar
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    Re: Am I overreacting? Corn not eating

    I would leave her alone for a week, literally dont even go into the cage except maybe to change water. She might be stressed. Corn snakes are sometimes very timid. Keep us posted! What size mice were you using? How big is the snake? Were they nice and warm when you offered it to her? There are many factors.
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    BPnet Senior Member Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Am I overreacting? Corn not eating

    Quote Originally Posted by TattedLass253 View Post
    Hi all,

    I rescued an adult corn snake a few weeks ago. I have offered her mice three times and she hasn't accepted any yet. I can see a bit of a fold where there is looser skin than I think is normal, so that's telling me that she isn't drinking water either - is that a reasonable assumption?

    I have handled her twice and she seemed to be comfortable/friendly. I have kept her environment as calm as possible to let her adjust, so she shouldn't be stressed out other than coming to a new home.

    How long is a normal adjustment period for adult snakes? When should I be worried about her hunger strike?

    Thanks!
    Are you certain it's a female ??

    Male tend to go off the food about this time of the year ..


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