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Thread: Feeding Chart

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    Question Feeding Chart

    Hi everybody! I found this feeding chart online, and I was wondering if you all agree with it. If not, why? Thanks!

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    The most accepted feeding guide I've seen has been in this thread:
    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...ing-Guidelines

    I like that it does say to monitor your individual snakes needs underneath. It's true and a good blurb.
    But I feel that using the 10-14 days as a guideline starting at that 350 gram mark can lead to some underfeeding over time. Even following that straight up into the 3500 range.

    As it said, every snake is different. And if mine are on shed, sure they get fussy on food. But if I fed my big gal a medium rat 1x a month, she would not be happy. She starts pushing at her walls at the end of week 2.

    I would more follow those guidelines weekly...And if refused, then understand the needs are different for some snakes.

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    It kinda makes me laugh that everyone is always looking for a feeding chart, but no ones snakes ever seem to be eating with any regularity. At least the ball python owners, lol. No need for the popcorn it was just a joke. I can see a chart that encourages spacing out the feedings, but like mentioned previously you kinda got to get a feel for your own animals needs. And be careful not to over feed. I no thereís some animals that take/need mediums, but I have to believe itís very unnecessary for most if not all males.
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    Feeding charts are guidelines. Age, sex, weight, genetics, temperament and breeding or not, all have a factor in how the animal is fed. When someone first starts in the hobby the feeding chart hosted here is the best I have seen. Once you know your animal you are gradually going to know when it needs to be fed. Every flipping one of them is different.

    And, Sonny I know you meant it as a joke, but regular for these guys can be as extreme as 1 small a month for 6 months, to pounding mediums weekly except when they are gravid.
    Last edited by JodanOrNoDan; 08-10-2018 at 03:50 PM.
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    I think we shouldn't dismiss it immediately because it is different than what we're used to seeing.

    What would be the benefits of a schedule like this? They wouldn't grow as quickly, and it would take longer to achieve breeding size, so that wouldn't be it.

    However, "Growth verses lifespan: perspectives from evolutionary ecology" states that there are both benefits and drawbacks to rapid growth and "catch-up" growth in many animals. The benefits of rapid growth are decreased predation in the wild, and increased likelihood of early breeding. The drawback of rapid growth is linked to reduced lifespan and and weaknesses in body structures. "Rapidly grown structures may also be more proneto developmental errors or weaknesses... such that the fast-growing animal issacrificing Ďqualityí for Ďspeedí.," states the study mentioned above.

    Playing catch-up, to where the animal is provided with less food at earlier stages of its life, and then is provided with more later, also has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. These animals are able to achieve equal to lesser growth than their heavily fed counterparts, but it has been found that "[c]ell numbers in key organs can become fixedrelatively early in development," which means that their organs may remain smaller even when then fed to catch up to the normal adult size: "The weight gained by animals during periods ofcatch-up growth tends to be biased towards more rapidaccumulation of fat".

    As we all know, excessive fat in snakes isn't always that great; in breeding it has been linked to reduced clutch sizes and infertility in females, and generally linked to fatty liver disease.

    In "Patterns of blood flow during the postprandial response in ball pythons,Python regius", blood flow and liver size is measured to determine when the metabolic rate of ball pythons is returned back to fasting rates. It was found that blood flow increased rapidly after a feeding, reaching its peak with 2-3 days, then slowly fell back to fasting rates. It took anywhere between 10 and 20 days for blood flow to return to normal, depending on the artery measured. With this, we know that their bodies undergo heavy changes after a feeding, and if fed once weekly when older, are not allowed to go back to normal standing rates.

    While I'm not actually arguing in favor of this particular feeding schedule (it's still a bit too rigid for my tastes), it's not something to disregard straight away. Maybe for breeders, this particular schedule wouldn't be ideal, but for those of us hoping to raise a happy, healthy animal, maybe we should be looking at models like these, with some variation in size and frequency occasionally.

    IDK. Was kind of thinking aloud here.
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    Re: Feeding Chart

    It's an average guideline like all the others out there. Medium rat over 1500g is probably the weirdest part, that depends on the individual snake.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starscream View Post
    I think we shouldn't dismiss it immediately because it is different than what we're used to seeing.

    What would be the benefits of a schedule like this? They wouldn't grow as quickly, and it would take longer to achieve breeding size, so that wouldn't be it.

    However, "Growth verses lifespan: perspectives from evolutionary ecology" states that there are both benefits and drawbacks to rapid growth and "catch-up" growth in many animals. The benefits of rapid growth are decreased predation in the wild, and increased likelihood of early breeding. The drawback of rapid growth is linked to reduced lifespan and and weaknesses in body structures. "Rapidly grown structures may also be more proneto developmental errors or weaknesses... such that the fast-growing animal issacrificing ‘quality’ for ‘speed’.," states the study mentioned above.

    Playing catch-up, to where the animal is provided with less food at earlier stages of its life, and then is provided with more later, also has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. These animals are able to achieve equal to lesser growth than their heavily fed counterparts, but it has been found that "[c]ell numbers in key organs can become fixedrelatively early in development," which means that their organs may remain smaller even when then fed to catch up to the normal adult size: "The weight gained by animals during periods ofcatch-up growth tends to be biased towards more rapidaccumulation of fat".

    As we all know, excessive fat in snakes isn't always that great; in breeding it has been linked to reduced clutch sizes and infertility in females, and generally linked to fatty liver disease.

    In "Patterns of blood flow during the postprandial response in ball pythons,Python regius", blood flow and liver size is measured to determine when the metabolic rate of ball pythons is returned back to fasting rates. It was found that blood flow increased rapidly after a feeding, reaching its peak with 2-3 days, then slowly fell back to fasting rates. It took anywhere between 10 and 20 days for blood flow to return to normal, depending on the artery measured. With this, we know that their bodies undergo heavy changes after a feeding, and if fed once weekly when older, are not allowed to go back to normal standing rates.

    While I'm not actually arguing in favor of this particular feeding schedule (it's still a bit too rigid for my tastes), it's not something to disregard straight away. Maybe for breeders, this particular schedule wouldn't be ideal, but for those of us hoping to raise a happy, healthy animal, maybe we should be looking at models like these, with some variation in size and frequency occasionally.

    IDK. Was kind of thinking aloud here.
    What brought this on? The chart the OP posted wouldn't provide rapid growth, it's a pretty average guideline for regular growth.
    Last edited by redshepherd; 08-10-2018 at 10:04 PM.

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    Re: Feeding Chart

    Quote Originally Posted by JodanOrNoDan View Post
    Feeding charts are guidelines. Age, sex, weight, genetics, temperament and breeding or not, all have a factor in how the animal is fed. When someone first starts in the hobby the feeding chart hosted here is the best I have seen. Once you know your animal you are gradually going to know when it needs to be fed. Every flipping one of them is different.

    And, Sonny I know you meant it as a joke, but regular for these guys can be as extreme as 1 small a month for 6 months, to pounding mediums weekly except when they are gravid.
    No, I totally agree, as we were discussing in a previous thread their feeding habits can be quite unique. From late August to late December mine will eat every five days, and start taking doubles around late September. Then shut down for four to six months like nothing. Iíve tried spacing, but to be honest, Iíve learned to enjoy the fast.
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    Re: Feeding Chart

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny1318 View Post
    Iíve learned to enjoy the fast.
    Yeah, me too. All of mine are eating and pooping right now and I have the babies to deal with. I don't mind the eating so much but there is so much poop I may have to open a fertilizer business.
    Honest, I only need one more ...

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    A chart like this is more appropriate for boas, burms, retics, etc. as they don't often fast and they will happily eat themselves obese. Mine will occasionally refuse, usually when in shed, but it's rare.

    The "chart" for my adult ball pythons looks more like:

    Non-Breeding Females - offer another feeder two weeks after she last ate. If she eats, don't offer again for two weeks. If she doesn't eat, offer weekly until she eats, then wait two weeks.

    Breeding Females - she gets what she wants when she wants it, at weekly intervals while building and for several months after laying. Once she starts refusing, use the above schedule.

    All Males: same as non-breeding females but use three week intervals rather than two weeks.

    Bear in mind that the vast majority of snakes in captivity are overfed. Once they hit adulthood they don't need to eat every week, and many only need to eat once a month.
    Last edited by bcr229; Yesterday at 12:00 PM.

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