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  1. #1
    Registered User WhompingWillow's Avatar
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    Live or assist? (feeding question)

    Alright guys, here is my very first "please help me with feeding" thread. I could use some advice on our Granite IJ. I picked her up right before Thanksgiving, and in the time we've had her she has only eaten twice, both F/T mouse fuzzies. The first time she struck at the mouse and ate, then she skipped a couple of weeks, and the second (final) time she ate the mouse was left in her cage. But that was quite a while ago.

    I've had a lot of luck so far with being able to figure out quirks in eating styles with our snakes, but I cannot for the life of me figure out Bridget. She's lost some weight and doesn't have much she can lose (she is currently about 40 grams, down from about 50). She's starting to have a more pronounced triangular shape, not awful but noticeable. Enough to make me nervous, especially because she almost seems afraid of the prey item.

    We offer once per week. I've tried a smaller fuzzy, a larger fuzzy. Have dipped in chicken broth. Have brained one. Have offered on tongs. Have left in cage. She always shows initial interest but ultimately backs away.

    Husbandry: she's in a 12x18 ExoTerra, hot spot is 90, ambient is anywhere from 77-80. Only source of heat right now is an infrared lamp on a dimmer because she never touches the ground. There's a good heat gradient with a ton of plant cover and a hide (that she never uses). She flicks her tongue when a mouse approaches or if she's out exploring, which is hardly ever because of the not eating. Handling is kept to a bare minimum.

    For some more background, our Bredli is from the same breeder, has the same environmental conditions, and is a garbage disposal - has never missed a meal.

    My questions are these:

    1) Can I or should I be doing something differently?
    2) If she had more size on her I'd just accept the fast until she decided to eat. But I'm not comfortable with that route anymore, as it's been 2 small meals in 2 months. :/ With that being said, should I try live or should I attempt to assist feed? I'm not completely certain I'll be able to source local live mice that are small enough, which is why I'm wondering about assist feeding.

    If I am able to find a live fuzzy (planning to go to the pet shop where I'll have the best chance getting one once the roads clear), what do I do with it if she doesn't eat it? I have not yet had to feed live. All our other snakes are on F/T. If she won't eat it I do not want to in any way be cruel to the mouse.

    Sor for the lengthy post, and thank you in advance for your help!

    Sent from my H3123 using Tapatalk
    BALL PYTHONS: 1.0 Pied/Clark, 1.0 Pastel Vanilla Super Stripe/Sunny, 0.1 Dragon Fly/Buffy, 0.1 Pastel Vanilla Yellow Belly/Cher, 0.1 BEL (Mojave Lesser)/Arya, 0.0.1 Normal/Norm, 0.1 Cinnamon Enchi/Peaches, 1.0 Cinnamon Calico/Yoshi, 0.1 Pewter Het Pied & Lavender/Ariel
    BOAS: 0.1 Dumeril's Boa/Memphis, 0.1 BCL/Artemis
    CORN SNAKES: 0.0.1/Mushu
    CARPET PYTHONS: 0.1 Morelia bredli/Zelda, 0.1 Granite IJ/Bridget

  2. #2
    Registered User Dianne's Avatar
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    Re: Live or assist? (feeding question)

    I would try live before I tried to assist feed. One of my hatchling bps, Belle, that I bought last summer was difficult to start and I ended up having to feed live fuzzies. After a few weeks of steady meals, she switched to f/t with no problem. Same thing with my sub-adult female, Artemis, that I bought 9/2/18. She just ate for the first time for me last night, live small rat.

    Assist feeding is very stressful to the snake. Very young or small snakes can also be injured during the process. I personally only consider assist feeding as a last resort when Iím seeing clear weight loss, after Iíve tried everything else.
    Duncan - 1992 0.1 Colombian redtail;
    Hudson - 1988 1.0 Colombian rainbow;
    Yang - 2002 1.0 Corn snake;
    Merlin - 2000 1.0 Solomon Island ground boa;
    Eli - 1990 1.0 Normal ball python;
    Buttercup - 2015 1.0 Albino ball python;
    Artemis - 2015 0.1 Dragonfly ball python;
    Orion - 2015 1.0 Banana Pinstripe ball python;
    Button - 2018 1.0 Blue Eyed Lucy ball python;
    Piper - 2018 0.1 Piebald ball python;
    Belle - 2018 0.1 Lemonblast ball python;
    Sabrina - 2017 0.1 Mojave ball python;
    Selene - 2017 0.1 Banana Mojave ball python;
    Loki - 2018 1.0 Pastel Mystic Potion ball python;
    Cuervo - 2018 1.0 Banana Piebald ball python

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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran craigafrechette's Avatar
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    I've never had to assist feed. But from all I know it's an absolute last resort.

    And as Deborah often says: " you don't assist feed an animal that already knows how to eat".
    ...and in Deb I trust.

    Since the snake came to you at 50 grams and has eaten twice in yoyr care, I would advise against assist feeding.

    I don't know enough about the subtleties of their care, but Bredlis are mainland Australian carpets, and Irian Jaya is an Indonesian island... maybe their husbandry shouldn't be identical?
    Maybe try making some husbandry tweaks. What works for one locality may not for the other.
    Last edited by craigafrechette; 01-23-2019 at 11:05 AM.
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  6. #4
    Registered User WhompingWillow's Avatar
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    Re: Live or assist? (feeding question)

    Thank you both. I'm going to head to our local mom and pop shop later today to see if I'm able to acquire a fuzzy. If so that's what I'll offer in a few days (last night was the most recent attempt, so I don't want to stress her out by offering too soon). I'm hoping that after a few live feeds she'll switch back over to F/T. If she does not eat the live mouse, what should I do with it? See if the store will take it back? A fuzzy won't be old enough to survive on its for any length of time, and I really wouldn't want it to suffer in any way. I'd rather not offer it to a different snake because everyone else is eating F/T...
    BALL PYTHONS: 1.0 Pied/Clark, 1.0 Pastel Vanilla Super Stripe/Sunny, 0.1 Dragon Fly/Buffy, 0.1 Pastel Vanilla Yellow Belly/Cher, 0.1 BEL (Mojave Lesser)/Arya, 0.0.1 Normal/Norm, 0.1 Cinnamon Enchi/Peaches, 1.0 Cinnamon Calico/Yoshi, 0.1 Pewter Het Pied & Lavender/Ariel
    BOAS: 0.1 Dumeril's Boa/Memphis, 0.1 BCL/Artemis
    CORN SNAKES: 0.0.1/Mushu
    CARPET PYTHONS: 0.1 Morelia bredli/Zelda, 0.1 Granite IJ/Bridget

  7. #5
    Telling it like it is! Deborah's Avatar
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    Assisting is a last resort regardless of the species, live is the route to go. Considering is 40 grams, what I would do is set her up like a breeder would. I have bred IJ in the past and all were setup in a 6 quarts tub until they were strong feeder.

    You may or may not put a piece of pipe across the tub personally I never had when they were young.

    So what would I do in order

    Feed live if refused immediately switch to a smaller space and wait a week and offer live.

    Assist would be my very last resort after 2 weeks of that treatment has failed.

    People always thing "oh snakes can go a long time without food" well it's true but when they are that young getting them on track fast as possible is very important because they can't go that long and the more you wait the more it becomes a viscous circle.

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  9. #6
    Registered User WhompingWillow's Avatar
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    Re: Live or assist? (feeding question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
    Assisting is a last resort regardless of the species, live is the route to go. Considering is 40 grams, what I would do is set her up like a breeder would. I have bred IJ in the past and all were setup in a 6 quarts tub until they were strong feeder.

    You may or may not put a piece of pipe across the tub personally I never had when they were young.

    So what would I do in order

    Feed live if refused immediately switch to a smaller space and wait a week and offer live.

    Assist would be my very last resort after 2 weeks of that treatment has failed.

    People always thing "oh snakes can go a long time without food" well it's true but when they are that young getting them on track fast as possible is very important because they can't go that long and the more you wait the more it becomes a viscous circle.
    Thank you, Deborah. I'm thinking I'm going to have to set her up in a smaller tub. Thankfully I have some spare parts hanging around so it will be a quick change if it comes to that. I'll keep everyone posted, fingers crossed live does the trick!
    BALL PYTHONS: 1.0 Pied/Clark, 1.0 Pastel Vanilla Super Stripe/Sunny, 0.1 Dragon Fly/Buffy, 0.1 Pastel Vanilla Yellow Belly/Cher, 0.1 BEL (Mojave Lesser)/Arya, 0.0.1 Normal/Norm, 0.1 Cinnamon Enchi/Peaches, 1.0 Cinnamon Calico/Yoshi, 0.1 Pewter Het Pied & Lavender/Ariel
    BOAS: 0.1 Dumeril's Boa/Memphis, 0.1 BCL/Artemis
    CORN SNAKES: 0.0.1/Mushu
    CARPET PYTHONS: 0.1 Morelia bredli/Zelda, 0.1 Granite IJ/Bridget

  10. #7
    Telling it like it is! Deborah's Avatar
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    Re: Live or assist? (feeding question)

    Quote Originally Posted by WhompingWillow View Post
    Thank you, Deborah. I'm thinking I'm going to have to set her up in a smaller tub. Thankfully I have some spare parts hanging around so it will be a quick change if it comes to that. I'll keep everyone posted, fingers crossed live does the trick!
    Hopefully it will work out, young carpets can be a pain but once you know what works for them they are a lot easier than BP and never turn down food, just need to get on track, good luck.

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  12. #8
    Registered User WhompingWillow's Avatar
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    Re: Live or assist? (feeding question)

    Just a quick update that we successfully assist fed Bridget today. I know it's not ideal, but thankfully she seemed to handle it well. We used a small fuzzy, and she ate it no problem after getting its head in her mouth. Hoping she'll make it through the next couple of days without a regurge.

    Sent from my H3123 using Tapatalk
    BALL PYTHONS: 1.0 Pied/Clark, 1.0 Pastel Vanilla Super Stripe/Sunny, 0.1 Dragon Fly/Buffy, 0.1 Pastel Vanilla Yellow Belly/Cher, 0.1 BEL (Mojave Lesser)/Arya, 0.0.1 Normal/Norm, 0.1 Cinnamon Enchi/Peaches, 1.0 Cinnamon Calico/Yoshi, 0.1 Pewter Het Pied & Lavender/Ariel
    BOAS: 0.1 Dumeril's Boa/Memphis, 0.1 BCL/Artemis
    CORN SNAKES: 0.0.1/Mushu
    CARPET PYTHONS: 0.1 Morelia bredli/Zelda, 0.1 Granite IJ/Bridget

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