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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Sunnieskys's Avatar
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    Pueblan off food?

    Do Pueblans go off food? Eeden didn't eat this week. He has been hunting all week since he came out of a shed. The barometric pressure did drop from the cold front and snow that moved in. The mouse smells fine. He also used to take it off the tongs and now I have to leave it in the cage for him to eat. I don't understand what is going on.

    Any ideas?
    ~Sunny~
    Booplesnoop
    Coilsome, Odyn, & Eeden AKA theLittleOne

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  2. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Probably sensing it's winter. He was eating quite regularly & has good body weight, right? I wouldn't worry...
    And he probably wasn't "hunting" for food, but for a place to brumate.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 02-06-2019 at 02:57 AM.

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    My male was voracious when young but now he really has backed off of food over the winter and whenever he is in shed.

    You can also try moving yours from a 7-day to 14-day feeding schedule if he's no longer a growing juvenile.

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran Sunnieskys's Avatar
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    He is 10 and was kept very small. I beefed him up from 68g and now he is the size of a boom handle at his widest point and 247g.

    He used to be a great eater. Now he won't take food of the tongs. It's like he is scared. And now he didn't eat. He has done a 180. His tank has cooled a little and when he is out he wedges himself up between the screen and top of the tank (then falls).
    ~Sunny~
    Booplesnoop
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  6. #5
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    10 years old? He shouldn't be eating weekly & he (or rather his body) is trying to say it's too much. I'd only feed him every other week (q. 10-14 days).

    A broom handle is pretty thick...how long is he? These are supposed to be slender snakes, not like BPs. I wouldn't feed him large mice either, mediums
    at the very most and preferably small mice.

    You said "he was kept very small" so it sounds like he got off to a rocky start in life....it's possible he is showing signs of age* faster than others might have.
    *like needing less food. But I still think he wants "out" to find a place to snooze for a month or so. If his body weight is good, why not let him? If he hasn't
    eaten lately, gradually (over about 10 days) lower his cage heat until it's off. Put a towel over his cage to darken it. In another week put his cage in a cooler
    location (floor of closet maybe?). Only check now & then to refill his water bowl...let him sleep (brumate) for a month or two, then gradually do all in reverse.

    When he gets up against the top of his cage & keeps falling, it's not good for him and he's telling you he needs out, that his cage is too warm for what he wants
    & needs right now. I know it's unsettling to consider brumating a snake, but as long as he's not showing any signs of illness it's just nature's way. I suspect
    that since he "was kept very small" that maybe it has taken him this long to fully mature. Adult snakes instinctively go off feed in winter not only to survive
    the cold, but because they NEED the cool down for reproductive success (fertility). Listen to what he's saying.

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  8. #6
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    And when a snake that would normally brumate in the wild is offered food in late fall or winter, it's NORMAL for them to "act afraid of it" and reject it.

    They instinctively know that to eat at the wrong time of year can mean death (in the wild), since getting caught with a belly full of food when there is no hope
    of digesting it means it will spoil in their stomach & can kill them. Over many years, natural selection has killed off those that didn't "listen"...and you now have
    a snake that "knows" how to survive successfully.

    Not all colubrid pet snakes are this adamant about not eating in winter, but when they are, you need to listen. I have corn & various rat snakes that eat all the
    time. I also have a Western longnose snake (similar to a small king snake, from TX) and a rosy boa (native to CA deserts) that do exactly what your milk snake
    is doing. I do not brumate these 2...they go about 3 months without eating & are fine. But I have brumated a number of snakes in the past when I also bred a
    few & they required fertility. Based on the behavior you describe, I would personally brumate your Pueblan.

    FYI, my longnose snake is now 16 years old, and my rosy boa is 16 years old too. Both have good body weight & do this every year.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 02-06-2019 at 01:47 PM.

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  10. #7
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    One more thought:

    When snakes awaken in spring, their first thought is usually NOT food. So don't be shocked if your snake isn't interested in food for a while, he or she will
    likely be thinking about a mate, first & foremost...only later, about food. It's we humans that are food-obsessed, lol...it sure makes it hard to see it the way
    our snakes do, but eventually we "get it".

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  12. #8
    BPnet Veteran Sunnieskys's Avatar
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    Is there a way to put something in the gap between the screen lid and the edge of the tank so he can't wedge himself in there and keep falling?

    Do do you think also he has out grown his tank! When I got him he was slightly longer than a 20 L. Now he is a lot longer.

    And i I will feed him every two weeks as well.
    ~Sunny~
    Booplesnoop
    Coilsome, Odyn, & Eeden AKA theLittleOne

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  13. #9
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Pueblan off food?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnieskys View Post
    Is there a way to put something in the gap between the screen lid and the edge of the tank so he can't wedge himself in there and keep falling?

    Do do you think also he has out grown his tank! When I got him he was slightly longer than a 20 L. Now he is a lot longer.

    And i I will feed him every two weeks as well.
    Sure: go to a hardware/home improvem't store & buy some narrow wood molding to fit the gap, & glue it in place with silicone seal or other glue that dries safe, no VOC.
    (or if you can find plastic in the same shape to fit the gap...many things can work, maybe even some rope glued in place)

    A 20L is 30" long, right? If he's a lot longer, you might think about an upgrade, but the other thing you can do is make his home a "2-story" for now: I sometimes cut
    down a large cardboard box for custom cage "furniture"- milk or king snakes enjoy feeling underground & if you can find cardboard to modify & fit, make it so he can be
    "underground" with substrate to burrow in under the "false floor", & cut 2 holes so he can go up to the 2nd floor with hides & water. It might help him settle down too.

    He should be fine with feeding every 2 weeks, especially in winter. You might need to go a bit shorter in summer when he has more appetite, but not weekly. 10+ days.

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  15. #10
    BPnet Veteran Sunnieskys's Avatar
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    Anyone have a mock up of this condo idea? Love it just can't picture it lol. And going back and looking at the care sheets his temps are 10 degrees lower than they should be. As soon as I get back to work I will get a larger watt bulb to raise temps. He is sitting at 75 on the warm side and no uth. Bad mommy!
    ~Sunny~
    Booplesnoop
    Coilsome, Odyn, & Eeden AKA theLittleOne

    0:1 Pastel Het Red Day Chocolate
    1:0 Normal
    0:0:1 Pueblan milk snake

    *~* Nothing sticky (tape, stick on gauges, Velcro) goes into your enclosure! Again...NOTHING sticky goes into your enclosure....EVER! *~*

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