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  1. #31
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    Re: How to Resolve Persistent Obesity

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    It's up to you on the feeding...it's flexible, just as snakes have to be in the wild, & it never hurts to have a couple variations in mind. But just know that "large mice" are basically old breeders*, which are high fat content, thus not so healthy for snakes, whose natural diets are lean wild mice- not well-fed domestics. Fatty meals are also harder for snakes to digest. (*I know this because it's not at all cost-effective to raise mice that aren't breeding just to get to this large size to sell. I'm just letting you know this, as I've been a mouse-breeder for literally decades. If they raised mice to this size without breeding them, they'd have to charge a lot more for them, but as it is, large/jumbo mice are the bi-product of breeding mice- they're retired breeders, the ones whose productivity has diminished.)

    As far as soiling the enclosure as soon as you clean, that's because the activity you've stirred up also stirred up his urge to go. If you want to avoid this, try handling him a day or hours BEFORE you plan to clean.
    I didn't mean to sound argumentative... I totally agree with your recommendations and the logic behind them. I fully intend to purchase medium mice this go-around and slowly increase feeding frequency versus prey size.

    My response was more of a complaint than a refusal! Food is love and I hate that Pan's diet must continue... The feeding schedule changes aren't the end of the world for me I am just a very regimented creature of habit. Flexibility is a virtue (or should be??)

    My experience with reptiles is long but limited in scope. I have never raised my own feeders (not even crickets!). I have never bred or sold any reptiles. I have never kept large numbers at a time. I have never visited or participated in any expos. Etc, etc, etc... I wouldn't have posted if I wasn't open to suggestions from those more knowledgeable than myself. It's my inexperience with colubrids that caused this situation in the first place!

    I am so thankful that this resource is available to me.

    As far as soiling the cage goes though... I used to feed Pan in a large bucket and then soak him(?) in warm water until he went. That worked for years! Kept cage clean, kept him clean, kept him hydrated, kept me happy. Then he started taking longer to go (start of diet maybe?) and I worried about keeping the water warm enough. So I started letting him roam around my room after feeding instead (always looking for more food!) but then it is an unpleasant Easter egg hunt later. Now I just feed him in the cage and wait to clean until after he goes. However he will often go again as soon as I'm through! Timing doesn't seem to matter.

  2. #32
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    Re: How to Resolve Persistent Obesity

    Quote Originally Posted by EL-Ziggy View Post
    Thatís a cool looking critter. I think your cornsnake could easily handle larger meals without becoming obese, especially if heís active or getting regular exercise. I shoot for a healthy, strong, lean, but muscular build for my snakes. That means they get larger meals sometimes. I like to feed a variety of prey sizes and types. At 1kg my kings, which are very similar to corns, were eating medium/large mice, small rats, and day old chicks every 10-14 days.
    Thanks for input!!! Maybe I should consider a variety of prey items...

  3. #33
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    Re: How to Resolve Persistent Obesity

    Quote Originally Posted by puddinck View Post
    ... Food is love and I hate that Pan's diet must continue....
    Food is survival (not love) for a snake, & you shouldn't think of this as a "diet" at all, but actually just feeding him what makes him the healthiest he can be. Food is fuel for the living body, & different kinds of bodies need custom fuel to run their best & for as long as possible without break-downs- just as you don't put diesel in your "unleaded-regular" car & expect to get very far.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-23-2021 at 04:17 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  5. #34
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: How to Resolve Persistent Obesity

    Late to the thread, but congrats on the weight loss for your corn. I had a similar problem with Figment, my male corn. I was feeding large mice and weekly and he got a little chubby. He's pretty long for a corn, probably around 5 feet, but he was getting heavyset and weighed about 660G. I spoke with Don Soderberg from South Mountain Reptiles (Cornsnake.net) who bred my scaleless female corn (Solana). He said that corns are efficient and mousers and to feed no more than an adult mouse (medium/average, etc - 20-30G) every two weeks to get him fit again. Figment lost about 70-75G over a year, looked much healthier, became more active, and is now holding steady at that weight. I'd be happier if he lost a little more, but not too much.

    I believe in Don's expertise on corns as he's been breeding them forever.

    I also feel that prey size isn't always the best way to manage a snakes weight and even growth. I want to feed the largest healthiest option to my snakes. Different snakes have different metabolisms and "healthy" food depends on the snake. For example, boas do not handle fat as well as many pythons. For that reason, I won't feed my BI's more than large rats and my 2.2kg BI female is on mediums still. I now feed her every 2 weeks instead of every 3-4 to keep her growing, but still feed smaller prey than she can take for easy digestion and lower fat. If she ever grows to the point of needing larger prey, I will probably move to rabbits, but still not feed huge meals.

    Regarding corns, I would not feed bigger than an adult mouse. If you think your corn is losing too much weight, or not maintaining where they should be, feed more frequently, up to 1X a week. You can try other prey items occasionally, but adult mice are the perfect food for corns. To get the same nutritional density of an adult mouse in a rat, you would have to feed at least a weaned, but really, a small rat. That's way to big for a corn and will cause an adult to gain weight unnecessarily. Yes, once every once in a while won't kill the snake, but why?

    I have never tried avian prey, so I cannot comment on that, but I would keep it small if you offer.

    I am not sure I see the benefit of food variety for snakes, especially corn snakes, who eat almost exclusively mice in the wild. Bottom line is the need whole food items with the best nutrition and least fat (ratio).

    Keep in mind, once a snake becomes heavy and puts on fat, even if they lose the weight, not all the fat disappears. It's a health and longevity issue. Keep them lean and healthy. It's better than trying to get them to lose weight.

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  7. #35
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    I agree about the feeding plan discussed above. I wanted to share how I get my snakes out to exercise and have stimulation and human socialization. I bought an inexpensive coat rack off Amazon and zip-tied a branch to it. It's very portable. Right now my snake is sitting next to me while I type this. I sometimes have the coat rack in the kitchen while I'm washing dishes, cooking, etc (of course always right in the center of the floor-- no where near anything dangerous!) I also removed the lower couple of coat hooks. You still have to supervise-- snakes will figure out how to get down when they are done with the perching, but even that is good exercise and mental stimulation.

    Lots of pets, all loved and well-cared for: 2 BP's, 1 ratsnake, 2 lovebirds, 1 Harris hawk, 2 ferrets, 3 chickens, 3 cats, 1 dog, and a toddler!

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  9. #36
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    Re: How to Resolve Persistent Obesity

    Thanks for the hatrack suggestion!! I've been looking into bird stands and such but they are really expensive. I have also considered making PVC or ABS structures since the snakes could use the interior spaces as welI as the outer but again the fittings are pricey.

    I currently use a couple different cat towers (hard to clean but what I already have) as well as two popup screen tents to give them some enrichment and more space. I especially like putting the snakes out on the deck in a tent so they can soak up some natural rays!

  10. #37
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    Re: How to Resolve Persistent Obesity

    Quote Originally Posted by puddinck View Post
    Thanks for the hatrack suggestion!! I've been looking into bird stands and such but they are really expensive. I have also considered making PVC or ABS structures since the snakes could use the interior spaces as welI as the outer but again the fittings are pricey.

    I currently use a couple different cat towers (hard to clean but what I already have) as well as two popup screen tents to give them some enrichment and more space. I especially like putting the snakes out on the deck in a tent so they can soak up some natural rays!
    Ladders can always be repurposed for a snake-outing too. I've also seen some impressive 'jungle gyms' made from bamboo poles connected securely with wrapped rope. I use the base for a stand that I found in a thrift store- it's super stable, & I install a vertical branch in it, instead of the metal pole & strange thing that had been at the top of it- still don't know what exactly it was? Ya gotta love thrift stores, lol.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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