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Thread: Retic Feeding

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    Registered User gl1tterg0re's Avatar
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    Retic Feeding

    Hello, I'm about to become a new owner to a baby male mainland retic. I've done plenty of research but would like some more explanation on the feeding. Should I feed a small meal more often or a larger meal less often? I'm looking to raise a relatively small retic, but definitely not trying to starve my snake.

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    Start with an appropriate-size meal (width of the snake at its widest point) weekly. The feeder should leave a small lump in the snake's belly.

    Your retic will get long very fast over its first year and then it will start to thicken up. That's when I like to back feedings off to every 10-14 days.

    I would also suggest introducing rabbits as soon as possible. See if you can find a local source for rabbit kits and fuzzies that you alternate with rat feeders, as you don't want an older retic that's stuck on eating 2-3 jumbo rats every feeding instead of one rabbit. Your wallet will thank you.

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    Re: Retic Feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by gl1tterg0re View Post
    Hello, I'm about to become a new owner to a baby male mainland retic. I've done plenty of research but would like some more explanation on the feeding. Should I feed a small meal more often or a larger meal less often? I'm looking to raise a relatively small retic, but definitely not trying to starve my snake.
    If you want to raise a relatively small refit, then you need to get a sd, not a mainland.

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    Re: Retic Feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by Waterman View Post
    If you want to raise a relatively small refit, then you need to get a sd, not a mainland.
    While true, I would much rather have to deal with my 16' mainland females than my 8' pure SD male, because he's a ***censored***.

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    BPnet Lifer Gio's Avatar
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    What most don't realize is that in the wild, male retics are a combat species when it comes to breeding. I've had in depth discussions with Nick Mutton, one of the authors of THE COMPLETE CARPET PYTHON about sexual size dimorphism.

    He mentions that while captive females are typically larger, it isn't necessarily due to true sexual size dimorphism. There are a great many male retics that will equal the size of females if not exceed their size in the wild. Males that combat in the wild tend to be the larger of the sexes.

    Most breeders keep their males intentionally small, however that doesn't mean an older male won't get large. There is really no value to a breeder to have a big male. Feeding and cage space add to the cost of keeping a larger male.

    I could not have fed my Dwarf x SD x mainland male any less without starving him. He was still 9 feet long at just 3 years old. He was also the most aggressive snake I've ever owned. His antics included facing off with me at every chance he got attacking snake hooks, striking at me and wrapping and coiling snake hooks.. Hook training did nothing after 3 years of age. I spent additional months trying to create a bond and ultimately lost the battle even with kevlar gloves and a 5 foot Gaboona snake hook.

    I was bitten 3 times by that snake and the last bite was a 10 minute fight leaving me with temporary nerve damage in my right hand. I'm good to go now however I'm not on board with the "feed them less" mentality. They will get where they are supposed to be eventually, unless you starve them and destroy their health. I was ready to up the feeding but Garrett Hartell (Reach Out Reptiles) advised me not to "throw food at him" to solve an issue.

    I fed my male monthly and nothing larger than a large rat of quail and he grew like a weed. Garett seemed to think that schedule was perfect.

    I'm not overly convinced feeding is the biggest factor. I have a female carpet that is a terrible eater and she's now checking in at over 8 feet. Between 6 and 7 years old she grew without any real reason.

    Most retic keepers pump their females up and feed their males less. I want to see some long, long lived males and see where they are at. I know the reptile store that I frequent in my area has a 19 foot male albino that is I believe 250 pounds. That's a huge animal and is every bit as large as many females.

    I'm not trying to discourage you here, but you do need to be very prepared to own a large, and potentially aggressive animal.

    Myself and 2 others here jumped into the species and after some time it was 1, 2, 3 out. Not one of us stayed in the game.

    SD snakes are smaller, yet they seem to have a lot more attitude.

    You may end up with a chill mainland, but I'm doubting it will be very smalll after 5-6 years.

    Make sure you have some help and be ready for some possible aggression.

    They are fantastic animals, but not for everybody.

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    Check for livestock auctions near you. Check them out a few times before he gets bigger. Plus it's good knowing the players an animal flippers before buying.

    Bit of a drive from Charlotte but Chadbourn has livestock auctions. An does a monthly small livestock auction (rabbits, fowl, goats...).
    https://www.southeasternauctionco.com/poultry

    Could be worth going an getting a cheap bred bunny. Gas an freeze the kits an your good to go. An when he gets bigger, auctions are great for $2 piglets.

    Ok, normal piglets are running $40-80 now. But ones with a deformed leg or umbilical hernia is $2 or free from a farmer.

    Now, if your really smart/cheap check your animal shelters. Rabbits near me are free an they always have a ton the month after Easter.

    Auction rabbits run .10-$100. Don't get into a bidding war. One of my kids bought 25 rabbits with five bucks. Auctioneer said, I could leave them somebody will take them. I told him the kids will bring them back the week before Easter. Easter prices go crazy, $20 for .50 rabbits.

    Oh, the fun of feeding large snakes

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    BPnet Lifer Gio's Avatar
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    My apologies as some of that didn’t come out properly. I used my phone.

    BCR gave good feeding advice.

    And for the record, I loved my retic. He was beautiful and by far the most active and interesting snake I’ve ever owned.

    We just weren’t the right fit and I had a backup plan in place the day I got him.

    I wish you the best.

    They are like nothing else.
    Last edited by Gio; 07-26-2020 at 11:17 PM.

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    Re: Retic Feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    While true, I would much rather have to deal with my 16' mainland females than my 8' pure SD male, because he's a ***censored***.

    I fully believe that. I donít have any experience with sd retics. But underfeeding any snake with intention to keep them small because you donít want or feel you canít handle it at full size, is just as bad as power feeding to attain a big snake fast. I always look at it like this. When I got my female green anaconda for example, I researched the maximums in captivity and found, and the average. With that knowledge I assume the largest size mine will likely reach is 18í and it extremely doubtful she will get that. But, I went into it planning on having an 18í snake. Anything under is just a bonus that makes it a little easier. Iím not feeding her to grow her faster. Iím not feeding her to grow her slower. Iím feeding her to attain and maintain a healthy life. Whatís easier for me should not and will
    not trump whatís best/healthier for her.

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    Re: Retic Feeding

    Dont worry, I've done my fair share of research and I'm aware of the possible aggression and the dedication that comes with caring for these gorgeous animals 🤗

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    Re: Retic Feeding

    While not all will be combative/defensive/etc the experiences endured by 3-4 of us on here tell a different story. Best of luck and please have a sound strategy in place and a well prepared, extra set of hands for when/if things get out of hand and dangerous.
    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...n-Semi-graphic


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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