Vote for BP.Net for the 2013 Forum of the Year! Click here for more info.

» Site Navigation

» Home
 > FAQ

» Online Users: 905

13 members and 892 guests
Most users ever online was 6,337, 01-24-2020 at 04:30 AM.

» Today's Birthdays

» Stats

Members: 72,285
Threads: 246,291
Posts: 2,551,600
Top Poster: JLC (31,651)
Welcome to our newest member, IrishMongooz
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27

Thread: First Feeding

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-03-2022
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    11
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts

    First Feeding

    First at home feeding our our BP. Feed in the enclosure or outside of the enclosure? We have not tried to handle her yet and she definitely does want to be handled yet! We have left her alone for 1 week at this point. The breeder was feeding live hopper rats. Not sure if we will do live or fresh killed. Would like to get to Frozen/Thawed ASAP. Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Registered User Homebody's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-19-2019
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    88
    Thanks
    403
    Thanked 57 Times in 38 Posts
    Images: 3

    Re: First Feeding

    You should feed in the enclosure. That way you don't have to handle it right after it has fed. You should wait 48+ hours after feeding to handle your snake. Feed it whatever the breeder was feeding it. Changing homes is stressful enough for the snake. You don't want to add to that by changing feeders. Wait until it's well established in your home (feeding and shedding normally) before changing feeders.

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Homebody For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (01-06-2022),Malum Argenteum (01-06-2022)

  4. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    16,589
    Thanks
    22,578
    Thanked 14,591 Times in 9,115 Posts
    I concur with Homebody's post ^ ^ ^. Always feed your snake where they live- a shy snake, & especially one that's newly-rehomed, may REFUSE to eat just because you handled them first (when putting in another place to eat). Handling a snake is stressful for them because they rely on instincts to survive, & the only thing in the wild that normally picks them up is a predator that's about to eat THEM- so handling before a meal can change their focus & result in a refused & wasted meal.

    IF you've put your snake in another enclosure to feed & he ate anyway, now you have to handle a snake that's usually still in "feed mode" (ie. ready to bite anything warm & wiggling that might be food- such as your hands) just to put him back. OR, the handling you do after he's eaten may stress him into regurgitating what he just ate. See what a bad idea this is turning into? Snakes can stay pumped up (in "feed mode") for hours or even more than a day after eating, just so you know.

    So I'm glad you asked this first, & btw,

    We do also favor feeding prey that's not alive, either f/t (frozen-thawed- & warmed) or freshly killed, both for safety of the snake (rats & mice object to being dinner & may bite & injure snakes, even if they lose "the battle") and for humane treatment of the rodents. But again, as Homebody mentioned, it's best to feed what your snake already knows for a while- until he's settled in & eating reliably for you. New homes are scary & confusing enough for snakes -it's best that we don't throw them any curves. You want them eating, not refusing.

    Best to postpone handling until after any new snake has fed at least 3 times at normal weekly intervals, because eating is important for their health- it's the first priority, in case the handling puts the snake off eating for a while. (Sometimes it happens, but it's way more likely when the snake is handled before it's had time to "settle in".)
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-06-2022 at 03:59 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Erie_herps (01-07-2022),Homebody (01-06-2022),Malum Argenteum (01-06-2022)

  6. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-03-2022
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    11
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts

    Re: First Feeding

    Thank you!! Do I just put the rat in the cage or should I hold it with long feeder tongs? The snake has been in it's hide most of the week.

  7. #5
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    16,589
    Thanks
    22,578
    Thanked 14,591 Times in 9,115 Posts

    Re: First Feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by montagma View Post
    Thank you!! Do I just put the rat in the cage or should I hold it with long feeder tongs? The snake has been in it's hide most of the week.

    You're welcome-

    Another good question! First- it's best to ask the person/vender that you got the snake from exactly how (& what, if you didn't already know) it was fed before. Because the best way to succeed is to offer the same way the snake is accustomed to.

    While you are asking questions, it also helps to know when the snake was fed last. (IMO all snakes should come with a feeding record, but sadly, many don't.) Otherwise, it usually helps to wait until the snake is showing signs that it's ready to feed. That's usually not until after at least the first week in their new home, after they stop feeling so threatened & afraid. Imagine how they must feel- being abducted by giants & not understanding how your familiar home disappeared.

    For BPs- they're ambush predators- meaning, they don't actively hunt but wait in a secure hiding place until dark, & from that location, they grab prey that cluelessly passes by within reach, so that's what you want to duplicate. A BP that's hungry will typically be seen peeking out of their hide in the evening/night hours- that's usually the "tell". Do NOT offer prey when a BP is out in the open, moving around in their enclosure- that's usually going to fail. (In the wild, snakes that eat out in the open may easily become dinner for something else! Their instincts affect everything they do.)

    If you're feeding live, you might want to wait to buy prey until you see your snake behaving this way- then buy food in the next day or so. It should still be "hunting" each night once it's hungry.

    If (when) you're going to try f/t prey, some snakes will only want "drop-fed" (follow breeders method, or leave prey near hide at night, lights out & don't spook them by watching or checking for a few hours at least), while others like to see a slight life-like "wiggle" of the prey (held by tongs) as if cluelessly walking too close to where the snake is hiding, & they'll grab it very fast IF you do it "right"-

    In the wild, rodents don't walk up to snakes & volunteer to be dinner, so it's important when offering from tongs that the rodent doesn't approach the snake, but instead is just out of reach & appears to be walking "past" where the snake is watching. You want to elicit a slight chase from the snake- they like to feel they have the "upper hand"- the element of surprise. (because rodents fight back, it's safer for the snake this way)

    Snakes have their own history & personality- watch for clues as to how shy or bold yours is.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-06-2022 at 05:28 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Homebody (01-06-2022)

  9. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-03-2022
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    11
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts

    Re: First Feeding

    The breeder was drop feeding in it's tub. Now I have it in an enclosure. It's been 7 days since the last feeding. Not seeing these behaviors yet, but I'm thinking it is still scared. I guess where I'm hesitant is to leave a rat in there and have the snake get injured. This is kind of where I'm not sure what to do. The breeder fed live......my goal is to get to frozen/thawed, but this is the first feeding at home. Sorry for the dumb questions!

  10. #7
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    16,589
    Thanks
    22,578
    Thanked 14,591 Times in 9,115 Posts

    Re: First Feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by montagma View Post
    The breeder was drop feeding in it's tub. Now I have it in an enclosure. It's been 7 days since the last feeding. Not seeing these behaviors yet, but I'm thinking it is still scared. I guess where I'm hesitant is to leave a rat in there and have the snake get injured. This is kind of where I'm not sure what to do. The breeder fed live......my goal is to get to frozen/thawed, but this is the first feeding at home. Sorry for the dumb questions!
    Not dumb questions at all- good questions! You're in a tricky place with this snake & it's best for everyone -especially the -that it goes well.

    First, I would wait & watch for behaviors that indicate it's getting hungry- at night, etc. That may take another week- hopefully less- but if your snake is hungrier it may work to your advantage anyway. (so he doesn't just refuse)

    I would feed live as was previously fed- & I sure hope you have a reliable local source for the right size/age of prey? FYI- baby rats (or mice) with eyes still closed* will NOT bite or defend themselves, so they're NO danger to a snake (unless you get one that's just ready to open their eyes & by the time you introduce them to the snake, their eyes are open- but they still won't be very good at defense- the risk would be minimal). You never want to spring a rodent (rat or mouse) with eyes open for a while on a snake that's only been taking them with eyes closed.

    *I've bred my own rats & mice for well, decades.

    Different rodent sources may have slightly different "names" for the age/sizes of prey. "Hoppers" usually have their eyes open, but a "hopper rat" would be rather large for a hatchling BP. How old is your new BP? Also, the term "hopper" usually refers to a mouse! Hopper mice are usually the "first food" for hatchling BPs- so you need to make SURE this snake was fed rats, & not mice. They don't smell or taste the same- some snakes will eat one but not the other- at least not without a lot of persuasion.

    Also, a hopper mouse would be roughly the size of a less-developed "fuzzy" rat (eyes closed)- Hopper mice are also quite active, whereas a "fuzzy" rat would have motion to entice, but without being scary or risky to the snake- ie. the better choice to feed (& perhaps what they meant they were feeding?)
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-06-2022 at 08:19 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Homebody (01-06-2022)

  12. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-03-2022
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    11
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts

    Re: First Feeding

    It's older. I think about 6 months or so. It's definitely at a hopper size.

  13. #9
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    16,589
    Thanks
    22,578
    Thanked 14,591 Times in 9,115 Posts
    Whatever they call it, I'd only offer a young rat with eyes closed, especially with this first meal & the snake's confidence likely to be a little shaky (being in a new home). Even if the meal is on the small side.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  14. #10
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-05-2014
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    4,099
    Thanks
    4,654
    Thanked 5,272 Times in 2,602 Posts

    Re: First Feeding

    Congratulations on your new BP!! I agree, and disagree, with whatís already been said. I definitely agree with feeding your snake inside itís enclosure. I disagree that you have to offer exactly what the breeder was feeding. Iíve purchased several snakes that were eating live prey at the breeders but Iíve never offered any new snake live prey. I only feed my snakes f/t. A couple of them took a while to make the transition but they all eat eventually.
    3.2 Carpet Pythons, 1.1 Bullsnakes
    1.0 Olive Python 1.0 Scrub Python,
    1.0 BI, 0.1 BCO

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.1