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  1. #1
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    Hognose not eating

    So my male hognose hasnít eaten for over a month (last time he ate was in mid September). I know that hognose can be finicky with eating, especially males, so Iím trying not to get worried but advice is welcome on what could be causing it. If he was starting to refuse food now I would think it was a brumation instinct but September seems early for that. Iím not planning to brumate him since Iím not going to breed him and I donít really have the means to brumate right now. Iíve been trying to feed him every week or so, but heís never interested. Heís acting normal otherwise, super active as usual. I tried braining the mouse once and that didnít do anything. Is there anything else I can do? Should I keep trying or just accept that heís going to go off feed for the winter. If he doesnít eat for the whole winter, how do I make sure he stays healthy? Advice is appreciated.

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    Albert Clark (11-09-2022)

  3. #2
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    How old is he? How long have you had him? What kind of hognose snake is this? There's more than one... What are the ambient temps. in his enclosure? Is your room or house getting cooler now with the fall season? Many snakes detect that, along with shorter daylight.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  5. #3
    BPnet Lifer Albert Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Hognose not eating

    This for sure ^^^^^^^

    Try scenting the prey with thawed frog legs from the bait store. Some fancy fish markets carry frozen frog legs. Maybe try just a fish scented prey item.
    Stay in peace and not pieces.

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  7. #4
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    Re: Hognose not eating

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Clark View Post
    This for sure ^^^^^^^

    Try scenting the prey with thawed frog legs from the bait store. Some fancy fish markets carry frozen frog legs. Maybe try just a fish scented prey item.
    This ^ ^ ^ especially if it's an Eastern hognose. If it's a Western hognose, they eat most anything (including small mice) so it's probably not needed.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  9. #5
    Registered User Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    If the snake was already feeding reliably, it doesn't need to be retrained to rodents; it already knows that mice are food.

    My hogs will go off food for a month frequently enough (and the male usually won't eat when his mind is somewhere else), and then return to eating with a vengeance.

    If the snake is setting up for brumation, it isn't likely to be active as normally. Mine currently are slipping into their winter mode (they do get brumated), and are off their heat and acting sleepy.

    Knowing the snake's history and so on like Bogertophis mentioned is going to be critical for figuring out how to proceed.

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    Re: Hognose not eating

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    How old is he? How long have you had him? What kind of hognose snake is this? There's more than one... What are the ambient temps. in his enclosure? Is your room or house getting cooler now with the fall season? Many snakes detect that, along with shorter daylight.
    Heís a Plains/Western, around 2 years old, had him since May and heís always eaten well, and always been on mice. Ambient temps are 75 cool to 90 hot with a hotspot of 93 or so. Honestly, I hadnít thought of the house temps but that might be whatís causing a problemÖ just had the furnace replaced so was without heat for a bit, using space heaters instead, now back to having heat in the house. Sorry for the delay in responding I wasnít seeing replies for some reason.

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    Re: Hognose not eating

    Quote Originally Posted by Bugs_and_Herps View Post
    ... Honestly, I hadn’t thought of the house temps but that might be what’s causing a problem… just had the furnace replaced so was without heat for a bit, using space heaters instead, now back to having heat in the house...
    BINGO. Snakes notice these things & heed their survival instincts. I'd wait at least a week to 10 days before offering food again- give him time to accept the "weather" is reliable. I'd try increasing the day length if you can, also, to help assure your success- by running a daylight bulb in the same room as he is (not directly over his enclosure). Having the days get shorter at the same time our snakes feel a "chill" in the air is what can make them go off eating.

    In the event you cannot talk him into eating again, then you'll have to reduce his temperatures (gradually- over 2+ weeks) & brumate him, hoping he does okay over the winter. But first I'd try to get him eating again if that was my snake. IF you end up brumating him, keep in mind he still needs a bowl of fresh water along with a cool dark place to snooze- they don't sleep super-soundly & do drink now & then, or should. Brumation temperatures should remain about 50-57*.

    Brumation is only needed for fertility if reproduction is the goal, or to lower a snake's metabolism so they don't starve- it does carry some risks to the health of the snake, because their immune system is not functioning like when they're warm & awake. If a snake shows ANY signs of health issues, best not to brumate.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 11-11-2022 at 07:24 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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    Re: Hognose not eating

    That totally makes sense. The room heís in already has a couple tanks with bulbs on light cycles, so thereís those lights that turn on plus the overhead light. Currently the bulbs on the other tanks turn on at 11am and are on until 10pm, do you think I should increase the time on that? I have been considering adding a low powered uvb bulb to his tank but I havenít gotten conclusive research on it yet.

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    I think I'd try to add an hour or two to the "daylight" cycle- maybe 9 am to 10 pm, on the chance that it helps to adjust his willingness to eat.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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