Snake Care - Feeding Your Snake

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Feeding your snake is one of the most important parts of snake ownership. However snakes do not eat very often, baby snakes may eat twice a week, but as they grow they get onto a more once a week schedule. Snakes eat small rodents, generally mice, rats and rabbits. There are many different sizes for to choose from so that your snake is happy and health from birth all the way until he is a 10 foot long monster (just joking).

What you start with when you are feeding a baby snake are called pinkies.

The next step up are called fuzzies

Following that comes hoppers

After that you just continue to continue to get bigger mice as your pet snake continues to grow. If your snake is no longer able to be sustained off of mice, you may need to step up to rats, and if you have a real monster you could even feed rabbits

You always want to make sure you have the proper size rodent for your snake. You want to be sure that the mouse does not exceed the circumference of your snake's body at its largest point. However you also want to make sure that the rodent you pick is not to small as it will not fill the snake up.

Methods For Feeding Your Snake

There are two different methods available to you for feeding your pet snake, live and frozen.

There are many different schools of thought when it comes to which method is the better one

Frozen is generally more convenient as you can get them at mostly any pet store and all you need to do is thaw and feed. Frozen rodents are also a guaranteed weight and you can be sure your snake is getting the appropriate nutrition for his size

Many people still prefer to go the live route. This can be a little more difficult as if you buy more than 1 mouse at a time; you have to be sure to keep them alive and fed until it is time to feed your snake.

With a live animal you want to make sure you keep an eye on it while your snake is pursuing its dinner You want to be sure the rodent does not bite your snake as they can carry disease and could make your snake sick or hurt your snake. For this reason I generally like to go the frozen route.

Many people are afraid of feeding live rodents to their snake because they think this will make him more aggressive or violent towards them. However if you continue to handle your snake on a regular basis this should not become a problem. You want to be sure that you are not only putting your hand into the snake habitat to feed him or else he will start to think that your hand means it is feeding time and may lash at you.

General Tips For Feeding Your Snake

When feeding your snake you want to make sure he knows the food is there so it does not just sit there and start to rot. The easiest way to do this with a frozen mouse is just to dangle it (with a pair of tweezers) in front of the snake making it look like it is moving around, many times the snake while strike right out at the mouse, grab it and start eating.

When feeding your snake you want to make sure not to handle him the whole day prior. This puts the snake into a different mindset and he will not want to eat. You also want to be sure not to handle the snake for at least 2 days afterwards. Snakes need time to digest there food, and if you handle him during this time he may vomit his food back up due to messing with digestion process.

If you are ever having trouble getting your snake to eat, try to put his food directly into his hiding area. This way the food is right in his safe spot and he will feel secure eating. The other thing you can do is called the deli cup method. Just place the snake and the food item into a deli cup along with a half sheet of folded paper towel and place in a warm area overnight. This should help the snake feel secure and help facilitate feeding.

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