Accelerated Growth Rate And Power Feeding

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Nero Egernia, Apr 14, 2017.

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  1. Ramsayi

    Ramsayi Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    I wish people would refrain from referring to the UWS study.It was a relatively short study only done on anterasia and no follow up was ever done as to the longevity of the of the high intake group as far as I am aware.
    I have the original data here somewhere and to be honest you could draw any conclusion you wanted from it.
     
  2. butters

    butters Well-Known Member

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    It was a short study. Far too short to make any conclusions but it does raise questions for possible further study. Longevity would be one of them.

    At one stage I worked in the aquarium industry commercially producing ornamental fish.
    Broodstock was grown quickly, kept at elevated temperatures year round and produced more progeny than those raised and treated in a more normal manner.
    They did not however live as long. In fact their lifespan was less than half that could be expected for that species kept at cooler
    conditions.

    Most Fish and reptiles are very different but are both ectotherms with metabolism a more similar than that of mammals. I've always wondered if similar trends would apply to reptiles.
     
  3. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    What do you mean, mrkos?

    Very true. Many keepers, particularly those that have recently come into the hobby are too concerned with maintaining a strict feeding routine. I feed my animals when I deem appropriate. There's no set number or time. Missing a feed never hurts, and new keepers should not worry about it. Perhaps replicating a "boom" and "bust" when it comes to feeding would be beneficial to captive reptiles, rather than just a steady adequate supply, or just plain overfeeding.

    EDIT: Difficulty with words.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Dec 10, 2017, Original Post Date: May 8, 2017 ---
    Just posting to do a followup in growth rate. I just acquired a three year old that's roughly 70 centimetres. Apparently it's been a poor feeder most of its life. It's smaller than my yearling which is roughly 90 centimetres. Interestingly, their heads are the same size but when it comes to length and width they're fairly different. Perhaps I've been feeding my yearling too much?

    Here's a picture of the three year old after a feed. Would like to add that I've had no problems feeding. In fact, at the mere whiff of a mouse it turned into a ravenous little monster. Thoughts?

    hatchlingaps.jpg
     
  4. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Well-Known Member

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    I've had similar slow feeders and found they generally catch up in size provided they start to feed enthusiastically young enough, I would up the food size to suit the 3 year old head and feed it as much as it will eat for the next 12 mths. You say it is ravenous with mice, how about rats? The head tends to develop in proportion to age with undersized snakes like yours, power fed snakes become pinheads with a big body but age proportionate head, probably related to calcium take up rate.
     
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  5. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    Not sure how it will go with rats as I don't breed them. I should have some suitably sized quail soon. The photo was taken after feeding on a weaner, to be clear. He/she's now looking like a beached whale after having an adult mouse shortly after it was evident it was still hungry. At the first scent of mouse it was striking at everything and anything that moved, my hands, the lid of the tub being removed, etc. If I remember correctly according to the previous owner it was mostly force fed in the first two years. If it did happen to feed on its own it was on fuzzy mice apparently.

    Do power fed snakes' heads become larger once the majority of the growing's done, or do they remain "pinheads" for the rest of their lives?
     
  6. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Well-Known Member

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    The head will grow larger as the snake matures with age but usually stays proportionally smaller than normal with a pumped up body that has high fat %, power fed snakes tend to develop kidney and liver problems and die young.
     
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