Diamond hunger monster

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by LilithLeChat, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    I need advice about feeding my 16 month old Diamond.

    When she turned one year old, I started her on 80g weaner rats once a fortnight (previously XL mouse once a week). This worked well until about a month ago.
    Her last shed started just at the end of the feeding fortnight, so I didn’t feed her until she shed, so three weeks gap.
    After she ate, she didn’t “switch off” and has continued to stalk, and even snap at sudden movements. This was completely new behaviour from her, and as I assumed she’s still hungry from after the shed, I offered her two weaner mice rather than another rat, three days after the initial feed.

    Then a week after the first rat, I offered her another, as she was still stalking and looking for food.

    After she pooped and peed, I weighed and measured her and she’s 140cm/540g.
    That means one weaner rat is about 15% of her weight.
    Also, after she pooped/peed she snapped at white paper towel I was using to clean up inside her enclosure. I assume she mistook whiteness/movement for a rat.

    She appears to be constantly hungry, and comparing her last two shed skins, there seems to have been a growth spurt as well.

    Should I go back to feeding her weekly, one weaner rat? I’m not sure she could swallow an adult rat just yet.

    Being a Diamond, I’m keeping the daytime temperature in her enclosure at 27-29 in the warm zone to 22-24 in the cool zone. At night it goes down to room ambient temperature, which is around 20 degrees. I’m not planning on brumating her. Do I need to fiddle with the temperatures to suppress her constant hunger? Or is it normal at this time of the year for them to eat as much as possible?

    I feel that my calm, relaxed snake has been replaced by a hunger monster and I want to get rid of it!
     
  2. Abstractivity

    Abstractivity Not so new Member

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    Are you sure its a feeding response and not just defensive?
     
  3. danyjv

    danyjv Active Member

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    You didn’t mention if this behaviour is only when the snake is in its cage or even when hooked out( I recommend using a hook if a snake is acting like this)
    My diamond is always in hunt mode when it’s in the tank. Sound like the same behaviour to me. It’ll sit on its branch all night in strike position even when it’s all ready had a feed and it’s belly has a bulge in it. It even chases my hand shadow . They love food.
    You’d be surprised at the size food item your snake could eat. Next time feed it a big item and see if that satisfies it ....



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    Feeding response for sure. She is never defensive, and her body stance is the same as when I put a rat in her enclosure and she smells it - very focused and intense, reaching towards rather than coiling away from.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 7, 2019, Original Post Date: Jun 7, 2019 ---
    I don’t hook her out, I open the door and she comes to me if she wants to. If I need to take her out when she’s not in the mood to come out by herself, I just slide my hand under her and pick her up. Although last night I did have to hook her out after she struck at the paper towel, as she was still looking for food and alert to movement.

    I’ve never had issues with her being cage defensive and I normally clean with her being either mildly curious or climbing on my arm so I have to finish the job one-handed.

    Until now, after feeding she’d just explore around the enclosure to make sure she hasn’t missed the whole nest of rodents (where there is one, there must be others, right?) and at worst, still be in the stalking mode for next 24 hrs. This constant hunger is a new thing.

    As I still have several weaner rats left, should I feed small items weekly or large item fortnightly? What are pros and cons of each?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  5. Abstractivity

    Abstractivity Not so new Member

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    Always large Fortnightly longer time in between and longer time to digest. 16 months is well above old enough to go fortnightly. Feeding smaller means they are probably going to sleep more but it is also a waste on a older python .
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 7, 2019, Original Post Date: Jun 7, 2019 ---
    As for the feeding response are you going into the enclosure to handle her at night or day? Are you feeding her at night?
     
  6. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    No it's not normal for them to eat as much as possible at this time of the year. I'd suggest you lower the temp in the cool zone (as you put it) down to to between 16 and 20 deg C. How long do you have the light on for? It's quite possible that it is constantly in feed mode (again as you put it) because the overall temperature of the enclosure is too hot for it, which usually leads to them being over active and using up energy causing it to appear to be hungry. They don't need to be kept hot all the time and need the opportunity to get away from the heat to regulate their body temp. I see in the photo (in the enclosure thread) that you have a hide directly under the heat source. Does it have a refuge away from the heat where it can just coil up, chill out and cool down once it's reached it's preferred body temperature? Also, looking at the pics I was wondering what type and where your ventilation is? And, is that's your thermostat in the middle of the back wall?
     
  7. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    * The light is on between 7 am and 7 pm
    * When she wants to cool down, she moves under the ledge on the lowest level. Temps in that spot are 22-24 during the day and around 20 at night. I used to have a hide there as well, but she never used it, she seems to feel safe enough with just a ledge above her.
    * At the moment the thermostat is set at 20 degrees, so heat lamp only kicks in when the temperature drops below 20. UV lamp provides a bit of the heat during the day. I have 2 thermometers, one under the heat lamp and one under the ledge at the lowest level, plus I spot check with IR gun.
    * when I check her body temp with IR gun, it seems to be mostly at 27. I usually check it if it seems to me she’s been basking for too long.

    I am aware that having Diamonds too hot is bad for their health so I’m always checking the temperature to make sure it doesn’t go over 30, and if it does, I manually change the thermostat to lower temps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  8. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    I'm a bit confused. If the thermostat is set to kick in when the temp drops below 20, how does the cool spot remain between 22 and 24 (which by the way is way too hot for a cool refuge).

    Also what about the air vents?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  9. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    don't you set the thermostat at temps to turn off? - I.E you'd set it at 30 so temps never go above 30 (light cuts off once probe reads 30)
     
  10. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    I dont heat Diamonds for that length of time.....mine get 4-6hrs per day max (after year 1).
    Rest of the time at ambient.
    Heating for so long (although your temps aren't that high), and without the ability to thermoregulate appropriately can lead to problems down the track. I learnt the hard way with diamonds.
     
    Ian69 likes this.
  11. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    It does cut off but I think the sensor is in the wrong spot, so the basking spot it gets hotter than 30.

    She definitely had a growth spurt, start of May she weighed 450g and now she weighs 540g. Weaner rat now weighs around 15% of her weight, and and she’s used to being fed around 20-25% of her weight.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 7, 2019, Original Post Date: Jun 7, 2019 ---
    Is that the routine for brumation, or do you do it year-round?
     
  12. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    All year around.
    As a species I believe brumation is critical in diamonds though.
     
  13. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    At what age would you start brumating them?
     
  14. Abstractivity

    Abstractivity Not so new Member

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    Was going to add about starting brumation is also needed but everyone else did that for me. :) I started or rather stopped feeding my snakes as well as lowering the heating hours when they turned a year old
     
  15. Ian69

    Ian69 Not so new Member

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    My Diamond gets four and a half hours of heat a day normally, and gets two and a half hours a day during brumation. He is going well.
     
  16. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    After year one.
     

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