Feeding F/T

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by McCarthyFarms, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. McCarthyFarms

    McCarthyFarms New Member

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    Hey guys!

    I've had my little Jungle dude for about a month now. He's going great - eating well, he's shed, and he's actually pretty placid to handle.

    He's my first snake, and while I'm loving having him and also fairly confident he's going well considering he's eating fine and shedding, pooping etc, I do have a few questions just to make sure I'm doing the right thing by him!

    He was hatched December 2018, so he's 9 months old now. The breeder had been feeding him fuzzy rats (sometimes 1, sometimes 2 per feed) and tried him on hoppers a few times. They told me he'd be fine with hoppers, so that's what I've been feeding him. They leave a bit of a bulge but nothing enormous. Is that an okay feed size for a snake that age? I know his size is more of a guideline, but I'm just not sure how big is "too" big and would be detrimental to him.

    Also, feeding schedules? I received a chart with him that had all the dates of his feeds and sheds. He shed maybe a week after I got him home, and I fed him that same day on the breeder's advice. I'm trying to match what schedule they were feeding him on, but there's no real rhyme or reason to it. Some times the feeds were 5 days apart, others 10, others 7. Just not too sure what the best plan is.

    I have fed him twice so far, going on roughly every 7-10 days as he's on hopper rats now which are slightly bigger than what he's had previously. What's a rough guide as to how often to feed him?

    And the last (for now!) question I have is about defrosting rats. He's eating f/t, and I've been thawing them in a ziplock bag in a cup or bowl of hot water until they've fully thawed out. Just curious though, what is the concern (if any?) with defrosting the rat straight into warm/hot water? Is there any health concerns to the snake that way? I am purely buying ziplock bags for this purpose at the moment, so wanted to know if it were okay to go right into the water or best to continue with the ziplocks.

    Thanks guys! I'm loving having the little dude, and pretty stoked with him. Still waiting for that first inevitable bite, but he has been super cruisy so far and hasn't even struck out at me.
     
  2. Southernserpent

    Southernserpent Not so new Member

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    Sound like you are doing everything right pythons are very adaptable when it comes to feed size and feeding schedules. It pretty much comes down to feed him more often and bigger food items and he will grow faster feed less often and smaller food items and he will grow slower.
    I usually say a food item 20% of your animals weight but you can go either side of this safely. I defrost my rats straight I warm tap water with no problems and I think a lot of others do to I can't see a problem with it.
     
  3. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    Best feeding routine is no routine, I feed every 2-8weeks or longer, depending how I feel edit: in saying that, I fed all my little guys weekly till about a year old then started spacing it out slowly

    I just drop all my feeds in hot water in a sink now and dry them off before feeding
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
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  4. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Well-Known Member

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    In their natural habitat snakes are opportunistic feeders, when the food is there they feed, if no food is available they don't. This behaviour is also influenced by seasons and temperatures, when they are unable to maintain body temperature to the level required for digestion of prey they don't feed. They have evolved to live this way and a life in captivity with regulated temperatures and a regular diet may be detrimental to their long term health, especially if fed a diet of extra large fatty rodents. There are exceptions with some island and isolated populations dining on a single food source but generally they probably have a varied diet of different sized prey, a large carpet python may occasionally consume a possum or bandicoot but it will also feed on small rodents and birds. Some species are predominately reptile eaters but one thing is obvious, the prey they all feed on are lean with very low fat content compared with the big fat rats that seem to be the preferred food for captive pythons. Personally I feed my hatchlings fuzzy mice once every week to 10 days and keep them on mice up to 40gm adult size then weaner rats, my large pythons are fed at irregular intervals with 250gm rats and I often include an adult mouse or 2 as a snack. I sometimes feed fresh killed if I have just gassed a batch but usually thawed in hot water, often rats and mice together. All my rodents are grown in large tubs with difficult to access food to encourage active behaviour and keep them as lean as possible.
     
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