Handling Advice

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by Nerdhero, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. Nerdhero

    Nerdhero Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    92
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Hey all

    My 11 month old diamond is settled and smashing everything i give him.

    I've handled him very sparingly so far with very mixed results. A few times have been excellent, he was keen to move around and explore. Other times he has coiled tightly around me hand and not moved, one occasion he thought my hand was food cause he started mouthing? Different spots trying to figure out how to eat me!

    Anyways ive been looking up vids and threads trying to establish some good techniques. Basically i have 2 problems. One is simply my confidence is shot, ive been bitten by him numerous times and am not scared of the pain more my reaction, i dont want to flinch and hurt him. The other big problem im having is getting him out of the enclosure. Its a 27L click clack with pretty steep sides so it always feels like im coming from above him which will stress him.

    I have bought a proper hook and have seen in videos people will rub their snake and this will bring them out of their strike pose. This doesnt really work for him, seems to agitate him. Twice now ive decided to get him out for handling but have ended up stopping as his body language remains unhappy.

    At no point has he not fed for me and he always smashes the food in about 10 seconds. Have put him on 2 fuzzies a week, will be going to weanies once fuzziez are run out.

    I know some people say only handle your snakes when necessary and im happy if thats what ive gotta do but i want to be able to weigh him every now and then/bathe him and just not have him stressed when i do need to get him out.
     
    richyboa72 likes this.
  2. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,774
    Likes Received:
    2,147
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Little and regular is the key.
    2-3 mins, 2 or 3 times a week. And try to make sure the experience doesn't involve anything that makes the animal more nervous.
    They are naturally afraid of anything that is potentially a predator, once it clicks that you are not going to hurt it then it will become less stressed and less defensive.

    Some of the behaviour you mention sounds like its still hungry. When you say you are feeding fuzzies/moving onto weaners are you talking about mice or rats?
     
    Bluetongue1 and pinefamily like this.
  3. Nerdhero

    Nerdhero Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    92
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    I'm reffering to mice, I've been wanting to weigh him for a bit now to help me gauge food sizes. I would say the fuzzies are a little smaller then the thickest part of his body. But its not like he is just inhaling them, it does take him 5 or so minutes to get it down.

    I haven't handled him in nearing two weeks now so I don't think its a frequency thing. As i mentioned twice I did go to handle him but ended up essentially rubbing the hook on him for a bit/letting him scent it then left him, are these interactions only serving to upset him? Or do they show him that when the hook is involved there will be no food.

    My other question for people with handling is time of day. The diamond is nocturnal so i've been feeding him at night, he is almost always got atleast his head if not his whole body outside of the hides of a night whereas i see him much less during the day (obviously). But it was suggested I try handle him outside of feeding hours so have tried during the day (the last 2 occasions where i failed to actually get him out) Is this okay to be disturbing him during his less active hours.

    Thanks for your advice as always Paul.
     
  4. Tarron

    Tarron Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2017
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    35
    Gender:
    Male
    Does the fuzzy mice leave a decent bump at the thickest part of the body? If not I would suggest moving up a size or 2. You can also try using a feeding tub so he knows when feeding time is and isn’t. This works with some snakes might work for yours.
     
    Bluetongue1 likes this.
  5. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2017
    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    647
    Gender:
    Male
    Dude it should be on fuzzy rats atleast. fuzzy mice are like 5g and I’m going to say your snake is like 100~g or maybe less because it’s so small.

    I’d recommend bumping him straight to rats as it also gets rid of the problem with some people not being able to transition from mice to rats.

    The ratio is 20% for regular speed growth and 40% for maximum.

    Edit: also pictures never hurt ;)
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Dec 18, 2017, Original Post Date: Dec 18, 2017 ---
    I handle first thing in morning, 48hours after feeding. Around 10~

    To weigh him, find the weight of the tub online, take everything out besides the snake and weigh them both.

    I think others will agree that seperate tub feeding is 99% a waste of time unless you are housing 2 snakes together, which you shouldn’t be doing unless they are breeding :p
     
    Foozil likes this.
  6. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,774
    Likes Received:
    2,147
    Location:
    Melbourne
    An 11 month old Diamond needs bigger food mate, I think your animal is just hungry hence its strong food response.
    Feed it 3 or 4 of the mice you still have until you run out then try to get him on fuzzy rats.
     
  7. Tarron

    Tarron Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2017
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    35
    Gender:
    Male
    I think others will agree that seperate tub feeding is 99% a waste of time unless you are housing 2 snakes together, which you shouldn’t be doing unless they are breeding :p[/QUOTE]

    Yeh maybe but it does work with some snakes.
     
  8. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2017
    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    647
    Gender:
    Male
    Now would be a good time to explain how to feed multiple food items in one session, I see people stitch them together with some sort of string that dissolves. I’ve seen people just give it to them after they swallow one/ straight after its past their mouth.

    I only say this because I personally don’t know and I feel others don’t know. There is some fear of regurging, because it’s been pummeled to feed then then leave them alone etc
     
  9. Wally

    Wally Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,611
    Likes Received:
    706
    Location:
    Earth
    Sound advice.

    Feeding smaller multiple prey items is also something not often discussed. It's something I know I've mentioned on here several times. Certainly nothing wrong with it.
     
  10. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,774
    Likes Received:
    2,147
    Location:
    Melbourne
    How ever you feed one just offer a 2nd, then a 3rd.
    There is no special requirement. Most of my animals will happily take food from tongs, hand (If you are brave enough lol) or from the floor of their cage. I might feed them the 1st from tongs then leave the 2nd in their enclosure for them to hunt.
     
  11. Scutellatus

    Scutellatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Messages:
    899
    Likes Received:
    1,080
    Gender:
    Male
    That string that dissolves is nothing but cotton thread that won't actually dissolve it just passes through the snake.
    As Paul said there is no trick to it. Just offer another mouse after it has finished the previous one. It doesn't have to be immediately after, there can be a break in between.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Dec 18, 2017, Original Post Date: Dec 18, 2017 ---
    If anything it would be a more natural way to feed.
     
  12. Wally

    Wally Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,611
    Likes Received:
    706
    Location:
    Earth
    Well that may be open to further debate. In a captive environment though it is certainly an option.
     
  13. Nerdhero

    Nerdhero Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    92
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Thanks everyone, i did weigh the fuzzies before i fed him and as guessed they are about 5g each. I would estimate he is around 100-130g. They did leave a bump in him also. That 20% of body weight for feed surprised me. I read elsewhere that 15% was plenty but the conflicting info is why im always tryna learn more.

    On a notw for multiple items...i just gave him 5 minutes between mice, he still struck and wrapped it.

    Anyways ill be getting fuzzy rats tomorrow as suggested for his wednesday feed. I have plans to get a hatchling childrens some time early next year so the fuzzies could go it...how long would they be ok for in the freezer? Nearly indefinetly i would assume.

    Thanks all for the constructive comments. Next handling ill try get better photos!!
     
    pinefamily and Bl69aze like this.
  14. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,774
    Likes Received:
    2,147
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I buy food in bulk and try to get away with one trip per season. This means that the food could be in the freezer for around 6 months. Food such as pinkies will suffer freezer burn as there is no hair to protect the skin but it will be fine to use for several months at least though I wouldn't suggest indefinitely.
     
    Yellowtail and pinefamily like this.
  15. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,847
    Likes Received:
    1,980
    Location:
    Mid North SA
    @Bl69aze, as others have said, you can feed one smaller food item after another. You can even do it with larger items. Reptiles have what is called a food response, and will happily take food in this state. Once this wears off, they go into a "digestive" state, and will be more likely to refuse anything offered, especially if initially fed enough.
     
  16. Nerdhero

    Nerdhero Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    92
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Excellent i think 6 months would be plenty
     
  17. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Messages:
    558
    Likes Received:
    614
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perth
    There is no set amount that you must feed your python! Snakes, like fish, are opportunistic feeders and will eat what they can when it’s on offer, because in nature they do not know when their next meal might happen. As a result, like fish, snakes can seem to be always hungry. An investigation, using Spotted Pythons, found that if allowed to feed to refusal every two weeks, they would, on average, consume 33% of their body weight at a meal. (Note that large pythons in nature will sometimes consume food items way in excess of this, but there are reasons for that, so don’t think of that as ‘normal’).

    Food intake determines growth rate. In their first year, pythons try to grow rapidly to get to sufficient size to avoid staying vulnerable to the majority of their predators. At about one metre’s length and in excess of 100g, they are considerably less in danger and so tend to slow down the eating and growth rate a bit and concentrate more on other things.

    Pythons will consistently grow and remain healthy eating meals varying from 5% to 25% of their body weight every two weeks or so. Snakes go into ‘digestive mode’ following a feed, so it is therefore recommended that enough be given at one feed to make it worth their while, without locking them into digestive mode for too long. Therefore an appropriate sized meal for your python would be anything between 10% and 20% of their body weight (at about two weekly intervals). It is common to feed this as one item simply because of convenience, especially if you have a whole collection to feed. Providing a number of small items of an equivalent mass is not unhealthy. In fact, they will be digested sooner (and often more fully) and provide more roughage to stimulate passage of faeces through the gut. This difference is not critical, just mentioned because it has some advantages.

    How fast you want to see your python grow is up to you. Growth is determined by food intake (= amt x frequency). A ‘healthy’ growth rate is considered to be reflected by sloughing every 6 to 12 weeks as a sub-adult to adult (so long as there is nothing else affecting sloughing rate). What is important is that the feeding regime maintains good body condition on the snake with no signs of obesity,
     
  18. Nerdhero

    Nerdhero Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    92
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Excellent info there. So I would take from this that there isnt anything wrong with a strong food response particularly while he is trying to get up to the 1m mark (i guess he is around 70-80cm)

    What are the signs of an obese snake? And do they vary depending on species? I always thought royal pythons looked quite chunky when compared to carpets. I recall reading that diamonds remained particularly *lanky* due to being semi aboreal.

    Really enjoying these discussions
     
  19. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2017
    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    647
    Gender:
    Male
    A sign of an obese snake is you can’t make out their “spine” lump, aswell as you can see skin between their scales.
     
    Nerdhero likes this.
  20. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,633
    Likes Received:
    1,080
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QLD
    I'm offended... LOL Did you see the news last night?? A ridiculous story about how we can no-longer use the words "fat" or "obese" I believe the correct terminology is "above average healthy weight." Oh how the mighty have fallen.. The nation is fast becoming a country of over sensitive idiots.
    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/he...e/news-story/d3105a9d76ca65821722d769f415ec2b
     
    cagey likes this.

Share This Page