Hatchling first feed tips?

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Herptology, Mar 10, 2020.

  1. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    hi guys all my snakes shed over the weekend

    I tried feeding them fuzzy mice last night but none of them seemed interested, some would bite, let go, flee

    Some would bite, constrict, then 2 minutes later, let go and have no interest

    I have a feeling it might be the supplier as I tried to brain one of them and instead of blood, some puss looking liquid came out when I gave it a light squeeze, like a whitey yellow colour, is that normal? It was around the middle of the eyes

    When should I try again? What should I be doing? Do I keep trying untill they take itor give them a few tries then try another day?

    I was up from 10-1 last night and not one ate

    The mice were either lukewarm or slightly warmer after sitting in hot water most the day
     
  2. mrkos

    mrkos Well-Known Member

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    Try defrosting a baby quail and rubbing it over your fuzzy mice it worked on nearly all of mine except 1 which I used a frozen skink even put a few feathers on the mouses nose
     
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  3. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Haha, welcome to the world of getting hatchlings started!

    You do get better and faster at it. I remember my first clutch, spending hours per snake. These days I do 100 hatchlings in a fraction of the time it took me to do my single first clutch.

    Sounds like you squeezed brain out of the mouse. Difficult to be sure without seeing it.

    Trying to feed them a day after their first slough is a waste of time. You might get one or two to eat, but what you've seen is normal. If for some reason I do try within a week of their first slough I just wave it in front of them to see if there are any super keen ones. You're at the stage where they probably won't eat and don't have to eat, so persistence at this point will just piss them off and be counterproductive.

    With experience you'll recognise within a few seconds which ones are worth putting time into and which ones will need force feeding etc. Gaining this experience takes many hours (hundreds of hands on hours working with hatchlings) or a very good teacher and probably still a lot of time unless you're a very quick learner (some people pick it up very quickly, others slowly, others just have no animal sense and can't learn it any more than I could become a graceful dancer). Back when I was learning there were no internet resources and everyone was still learning just like I was, so it was a hard slog.

    This was a clutch of bredli, right? These are one of the easiest things to ger started, so you're lucky in that way, they'll be good for training yourself.

    Try again in one week. Thaw one mouse, wave it in front of all of them, don't spend more than 1 minute or so per snake at this stage. If one eats, great, thaw another one, if not, try the next snake. Next week feed the best feeder last. Don't bother trying more than once per week. Don't bother working hard in them for a few weeks. Don't offer anything other than unscented thawed mice or rats at this stage.
     
  4. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Very Well-Known Member

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    Spot on @Sdaji, that's the best advice I've seen on the subject and mirrors my experience. Persistently shoving a mouse in their face is a turn off and can program them to dislike the mouse smell which is not a natural food for small hatchlings anyway. The only other thing I would add is especially with larger species like Bredli (or any carpets) start with fuzzy mice not pinkies and I note @Herptology you are doing that.
     
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  5. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Yep, good advice, choose a mouse/rat the right size. A small fuzzy mouse is usually about right for carpets. Don't go for pink mice, that's a common mistake.
     
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  6. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    Yep I’m using some nice super mice fuzzies

    In my eyes fuzzy mice would be more nutritious than pinky rats anyway

    ... and cheaper :p

    @Sdaji thanks for the tips and reassurance that this is normal.. I knew there would be some that won’t eat, but when they all didn’t want to eat, that threw me off a bit
     
  7. mrkos

    mrkos Well-Known Member

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    Disregard my advice because it only worked for me and all my hatchies have had at least 5 feeds now with the last two being offered and taken unscented. I agree with only trying once a week but I would spend a few more minutes on the tricky feeders if they are nosing the prey you know you are in with a shot
     
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  8. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    There comes a time when it's worth spending more than a minute or so with them, but not at this age. Before 2 weeks post slough I wouldn't try any more than about 30-60 seconds. After a month or so, sure, they're due to eat so it has to happen. These days I'd rarely spend more than about 10-15 minutes and generally no more than 5 or so, but most of that is due to experience. 20 years ago I'd sometimes spend literally hours and eventually get something to feed, but these days if it's possible to do, it's going to happen much faster, and even if it was going to take an hour or more, I wouldn't be spending that long when I have so many to get through, so they'll get a faster method.
     
  9. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    just curious when i do try feeding again in a week+ , are there any differences between how i should offer them compared to say snakes that are easily feeding by themselves,

    do i just dangle them infront of the snake holding mice by the tail? should i hold them by the scruff of neck so the mice are "flat" rather than dangling?

    i was just holding them in the air maybe 5cm or so from the snake slowly moving it closer / up or down the length of tubs for the snakes that were quite curious and tongue flicking
     
  10. CF Constrictor

    CF Constrictor Active Member

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    Hi Herptology
    When my carpets were little i used to offer them young rats warmed up to around normal body temp with 10 inch long tongs. I would dangle the rat about an inch or 2 in front there snout and wiggle it a bit . If they did not strike after a few seconds i would move the rat away from them. This usualy got them to strike , but if they didn't , i would just leave it in the enclosure with them for up to an hour, and if it still had not been eaten i would remove it and try again after a couple of days.
     
  11. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Hi Herpetology,

    Mate don't panic they can survive for quite a number of weeks depending on the amount of yolk reserve they maintain at the time of hatching. One thing I've found with hatchlings is that they won't starve themselves and as long as the set up is right and will take a feed when they are ready. I don't breed them any more and don't know what your set up looks like but when I did breed them I found through trial and error that I had great success in getting them to feed through keeping them in 8 litre plastic tub set up with a perch like the one in the photo over a heat mat. I found that they would display when they were starting to get hungry by perching on the piece of dowel with their head facing down in an ambush position. I'd leave them like that for a day or two before offering a fuzzy mouse by holding it with tweezers at the base of the tail and wiggling it along the bottom of the tub under where the snake was perched. Almost every time the snakes would take them straight up but if they didn't I would leave the fuzzy on the bottom of the tub overnight and it was usually gone in the morning. If the snake didn't take it I would remove the fuzzy and wait a week or two an try again as soon as I noticed it perched on the dowel again. If on the rare occasion that method failed I would put the snake in a light bulb box with a live pinkie mouse, close the box and place it back in the enclosure. I had great success with these methods and never had to resort force feeding.

    DSCN1514.JPG DSCN1512.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
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  12. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply mate

    [​IMG]


    This is my current setups for all the tubs, does it matter if trellis is over hot or cold end?

    I may move to lengthway dowel if I can find some around the house

    The hotspot has a small fluctuation from top to bottom of about 31-32.5°, not too sure why the top shelf is the coolest as all my other setups seem to be hotter ontop or in the middle (probes in middle at 32)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2020

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