Little piggy !!!

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by CF Constrictor, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. CF Constrictor

    CF Constrictor Active Member

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    Just an interesting observation, recently my 2 year old Bredli seems quite insatiable. He has always been a good feeder but lately has taken to assuming hunting position as soon as the lights go out and striking at me or any movement near his enclosure. He has never done this before , neither did my other 2 . I tried feeding him more often on small adult rats but 2 nights later , he's back looking for more. If i open the lid and get him out he's fine , dose not try to bite at all. I cant give him more , or he might go "pop" . Guess he's either fattening up for winter or just a little piggy.
     
  2. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Small adult rats are small meals for a 2 year old bredli. I'd usually have them on something that size at about a year old, and by two years I'd be feeding them about 400g per meal (I'm not sure what size your 'small adult rats' are but most sellers use rats around 120-150g for that size). Snakes that hungry are usually not overfed. If you post a picture it'll probably be easy to see.
     
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  3. ralazal

    ralazal Not so new Member

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    I have a 18 month old bredli, and that pretty much describes his behavior each night except he doesn't strike out. He just reaches out to the glass if I hang around for more than a few seconds. He would eat every day if I let him, lol.

    Interesting, the info I have seen is that small adult rats are normally sold about half that size(or a bit over). Up until now I've just gone by girth size of snake and got something slightly bigger, but I think I'll go and get some kitchen scales and start weighing my mice/rats.
     
  4. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    every one has different sized "groups" for example the 60g~ small rats you see, might be considered weaners to sdaji

    here are the sizes i get:
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. ralazal

    ralazal Not so new Member

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    Fair enough, wasn't trying to argue. Sdaji probably meant "these are the sizes that I get" rather than "most sellers use rats around 120-150g for that size"
     
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  6. CF Constrictor

    CF Constrictor Active Member

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    As for rat size , what ive seen advertised as large rats , others advertise as medium. So its a bit confusing. He is only around 3.5 feet long and about 2 x as thick as my thumb at the moment , he was the last of his clutch to be sold and probably the smallest ( runt if you will ) but a beautiful snake just the same.
     
  7. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Half that size would be at the upper end of what people call weaners, and certainly much smaller than a 2 year old bredli should be eating if it's being grown at a decent rate.

    I'm not good at judging snake weight visually, but after years in the business of commercial rodent production I'm good at looking at a rat and estimating its weight. As a snake keeper it's important to be good at looking at a snake and estimating the size of an appropriate feed, and being able to look at a snake and knowing if it's on target, underweight or overweight.

    You do get some particularly piggy snakes but usually if they're desperately trying to eat, even through glass etc, they should be fed more.
     
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  8. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Hi Constrictor,

    Mate as Sdaji has alluded feeding small rats a 2 year old Carpet such as yours won't provide enough nutrition to fuel it's body sufficiently over a long period. I'd liken it to providing it with a protein bar rather than a good healthy meal. So, without going into too much detail what's happening when you're feeding your snake a small rat is that your snake gets short bursts of energy which basically gets used up quickly due to the increase in metabolic costs to digest the food item and as such the snake is constantly hungry and does not benefit in the long term.

    Pythons being a "sit and wait strategist" are designed to fast for long periods of time and then catch and consume a suitably sized prey item (often close or equal to their own body weight) which they digest over a period of between one and two weeks to fuel and grow their body. While a python is fasting it's digestive system is small and as such it's metabolic costs are low however; a day or so after feeding, the digestive system along with the heart and liver increases in size as does the production of intestinal enzymes. All this comes at a cost to the snake whereby it must utilize it's stored energy to assist with digestion before it can absorb nutrients from the prey. So if a prey item is too small then all that is happening is that the food item is only replacing the nutrients lost as energy to digest the prey. This is also a common occurrence when people feed their hatchling Morelia spilota pinky mice and then wonder why their snake is always trying to bite them.

    Pythons are capable of expanding the girth of their body to up to 6 times their normal diameter to accommodate large food items and a three and a half foot Carpet will have no trouble what so ever eating a large rat between 240 and 400 grams. In fact, because a python's metabolism is designed to operate as described above you should find that your python's overall long term general health would benefit greatly feeding it a large meal every month rather than smaller meals more regularly.

    Hope this helps,
    Regards,

    George.
     
  9. Lurker

    Lurker Not so new Member

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    Hmmmm......

    My adult male and female Bredlis are housed together and through the warmer months, those two will eat large rats every day all day if you let them. Then when they’re full, they’ll simply murder more rats for fun.
    On the other hand, my two year old diamond is the most finicky eater and she’ll pick and choose between young rats and adult mice, eating only when she’s hungry and she will not ever overeat. She’ll cuddle up to prey if she isn’t hungry and I can only feed her when she wants food, never on a set routine; sometimes it’s twice a week, other times it’s up to four weeks.

    So, over the past month or so I’ve been wintering them all with reduced temperatures and daylight hours and as an aside I’m hoping that my Bredlis will breed this season. All snakes have been happy to go off their food and curl up through the day, coming out to get about at night but without cruising looking for food; they seem content enough so I like to think I’ve got it right with them and if I haven’t then they’ll let me know. Each year they’ve all just wintered down without food and brumated and they’ve seemed as natural as I can imagine they’d be in the wild.

    Now....just this past couple of weeks they’ve been on the move looking for food and so I’ve fed the Bredlis a large rat each and they’ve been happy to bask during the day as they digest them. The diamond though, guttsed in x3 weaner rats one after the other and that’s pretty unusual for her, and all snakes have been in constant ambush mode at night now during this past week. With nighttime temps down I’m pretty reluctant to feed them so much though. I’m just curious as to why things are different this year, at this time of the year.
     
  10. ralazal

    ralazal Not so new Member

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    I'm not going to dispute what a particular snake should be eating. It's hard to say without seeing the snake. You said: "Half that size would be at the upper end of what people call weaners" it depends on the supplier I guess. The point I was making is that a "small adult rat" is generally sold at 60-100ish grams from what I have seen across different sites/breeders. Weaners, in my experience have been generally in the 30-60g range. Your supplier(s) may have different specs that they sell at.

    The only other point I would make is that the striking behaviour may not be about food. Again it's hard to know without having seen the set-up and knowing about any changes, but there is a chance that it may be stress as well.
     
  11. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    I've spent many years in the business of farming and selling rats, I've worked alongside other producers and sellers, and I've dealt with many people in the business along the way. Some suppliers do have strange labels, but most don't go directly from weaner to adult; generally there's 'small' after weaner, then medium, then large/adult and so on. As you say, most 'weaners' go up to 60g (some sellers vary, most including myself set the upper limit of weaner at 60g). It makes no sense to say a rat is suckling from its mother at 59 grams and is an adult the next day at 61 grams, so it's not surprising that most people wouldn't use such silly labelling. You may know suppliers who do, but it's not the norm.

    It's perfectly clear and obvious for multiple that this snake is extremely hungry and desperately trying to eat. The behaviour clearly indicates it, the feeding regime clearly indicates it, there's no need to confuse an inexperienced keeper with misleading information.
     
  12. ralazal

    ralazal Not so new Member

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    I'll leave the labelling discussion, it's not important.

    As to your last statement, you may be right about the striking behaviour being hunger. I didn't say you weren't. I merely suggested it may be stress related based on the fact that the snake is "striking at me or any movement near his enclosure." So your saying the snake is definitely hungry or starving to the point of attacking an adult human for food? Yeah maybe. I think there may be something else going on, but since you're so sure... carry on.

    Even if you are feeding a snake that is twice the thickness of your thumb and 3.5 feet long that size food once every week or so, I have my doubts about the snake behaving that way due to it being desperately hungry, just my humble opinion.
     
  13. CF Constrictor

    CF Constrictor Active Member

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    Thanks for all the input everyone. I generaly ignore labels and aim for prey aproximately 1.5 to 2 times the snakes girth sometimes smaller if nothing bigger available. My other 2 were on medium rabbits at 2 years old acording to my records. I think i have a pretty good idea what size prey is apropriate, 1 of my others tried to eat a large quail that my big boy refused several years ago. I was unsure if that particular snake would be able to get it down . He managed to get its head and neck , but couldnt quite stretch his mouth enough. I watched him drag it round his enclosure for about 45 min before giving up. However i will try a bigger rat next feed.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 21, 2020, Original Post Date: Jun 21, 2020 ---
    The breeder told me she had a bit of trouble getting him to eat initialy , he is sure making up for it now though ! He also seems quite fond of chicken wings so ill take him down to KFC tomorrow :)
     
  14. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Original or spicy?
     
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  15. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Given all the circumstances it is overwhelmingly likely that the reaction is due to hunger. It is true that snakes can suddenly become keen to bite people for reasons other than hunger due to injury etc, but in these cases the snakes generally refuse to feed or are very reluctant, but in this case the snake is extremely hungry, does feed keenly and wants to eat more. It is sitting in ambush pose on cue every evening, which a highly stressed snake will never do. This completely rules out what you think is going on. It's fine to have a humble opinion, but in this case it's incorrect.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 21, 2020, Original Post Date: Jun 21, 2020 ---
    Many snakes have trouble eating birds. I used to feed pigeons to my Carpet Pythons, and I found it interesting that even some snakes which would have no trouble eating prey items over 1kg would sometimes be unable to eat a 100g pigeon. It's not that they can't stretch their mouth wide enough, it's the awkward shape of the pectoral girdle of a bird. Quails and chickens have particularly awkward shapes. Their head and neck are long and narrow, giving little purchase for pulling the rest of the body into the mouth, and the wings poke out at a shape which don't cause the snake to try to expand the mouth or assist in doing so, unlike a more streamlined body shape like that of a rat, possum, etc.
     
  16. ralazal

    ralazal Not so new Member

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    You are making a lot of assumptions. The circumstances that have been described so far are not conclusive enough to make that sort of judgement. Firstly, how many food items are fed to the snake? How often is the snake fed these food items? We really only know what the rough size of the food item is, and even that hasn't been spelled out. For example, I know someone who has a carpet python a little under 3 metres long that absolutely refuses to eat a rat, so he feeds her plenty of mice and if I'm honest she looks a little on the fat side even if he doesn't agree.

    I put forward the possibility of stress being a factor. It's possible, despite your rather absolute, less than humble opinion that it is 100% incorrect. I have seen plenty of defensive/stressed snakes that start to become snappy(especially smaller snakes) but still feed without any problem. Highly stressed? No. A little stressed. Possibly. And again, I wasn't saying food was not the issue, although reading the OP's last post I'm pretty sure he isn't as inexperienced as you have assumed, and he knows what size food item to feed the snake. Personally I think it is incorrect to assume the size of the feeder should be related to the age of the snake rather than the size of the girth, but again, just my opinion.

    And I'm happy to admit it may not be stress either, like I said not enough information. It could be a number of things. I was just trying to troubleshoot and help. I don't think it helps when you try to shoot down anyone who comes up with possibilities different to yours, especially when you are basing your opinions on assumptions and not facts.
     
  17. CF Constrictor

    CF Constrictor Active Member

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    Its hunger for sure , not stress. Last time it happened i had just eaten myself , so went sraight to the sink washed and dried my hands and openned the lid . He just looked up at me so i put my had in about 10 in front of his left eye , he tounge flicked it for about 5 seconds then looked me straight in the eyes and sat there as if to say " thats not a rat,,,come on were is it"?
     
  18. ralazal

    ralazal Not so new Member

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    Hopefully a full belly calms him down. Maybe he is just a demanding eater, lol.
     
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  19. CF Constrictor

    CF Constrictor Active Member

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    The snake that couldn't eat the quail was just a bit to small , he takes them , small chickens and large rabbits to for that matter no problems. I have read Bredli can get to 2.5 or 3 metres but this boy isn't going to be a giant by any means. He seems healthy and happy enough with no issues at all im aware of , and will be moving into a bigger home soon.
     
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  20. Lurker

    Lurker Not so new Member

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    Sounds very much as if you’re on the right track now, he’s hungry and maybe going through a bit of a growth spurt if they even do that. If he was stressed, he’d have struck at your hand time and again and taken off to hide if that didn’t deter you from sticking your hand in at him. Feed him up if he wants it.

    You’re getting to know your snake, as it ages. You’ll hear many different stories from people who’ve had many different experiences with snakes, and none of them are lying it’s just that each snake has its own personality in every given situation and environment. This is what keeps us keenly interested in the hobby.
     
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