New owner - Children's python

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by Tom Richards, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. Tom Richards

    Tom Richards New Member

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    Hey guys,
    as the title suggests i'm new to owning a pet snake and so far I'm loving it. About 2 weeks ago I bought myself a T+ albino children's python and she must be around 4ish months old, as the first time she was fed was around the start of october (from what i've been told by the pet store I got her from). She's extremely placid and has not even attempted to strike or bite anyone. I was just wondering, however, how much I CAN be handling and feeding her. She seems to respond really well to handling from what i've gathered as she doesn't move very quickly or away from anyone and seems to just enjoy hanging out around my neck or ontop of my head or she just enjoys exploring and looking around. Truth be told the last couple of nights i've let her just sit on my headphones while i've played computer games for an hour or so and she doesn't seem to mind. I was wondering if this could potentially stress her out or harm her? I was also wondering if it would cause harm to feed her 2 fuzzys a week or even just one every 5 days rather than every 7. I want her to be as healthy as possible and to really enjoy herself or atleast as much as a snake possibly can. Thanks in advance :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  2. Mick666

    Mick666 Well-Known Member

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    I have friends who feed their hatchies up to get them big enough to breed in two years, I like to give them an extra year and let them grow a bit more naturally (which is probably still a bit young?). I just swapped a couple of hatchies for an albino girl to breed. The previous owners fed it way too much, so she's going on a diet.
     
  3. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    I'm the typical example of a big bad evil power feeder. I feed Antaresia every 3-4 days on average until they're about 6-8 months old and usually have them at adult size by a year. I don't think this does them any harm. Being overweight is definitely bad, and after around a year or whenever they're adult size you need to make sure not to overfeed them. I feed my youngsters far more than most people do and my adults a fair bit less (that's the actual bad bit, not the feeding of juveniles). As for handling, up to you. Yes, it can certainly cause problems but if she's still feeding and growing well it's probably completely fine.
     
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  4. Mick666

    Mick666 Well-Known Member

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    Just for the record, I'm not saying it's a good or bad thing to feed them up. I just like the idea of their growth rate being close to what it is in the wild. I probably still feed them a lot more than most free range snakes get.
     
  5. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Wild conditions are terrible, they're at the limit of what snakes are capable of surviving (the majority don't survive to see their first birthday). I don't at all see wild conditions as something to aspire to. In unusually good years where conditions are nice and feed is abundant, the snakes do better. Why not simulate the really good times rather than typical? Or better still, provide the best possible conditions rather than copying the harsh conditions of nature? Each to their own, but I'm capable of doing far better than nature so I'm not interested in trying to replicate it.
     
  6. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Well-Known Member

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    I agree with all that and feed my hatchlings very well for the first year or so but what about the theory that Australian snakes especially have evolved over millions of years to handle this feast/famine environment and feeding on very lean prey with almost no fat content. Can their kidneys, livers, cardio vascular systems etc cope with a constant high fat diet of cage bred rodents for years living in a very confined space with very little activity?
     
  7. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Cacti have evolved to be able to cope with harsh dry conditions. That means they're able to cope, to survive. When it rains they take advantage of it. If you want to keep a cactus happy (most species, you can play silly buggers with exceptions if you want to be obtuse) you should give it those happy conditions with plenty of water all the time. They can cope with the harsh conditions, but they don't want it. Snakes have evolved strategies to avoid predators and deal with parasites. This doesn't mean we need to give them predators and parasites. Snakes have evolved to deal with famine, but they don't benefit from it.

    The fat myth is just stupid. The short answer to your question is yes. The problem is overfeeding. There's nothing wrong with feeding them to allow them to reach their full potential, the only problem is feeding them too much. This is not about giving them too much fat, it is about giving them too much energy (calories). Snakes don't care if that's protein or fat. They're perfectly capable of eating protein and converting it to body fat anyway. If they are fat it's because they are eating too much. The myth that wild snakes eat 'almost no fat' is baseless. Go find a wild snake, cut it open, and you'll find that even quite skinny wild snakes are full of fat. You can do the same with frogs, fish or whatever other species you like. People seem more interested in blindly believing internet myths than taking a glimpse at reality.

    Captive snakes live far longer than wild snakes, and that even includes the fat ones in inappropriately small cages, so clearly, yes, their kidneys, livers, cardiovascular systems etc. cope perfectly fine on a diet of cage bred rodents. If kept at appropriate weights the stress on their systems is far less, and presumably there is no problem at all since it's scarcely if at all detectable in moderately overweight captive snakes (captive snakes typically are something between slightly overweight to horribly obese). The main problem with obesity in snakes relates to reproduction. We keep hearing these myths about fat rats killing snakes, and people are stupid enough to believe what they hear despite actual snakes living really long lives on this diet. I prefer to believe what reality tells me rather than what people say, but humans are naturally psychologically built to be the opposite and believe what people say in preference of what evidence tells them. As long as they are not overweight, or even if they're only somewhat overweight, there is no evidence of problems, just people making up stories.
     
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  8. Mick666

    Mick666 Well-Known Member

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    So, should i put my overweight girl on a diet? would the extra weight affect her reproductive process?
     
  9. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    If you have an overweight snake, then yes, it's definitely good to cut down on the feeding. Yes, an overweight snake will have reduced reproductive success.
     
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  10. Tom Richards

    Tom Richards New Member

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    But is a mouse every 5 days too much?
     
  11. Herptology

    Herptology Active Member

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    Try every 7-9 days
     
  12. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    I'd personally be feeding a four month old at least every 5 days. It's difficult to overfeed a 4 month old python. Just as important as the frequency is the size of the feed. Especially if you're using small meals, less than weekly feeding isn't enough to be ideal. I think the main reason people make this mistake is that they confuse appropriate feeding regimes for juveniles and adults, which are very different.
     
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  13. Krinchley

    Krinchley Not so new Member

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    My 3 month old is on hopper mice every 7 dys
     
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  14. Barry

    Barry Not so new Member

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    So you’re getting good advice here from experienced keepers. I’m not long into the hobby but I do keep children’s pythons. I’ll feed my hatchies every 4-5 days, unless they haven’t had a poo. I wait a day after said poo(generally they poo on the 2nd day, so it’s a moot point)They do most of their growing in the first year, so I go pretty hard early on, after the year mark I ease up , at this point they are eating larger food items ( slightly bigger than their widest point-guts)so 7 -14 days works for me. As for handling, I take mine out 10-20 minutes per day, but that’s up to the snakes, some just don’t want to be out at that time, so the play time gets cut short. If your snake looks happy in the earphones (ie not stressed) then I don’t see a problem with it at all. Good luck
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Apr 22, 2019, Original Post Date: Apr 22, 2019 ---
    P.s Tom, don’t generally handle any of my snakes after a feed for a day or so ( might gently push them of the paper towel I want to change)Doesn’t mean you can’t if you need to, probably be uncomfortable for the snake though.... probably get shat on too
     
  15. nick_75

    nick_75 Active Member

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    Just to add to this, I think it's important to keep the animals exercise in mind as well. It's important to keep young animals well fed but it's also important to keep them exercised as well. I monitor them daily and only feed after observing hunting behaviour over two days consecutively. If the animal is hunting, it's exercising. Rather than feeding them to the point where they don't need to move and are constantly digesting. Exercise in reptiles, like all vertebrates, helps over all health and aids many of the bodies systems.

    I apply this same method to feeding yearling and adult animals, with added time to the observation period depending on the individuals condition.
     
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