Newbie Feeder

Discussion in 'Newbies forum' started by Matt and Suz, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. Matt and Suz

    Matt and Suz Not so new Member

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    Wow what a post lol. Well now I am unsure what to do. I had a plan to leave the little one for a few days and try again but I have no way to know if I am doing it right or to learm new techniques.

    I would have happily taken the python back to the breeder to feed but he hasn't replied to my last message so I don't think he is interested.

    I have tried a lot of different things with the tongs and I have wasted about 8 pinkies now. This doesnt really bother me but I just want it to eat. Unfortunately without your knowledge I will just have to keep trying.

    I have spaced the tub up off the heat matt so i will see what temps it sits at now and I will be picking up the thermostat today.

    Thanks very much for your advice.

    Cheers, Matt
     
  2. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for the supportive comments Sdaji. I agree with you totally on the feed asap suggestion, for the very same reasons you put forward. Very young snakes are itinerant by nature (larger, older pythons can be pretty sedentary if they find a place with suitable shelter and enough food), so I don't believe there is any major stress involved in introducing them to a new home, and as long as the husbandry parameters are good, offering food within a few hours is a good idea. I'm sure it helps to settle them in. (I received a 3 month old GTP from a friend a couple of weeks ago - these are supposed to be notoriously sensitive to change - and it took a pinky without hesitation the first evening). Most snakes encounter constantly changing landscapes in their lives, so a change from one enclosure to another (assuming enclosure size, location, shelter and temperature are suitable) will not normally send it into shock.

    With regard to the temperature fluctuations, I should have made my comment a bit clearer... for reasons of safety and economy, I usually use the lowest wattage possible to get the desired heat during the day - say 32 floor temp for a Carpet or around 29 air temp for my GTPs. The wattage that gives me the desired temp during the day usually won't maintain 32C 24/7, but might allow a drop of about 5C at night, in the house, on a cool night. This is still quite enough to maintain nocturnal activity (around 27C) in baby snakes, and they will all feed at that temp. My GTPs drop to around 24 even in summer (lower in winter - day/night thermostat), and at that temp they are still highly active (as active as these things ever are...) and will smash food when offered. I wasn't suggesting that the heat source be turned off, just that if it doesn't quite maintain an even temp 24/7, then no harm is likely to be done.

    It's only my theory, but I believe that along with habitually overfeeding our snakes (especially adults), we probably tend to keep them too warm for too long especially in the long term. Feeding hatchies regularly is a good idea to get them over the delicate stage asap, but after 18 months/2 years, I tend to feed randomly - maybe a week or two apart then a five - six week gap, or whenever I think of it. It does them no harm, and they maintain a good degree of vigour, especially for the first feed in 5 or 6 weeks ;). Tongs/forceps are definitely recommended then!

    Jamie
     
  3. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    Going from personal experience here, I've had a few carpet pythons eat within an hour of taking them home and releasing them into their new enclosures, two of which were apparently problem feeders, one being sustained on Herpaboost, and another mostly forced-fed for the first year of its life. Often, they would've had a very "stressful" day sitting in the car and then having a 5 hour+ drive home. Not to mention I don't wait 1-2 weeks before handling my critters. I handle them whenever it suits me. I tend to take new acquisitions out the very next day for photo-shoots. But each snake's an individual and will respond accordingly. What may work for you may not work for me and vice versa. There's no strict rules.

    On the whole, however, I think we tend to coddle our reptiles too much. They're tougher than most would think.
     
  4. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hi Matt, you've received a lot of good advice here, and it can be a bit confusing. Try not to overthink it. Just get the temps as close to those recommended here, the shelters organised, and things should be fine. As mentioned, it won't hurt your animal to go without food for quite a while, but I know it can make a new keeper anxious - I have to admit, after 50 odd years, I still get a kick out of seeing the first meal taken. backing off for a few days might be good for you too. Do see if you can get larger fuzzy or very small weaner mice to offer - I have always had far greater success with those than with pink mice. I'm sure we can get the show on the road for you. As long as the breeder was telling the truth about it having been fed in the first place.

    Jamie
     
  5. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    When I got my new stimmy, I picked it up on a Wednesday arv about 4:30pm. 6pm the following night I offered it a feed and it smashed it. Hasn't missed a feed since. I've no doubt my spotted would have been exactly the same except unknown to me when I first acquired it, it was in shed so it turned down my food offerings for a couple of weeks. Once it shed I was like "ah makes sense now" smashed the next food offering and hasn't missed a feed since.

    It's just a matter of learning certain things, snakes are very readable once you understand their language and keeping becomes a stress free breeze. :)
     
  6. Matt and Suz

    Matt and Suz Not so new Member

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    I am very grateful for each and every one of you for taking the time out to reply to my post. At the end of the day I just want the best for my little buddy.

    I hooked up the thermostat today so hopefully this will help with the temps. I have a towel over the enclosure and he/she was out all day yesterday perched on a branch I have in there. Back in a hide today.

    I did try to get a slightly bigger mouse but there wasn’t much at the shop yesterday. I was lucky to get the last 10pack of pinkies.

    I really am looking forward to enjoying this experience and I am even considering getting a yearling. I have another enclosure that I am thinking about making.

    Thanks again everyone. I will keep you all posted.

    Matt
     
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  7. Tobe404

    Tobe404 Well-Known Member

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    You could try soaking a Mouse in beef or chicken stock, can of tuna, egg yolk. I have had some success in getting my problem feeder Murray Darling to take food after soaking the prey item in those. Having said that it could all just be coincidence too.

    I did chuck a live small Mouse in the problem feeder Murray Darlings enclosure as a once off... Just to see how he reacted. He took it straight away, constricted and got it down no problem.
    So it seems like he's the sort of Python that I have to get excited / pissed off (which ever way you want to look at it) enough to make him want to eat the food item. He very rarely takes an item if it's just laying in his enclosure.

    The bigger, non-problem feeder, Murray Darling usually takes the food item no problem. I just lay it in her enclosure and she eventually gets around to it within the night. Only time she really refuses is if she's coming up for a shed.

    I also have a Woma that has yet to refuse a feed. Ever. Just lay it in the enclosure on the tile and it's gone within minutes.

    All Pythons are kept in identical conditions.

    This is just my experience. Hope it helps in some way.
     
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  8. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm always careful to make feeding as easy as possible. At this point in time there is no urgency with regard to feeding, so trying a range of options as suggested above is not necessary and may end up creating more complications than it solves. Trying relentlessly to feed a reluctant snake may indeed set up a negative association with the feeding process for both the keeper and the kept. For all we know the snake may be coming up to shed, but even if not, best to leave it for a few days and then try again in the evening when things are quiet. I use tongs which are at least 20cm long.

    Jamie
     
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  9. Snapped

    Snapped Subscriber Subscriber

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    Where are you located? There might be one of the forum members close by who would be willing to come and show you a few things?

    Failing that, here's a good video of feeding.

    Have you got enough ventilation, hides in both the cool and hot end? Something to climb on?
    I found that empty toilet rolls, and things like empty Panadol packets, or different medication packets were great and you throw them out once soiled, right up to things like the packet/box the tea bags come in. Hides need to be the right size, pythons like to coil up in small spaces, having hides too big makes the snake feel insecure.

    I placed my heat mat between two ceramic tiles, and used (don't laugh) a couple of lego blocks in between the tiles to create a gap. Then placed the tub on one third of the heat mat, thermostat probe and thermometer probe in the warm end under the paper towelling, so it sat on the bottom of the tub (I made holes for this using a soldering iron, but not big enough for the snake to get out of). Water bowl down the cool end.

    I googled and asked and searched on here to make sure I had it right. For newbies to the hobby, questions are good, better to get the right advice so you have a healthy snake.

    Here's a good video on handling as well, once you've got him feeding.

    I don't handle them for 48 hours after feeding, some people do it a day after, it's just so the snake can digest it's meal in peace.

    And this is a good video on how to make/set up a click clack, just to see if yours is okay, in case you were wondering.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Mar 2, 2018, Original Post Date: Mar 2, 2018 ---
    Whoops, was supposed to put the links in, not the entire video.
     
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  10. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Great advice and vids Snapped. Only thing I don't do is dry the feed animal off - I just offer them warm & wet, and never had a problem. The feeding demo guy has obviously done it before! Note the size of the mice he is offering - concurs with what I have suggested. The other thing that I find very helpful is using a rack (I make my own) lids - just sliding the tub out is far less disruptive than removing a plastic lid, there's a 1-2mm gap between the tub top and the shelf above it.

    Sorry for the poor photo.
    20180302_104130.jpg so the tubs don't need
     
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  11. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    The best tip I took from that video when first starting out with young hesitant pythons is tearing the skin on the nose of the fuzzie. Worked like a charm every time and I still do it to this day out of habit and because... it works.
     
  12. Matt and Suz

    Matt and Suz Not so new Member

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    Hi all,

    I have watched the feeding vid many times and I have tried to use some of those techniques. Most the time my little one loses interest before I do. I am beginning to think it has not eaten yet.

    I am feeling a little deflated this morning. I left a pinkie in over night again and it is still there this morning. I have the temps right and I have a towel over the enclosure and Buddy hasn’t been bothered since Tuesday except me putting the thermostat probe in the lid.

    I only have hides at the cool end of the tub so I will move one down to the warm end. I am going to get the pinkie out this morning and try with egg. I am going to head to the pet shop later and get some fuzzies to try if no luck.

    I am at Redland Bay, Brisbane Bayside. If there are any members in the area who would be willing to do that I would be forever grateful. I will happily compensate you for your time.

    I have a branch in the tub and he/she has spent the last couple of days perched up on it.

    Thanks guys
     
  13. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Did you wait until after dark to try and feed it??
     
  14. SpottedPythons

    SpottedPythons Well-Known Member

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    Try scenting it with different types of food item (eg. quail/poultry, shed skin of geckoes, etc.)?
     
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  15. Matt and Suz

    Matt and Suz Not so new Member

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    Yes I did. Waited for the kids to go to bed when it was quiet.

    I was up early this morning as well and it was nice and quiet this morning so I tried rubbing one in egg. Couldn't find any feathers so I thought I would try the egg. Not interested.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Mar 3, 2018, Original Post Date: Mar 3, 2018 ---
    I am surprised at the size of the fuzzies that guy in the YouTube vid was using. They are massive compared to the head of the snakes!
     
  16. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    They dislocate their jaws and can swallow items way bigger than their heads... You don't believe it until you actually see it.
    My little Stimmy here is on weaner mice...
    [​IMG]

    If I lived a bit closer I'd definitely come give you a hand.
     
  17. Matt and Suz

    Matt and Suz Not so new Member

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    All good mate. I will try the fuzzies and see what happens. Should I wait a couple of days again?

    Is there any tell-tale signs to look out for in regards to shedding? I know their eyes go cloudy but is there anything else to look out for?

    Thanks again
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Mar 3, 2018, Original Post Date: Mar 3, 2018 ---
    Beautiful looking python by the way.
     
  18. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    Here’s an idea of head size and food size. I think this would be near the max size you would want to feed

    40A33F7D-DA74-4815-85BD-4B3D164EA1FA.jpeg
     
  19. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Your snake wouldn't be out and about if it were in the middle of a shed cycle, it would be in hiding as it's a very uncomfortable time for them, they can become easily agitated and their vision is temporarily compromised. I'm leaning towards a presentation issue... How are you thawing/warming your feeder? Are you certain it's warm enough?? Pythons will be very reluctant to grab a cold rodent and if they do, they quickly let it go. Without seeing exactly what you do and how you go about the feeding attempts, it's difficult to give you pointers. You could be (inadvertently) provoking a defensive reaction rather than a feeding response just by your delivery method...
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Mar 3, 2018 ---
    Whole polar bear cub?? :p
     
  20. Matt and Suz

    Matt and Suz Not so new Member

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    So one fuzzy down with no luck. It didn’t help that my wife and kids decided to have a screaming match right when I was trying.

    Yes I am unsure if I am presenting it well but it literally looks at it and stares for a bit but then just turns away. I can hold it still or move it slightly but nothing. I am holding them the same as the YouTube vid and trying to get the attention of him/her without being too aggressive. It won’t even strike at it at all. I thawed this one out in warm/hot tap water for about 10min. I then pat a bit of water off and go from there. It doesn’t even try to go for my hand or anything. I have tried touching it with the mouse to see if it will get cranky but it just wants to get away from it. I will try again tomorrow night when everyone is in bed. It seams to be most active when the lights go out.

    I have just messaged a breeder close to me that was advertising on Gumtree but I don’t know if they would be willing to help.

    I don’t know what else I can do.

    Cheers guys, Matt
     

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