Stunted Murray Darling

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Isquared91, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Isquared91

    Isquared91 New Member

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    Hi guys, first time posting, just after some advice! I purchased a Murray Darling hatchling (hatched late Feb 2019) the breeder said he was a slow starter & was finally eating properly at 4 months old when we took him home in June.

    He was maybe 35-40cms long. After he came home, he refused to eat for 6 weeks. Finally got him to take a feed by leaving it in the tank, then moved up to him taking it off the tweezers. I was speaking to our local reptile expert & she suggested doubling his meals so last week he had his pinkie & we choochoo trained a second pinkie. This week he refused his feed.

    He hasn't shed, he hasn't grown, he hasn't lost condition. He's between 30-50cms shorter than our other snakes of the same age & I'm worried if he doesn't start growing soon he's going to become unwell!

    Any advice is appreciated! Picture for reference of current size.[​IMG]

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  2. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    have you tried anything larger? hes not even stretching his mouth to get that down

    pinkies offer very little in terms of nutrition compared to even the similarly sized fuzzies!

    Try giving some thing like a hopper or even a weaner and make sure its nice and warm (not hot, otherwise itll turn to mush on the insides) and dangle it in front of him
     
  3. Isquared91

    Isquared91 New Member

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    I've offered him velvet mice & he just won't take them.

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  4. Southernserpent

    Southernserpent Not so new Member

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    I wouldn't worry to much sounds like he is eating enough to survive. If you can get him onto something bigger that would be good but if he is eating something every now and then he will be OK.
     
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  5. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Well-Known Member

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    Seems strange he won't take larger mice, I feed my baby carpets fuzzies from their first meal, pinkies are not going to generate any growth and do not provide the nutrients he requires. What temperature are the mice when you offer them, are they wet or dry?
     
  6. Isquared91

    Isquared91 New Member

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    He will take them warmed wet or dry, he will take them room temperature. He just won't eat consistently or take anything bigger than a pinkie. His thermostat at his warmest basking point shuts off at 30°

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  7. Herptology

    Herptology Active Member

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    Bump it up to around 32-34
     
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  8. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Your snake actually looks okay and the size seems consistent for a critter of that age. In the wild young carpet pythons primarily live off small skinks and frogs and do not usually attempt to take on rodents until they have reached a size where they feel confident. As such they do not grow as quickly as those that are born and bred in captivity. A similar thing occurs when captive bred hatchlings are only provided with meals of pinkie mice. Like wild hatchlings, they simply don't grow as quickly as those that are provided a regular fulfilling diet from the start.

    Just like wild hatchlings feeding on lizards and frogs, pinkie mice provide enough nutrition for the little snake to survive until they gain confidence and are afforded the opportunity to attempt to take on something a little larger. I liken feeding pinkies to captive hatchlings as being similar to a human drinking a protein shake or eating a protein bar. There is enough nutrition to sustain them for a short period of time but it does not provide the same benefit or increase growth as does eating regular wholesome, healthy, nutritious meals.

    Now in saying that, pythons, being opportunistic feeders will take suitably sized rodents if the opportunity arises and hatchlings are quite capable of capturing and eating a full grown mouse. Where I live is alive with Carpets and the females often incubate their clutches in the scrub directly behind my house and in neighbouring backyard compost heaps and as such it's not unusual to come across hatchlings raiding my mice cages and helping themselves to a full grown adult mouse (or two). This has happened even when the breeding box contains a mother, or several mothers, with pinkies.

    So, your critter won't start to put on any measurable size until it progresses on to taking fuzzy, or better yet hopper, (or even better again, adult) mice. It will happen naturally as its appetite and need for a more nutrition increases. Feeding multiple pinkies in one meal won't be of any benefit or assist to increase its size in the short term as the stomach enzymes in the snake will just multiply to accommodate the digestion of the number of individual items fed at the one time. This action will cause each item to be digested at a consistent rapid rate with any excess vitamins, minerals, protein, etc being past through and out of its system without any benefit to the snake. Feeding the snake a single appropriate sized meal will aid slow digestion and as such the slow release of required nutrients for it to maintain good heath and improve growth. If you want to increase its growth try and get it onto more nutritious meals of fuzzies/hoppers/adult mice asap.
     
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