Why are hatchies hard to feed?

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by Tigerlily, May 17, 2014.

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  1. Tigerlily

    Tigerlily Active Member

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    Just curious, from an evolutionary stance why would a baby carpet python be so reluctant to feed? Doesn't not eating drastically reduce their chance of survival? Do pythons not eat small rodents in the wild? Are they afraid of their prey? And on a related note does anyone know what the survival rate is for a clutch of carpet pythons in the wild? Inquiring minds want to know.

    thank you :)
     
  2. In the wild hatchling pythons would usually start on prey items such as skinks, most wouldn't transition to mammalian prey until they gain some size.
     
  3. Snowman

    Snowman Guest

    And live prey. Sometimes it takes a little effort to get them eating dead rodents. It's not how they have evolved really I guess.
     
  4. longqi

    longqi Very Well-Known Member

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    most wild snakes are born to die fairly quickly
    nature needs less than 2 from each pairing to survive to adulthood to maintain the species
    this system worked well for millennia keeping the circles balanced

    but the pet trade is a different matter
    we want everything to live
    so animals that would have died now live
     
  5. DRoddy

    DRoddy New Member

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    They're reluctant because we're trying to feed them on our terms.....not theirs. Big difference.

    D
     
  6. Tigerlily

    Tigerlily Active Member

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    Thank you! I learned something different from each of the first 3 answers and it makes perfect sense. Curiosity sated!
     
  7. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    That's it in a nutshell. Instead of hatching into a natural environment where they can not only choose what microhabitat suits them (with associated temp, humidity, degree and type of cover) but also preferred prey items. Very few species would naturally start feeding on pinky mice. Most need to be tricked or even forced into eating them because we impose that on them.
     
  8. mikey_mike

    mikey_mike Active Member

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    Pythons are slow and vulnerable post feeding & hatchlings must look pretty tasty to a lot of predators. Would you feel comfortable dining on a 3 course meal served by Godzilla?
     
  9. Woma_Wild

    Woma_Wild Active Member

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    Makes sense.
    The same applies to incubation then.
     
  10. Ramy

    Ramy Active Member

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    Also, in the wild a hatchling wouldn't eat with a big great person looming over them. If a young python found it's way into a nest of baby mice, birds, etc there's no way it would stick around for a meal if there was a parent in there. And you don't want to get caught next to a predator when you haven't finished swallowing. Their fear of us is often a stronger instinct than their desire to eat.

    Also, out of the egg a hatchling can often survive quite a while without food. We often start prodding them in the face with dead mice before they're actually feeling hungry. It's very possible that a keeper's determination to feed a hatchling is actually making it more scared of them.
     
  11. hulloosenator

    hulloosenator Active Member

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    They are not hard to feed at all........ we are just impatient , inconsiderate and most of us dont understand how the little critters work. Thats all !
     
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