Children Python becoming snappy

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sezzy01

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Hi, We recently got our first pet snake, childrens python. We've had him for a few months now. They had him for about 3 years and got him from RSPCA as a juvi and they told us they power fed him at the beginning. When we got him they were feeding him once a week. When we went to our local store to buy him food we were told he was overweight and overfed due to the big tail difference with the skinny bit. We were told to feed him push his feeds out to once a month on mice. We have got to every 3 weeks and last few days since last feed he's becoming aggressive or anxious.

Any help and what we should be feeding him will be great please. So much mixed info and would love to know how to make him happy again. He's normally a very placid, docile snake. Please no judgement, as we've just tried to do what we were told and do whats best for him. There is another hide under the heat lamp side which he normally stays in and temp is generally about 29 - 30' degree in this cold weather on a timer. His enclosure is 600 x 900 x 400.

We will be giving him another mice tonight, I read somewhere 60 to 70g and hubby just weighed 3 in the pack and they were 60g combined. Seems we've been starving the poor thing.

Thank you :)
 

Sdaji

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Hi, We recently got our first pet snake, childrens python. We've had him for a few months now. They had him for about 3 years and got him from RSPCA as a juvi and they told us they power fed him at the beginning. When we got him they were feeding him once a week. When we went to our local store to buy him food we were told he was overweight and overfed due to the big tail difference with the skinny bit. We were told to feed him push his feeds out to once a month on mice. We have got to every 3 weeks and last few days since last feed he's becoming aggressive or anxious.

Any help and what we should be feeding him will be great please. So much mixed info and would love to know how to make him happy again. He's normally a very placid, docile snake. Please no judgement, as we've just tried to do what we were told and do whats best for him. There is another hide under the heat lamp side which he normally stays in and temp is generally about 29 - 30' degree in this cold weather on a timer. His enclosure is 600 x 900 x 400.

We will be giving him another mice tonight, I read somewhere 60 to 70g and hubby just weighed 3 in the pack and they were 60g combined. Seems we've been starving the poor thing.

Thank you :)

Feed a kid too much and they'll become fat and greedy. Switch that kid to a healthy diet and they're going to feel hungry and get cranky. In the case of the snake, he's probably not really cranky, just hungry, and that's driving him to try to kill you so he can eat you (contrary to what many snake enthusiasts say, they're not very intelligent).

You haven't described his biting behaviour so I have to guess, but if it's hunger, he'll try to bite you without putting on a threat display, and if he does manage to bite you he'll hold on and constrict. If he's 'anxious' he'll probably try to look scary, put on a threat display, likely hiss loudly, strike without especially trying to bite, and if he does bite he won't clamp down or hang on.

You haven't included pictures so I can only assume that you are correct about him being overweight, in which case you should be cruel to be kind and restrict the feed until his weight is healthier, and in the mean time he's probably going to try to bite you unless you want to put in a lot of training work which will involve you being bitten hard and constricted. I personally wouldn't bother or recommend it because I wouldn't want to spend the time, but if being bitten and constricted doesn't sound fun to you I would be even more inclined to recommend against it.

Alternatively you can do what most people would and just keep spoiling the snake and keeping it happy. Most fat people never change their habits, and the snake may stay hungry and ferocious forever if kept healthy - in snake years, being heavily fed for three years is a bit like raising a child on whatever they want to eat until they're a fat young adult. That's the entirety of the formative years both physiologically and psychologically, so it won't be fun to try to combat what the individual has grown to become. Your snake your choice.
 

sezzy01

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Feed a kid too much and they'll become fat and greedy. Switch that kid to a healthy diet and they're going to feel hungry and get cranky. In the case of the snake, he's probably not really cranky, just hungry, and that's driving him to try to kill you so he can eat you (contrary to what many snake enthusiasts say, they're not very intelligent).

You haven't described his biting behaviour so I have to guess, but if it's hunger, he'll try to bite you without putting on a threat display, and if he does manage to bite you he'll hold on and constrict. If he's 'anxious' he'll probably try to look scary, put on a threat display, likely hiss loudly, strike without especially trying to bite, and if he does bite he won't clamp down or hang on.

You haven't included pictures so I can only assume that you are correct about him being overweight, in which case you should be cruel to be kind and restrict the feed until his weight is healthier, and in the mean time he's probably going to try to bite you unless you want to put in a lot of training work which will involve you being bitten hard and constricted. I personally wouldn't bother or recommend it because I wouldn't want to spend the time, but if being bitten and constricted doesn't sound fun to you I would be even more inclined to recommend against it.

Alternatively you can do what most people would and just keep spoiling the snake and keeping it happy. Most fat people never change their habits, and the snake may stay hungry and ferocious forever if kept healthy - in snake years, being heavily fed for three years is a bit like raising a child on whatever they want to eat until they're a fat young adult. That's the entirety of the formative years both physiologically and psychologically, so it won't be fun to try to combat what the individual has grown to become. Your snake your choice.
Thank you very much for the info :) we must be doing the right thing then but a 20g snake every 3 weeks isn't enough is it? I'll post a pic of him, sorry I meant to before but would load. We really want to do what's right for him. When my daughter tried to get him out earlier he hissed at her and he's never done that before, just the other day when he didn't want to be held as he kept moving fast and seemed agitated. He's never bitten any of us yet. The first signs the other night we put him back straight away and today we just said no and leave him.
 

Sdaji

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Thank you very much for the info :) we must be doing the right thing then but a 20g snake every 3 weeks isn't enough is it? I'll post a pic of him, sorry I meant to before but would load. We really want to do what's right for him. When my daughter tried to get him out earlier he hissed at her and he's never done that before, just the other day when he didn't want to be held as he kept moving fast and seemed agitated. He's never bitten any of us yet. The first signs the other night we put him back straight away and today we just said no and leave him.

I don't feed on a fixed schedule. I've maintained adult pythons long term feeding them about 5-10 times per year with them breeding every year, I've had adult male snakes go for 1-2 years or more without feeding and breeding each year, I haven't fed any of my males for months and don't plan to for another month or two, and I don't space their feeds out evenly during the feeding season. For 3+ year old Antaresia I generally wouldn't give them anything smaller than about 50g (sometimes 80-100g, rarely more), and to vary the total amount of feed I'll vary the number of feeds more than the size of each feed. You can vary the size if you prefer, but the important thing is the total amount of feed over each year, not in any particular feed or week or month. Work it out in whatever way suits you, but think about it in terms of how much you want the snake to eat over a year, and work out whatever will work best for you - for me it's just a pointless hassle to offer a large number of small feeds, but if you have only a few snakes instead of a few hundred you may feel differently or have a different time management strategy. If your snake is about four years old, male and overweight, it could easily go 2-3 years without a single feed, though it will likely try to eat anything which comes near it and moves, including water bowls, paper, human hands, etc.
 

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