Thoughts on food refusal?

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Mack86

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Just after some opinions/ thoughts re my snakes behaviour tonight...

2 weeks ago he ate his first rat (small rat) but honestly is a fair bit larger than the adult large mice he was on. He ate it fine, took him a little longer as it was a decent size etc. He has acted completely normal ever since. This evening two weeks later I attempted to give him his second rat with a bit of interest only to turn in the other direction and snub it. I suspect it's one of three things and the third may sound really weird but I'll say it anyway lol...

1. He's simply not hungry , try again in two more weeks ..

2. He's decided he infact does not like rats and wants mice again

3. He seemed to be a bit freaked out by the rats long whiskers 😂🤭 I know, it sounds so weird, but he honestly was a bit hesitant with them when they touched his head. Has anyone experienced this?

Ok, now that I sound like a complete crazy person I think I'll be on my way but any feedback would be awesome!

Before you ask, temps, enclosure all spot on. No issues like this aside from when he was quite young.

Thanks 🙂PXL_20231115_203012086.jpg
 
I have never tried to move snakes from mice to rats but from what I understand it can be difficult as rats smell different. So some snakes don't want to know about it but most will change eventually.
Rats are harder to digest as the fur is thicker or harder ? so maybe the whiskers are too ?
 
I have never tried to move snakes from mice to rats but from what I understand it can be difficult as rats smell different. So some snakes don't want to know about it but most will change eventually.
Rats are harder to digest as the fur is thicker or harder ? so maybe the whiskers are too ?
Thanks Dragonlover. I'll try again in 2 weeks and if no luck I might cut my losses and switch back to mice.
 
Switched my own and my Dads to rats 6months ago, they take it fine, I think you will find however that because it was a larger meal (which is good!) he's not as hungry as soon, my Dad's was like that so pushed him to 3 weeks for awhile now he's back to 2weeks. Your little guy has always been a bit shy/slower to eat etc so might just not be hungry enough for another meal yet. Yes they boop themselves with the whiskers and yes it's a 'new' sensation so they do it a bit and look weird doing it, same as if you put some new plant that has pokey leaves they do same thing for a bit.
 
Hi Mack,

Good to see you got through your earlier issues with your little snake.

Going off that pic, your snake looks fine. In fact it looks to be in great condition, So I wouldn't be at all worried that it has shown no interest in another feed just yet. I think you'll find that it has nothing to do with the rat's smell, fur or whiskers but rather the snake's digestive system just adjusting to process the larger food item and once it's metabolism has settled it will be back in the game looking for another feed.

Just remember that captive snakes are no different to their wild cousins and as long as they are in good nick and your husbandry is correct they will not starve themselves and will pretty much eat anything that's put forward to them provided it is of a suitable size. I personally don't go for this "x" size feed every so many days stuff and never have but rather, I mix things up and have done this for many many years. For instance I might give a small python an appropriate size mouse one day and then another a couple of days later, wait a fortnight and give it an much larger mouse or small rat then wait another fortnight to 3 weeks and give it the same again then wait a fortnight and give it a small mouse and go back to a week before the next meal so on and so forth. I'll give a 4 metre Olive a 900g or kilo rabbit in a feed then wait 3 weeks to a month and give it a large 250g rat then the next feed a 400g rat then back to a rabbit and so on and so forth. I'll add that I've got snakes here including Carpets, Olives, Red Bellied Blacks to Tigers that I've had since birth and some of which are well over 20 years old all maintain on the same feeding regime.

Cheers,

George.
 
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Just after some opinions/ thoughts re my snakes behaviour tonight...

2 weeks ago he ate his first rat (small rat) but honestly is a fair bit larger than the adult large mice he was on. He ate it fine, took him a little longer as it was a decent size etc. He has acted completely normal ever since. This evening two weeks later I attempted to give him his second rat with a bit of interest only to turn in the other direction and snub it. I suspect it's one of three things and the third may sound really weird but I'll say it anyway lol...

1. He's simply not hungry , try again in two more weeks ..

2. He's decided he infact does not like rats and wants mice again

3. He seemed to be a bit freaked out by the rats long whiskers 😂🤭 I know, it sounds so weird, but he honestly was a bit hesitant with them when they touched his head. Has anyone experienced this?

Ok, now that I sound like a complete crazy person I think I'll be on my way but any feedback would be awesome!

Before you ask, temps, enclosure all spot on. No issues like this aside from when he was quite young.

Thanks 🙂View attachment 335769
Hello Mack86, fwiw, my stimpsons 100% refuses mice no matter how Ive tried. She loves her rats. Good luck!
 
Just a little update on my snake, it's been a month since his first rat and two weeks since he refused his second. Tried again this evening and he refused again. So he's not eaten for a month (I know this is fine)

I'm wondering if I stick with the rats again as I've run out of them (only came in a bag of 3 😳) or switch to mice. I'm concerned about wasting more money on rats. I think I'll give them one more shot and if no luck I'll have to go back to mice?

Does this second refusal to the rats change any of the above opinions you've all been kind enough to give or do we think I should stick to my guns on the rats?

Thanks in advance 😊

Hello, another update for anyone interested 😅

It's been 5 weeks since my snake ate with him refusing to eat twice. He's been very quiet the last 2 weeks, hadn't seen him at all. Decided to open his enclosure and check on him this morning and it looks like he is preparing to shed 😊


Hopefully this helps someone out there!

Found a beautifully completely in tact shed in the enclosure this morning. Such a good feeling for a snake mum 😊

6 weeks and a shed later and still no interest in the rats. Try again in a week or two 🤷‍♀️

I have tried another rat this evening with no success. Very odd. He seems quite interested in it but ends up turning away from it. He is exhibiting his usual "I'm hungry" behaviour...

I've run out of rats now, $$$$$ down the drain.... So will get mice again and see how we go. If he is seriously refusing the taste of rats I find that so bizarre as it's a snake....you wouldnt think they would be fussy on what they eat particularly. Shall update once I try again with a mouse...
 

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Have you tried leaving the Rat in the enclosure for a while?

Sometimes my Pythons won't immediately strike and coil the Rats I offer. However if left in the enclosure they eventually get coiled and eaten.

I never had any issues swapping from Mice to Rats with any of my Pythons. But I do know that unfortunately it can be an issue for some.
 
I have noticed the same thing. But I read somewhere that the stomach of snakes can shrink quite a bit in between feeds. So I figure that sometimes the snake needs to let their stomach increase in size, to get ready for the food, so sometimes my fellows just stay with the food for a bit.
Another thing you can try is wriggling a warmed (obviously fully defrosted) rat in front of their nose. Keep your hand away from the rat, as the snake senses heat and can easily mistake your hand for food.
 
Have you tried leaving the Rat in the enclosure for a while?

Sometimes my Pythons won't immediately strike and coil the Rats I offer. However if left in the enclosure they eventually get coiled and eaten.

I never had any issues swapping from Mice to Rats with any of my Pythons. But I do know that unfortunately it can be an issue for some.
Yeah each time have tried leaving either for hours in the enclosure or overnight with no success. He just cruises past it as if its another rock. Still debating, but think I might get some mice next week and try switching back.
 
I tried my spotted on a rat yesty for the first time. She is normally a voracious eater of XL adult mice so I thought I'd upgrade, no luck even though I left it in all night. It's my first attempt to change over and I know it can be difficult .
Lucky I have Lacies so the food doesn't go to waste
 
Update for those playing at home. I brought adult mice today and the instant I presented one to my snake he took it straight away. This being only 3 days since I tried with the rat. I'd like to think he's surely not that fussy but perhaps he really is 🤷‍♀️PXL_20240110_074059352.MP.jpg

I tried my spotted on a rat yesty for the first time. She is normally a voracious eater of XL adult mice so I thought I'd upgrade, no luck even though I left it in all night. It's my first attempt to change over and I know it can be difficult .
Lucky I have Lacies so the food doesn't go to waste
I'm interested to know if your spotted has made the switch @dragonlover1 ?
 
Yes Mack, she has. A few days after the first refusal she shed so I'm not sure if it was the rat or the shed.
She has eaten 2 since then but I still have to leave it overnight.
The only feeding problem I have now is trying to get her hatchies eating, starting hatchies is a prick of a job as they refuse to eat for weeks
 
Yes Mack, she has. A few days after the first refusal she shed so I'm not sure if it was the rat or the shed.
She has eaten 2 since then but I still have to leave it overnight.
The only feeding problem I have now is trying to get her hatchies eating, starting hatchies is a prick of a job as they refuse to eat for weeks

Hi Mate,,

Good to see she transferred over for you.

Are those hatchies the same ones from that clutch you messaged me about a little while back?

Cheers.

Update for those playing at home. I brought adult mice today and the instant I presented one to my snake he took it straight away. This being only 3 days since I tried with the rat. I'd like to think he's surely not that fussy but perhaps he really is 🤷‍♀️View attachment 335971

Hi Mack,

Given the exceptionally good condition depicted of your snake in that pic I'm not all that surprised that it hasn't bothered to move over to rats, At least not as yet anyway... hahaha. I'm sure you realize that it will survive quite happily on large adult mice if you want to stay on that course and only for convenience sake there's no real need to move it over to small rats. But if you want to have another go down the track you could try giving it a bit more time between feeds and scent it with a mouse by placing both together in a clip lock sandwich bag for about half an hour before offering it to the snake. That's if your prepared to waste one or the other if it doesn't take both. And theoretically it should if it's hungry enough (if you decide to give this a go just offer the rat first and see what happens then if it doesn't want to play offer the mouse).

Cheers,

George
 
Hi Mate,,

Good to see she transferred over for you.

Are those hatchies the same ones from that clutch you messaged me about a little while back?

Cheers.





George
Yes George after following your advice 18 out of 18 hatched,even the 1 that I had cut but so far only 2 have eaten. I try 5 at a time due to the time it takes and due to try another batch today. Because they are so small I slice a pinky down the middle and warm them up.
This is what I did last season ( my first with snakes)
Hatch date 20/12, first shed 27/12
Cheers Rick
edit, today's efforts did better 2 out of 5 ate instead of 1 out of 5 for the last 2 attempts, 3 more to try tomorrow
 
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Hi Mate,,

Good to see she transferred over for you.

Are those hatchies the same ones from that clutch you messaged me about a little while back?

Cheers.



Hi Mack,

Given the exceptionally good condition depicted of your snake in that pic I'm not all that surprised that it hasn't bothered to move over to rats, At least not as yet anyway... hahaha. I'm sure you realize that it will survive quite happily on large adult mice if you want to stay on that course and only for convenience sake there's no real need to move it over to small rats. But if you want to have another go down the track you could try giving it a bit more time between feeds and scent it with a mouse by placing both together in a clip lock sandwich bag for about half an hour before offering it to the snake. That's if your prepared to waste one or the other if it doesn't take both. And theoretically it should if it's hungry enough (if you decide to give this a go just offer the rat first and see what happens then if it doesn't want to play offer the mouse).

Cheers,

George
Awesome advise thanks very much George 😊
 

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