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Posted by Rich G.cascabel on January 27, 2003 at 18:53:03:
In Reply to: one more question posted by Brendan on January 27, 2003 at 16:02:28:
as Kenny covered everything very well. Yes studies have been done showing damage to overworked organs such as liver and kidneys. Fatty liver disease is very common as is reptilian gout. Back in teh day I had a breeding group of L. ruthveni and I went out and bought a year old albino male for $1000.00. The breeder gave me his feeding records and the snake had been fed large meals three times a week since hatching. I reduced him to medium meals every ten days but it was too late. A couple months later I noticed a kink developing in his back. A couple months later he was so kinked up and deformed he could not even crawl. I finally put him down and had him necropsied by my vet. The result was severe gout brought on by power feeding. Also I think over feeding babies while they are developing is more detrimental than overfeeding adults. Just like overfeeding our children can lead to problems in adult life. Any fish biologist will tell you that a fish that grows fast dies young. It can apply to reptiles also. As for different schedules for different species or even individuals or the same species, yes, you just have to learn to trust your instincts on what each requires. Obviously you can feed a coachwhip much more than you could feed an atrox. I have learned that C. tigris seems to require more frequent feedings than other crotes. Eons of evolution have developed them to get what they can while they can. I once found a newborn atrox in the Santa Ritas that was only 11-12 inches long, and he had swallowed a LARGE adult collared lizard (it was very obvious by the shape, LOL). The poor little snake could not even crawl. He looked like a potato with a little wriggling head at one end and tail at the other. Since he couldn't turn to bite I picked him up and found a board under some heavy brush to put him under. A definate case of eating too much for his own good. He would have either been a snack for a predator or just would have coked where he was when the sun came up. You can also over feed in quantities. Studies have shown a stomach area to mass ratio. The square area of the stomach can only handle so much in a specified interval. Anything more than this is not only a waste of food and ineffective, but also becomes toxins which further tax the liver and kidneys. Just because a snake can eat three or four mice in a sitting he may only be utilizing one or two of them and passing the rest.