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Posted by Snake Whisperer on November 22, 2002 at 03:07:11:
In Reply to: Re: When I keep eastern hogs... posted by Brandon Osborne on November 20, 2002 at 22:24:00:
::I usually feed toads as these are readily available by collecting when the toads are active (any rainy warm night will produce toads to some extent while road cruising) and freezing unused extras for the colder times (which shouldn't be needed if you are putting your Easterns down for the winter). But I find it conveniant at times to force feed with pinkies, especially for the years I don't collect enough toads. Fortunatly the wide flexable mouth of the Eastern hognose makes force feeding very simple. By taking a small pinky and dipping it into water the smallest of Easterns can be fed by opening the mouth with the pinkies head, pushing the pink toward the back and down with the end of your clean PINKY finger. Then by massaging the pink down (not the finger) the hog has recieved an adequate meal and can be placed back into its container to digest. Only once have I had an Eaastern hog grab at a pinky and swallow it itself, but this was a 3 year old Black that had been force feed the entire time of it being in my possession. I would imagine that giving it time most would convert in this manner, AS LONG AS THE FORCE FEEDINGS WERE DONE WITHOUT ANY STRESS ON THE SNAKE. If you can't do this stress-free, DON'T attempt it. Try other methods first such as scenting, ect. Southern and Westerns have smaller mouths and should be converted without forcing. I personally believe all toad eating snakes should on occasion at the least recieve toads in their diet. Would you switch an egg-eater to rats? though some probably would.
:I used to keep toads in the refrigerator to scent mice. My adults all ate scented mice.......especially with toad urin.
I start my babies on pinks with no exposure to toads. Makes the snakes start taking rodents by themselves much easier. All my adult EHNs take rodents spontaniously and quite actively.