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Posted by deathstalker on March 20, 2003 at 21:41:39:
In Reply to: Is something wrong? posted by chip on March 16, 2003 at 18:16:06:
First, I will just be straight out and say that I despise and am totally against feeding mice to Eastern Hognose Snakes or to any species of snake that has never been known to take mice naturally on its own. 'Feed a snake only what it will naturally take on its own,' this is my "motto."
There is a reason why Eastern Hognose Snakes--and so may other species of snakes for this matter--have specialized diets: it is creation and must be followed. If an Eastern Hognose Snake is to be kept on mice exclusively, especially fuzzies and bigger, then it could suffer an early death from fatty liver disease and its digestive track not being able to cope with the fur of a mouse.
"I also tried fish and worms after reading in a book that hogs were observed eating these. No luck there." This really applies to the other two species: H. nasicus ssp. and H. simus, especially the former.
"Then, I tried to hibernate him. I couldn't maintain the temperature for him (dont ask, I have hibernated other snakes before but this year didn't work) so I pulled the hoggy out. He hadn't eaten for roughly 2 months and I was getting a bit worried." If a snake hasn't been eating to gain an approriate weight for brumation, it should NOT be attempted to be brumated.
"The positives: I found a place that genetically enhances and breeds leopard frogs for laboratory purposes. I bought 5. He has eaten three in 2 1/2 weeks. These are not tiny frogs and this is not a big snake...He hasnt gained an oz, still is super thin with really stretchy skin, and hasn't shed! He doesn't look to good though he is active and eating...Should I be worried that he is still so skinny? Or will he rebound with more regular feedings?" Yes, this is what you should be feeding him, food that he will take on his own. Continue to feed him regularly, maintaining optimum vivarium conditions, and he should resume to normal weight.
If you insist on trying to get him on mice after if-and-when he's back up to normal weight, then visit the site below for some helpful tips. The site hasn't been updated for four years or so and was done by a somewhat at-the-time-amateur: me. But I advise feeding your eastern only what it will take on its own, which is of course toads and frogs exclusively. If for whatever reason you can't obtain feeder toads or frogs year-round, whether it be because of price in comparison to mice, time and expenses to care for them (could, of course, just freeze them), or because you just can't find them, then I advise not keeping easterns. Just shortening a snake's lifespan via tricking it into eating mice--or something its system can't naturally handle--for ease of the keeper is totally wrong in my opinion, especially coming from a creationist point of view. There is a reason why so many living organisms have specialized diets, a reason unknown, yes, but it's what makes creation diverse and thus interesting, and it should be followed.
If you need some year-round toad-suppliers, I have some for you, and at EXCELLENT prices! Just ask, and I'll provide addresses and everything.