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Posted by Tim Madsen on January 29, 2003 at 09:47:45:
In Reply to: Re: Science... posted by Colchicine on January 28, 2003 at 20:39:45:
:I think that any argument based on a simple technicality is fragile (reminisce to the testimony of Bill Clinton). Power feeding is simple, the results are designed to produce an animal larger and quicker above normal growth rates. I am positive that the growth rates of every U.S. native genus has been documented at some point, and it is easy to see that anything above this natural growth rate could possibly be detrimental (assuming there is a self-regulatory mechanism to growth). Much in the same way that we have ratios and formulas to determine when a person is overweight, it cannot be too hard to figure out when a snake is overweight judging by its length and mass. You claimed that “there have been no studies done on snakes to determine what is healthy for them”, but I do not feel this is enough to justify being reckless with the life of an animal. As chrish has suggested, a calorie restricted diet has been worked out for other animals, let's not forget how amazingly similar most vertebrates are to one another. I am all for science, but I have a hard time advocating power feeding because the potential for detriment far exceeds the need for scientific studies to replace critical thinking.
:Please do not take this as a personal bashing Tim, I admit that this subject is hazy to begin with and I have not seen it discussed as in depth as this.
Thanks for the email. Let me make a personal observation that might clear up what I am saying. I feed the snake I'm growing up to breed in the following manner. Feed one or two rodents of appropriate size (25% larger in girth than the largest part of the snake) twice a week. I have been told by many, and seen posts on the kingsnake forums that this is Power Feeding. I wont bother you with my own definition of Power Feeding, I believe that would be pointless. I don't feed my adults on this schedule but I do feed them a lot. Many people have also told me my snakes are over weight. I've got several cornsnakes that are well over 15 years old (these guys are really heavy) they still produce clutches of over 30 eggs that are over 90% fertile. There are not many cornsnakes in the wild that live this long and if they do they most likely are not still producing viable clutches. My observations lead me to believe that Power Feeding is in the eye of the beholder and what is not healthy in mammals looks perfectly healthy in snakes (atleast in my colony). As I said before these are just my personal observation and worth nothing in the final analysis.