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Posted by Francis on July 12, 2002 at 20:12:20:
In Reply to: Thank you for enlightening us Mr expert... posted by Jeremy on July 12, 2002 at 12:45:10:
Jeremy's right about getting your snake to feed on pre-killed ones, the sooner the better. I too was guilty of feeding mine live prey and, admittedly, it was fascinating in the beginning.
However, after seeing a couple of prey-inflicted injuries, I have worked at and succeeded in converting them to eat pre-killed prey. Of course, the first couple of times saw me end up with untouched food but it has ben worth the effort.
For your information, I've tried your method before on reluctant feeders and, fortunately, it worked. You may also want to know that sometime in November last year, my mangrove went off feed for no reason.
She'd kill her prey but not eat them. This went on for about 6 weeks before she resumed her feeding habits. My guess is that she wasn't hungry but killed the live prey in self-defence.
: I dont know what I would of done with out your fast knowledge. How long have you been keeping venomous snakes again? Ha!
: For a future note, you shouldnt feed a rear fanged live adult rodents, or any snake for that matter, especialy when the snake is as docile as you discribe. Mice bite back ya know and dendrophilia probally wont be able to kill it quickly enough to avoid a bite. They also tend, as im sure you have seen, to hold on and chew rather then letting go for it to die like a Crotalid would and this gives the rodent even more time to chew on your snake.
: : I've had a mangrove snake for a couple of weeks now. She was wild caught and is about 4' long or so. As I've said in earlier posts, she is an incredibly docile snake, and has retained that docility throughout her stay here.
: : Well, tonight I really put that docility and willingness to cooperate to the test. So far, she has eaten one water snake (small, of course), and a gerbil pinky. However, she acted scared to death of mice (live ones). She would always shy away from them like they intimidated the hell out of her. It started to get me worried, until tonight. She is a very healthy snake, all except for a slight nose rub, but she has been de-wormed and de-flaggylated and such. I was just afraid she was going to try to stay on reptiles or something similar (and I don't have an over-abundance of baby gerbils any longer). Well, tonight I had left a pre-killed mouse in there with her for a few hours to see if that would do the trick. I checked on her a while ago, no luck. So I decided to try something new. I picked her up (keep in mind, she is completely docile and has never bitten anyone here), restrained her head, and placed the dead mouse's head in her mouth. She bit, so I thought what the hell, and sat her on the floor of my snake room. To my utter surprise, instead of spitting the mouse out immediately like I thought she would, she proceeded to work the mouse down, even with me continually keeping her in that one area so she wouldn't slip off. I watched her eat the whole thing, then I picked her up and put her back in her cage. She then proceeded to use the branches in her cage to help work the mouse down further.
: : So there ya go. For you keepers that have picky mangroves, and that can get ahold of them at night (I stress at night because they are only supposed to feed at this time), you might consider trying this method. A week from now I'll leave a dead mouse in there a few hours and check again, and try the same method if she still isn't eating on her own. This isn't force-feeding, so it shouldn't be very stressful to the snake. I like to think of this as "assisted feeding." Anyway, if you want to go check out our little Libra (the mangrove) as well as the rest of our collection, check out the webpage below. Hope this can help someone.