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  • [Handling] In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

    I've always fed my snakes in separate enclosures or on a spacific spot of my apartment. This is just what I was always taught. I was told this because feeding in the tank can breed tank aggression, or mistaken feeding response when trying to remove the snake. Now, I was never really sure of the validity of that reasoning given that She comes out about 5 times more then she eats, so I don't really see how she'd confuse her tank lid with feeding time. But It's not a big hassle for me to take them out so I always just uses separate enclosures.

    All that said, a much more experienced and respeced (By me) snake owner has begun telling me that feeding outside the tank for bigger snakes is more danger then it's worth and that I should begin hook training her. What are y'alls thoughts? Right now, it's just my two red tails and soon to be a corn snake. But from what she's telling me, pythons are better hook trained even though Boas also get big enough to require it.

  • #2
    Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

    I don't move any of my snakes to feed them. For many reasons.

    The biggest is that moving them all would just take forever to accomplish. And I only have 7 snakes.

    the next reason is that I have a couple is snakes that stay in feeding mode for a while. I don't want to risk a feeding response bite by moving them.

    Then there's always the stress involved and potential regurgitation.

    Ultimately, you have to make that choice, there's never a true consensus answer. But I've given you reasons why I don't do it.

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    -Sean in NoCal
    “Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood – the virtues that made America.”
    -Teddy Roosevelt.

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    • #3
      Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

      I feed my snakes in the tank if it suits me to do so. When I need to clean the tank, I sometimes also feed them in a separate container because it is convenient for me, then put them back into the clean tank after they have eaten. Of course, it is much better to feed your large snakes in their enclosures, if you don't need to take them out anyway to clean the enclosure.
      In other words, if your snake's enclosure is dirty and needs cleaning out, it's simple to also feed the snake in a separate tub or box while you clean out their "home" enclosure.

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      • #4
        Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

        I feed inside there enclosure. I have no problems what so ever. I know people who feed there snake in tubs and then place them back inside there enclosure. Too much time for me, plus you have to worry about your snake splitting up there meal, just on the transport alone. From the tub to there tank
        sigpicJrock23

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        • #5
          Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

          I feed in their enclosures. Never had a problem.

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          • #6
            Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

            I feed them all in their normal enclosures, with the exception of some oddball baby rat snakes that I raised that wouldn't eat unless they were in my hands, lol. And they outgrew that....

            Primary reasons: stress from handling may cause refusal to eat by some snakes...remember that in nature, anything that normally picks up a snake is a predator. Even if they eat, they may also regurgitate from handling.
            Shyer snakes feed best when they feel "secure" & not distracted. Then there's that feeding response that can be quite long-lasting (hours or even a day or more!) and formidable, especially with larger snakes, making it a
            challenge to get them back to where they belong after feeding outside their cage.

            If ingestion of substrate is a concern in their normal enclosure, that's an easy fix: if your snake will feed from tongs, it's a non-issue, but if not, put down a large box lid or similar thing to separate their food from the substrate.

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            • #7
              Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

              I feed in the enclosures, but I have 70 snakes. Not only would moving them for feeding be a major pain in the rear, I also have adult retics that stay foody for at least 12 hours after eating, and my SD male is foody for two days after eating. I don't mind the occasional nip from the big guys but moving them for feeding would mean a weekly ER visit due to all the blood loss!

              Then there are the ball pythons. Picky picky picky... move them for feeding and at least half of the little darlings just won't eat.

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              • #8
                Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

                Feeding in the enclosure is generally much easier overall and maintains a much lower risk of an accidental feeding bite.

                Hook training is extremely easy to do and I recommend it with basically any snake.
                "An increase in reptile education can lead to a decrease in reptile discrimination." - Bebo

                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

                  Originally posted by bcr_229 View Post
                  Then there are the ball pythons. Picky picky picky... move them for feeding and at least half of the little darlings just won't eat.
                  There it is again...I just don't understand why other's ball pythons are picky eaters. Mine eat like retics.


                  I feed in the enclosures as well, I have too many snakes to feed otherwise.
                  http://berkeleyknebel.wix.com/mississippimorphs

                  Photo credit:Eddie Ard .....Banner Credit:Big PaPa Ernest

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                  • #10
                    Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

                    My Ball pythons also "eat like retics"! My idea on this is that I don't feed them too very regularly, like clockwork every ten, fourteen or sixteen days on schedule. I feed them when I know they are ready to eat and they take it with a happy Whack, every time, long as they are healthy, which they are up to now after having kept them for over 12 years.

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                    • #11
                      Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

                      Originally posted by zamora View Post
                      ...I just don't understand why other's ball pythons are picky eaters. Mine eat like retics.....
                      Whatever it is, you need to share the secret... I used to have a number of BPs & they fed well when they were young, but when they became adults, they were ROYAL pains! They are beautiful snakes that stay a NICE
                      size for anyone to manage, and are normally very docile...but I have trouble recommending them to first time snake owners because of their "issues". I had both captive-bred that I raised from hatchlings and some
                      that were unwanted adult pets (some w/c imported & some not). After some years I gave them to local herp society members that were "into BPs" as they were never my favorites. I guess I'm just more of a rattle &
                      rat snake person...?

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                      • #12
                        Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

                        TheJackal, so far you were fortunate in that most if not all responses were from highly seasoned snake handlers and many of them breeders as well.

                        I think their answers are compelling.

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                        • #13
                          Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

                          Originally posted by TammyJam View Post
                          My idea on this is that I don't feed them too very regularly, like clockwork every ten, fourteen or sixteen days on schedule.
                          BINGO!

                          I promote regular "feeding schedules" except for my BPs. Now if I was a big breeder and needed them up to size in a reasonable amount of time, I would probably stress about the lack of feeding responses like others do. I DO breed them and I totally enjoy it but I have some females (gonna get in trouble here) that are a few years old and not breeding size yet. I don't care, I want them to be happy and healthy and get to breeding size on their schedule, not mine. I played the stress game when I first got my BPs but not any longer. I feed them when they seem to be hungry and NEVER have any of the older ones not eat. Babies...meh.

                          They all look perfect, weight and muscle tone wise.
                          http://berkeleyknebel.wix.com/mississippimorphs

                          Photo credit:Eddie Ard .....Banner Credit:Big PaPa Ernest

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                          • #14
                            Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

                            Originally posted by zamora View Post
                            BINGO!

                            I promote regular "feeding schedules" except for my BPs. Now if I was a big breeder and needed them up to size in a reasonable amount of time, I would probably stress about the lack of feeding responses like others do. I DO breed them and I totally enjoy it but I have some females (gonna get in trouble here) that are a few years old and not breeding size yet. I don't care, I want them to be happy and healthy and get to breeding size on their schedule, not mine. I played the stress game when I first got my BPs but not any longer. I feed them when they seem to be hungry and NEVER have any of the older ones not eat. Babies...meh.

                            They all look perfect, weight and muscle tone wise.
                            You won't get into trouble from me. One of my 2013 females is only 750 grams. She eats for 2-3 weeks and then is off for 2-3 months. She's not thin, just small for her age.

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                            • #15
                              Re: In the tank! To feed or not to feed.

                              Originally posted by zamora View Post
                              ....I have some females (gonna get in trouble here) that are a few years old and not breeding size yet. I don't care, I want them to be happy and healthy and get to breeding size on their schedule, not mine.....I feed them when they seem to be hungry and NEVER have any of the older ones not eat. Babies...meh. They all look perfect, weight and muscle tone wise.
                              Perfect! I couldn't agree more... When I kept adult BPs, after a while I came to the same conclusion: forget any sort of schedule, feed them when they want to eat & don't worry about it. I was never in any rush to
                              achieve "breeding size" either (& I never did breed any BPs anyway).

                              But (-& this may get ME in trouble?-) this is why I don't recommend BPs as pets for most people. Someone who just has one or a couple pet snakes will get very frustrated when they have to keep thawing & throwing away
                              their food, wondering what is wrong. A beginner to snakes (for whom BPs are most often recommended) does not have the experience to gauge a stoic BP's readiness to feed, & they feel like they've somehow failed. Snakes
                              aren't the most active pets anyway...feeding them is a highlight for most keepers, especially newer ones; when a snake doesn't want to eat very often, I think many keepers feel frustrated and then lose interest. This was
                              certainly a factor in the unwanted BPs I took in from other people. The snakes were lucky if they got re-homed before they were seriously neglected.

                              For my part, I was raising rats, mice & dwarf hamsters in those days. I always had food available for the finicky...but I also had so many snakes then that I too began to tire of the extra 'attention' (keeping track) that BPs need.

                              This probably should have been in a separate thread...seems we're a little off-topic? LOL!

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