Feeding your reptile is an exciting part of owning one! There is special care needed to care for your scaly friend.
Your snake needs some type of hide box. This is a place to hide inside the habitat. Your snake will be nervous to eat in the open and prefers a place to hide that is snug, warm and dark.
To help prevent underfeeding, snakes should be given a feeder as large as the widest part of their body, and lizards should be given a feeder the size of the distance between their eyes.
For first time feedings, your snake will need complete privacy for about 4 feedings. They need to acclimate to their new home, so give them plenty of privacy and try not to handle them until after 4 feedings. Then, you can watch your snake eat without causing your snake anxiety.
Never microwave the rodents to thaw or warm: This not only takes away valuable nutrients needed, but it could harm your pet.
To thaw, simply lay out the same way you would any frozen meat you might eat. It is perfectly fine to put the rodent in a sealed plastic bag or directly into hot water. Running hot water over the rodent and turning the rodent around in the running water will thaw the rodent quicker and warm the rodent so that it is more desirable for your snake. Reptiles respond well to heat as they use infra red to hunt prey, so a warm rodent will help your feeding process.
If after a few weeks of unsuccessful feeding, it is a good idea to put a few drops of soap on your rodent to wash it off. Rinse the soap off thoroughly by letting hot water run over the rodent for about 60 seconds, and do not handle the rodent with your hands if possible..
Once your rodent is ready to feed, use a pair of tongs or some other device to hold the rodent. Never feed your reptile with your hand for the following reasons. First, they will start to identify your hand as their source of food and they will begin to strike at you when you go to pick them up, thinking they are going to eat. Secondly, you will be bitten.
To interest your reptile, using tongs, gently wiggle the rodent in front of your reptile until they strike and eat. If they refuse to strike, simply drop the rodent in front of the snake and leave them alone for about an hour. Sometimes, they just want to eat alone.
If your little friend has not eaten in a few days, no need to worry. Your reptile not eating can be common and is nothing to be alarmed or panicked about.
Give them a bath! Yes, snakes respond well to bathing. You can put them under a faucet with cool-to-warm water. Do not use hot water to bathe your snake. Using mild soap, use your hands to wash them down, rinse them well, and do not dry them off-- Simply put them back into their habitat.
Once you try any of these steps, leave them alone for a few days. Do not try to feed them or hold them. Just let them adjust and work out their issues all by themselves.
Snakes can go weeks and even months without eating and remain healthy. They will lose girth (weight), but they will not starve to death in a few weeks or even up to 6 months.
Any of these steps should encourage help change your reptiles mind into eating again.
It is best to feed your snake on a schedule and to feed them 3 times a week. Your snake needs to eat a minimum of once per week and it is best to keep a schedule. You can attempt to feed them more than one rodent once they finish the first rodent. If they desire a third rodent, it may be time to move up in size. It is fine to continue feeding off the smaller sizes.
If your snake regurgitates, do not attempt to feed them for two weeks. Remove the remains of the rodent and discard it. This will give them time to build back stomach acids needed for digestion. After two weeks, reintroduce food to them on their regular schedule.
You're all set. Enjoy the excitement and adventures of owning and feeding an amazing creature.