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Thread: Non feeding black king snake!

  1. #1

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    Hi all, i have a 5yr old female black king snake(ive had for 2) who has refused to eat for the last 2-3 months, i have been told this is due to hibernation and/or breeding season although this never happened last spring.

    Last month she did not stop moving around, day and night, which is out of character for her

    she has shed normally this month and seems in good health (despite not eating)!

    her tank is at 85 and the set up has not changed recently,

    she is also not at all interested in being handled moves away when ever im near, very jumpy!

    Any ideas on how i can get her back to eating again??

    Norm eats 3 frozen thawed mice a wk

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    Given her normal diet, she'll be fine without food for a long while (in fact, I'd recommend cutting that back, unless they're quite small mice; the only adult snakes I've ever fed weekly are super-high metabolism species like gliding treesnakes).

    To me, that sounds like she's in breeding condition. She'll eventually calm down, and I wouldn't worry much in the meantime. If you want to be sure, find some scales with the right weight-range (I think Big Apple Herp has some online) and keep track of her weight.

    If she calms down but still refuses food, try some brained prey (where you cut the mouse's head open to reveal the brain) or rub the mouse on another snake (since kings are ophiophagous).

    Mokele
    \"With malleus aforethought, mammals got an earful of their ancestor's jaw.\"
    --J. Burns, on the evolution of auditory ossicles.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Other people on this discussion forum that have pet snakes that you can contact are: OZZY, Prizmbatch, and Pinkerton. I'm sure there are more, but these I know for sure.

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    yeah they are small mice, but when i cut back on her food she isnt as easy to manage she gets moody.
    shes not looking like shes lost any weight at the moment!
    so while shes like this should i not offer her food? or shall i still offer her 1 every week?

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]yeah they are small mice, but when i cut back on her food she isnt as easy to manage she gets moody.
    Well, given how large that species gets, it might be time to move to either large mice or weanling/hopper rats once every two weeks. One big meal will be cheaper and probably keep her more full. RodentPro has a wide assortment and useful pictures to help judge the sizes. A good rule of thumb is that the food should be about equal to the diameter of the snake.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]so while shes like this should i not offer her food? or shall i still offer her 1 every week?
    Well, when my big boa goes off his food during the winter, I don't bother for a few months, but then I offer every two weeks. If he takes it, I give him rats for a few weeks to regain any lost weight and then back off to the usual schedule of once every two weeks.

    Mokele
    \"With malleus aforethought, mammals got an earful of their ancestor's jaw.\"
    --J. Burns, on the evolution of auditory ossicles.

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    so you think brained to try to entice her in to eating? I think i'll get some more advice before i change her food because of the sizes, im not confident with the sizing.

    See im worried because last summer/autum she stoped eating for a good 4-5 months, i got told by a pet shop owner this was due to breeding season..but i read they only had one breeding season a year?
    and now this again, i mean im probably over reacting because she looks fine in herself her skins fine eyes and mouth are clear as far as i can tell and like i said shes lost no weight,
    its just a bit un-nerving when you read one thing then hear another, know what i mean?!

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    rattler's Avatar
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    if she is a healthy weight dont worry about it, offer her a mouse every week till she starts feeding again. as long as her weight is good. a few months without food at her choice is no big deal. sounds to me like she is looking for a boyfriend

    i had a blood python refuse food for over 6 months. dont think the nasty twerp lost more than an ounce or two
    cervid serial killer
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]so you think brained to try to entice her in to eating?
    It's worth a shot, and I've had success with braining before.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I think i'll get some more advice before i change her food because of the sizes, im not confident with the sizing.
    It's really up to the snake; I've got access to a variety of sizes, so I just try things out and see what my animals will eat.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]See im worried because last summer/autum she stoped eating for a good 4-5 months, i got told by a pet shop owner this was due to breeding season..but i read they only had one breeding season a year?
    Do you mean last summer as in the one just past, or the one before that? If this is recently, you should probably try to get the snake feeding ASAP.

    There is, however, an alternative that comes to mind, given the feeding rate you mentioned. Look at your kingsnake when it's at rest, just hanging out, and look closely at the skin. If you can see any skin at all between the scales, the snake is obese, and you definitely need to cut *way* back on feedings.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]its just a bit un-nerving when you read one thing then hear another, know what i mean?!
    Sadly, there's a lot of that in the herp community, and no central fact-checking. Person A says species X is agressive, Person B says it's docile. Diet, temps, UV requirements, lots of things have the same problem. It's generally just best to see what works for your animal.

    Mokele
    \"With malleus aforethought, mammals got an earful of their ancestor's jaw.\"
    --J. Burns, on the evolution of auditory ossicles.

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