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Snake Diet

All About Snake Diet

A snake diet is easy to prepare because all snakes are carnivores and all snakes eat their food whole and raw. While a snake diet in the wild might consist of amphibians, other reptiles, insects, worms, frogs, birds, and small mammals, the snake diet of a pet consists almost entirely of mice and rats in different stages from baby to adult.

Before you bring home a pet snake, make sure that you have done a little research and asked the pet store plenty of questions about snake care. Find out the age of your snake, how large it is going to grow, what it is eating at the time you buy it and what it will need for food as it grows. Generally, most snakes in captivity eat mice and rats almost exclusively. They come in many different sizes so that as a snake grows from newborn to adult, it will get different sizes of rodents along the way.

It is not a good idea to give your snake a live mouse or rat to eat. Snakes have very low metabolisms and can go for long periods of time without eating. So, if you put a live mouse in a snake’s tank and it doesn’t feel like eating right away, the mouse can cause  injury to the snake by biting it. Some people feed their snakes live food because they get off on watching the snake kill a live creature. Many times it is more about the attitude of the snake owner than the snake.

Mice for your snake should be bought in large quantity frozen and kept in the freezer. Each day you feed your snake you thaw the mouse before giving it to the snake. This has to be done at room temperature or in warm water--it cannot be done in the microwave. If done at room temperature, soak the mouse in warm water before feeding it to your snake. The proper method to feed your snake is to take a long pair of tongs and dangle the mouse by the tail in front of the snake. Don’t use your fingers or you are just asking to get bit. Even the most laidback snake can get very excited when it smells food and move very quickly to attack it.

If you find that this snake diet is not working--that your snake won’t eat--try several different things, such as placing the food in the tank and going away. Your snake may be shy about eating in front of a human. You can even cover the tank except for air holes so that it feels safe. Another thing to try is covering the mouse with chicken gravy or the juice from a can of tuna. Other things you can do are make sure the food is at the right temperature for your snake, try brown mice instead of white, or try a gerbil or hamster. This might make the food more appealing. Luckily, the overwhelming majority of snakes have no problems at all eating dead mice.

The size and age of your snake will determine what size mice or rats they should get and in what quantity. Very young snakes eat very young mice (or rats) called pinkies. Mice are pink and hairless when born. There are around three sizes of pinkies, then fuzzies--starting to get hair but it is still like peach fuzz. Weans are mice a little older that have just been weaned. Smalls are almost adults, and then there are of course, the adult mice. Mice or rats are eaten whole so provide a balanced snake diet. An adult snake should not live on pinkies unless they are ill, because pinkies have undeveloped bones and do not supply enough calcium for an adult snake. There are not too many ways to go wrong feeding a snake. And if there is not a pet store nearby, frozen mice can be bought all over the internet and delivered overnight.




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