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How to Feed a Baby Snake

Learn how to feed a baby snake in this Howcast video about pet snakes.

Transcript

How do we feed baby snakes? Now of course, this ball python here is not a baby snake, but he just won't let go of me, so we're going to talk with him wrapped around my arm. It's very important, number one, to understand what type of baby snake we have and that all snakes are carnivorous. And that it's important that when you buy your baby snake one of the first questions that you should ask your breeder is, "Is he eating? When was the last time he ate? What did he eat?"

The reason for that is, if you have an idea of what they are eating, it's much easier for you to continue to feed your baby snake. If you have a garter snake, for example, that's been eating fish, then you're going to need to switch them over to mice, so it's important to know where they are in that feeding routine. Now how do you do it? Whether we're feeding garter snakes fish or whether we're feeding baby pythons, this gal's babies, it's important that number one, that the baby is healthy. And the way you figure that out is they should have a nice gloss to them. They should be nice and rounded, the skin should be nice and smooth.

There should be no debris around the eyes, the mouth. They should be nice and energetic, and it's not a bad idea that number one, that they've been warmed properly before eating. Number two, you've seen that they've defecated, because if they've voided their gastroenteral tract, they're ready to eat again, because you don't want to try to force feed your snake. When you feed the baby snake what you do is is to figure out how much you're supposed to feed is take a look at your baby and the bait, the food, should be no wider than the widest part of the snake.

If it is, it's too large, and with the baby snakes I would rather you feed a smaller bait more times than a larger bait fewer times. You'll find that your baby snake will eat two times a week, and then as they get a little bit older, six months to a year, you may find that it's every five to seven days. If they're eating and defecating and they're in the right environment, then it's okay to feed them. If they are not, then you need to make sure that the environment is good, make sure that they're healthy, and even have a visit to the veterinarian to make sure that everything is fine.

And it's very important to bring a stool sample in, so your veterinarian can check to make sure there is no parasites and things. You're going to make sure that your baby snake is heated to high 80's. And of course, it depends on the type of snake, but if you're in the high 80's, low 90's, most of the time your baby snakes will be more interested in eating. Present the bait head first and use tongs. You never want them to associate your fingers with the bait, because even them little guys can bite you.

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