Some people like to have pets in their homes to keep them company. While some people like to keep dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles as pets, others are more extravagant and keep wild animals like snakes.
Like any pet, the owner must feed it well. The question that remains unanswered is how to feed this domesticated reptile. This article will look at feeding a pet snake and more specifically, it will discuss how to feed a snake.
1. Foods that snakes eat
Before exploring these ways of feeding a snake that has been domesticated, it is crucial to see what a snake eats in general. A snake is carnivorous by nature and in proportion to its size, it can eat anything from small rodents and small mammals to large prey, from a small mouse to a large adult crocodile. The food of snakes is therefore classified according to their size.
For small snakes
First of all, there are the small specimens such as the snake, the viper (for example the asp viper), the cobra (for example the spitting cobra), the mamba (black mamba, green mamba), the rattlesnake. These species of snakes are among the venomous species. With their toxic venom, they kill their prey by envenomation. Following bites inflicted by their fangs, these venomous snakes inject their deadly venom into their victims.
We talk about how they kill their prey to be able to distinguish which prey they might attack with this method. These venomous animals are very fearful so they can only attack small mammals like small rodents (rats, mice, mongooses), rabbits, poultry; small reptiles like frogs and lizards. For tree snakes that is to say that can live in trees, they sometimes eat the eggs of birds but not only those of birds, a tree snake attacks especially squirrels which are mammals, it happens to snakes to swallow the eggs of other reptiles and even those of other snakes. But it is not excluded that, even if these species are quite small, they eat those smaller than them.
For medium-sized snakes
We can also find medium-sized snakes such as the king cobra, the black spotted anaconda, the yellow anaconda, the Papuan python, the boa constrictor which feed on medium-sized prey in proportion to their size. They attack animals that are suitable for them. Some of them are dogs, cats, medium reptiles, birds and many other animals.
Nevertheless, these snakes, neither very big nor very small, also feed on small prey such as mongooses, rats, mice, lizards, iguanas, toads, frogs, poultry, rabbits and many others.
Snakes mostly hunt the young of animals because they are less harmless. But as these snakes live in the wild, they can also feed on other snakes smaller than themselves because these medium-sized snakes can swallow even the largest of these species.
For large snakes
Finally, there are the large snakes such as the Burmese python, the reticulated python, the giant anaconda which are generally constrictor snakes that is to say that instead of biting and injecting a venom (which they do not possess), they roll up their prey from their body and suffocate them by squeezing.
Their diet can range from a small mouse, small lizards, through poultry, rabbits, frogs, rats, mongooses, a large lizard to large animals like antelopes, monkeys, zebras. But these snakes are big enough to face the other giant predators of nature. snake eats a mammal
Indeed, these giant snakes are not content with prey, they also attack other predators like crocodiles, lions, tigers, leopards. Besides, the fights between a giant snake and one of these predators are always very fascinating. Several confrontations have been recorded between these predators. And as we know so well, they live in the jungle and it is the law of nature, the law of the strongest. Only those who are resistant, strong, agile can get out alive.
Like a constrictor snake, a huge specimen, they wrap themselves around their prey to immobilize them. Indeed, the jaws of these large snakes can open with great flexibility and can even swallow an adult crocodile. But these big snakes are the ones that don’t mind hunting smaller ones. And they even eat each other of the same species as well as of different species. In fact, it is possible that a giant anaconda or green anaconda feeds on pythons, even the longest of snakes which is the reticulated python.
2. Methods to feed a domesticated snake
Domesticating a wild animal like a snake is not an easy job and not all snakes can be domesticated. It would be impossible for example to breed venomous species, it would be a great risk. The preference of snake breeders is for medium-sized species such as the royal python, the yellow anaconda, the black spotted anaconda, which is not very large and does not bite.
But it is not excluded that some breed reticulated pythons, Burmese pythons, giant anaconda. Like any domestic animal, it is the owner’s duty to take good care of his pet snake, especially in terms of its food.
The right method consists in combining certain factors that greatly influence the good health, mobility and peace of a pet snake.
How to feed it
Everyone knows that the snake is wild by nature, so you can feed it as if it were in the wild, that is to say, give it its live food. This method allows the reptile to feel as if it was in the wild and this will make it more active.
Indeed, by giving it its food still alive, the snake will have to hunt its prey as in its natural habitat, this will allow it to do sports, to be more comfortable and to feel like at home. But if the snake does not eat its food, you should avoid letting it play with and tame it because this will lead to it not eating this type of prey anymore.
However, it is not out of the question to give an animal that has already been killed in advance. This method is not bad because the snake will have less work to do and it will avoid getting tired. Nevertheless, this second way of feeding will make it lazy, fat, inactive and weak. And who says weak says less time to live. But it is important to vary this way of feeding it, sometimes the owner can give it live preys and other times, he can give it preys previously killed.
This variation will also allow the snake to vary its activity, with a live prey, it will be more active and with a prey already dead, it will be able to take its ease and feed without getting tired of running after its prey for minutes. Giving him a dead prey will also allow him to avoid a routine that could incite him to play with his food and to tame it.
The size of its food
As already discussed in the first paragraph above, a snake’s food should be proportional to its size. For example, if you have a king python as a pet, give it an animal that is proportional to its size, such as a large rat, a mongoose. It would be a big mistake to give him a food that is bigger than the proportion of his size because swallowing it may cause him injuries and he may regurgitate it.
Indeed, the snake does not chew or cut its prey, it swallows it in one piece. Some of these injuries include dislocation of its jaw or irritation of its esophagus. All these wounds heal only in a duration of more than 2 weeks. And during this recovery time, the snake should not eat, therefore, it will lose weight.
However, giving it a smaller animal than the one it has to eat would be a lack of care towards the animal because it will make it thin, weak (the energy that the food will bring it will be less than the one it has spent).snake eats a rat
The food that was given to it is not enough for it and it will not be satiated and this may also encourage it to find food outside its home and it may even run away. A healthy animal will cause less problems for its owner.
The right time to feed it
Like humans, there is also a proper time to feed a pet snake, in fact this time is due to the snake’s activity. The snake is more active at night, in fact most snakes are nocturnal. Therefore, digestion is faster at night. Therefore, it is appropriate to feed your pet snake in the evening.
Indeed, if its owner feeds it at this time, it will be able to digest its food quickly at night and it will be less tired because, during digestion, the snake spends energy, therefore, if it digests more quickly, it will require less energy and less time.
On the other hand, if it is fed during the day, it digests slowly, it will spend more energy and it will be obliged to remain immobile, inactive to be able to digest its food completely. This immobility, this inactivity will cause laziness for the animal and it will not like to be given live food. All this will lead to poor health for the animal and may even kill it.
Frequency of feeding
A human must eat 3 times a day to be healthy. Like humans, snakes must also be fed at a certain frequency to stay healthy. It is only fair to feed a pet snake twice a week at the most. It is especially important to avoid feeding the snake two days in a row.
Indeed, this could make the snake very tired because it will have to do the digestion phenomenon twice in a row and this can tire its stomach and cause a disease. However, feeding it in a time lag too far can also make it sick as it will be hungry when the supply of its last food is exhausted. This frequency is just a tip, it is the owner’s duty to know the proper frequency for his snake.
Taking good care of your pet snake’s food is of great importance if you want to keep it healthy. These points on how to feed a pet snake are just a few of the tips. There are different ways to feed a pet snake but this method that has been stated above is one of the best. The perfect method is achieved by the combination of these 4 points, because it is necessary to feed it in the right way, with the right size food at the right time and at the right frequency. So, those who have pet snakes know how to feed their snakes, but knowing how to raise them would also be a great asset for a person who has a snake as a pet.
An article topic on how to raise a pet snake would be very interesting and can help many. A pet is most comfortable and will do well if its habitat is suitable for it. In the end, there is more to raising a pet snake than just knowing how to feed it.