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the self-feeders are few and far between

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Posted by: 53kw at Fri Aug 20 15:58:37 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by 53kw ]  
   

Although out of four Glades babies only one still does not self-feed and she voluntarily swallows if tease started. The best of the bunch is a male who started eating live pink mice after three separate meals of anoles. Then I let him wait a day or two and offered a defrosted pinky, which he ate. He ate his next defrosted pinky the next day and today he ate a defrosted pinky large enough to have its first fuzz.

He's not related to Cujo, who ate a large defrosted rat this afternoon. I wonder what that Texas coachwhip looked like after swallowing that rabbit. Probably looked like a rabbit.

Wearing a coachwhip leotard.

The baby westerns hatched here are two-for-two on feeding. Both males have eaten anoles but both females still need to be tease fed--held in one hand and allowed to strike at food held in the other hand, preferably without hitting the other hand. After several strikes they usually swallow whatever is in their mouth. Very time consuming, as I have to continue to hold them until they finish swallowing to avoid scaring them by moving them to put them down.

In other news, five of nine Aesculapian ratsnakes are feeding voluntarily, both adult Regal ringnecks are eating every baby snake I bred for feeders, only three of 18 hatchling Eastern Kingsnakes are eating voluntarily and all 9 baby Oregon red-spotted gartersnakes are eating defrosted pinkies. A few of those are stunners, too. I have some baby salt marsh mangrove watersnakes which eat defrosted minnows and the bloody gray-banded kings finally all eat defrosted mice after a year on anoles.

Now I have to finish training the Sonoran whipsnake to eat off forceps--she already eats mice after her first year on anoles, but she just started taking defrosted mice off forceps. She's still not satisfied with the forceps but I'll let her get hungry enough and she'll learn to overlook them.

The southern black racers take food off forceps just fine--both are about four feet long now. The Blue racer takes his food off forceps but he likes to shake it--one time he shook it so hard he ripped a bit of hide off the mouse carcass, which flung across the cage leaving him sitting there with a tuft of white mouse hair sticking out of his mouth--he looked like some sort of Tim Burton Santa Claus. We call him The Mangler. Racers are not right in the head.

At least the ratsnakes are good eaters. One time I had a row of small Sterilites laid out on the floor, each with a fuzzy defrosting on the lid, for the occupant to eat. I checked each Sterilite before defrosting to be sure each occupant was ready to eat--nobody in shed. I didn't close one of the Sterilites properly and one of the baby Corn snakes got loose. When I came back into the room he had escaped but stopped to eat the fuzzy on his neighbor's Sterilite. That's a rat snake for you--"I'm free! I'm free--ooo food." The Labrador retrievers of the snake world.

We're not talking about the Desert horned lizards and their need for fresh ants every day. I'm too old for this.


   

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