Q: Midget Lampropeltis pyromelana hates food - ideas?

Q: I’ve always been a lizard person, but grew to love snakes and have a bunch of my own that are super healthy, super happy, and always hungry. 

Except this one.

I've never had a snake this tiny before (she's a bitty little thing), and she has zero interest in food whatsoever. She was sold to me as "feeding", and silly me, I took their word for it. She's an Arizona Mountain king, about 12" long, and has the girth of a ballpoint pen. I got the smallest pinkies I could find, and she is seriously not interested, and looks at me with disdain then burrows back under her water bowl.

I've only had her for around a week, so perhaps I'm being overly impatient and paranoid (again, I'm lucky, I've never had a snake with a feeding problem, and I have 12 snakes, all different species) - but I have never had a snake, let alone a COLUBRID that was completely disinterested in food. I was told she was eating frozen/thawed day-old pinkies, and I've tried several times to no avail. She escaped for a few days last week and turned up under the paw of my cat in my bedroom doorway, so I suppose it's completely plausible that she's still settling in and stressed beyond belief.

My big question is (sorry for all of the back story) - how long is *too* long for a baby snake to go without eating? I haven't been handling her, I've left her alone in her tub to heat up on the rack, but again, I've never seen a kingsnake SO disinterested in eating. 

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Feel free to tell me I'm being paranoid and crazy and to STFU and leave her alone for a while and try again next week, that's fine too.

...I want to avoid live at all possible costs, I don't have any snakes (save one crappy ball python) that eat live, and I would really like to keep it that way. I suppose I'm just nervous because she's so tiny - - - she didn't look that tiny in the deli cup -_- 

A: I've found ground skinks more readily available where I am, and often of adequate size for feeding whole to small snakes even as adults. But in any case, if you've exhausted all the usual tricks, Joe and Sonja have the right idea. As an additional side note, I had one young pyro that took to F/T mice right away, but only on one condition: they had to be completely bloodied and mutilated. Not just "brained," but brained, cut, gutted, smashed, and verbally insulted. It was the weirdest thing, but it worked! She took mice exclusively this way for her first few years. As vulnerable young snakes in the wild I suspect they probably take carrion opportunistically. Maybe this simulated such a food item? - BJW

Source: http://www.iherp.com/Answers/ReptileProblem.aspx?Id=31426

Q: Canned cat/dog food for North American Wood turtles

Q: Can canned dog/cat food (wet) be used as a staple diet for North American Wood turtles?  I get conflicting answers in my research, one place names it as a staple diet, others say part of the diet or use sparingly, then I did find one that said to never use it.

I'd like to find out if I can use it as a staple diet along with "treats" throughout the week.  By treats, I mean, fruits, earthworms etc. 


A: If you look at recent iHerp Answers questions, there's a brand new one called "
Leo with horrible joint growths".  Ashley posted an imagine in the comments section demonstrating the classic presentation the OP is talking about.  Go stare at that image. 

I'm not trying to sound condescending at all, but I am serious.  And this is actually perfect timing for your question haha!  Stare at that image and take it in.  Because that syndrome is what happens when people feed omnivorous reptiles a staple diet of canned dog and cat foods.  The protein levels are astronomically out of whack for omnivorous reptiles and the result, over the long term, is chronic subclinical hyperuricemia and eventually gout, which is painful and practically irreversible (see my response in the other blog).

I don't doubt at all that some have recommended this diet to you.  It's probably why gout is one of the most common diseases we see in captive reptiles.  Unfortunately those who have used this diet "successfully" and advocate its use often release, sell, trade or inadvertently kill their turtle before they get to see the longterm effects.  You can certainly use these foods as an occasional treat or a way to quickly boost weight for breeding, but this should not be considered a primary source of nutrition.  Hope this helps! - BJW

Source: http://www.iherp.com/Answers/ReptileProblem.aspx?Id=22616

Q: What to do with baby quail (frozen)?

Q: I had picked these up originally in an attempt to try to get my Mojave Ball Python to eat as she was yet to eat for me at that time. The quail ended up not working and now I have all these quail left and not sure what to do with them. All of my ball pythons are much too big for them now with exception of the Mojave who wants no part of them. However she seems to love Rat fuzzies, so atleast she is eating now despite them being small for her, so I just feed her more of them, but again atleast she is finally eating! But now back to the quail...what to do with them?

I also own a Rosy Boa, Kenyan Sand Boas and soon possibly my first Corn Snake. Will any of those species take to quail? And more importantly, will it be good for them? I also worry that they may like the quail too much and not want to go back to the mice/rats they were eating.  Another option I would have is feeding several quail in one sitting to the other Ball Pythons or Woma.

I will have no problem tossing them if none of these scenarios would work. So what do you guys think? Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

A: It doesn't hurt to keep them around.  I keep some just to occasionally mix up the diets a bit.  Remember, in the wild snakes aren't limited to a single prey item that is fed a constant, monotypic commercial diet.  I think it's good to occasionally throw something unexpected at them and give them the option of eating it.  I think you're more likely to find snakes that are reluctant to try a new food, then one who becomes instantly "addicted," especially if they've been previously established on another diet.  Good luck! - BJW

Source: http://www.iherp.com/Answers/ReptileProblem.aspx?Id=8658