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Old 27-05-2012, 11:53 PM
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Default King snake biting and trying to eat itself PLEASE HELP

Hi, don't usually frequent here but I have a problematic king, twice now he's attacked himself and restricted around himself and tried eating his tail, he was only fed Friday, a medium mouse which left a nice big bulge do would not guess he is hungry, has access to water at all times, the first time was about 4 weeks ago, I would really like advice as to why they do this and how to stop them, if I had been asleep I worry I would've woken up to a half eaten snake in a ring, I am no longer confident around this snake either as he refuses to be handled and bites all the time!!

Many thanks to any replies
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Old 28-05-2012, 01:17 AM
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I have heard this is can happen if the king doesn't have enough space -they see their tail and think its another snake in the viv. (well that's the theory)

you could also try feeding smaller prey more often to keep it full.
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Old 28-05-2012, 01:29 AM
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After feeding wash the snake down in the bath or even just mist him.
If it carries on take to the vets, the amount of cases of people finding there snake dead whilst biting itself is shocking.
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Old 28-05-2012, 07:54 AM
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Have you tried throwing a mouse in there when this happens? I think you may be underestimating how much your kingsnake wants to eat. It might want to eat every 3 or 4 days instead of one a week. It might even want larger meals in addition to being fed more frequently. I had a couple of kings that used to be real tame, all the sudden try to eat me every time I picked them up. I started upping their meals and with time, they have stopped trying to eat me. Its worth a try and don't expect results right away. Good luck.
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Old 28-05-2012, 12:17 PM
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King snakes have a high metabolism and I find they require feeding more often like every 5 days as opposed to every 7 days. Day five they are in feeding mode and when hungry will strike at anything that moves. All snakes are different I have three Cali Kings and two of the three are like this the other one is chilled out and just dead tame. I also have two Mexican Blacks one dead tame the other snappy until fed.

JohnG
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Old 28-05-2012, 04:23 PM
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Had this happen to me before this snake is most probably still hungry up its meals either larger size or same size more frequently
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Old 28-05-2012, 04:58 PM
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kings are dustbins, wash the smell of the mouse off of it. Could also be the size of the enclosure.

Kings do not have a higher motabolism than any other north american colubrid, and should defintely not need feeding every 5 days.

People find their snakes dead biting themselves as this is what snakes do in the throws of death, 2 things happen, 1. they bite at the source of pain / discomfort as an act of defence 2. In the final throws of death the gape and bite at anything, often themselves. This is why you get a number of bogus reports af snakea choking to death or dying of impation as they are often found with great wads of substrate in their mouth from death rolling. This not the cause of death though, neither is the biting of themselves.
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Old 28-05-2012, 06:14 PM
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If you've just fed him could be something to do with the scent of his rat/mouse being on his coils maybe?

My king has bitten himself more than once, although only ever when he's being fed (his strike aim isn't the best, bless him.)
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Old 28-05-2012, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
King snakes have a high metabolism and I find they require feeding more often like every 5 days as opposed to every 7 days. Day five they are in feeding mode and when hungry will strike at anything that moves. All snakes are different I have three Cali Kings and two of the three are like this the other one is chilled out and just dead tame. I also have two Mexican Blacks one dead tame the other snappy until fed.

JohnG
I tend to reduce feeding when they get greedy. Increasing feeding will highten the response rather than reduce it in my experience. I also rearrange their furniture which tends to change their moving patterns.
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