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Old 06-02-2013, 10:18 PM
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bothrops bothrops is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Staffordshire
Posts: 12,018

I'm an 'inny' as well.

OP - The reason that there is conflicting advice out there is this is one of those herping subjects that have a large amount of keepers on both sides of the fence when it comes to it.

Therefore, all we can do is tell you what we do, justify our reasons for doing it in that way and then you get to choose which 'side' you want to come down on when you feed your own animals.

I used to be quite militant in my stance against feeding outside the viv, but I've mellowed in my old age and now I'm much more 'state my case, let people do what ever they feel is best'.

So, at a risk of repeating most of what has already been said, here is my justification for being an inny and my breakdown of being an outy.


  • Snake is left in its most secure place to eat its dinner in peace
  • Snake does not have to be moved after it has eaten
  • Limits the risk of a feeding response bite
  • More convenient to feed feed large numbers of snakes
  • You can feed and leave

  • Possible risk of substrate ingestion
  • Can't gaurantee a good view of the actual feeding


  • No substrate ingestion
  • Can see snake eat
  • Necessary if you cohabit


  • Moves animal out of secure environment
  • Moves the animal immediately after it has eaten
  • Trains the animal to associate specific action with food
  • Increased risk of gut tear when moving full animal, particularly with larger snakes
  • have to stay with snakes whilst they feed, or return shortly after

I keep most of my snakes on paper, so substrate ingestion isn't an issue for me, but even when I kept all my snakes on aspen, I fed in viv.

I feed all my snakes in the evenings and so once they've struck and constricted, I switch the light off and leave them to consume and digest their meals in peace. I then check in the morning if any of the drop feeders weren't hungry and remove their rodent.

The only thing that does bother me about feeding out the viv is some of the reasons people give for doing it. My favourite is the 'stops them associating me opening the viv with food and getting a feeding bite' reason.

For me, this is an illogical argument. My snakes have no idea if they are getting fed, coming out, having their water changed or what when I open their vivs, so they wait until they know (is it just 'him' or is it a rat). Now, admittedly, this is the same when feeding out of the viv, but the key here, is that the 'outy's' actually add a bit that specifically 'trains' the animal t o associate something with food. When feeding out of the viv, you are training the snake that when they get put into the tub, the next thing that comes at them is definitely food. This means that whenever you are opening the feeding tub, your more at risk of a feeding bite than you ever would be being an 'inny'.

Also, I think people who go with the 'reduces risk of feeding bite' argument may also be mixing up 'feeding response' with 'viv defensive response'. The former is, IMO, more likely for 'outys', as outlined above and the later has absolutely nothing to do with feeding at all and neither feeding method has any effect on that! (Although if viv defensive animals are nervous by nature, then the innys will likely have more success getting them to feed).

Finally, the main reasons I feed in viv is that I keep boas and they all have an incredible feeding response. They can smell the defrosting rats a mile off and by the time I take the bucket to the rep room, they are all up, out and waiting. It would be impossible for me to get the big girls out without serious risk to myself and the snake.

Also, with bigger snakes, I really worry about large rodent teeth and claws causing damage as you are forced to manipulate the snake in unnatural positions to try to get it from the feeding tub back into the viv after feeding. Even when they are not full of rodent, you often here odd rumbles and gurgles as the internal organs move about when lifting a large snake off the ground, so moving them around when full of food is too risky for me.

At the end of the day, its each to their own. Whatever works for you is what you should do.

I'm happy with a house full of herps"
Originally Posted by Saedcantas View Post
It's a well known fact that you can't reason (or debate) with morons.
VEGETARIAN - An old American Indian word for 'Bad Hunter'
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