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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just feeding my JCP the last two of his fuzzies. They are too small for him so will get next size up for next feed.

Anyway.... I normally feed in the viv but just make sure he is up high. Did the same tonight and when he struck he pulled himself off his ledge and dropped to a rock on the floor. It's so hard to let go as soon as the snake strikes. It happens so fast.

I thought I'd let him carry on and keep an eye on him. I saw a small piece of Reptibark stuck to the end of teh mouse. I left it thinking it would get pushed off but then it started to look like he was gonna swallow it.

In panic I picked him up and removed the bark with tweezers from the corner of his mouth. It was actually stuck on one of his teeth by this point.
He then regurged his mouse which I threw away. After some tense manouvers I managed to get the very angry snake off my hand and I put him back up high in his viv (up high) and offered the other mouse which he instantly took and swallowed within minutes.

Question:

Did I do the right thing??? I really didn't want my snake to swallow bark. I would rather feeding problems (which I didn't get thankfully) than him die from ingesting substrate.

As an idea the piece of bark was about teh size of a small pea. My snake is around 28 inches if this matters at all.

Going out now but will be back around 11pm to check for replies.

I hope I did the right thing. To be honest it seemed like the only thing to do.

I know understand why a lot of people feed out of the viv and may start this practice myself.
 

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Sounds like a waste of a good mouse to me.

One little piece of substrate isn't going to hurt.

Your pet snake is a HIGHLY evolved predator if a bit of bark was going to be a problem they'd have died out millenia ago :wink:
 

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I would have done what you had done tbh. Yes what the reticulus said is true, but that doesn't deny the fact that impaction can occur and may lead to a trip to vet if not worse. I think the cost of the vet and hassle for the snake far outweighs the cost of one mouse.

He may be a bit wary about feeding or you for a while. But to be honest you kind of brought it on yourself. Most people feed their snakes outside the viv, and I would really recommend this. This is for 2 reasons: to ensure what happened to you doesn't happen and also so that the snake doesn't associate your hand with being fed, therefore biting you when you are only putting your hand in to handle.

Take him out and place him in a large cardboard box and either leave it in with him or dangle it like you would have before.
 

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i had my royal eat a piece of orchid bark when she was little, she was fine, my corn has also eaten some substrate, i now feed the corn out of the viv, but the royal wont, they were both ok, as reticulatus said, snakes would have died out years ago if a little piece of bark would harm it, obviously if it ate bark everytime it fed it would get impacted, but once should be ok.
 

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If he fed again straight away, then no harm done by the sounds of it.

I wouldn't worry about the odd bit of substrate - if he got a big mouthful then that may not do him much good, but very unlikely to happen.

I feed all mine in the vivs on sheets of newspaper - occasionally they drag the mouse/rat onto the substrate, and now and again I'll find a bit substrate in their poo - the odd bit doesn't seem to do any harm though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay thanks for the answers.

I'm glad I did what I did, but maybe i would of left him If I knew others had left theirs before.

His feeding response is pretty much instant so he should be okay. I do think I'm gonna start feeding in a tub as this situation could be a whole lot harder when he's 4 feet long.

Wasting a mouse was the last of my worries Retic but thanks for the reply.
 

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Hi Carl

Just my 2ps worth.

Personally, I wouldn't have worried about the odd small bit of substrate, am in agreement with reticulatus on this one. Having said that though I do make an effort to reduce the probability of substrate ingestion, short of removing the snake from the viv.

Both of my snakes are fed in their vivs. Have not had any problems in two years. I use the shredded aspen substrate and I use an upturned large water bowl to put their food on. Normally, they stike and then consume the meal whilst up in the 'canopy'.

My boa is a bit nervous when out of his viv and he becomes a bit shy of presented food - this is why I feed in their vivs where he is an excellent feeder.

Sometimes I have seen the odd bit of substrate stuck on the rat and I have removed it using forceps but without any disruption to the snake.

I definately wouldn't have risked a regurge to remove a small piece of substrate, having said that I completely understand why you did with all the impaction stories floating about.

I would love to see a nature show of a wild hunting snake catch but then release its prey item because it had some leaves or some bark on it. :D

cheers
os

Turned out to be more like 5ps worth, sorry! :roll: :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looking back I probably over reacted, but am glad I didn't chance it otherwise it could be people telling me to "get to a vet", not "feed outside viv" or "I'd just leave it".

I did have him on Aspen but didn't really like the look of it as it looks like stuff out of a rabbit hutch or something and not very natural.

I appreciate snakes in the wild would not leave prey because of bits attached to it but then again a snake in the wild probably has something like a 70% (probably less) chance of reaching adulthood. I'd rather give mine a 100% chance.

Thanks for all the advice though people.
 

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Carl you may of over reacted but its all turned out well. What I do is place a piece of acrylic that is 250mm x 200mm under where I am about to feed my carpets takes a bit of practise to get the right position but helps to minimise the risk of substrate being swollowed. My male sib recently had a bit of substrate hanging from his teeth but as he had fed I left it and he managed to get rid himself.
 

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no harm done matey so wouldnt worry about it. :D

if i see my snakes eating and i can get the substrate off then i do try but if its very close to them i dont bother, like has been said the random bit will be fine. when i used fine orchid bark i had the problem of alot of substrate sticking to it if they wrestled it off the bark (what i normally feed them on or stones) but since ive moved to coarse bark ive never had the problem. is big enough that it falls off long before it goes down the throat! and looks natural! :wink:

if you think what snakes would pick up with their food in the wild you soon realise that they arent as fragile as they are made out to be, hardy little buggars all of them
 

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Unwanted bits of substrate taken as food should just pass through and you'll see them come out... Again imagine in the wild, they must swallow all sorts of rubbish when hunting for food, bits of dirt, leaves possibly even small stones plus whatever there prey has actually swallowed!

Moral of the storey is if you can get away with it I'd feed outside the vivs. Out of my four snakes only one feeds in the viv and thats because my corn isn't a strike feeder. His mouse get placed on a feeding tray and he'll wander over and take it when ready without dragging it across the floor.
 

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feeding

Feeding outside the viv is a no no. Try feeding a 9ft carpet outside the viv and then getting it in when it's brain is on kill mode - it's gonna be painful. Also you shouldn't be handling a snake until at least 48 hours after it has eaten - so how do you get it back in the viv? Substrates look great but to be honest the snake isn't too fussed what the viv looks like. For my money the set up has to be easy to clean so it has always been newspaper.
 

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Re: feeding

Scoffa said:
Feeding outside the viv is a no no. Try feeding a 9ft carpet outside the viv and then getting it in when it's brain is on kill mode - it's gonna be painful. Also you shouldn't be handling a snake until at least 48 hours after it has eaten - so how do you get it back in the viv? Substrates look great but to be honest the snake isn't too fussed what the viv looks like. For my money the set up has to be easy to clean so it has always been newspaper.
When you feed a snake of that size outside the viv you can use a snake hook to do the business, but if you leave the snake long enough in its container (which is going to do no harm) it will come out of feeding mode and it can easily be transferred back into the viv.

I can see your point with a snake shouldn't be handled after being feed but I've never had any trouble with any of my snakes when being transfered quickly back into there vivs'

If you go bigger and your feeding a burm, retic or large boa (which I never have - yet) chances are your going to use newspaper as substrate anyway so no problem feeding in the viv. If you do use aspen or something place a large peice of newspaper down and place the prey on that.

Lets be honest though if a 12ft+ snakes ingests a small qantity of substrate is unlikley to do any harm but you should always aim to get no substrate on it....

I know Reticulatus here uses a substrate called Flex which is digestable if injested... I'd use it but I can't find anywhere that sells it!

Its interest to here how people feed there snakes, even more interesting when they get 6ft + but if you feed in the viv you might find the snakes thinks that everything going in is food, including your hand! Don't fancy that with a 10ft + snake!
 

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luckily my boas never see my hand as food as i feed them with 20" forceps, as soon as they see them then they know its feeding time :lol: but ive always fed in viv and not had a problem yet!
 

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ianyork said:
luckily my boas never see my hand as food as i feed them with 20" forceps, as soon as they see them then they know its feeding time :lol: but ive always fed in viv and not had a problem yet!
It will be interesting to know how they act when there 8ft long though! How do you stop them getting substrate getting in there mouths?
 

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welshgaz said:
ianyork said:
luckily my boas never see my hand as food as i feed them with 20" forceps, as soon as they see them then they know its feeding time :lol: but ive always fed in viv and not had a problem yet!
It will be interesting to know how they act when there 8ft long though! How do you stop them getting substrate getting in there mouths?
we shall see, could just throw it at them and hope for the best :lol:

with me using cork bark it doesnt seem to stick to the mice and if it does it soon falls off, but to minimise the risk i feed them on a big piece of cork bark or the large stones in there
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: feeding

Scoffa said:
Feeding outside the viv is a no no. Try feeding a 9ft carpet outside the viv and then getting it in when it's brain is on kill mode - it's gonna be painful. Also you shouldn't be handling a snake until at least 48 hours after it has eaten - so how do you get it back in the viv? Substrates look great but to be honest the snake isn't too fussed what the viv looks like. For my money the set up has to be easy to clean so it has always been newspaper.
Fair comment, although since I bought my snake mainly for display purpose I don't really fancy looking at pictures of idiots off X factor and Britneys bits when viewing my snake so newspaper is a no no I'm afraid.

I have never understood why people keep snakes in tubs when adults. I know a lot of people do and it does no harm to the snake and is possibly better for the snake. But why keep snakes if youre gonna keep em all in big tubs in what is essentially a snake archive???? Unless you are running a business. Thats different.
 

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though if u do it for a hobby and u end up with a lot of snakes its pretty hard to be able to have the room to have nice vivs everywhere, plus the expense of having nice vivs everywhere would be costly when u maybe have 20 snakes, got to think of it that way also when it comes to tubs, also the fact that tubs will be easier to clean etc if u have a load of snakes, cheaper to keep them all warm in a rack.
 

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Many people use tubs because its easier with the amount they have as said.. If I had the room for 20 nice viv's I probably would but cleanig them all would be a bitch! I must admit though unless I can keep anything I buy in a display viv I won't get it... When I move I will have a didicated room and the walls will be covered in vivs! :p
 
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