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How comes snakes will often refuse food during the shedding process?

My california king is a very aggressive eater normally, but will often refuse food when it is close to shedding.
 

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Because they're pissed off, uncomfortable and a lil bit stressed? TBH I don't know the real reason but I imagine if you were trying to shed your entire skin then eating wouldn't necessarily be the first thing on your mind.
 

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Also I think the struggle seeing. I have found that when my snakes are in shed they often miss when striking. If i touch their head with the mouse they know where it is and get it.
 

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as above, but also prob because they know best, snakes in shed can be more prone to regurge.

interesting point. this has never happened to my snakes.
 

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They shed their skin basically because their skin does not grow with them, like humans.

As they grow, their skin becomes too small for them...

During a shed cycle the new skin forms underneath the old layer...an opaque fluid is released between the old layer of skin and the new one/s beneath. Which is why snakes looks blue/dull when they're in shed.

This fluid also aids shedding, providing a nice buffer, allowing the skin to slip off easily (provided the humidity level is alright)...

As you will know, the shed skin is rather brittle and crispy.

The old skin, before they've shed, is obviously too small (hence shedding)...and tight. The elasticity which helps the skin stretch isn't at its' optimum level any longer, so getting a meal down can be rather uncomfortable.

Which is why many snakes don't feed when they're in shed...the skin won't stretch as far so it can be rather uncomfortable.

Plus, whilst they're in shed, their eye sight is often impaired due to the opaque fluid under the skin...this leaves them rather vulnerable to predators. Feeding as well would make them even more vulnerable.

Having said that...a lot of snakes will feed when in shed...generally the larger species which are like dustbins anyway. And more so those that feel secure in their vivs.

EDIT: It's a bit like you wearing a really tight corset and trying to breathe!!
 

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It can split the skin too .... but it just seems to depend on the snake with me ... some are just non-stop gutsy :2thumb:
 

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interesting point. this has never happened to my snakes.
They shed their skin basically because their skin does not grow with them, like humans.

As they grow, their skin becomes too small for them...

The old skin, before they've shed, is obviously too small (hence shedding)...and tight. The elasticity which helps the skin stretch isn't at its' optimum level any longer, so getting a meal down can be rather uncomfortable.

Which is why many snakes don't feed when they're in shed...the skin won't stretch as far so it can be rather uncomfortable.


EDIT: It's a bit like you wearing a really tight corset and trying to breathe!!
this is one of the reasons they are more prone to regurge, but also if they actually shed straight after feeding they need to move around, sometimes quite a bit to remove the skin, this can also cause regurge.
 

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if you were rapped up in clean-film from head to toe with iching power mixed in all over your body and vix under your eyes, would you feel like a cheese burger?

our corn we got will not spot at any thing to eat in shed or not. the royal wont eat, end of the day it's there choice.
 

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Yup, mine has always eaten quite happily during shedding with no adverse effects whatsoever (unless you count a sh*tshed that is).
 

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Pied, that post was great! Where do you get it all hun?...my brain only seems to retain tiny bits of info, i always just thought it was cos they coodnt see so well too....great info, very intresting!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks a lot for your responses, particularly the one from Pied Pythons. Veyr informative!!
 

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if u still want them to eat when they r in shed just give them a smaller than usual meal that works for mine they never refuse food. even Rug who can be fussy sometimes has a chick while in shed.

also i heat their foods head up more than the rest of the body so they know which end to strike at when they cant see.
 

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Feeding whilst in shed can also lead to incomplete/bad sheds. Not necessarily, but it can be a contributing factor.

Personally, although most of mine will take food during a shed, I feel that having them miss a feed does them a bit of good once in a while (if they're on a regular 7 day feeding schedule and are basically adult), so I tend not to offer during this time.
 

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u have to remember they didnt evolve to be in tubs, when in shed thier vision is impaired and when hunting they may become the hunted.

ed

How comes snakes will often refuse food during the shedding process?

My california king is a very aggressive eater normally, but will often refuse food when it is close to shedding.
 

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Lots of reason

One their eyeare cloudy so they are on edge be aide they cannot see anything and they don't eat because it takes effort to move the food down their throat and to digest the food, they don't eat because it takes a lot of effort to shed their skin so if they eat during this time they will most likely regurgitate their food.
 

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I think Steve Irwin said it is to do with vulnerability snakes that have just shed are more vulnerable because they are slower and less agile, snakes that are in shed are more vulnerable because they are dopey and cant see well, so a snake in shed that eats is increasing its risk of vulnerability to predation

or summat like that
 
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