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Q: Snakes "backing off" feeding when they reach maturity ?
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I'd like to know what keepers' experience has been as far as mature snakes (five years+) showing a reduced appetite.  Is this to be expected (when documented growth progresses much more slowly, or seems to have stopped completely ?)  As an example, my five year old Kingsnake doesn't display much interest in a second prey item at feeding time, when in prior years, she never seemed satisfied with one (or sometimes even two...). Thanks.

Points: 100
Topics: Feeding
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Accepted Answer 5/26/2019 12:28:35 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

I noticed in your tracking that you are still feeding your Kingsnake weekly. Not to say my way is the only way, but when my animals get to be around 2 years old, I don't think they require the weekly intake anymore and I move them to one appropriate sized prey item every 2 weeks. All still continue to grow under this feeding schedule. Also, have  you considered feeding him a small rat instead? At his size/weight, it would probably be an appropriate meal and would contain less fat than the 2 jumbo mice, too. I see you BP eats small rats, so it could be worth a shot.

I have many animals that won't expect a second prey item, but eat one item consistently. A jumbo mouse is equal to a weaned rat, so a small rat would be similar to the amount of intake from a small rat.

Member Comment 5/26/2019 12:29:58 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

*similar to 2 jumbo mice*

Member Comment 5/30/2019 9:07:05 PM


I agree with everything Sonja mentioned. While I do feed mine almost every week I don't feed them the biggest meals they could take so perhaps this would be why they feed consistantly every week. Ares is my old boy and he's the only one who eats two large adult mice every week (otherwise if I feed him one he starts losing weight again) whereas my other male can and does sometimes get away with feeding bi weekly because he doesn't have much of an appetite. His metabolism is slower and I could see him refusing meals on occasion if I were feeding him huge meals each week.

Author Comment 6/5/2019 9:22:15 PM


I offered Olympias a Small Rat last Sunday (her feeding day +1) and she refused - but I believe this was due to her nearing a shed cycle (which she's now in).  I'll try again when it completes (if she refuses again, I'll be fairly sure she doesn't like rats - though she did take a few last year).  Thanks for the responses, to which I've certainly tuned in !

Author Comment 6/16/2019 3:11:42 PM


After another refusal post-shed, which surprised me, Olympias readily took a Small Rat today.  Thanks for the advice!

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