Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Crazy Busy! Plus, another snake!

So I haven't posted since November...but I am still here! Work was a little crazy for a few months. It seems like everyone gets their dogs washed right before Thanksgiving and Christmas! And then my husband and I went on yet another vacation to Disney World in January. Oh, and we adopted another animal...Gary the normal ball python! I don't have any pictures of him (yet). We just adopted him a few weeks ago. But he is my new pet project. Gary eats live rats. Or at least he did before I got ahold of him! Since I am a firm believer in feeding frozen/thawed, my new project is to switch Gary over. Now, the benefit of having a ball that already eats frozen thawed is that if Gary refuses to eat his dinner, Squeezie will probably eat his meal.

Happy Squeezie :D

I have never switched a snake from live to frozen. We were told that Squeezie may have eaten live, but we started her off with frozen and she didn't have a problem. Gary's previous owner told me that he will not eat frozen/thawed. So this is a new project for me. I have helped other people switch their snakes over before.

Next weekend, I plan on buying a live rat for Gary. I will kill the rat humanely (using a cervical disconnection, which is approved by the AVMA) just before I feed it to Gary. Hopefully the muscle spasms and warm body will encourage the snake to eat. If Gary refuses to eat his pre-killed rat next week, I will try stunning the rat instead of killing it. I refuse to feed any of my snakes a fully awake, live prey item (except for pinkies, they don't count). Gary already has multiple scars on his face and body from live prey fed by his previous owner. I don't want to add to those scars.

I have a few other tricks up my sleeve, including but not limited to:

  • Giving him a very, very stinky rat. When working at the Mouse House, I often overheard my boss helping customers with finicky ball pythons. He would give the customers very dirty, stinky rats. Sometimes that helps encourage the snake to eat.
  • Piercing the dead rat's skull before feeding. Sometimes the brain matter and blood can help excite the snake. 
  • Trying a different food item. 
  • Never, never hold the rat above the snake's head. Rats do not fly in the wild. Do you know what does fly? Birds! And birds eat snakes. People often make the mistake of feeding prey items by dangling the item above or in front of the snake. This can spook the snake. Instead, I will do what I do with all of my other snakes. I will put the rat on the floor of the feed tank and use tongs to move the rat along the ground. 
So that is it about Gary for now. I plan on continuing to make posts about Gary's progress. I also have a few more posts planned. Including:
  • More species spotlights. I have Leopard Gecko, Corn snake, Ball Python, and Pacman frog posts planned. I might do a mini species spotlight on the giant salamander. Although Pig (our aquatic giant) is currently going through kidney failure (most likely do to his old age) and will not be with us for much longer :(
  • More Disney World posts. Where you can find herps in the parks!
  • More home decor photos
  • More stuff about Dib. We just bought our cat a leash, so I plan on making some posts about that ;)
A cat leash. Because we haven't humiliated our kitty enough.
So that is it for now. As always, thanks for reading!