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 #1313431


Wiccadshea
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 Baby(?) Gopher Snake

I was just given a baby gopher snake yesterday. I’ve read countless things on ADULTS, but I can’t find the right infomation on the young. I don’t know the sex so I’m calling it a she. She’s about 12-13 inches long, and as big around as a pencil. She doesn’t have a proper enclosure yet; I get paid Thurs. So right now she’s in one of those small plastic (maybe 1 foot by 6 inches and 6 inches tall) with vents all around. She has small rocks, a branch and a water bowl.
I plan on getting her a 10 gal tank wih mulch and a hide box, heating lamp, etc.
This is my question- how often and what should a baby gopher be fed? They said she hadn’t eatn in 2 weks so I figured she’d be hungry. There’s a live wood cricket in there now and has been since about 10 this morning and she doesn’t seem the slightest bit interested. Should I get her a couple baby goldfish to throw in her water bowl? What should I feed her?



06/10/07  11:15pm

 #1313541


Teh 0wnerer
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  Message To: Wiccadshea   In reference to Message Id: 1313431


 Baby(?) Gopher Snake

Give it a pinky mouse. It also might not eat until you get the heatlamp.



06/11/07  01:01am

 #1314956


JackAsp
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  Message To: Teh 0wnerer   In reference to Message Id: 1313541


 Baby(?) Gopher Snake

They do not eat either fish or insects. They eat birds, mammals, and lizards. The only available pet shop food for a gopher her size is pinkies. Frozen/thawed is actually healthier than live, believe it or not, and can be found in the freezer sections of a lot of pet shops. Just heat the mouse in warm water, put it in a deli cup, make absolutely CERTAIN the top is on, and then cover it with a T-shirt or something for maybe half an hour to give the snake some privacy. I’ve had babies refuse to eat dead in the cage where they had room to look around and get distracted, but they’ve always taken them in the deli cup. You can be all careful and paranoid and peek really slowly and sneakily under one lifted-up bit of cloth, and odds are you will be, but odds are also that pinkie will be long gone by the time the half hour is up.

Afterwards you can gently put the snake back in their regular cage, but don’t try to play with her on a full stomach. Give her a couple of days to digest first. However, they quickly learn to get very excited when they see you bringing them to that deli cup, much like a dog that hears the can opener. It’s a nice bonding experience. Pretty soon she won’t even wait for you to put her in there and she’ll be eating with her tail still on your wrist unless you scoot it off.

Live pinkies can be used if the snake insists on them, but you can expect pinworms, hookworms, and parasitic amoeba infections. Often takes years of eating them to cause obvious trouble, but they’re in there. If the snake insists, though, don’t argue. Parasites may cause problems eventually, but starvation always kills. If your temperatures are right and you use the deli cup though she should take the thawed one. By the way, sometimes if you’re not sure the feeding response is strong yet it helps if you poke it in the head with a pin first. The mouse, not the snake!

Feedings every five days are ideal. If she still seems hungry after the pinkie, try giving her two at a time, or moving up to a bigger size, but change the portions, not the schedule. Five days is just long enough to allow her organs to rest a little between meals.

One end of the cage should be in the 70s and one should be about 90. You can use paper if there are a lot of small, tight places to hide, but it’s better for adults who’ve lost interest in burrowing (not that all adults do.) As a baby, I say give her something she can dig around in. Sand (including calcisand,) gravel, pine, and cedar are not good options. Others all have their supporters, but my favorite is Carefresh. No chemicals (unless you get the weird dyed kind, which for all I know may be harmless as well, but I’ll pass), no splinters, and you can flush it right down the toilet. Another advantage to burrowable substrate is you can make little sunken hides out of toilet paper tubes, which they seem quite fond of, and often spend more time in than the actual substrate.

They also like the undersides of those rectangular two-section pet dishes, which are also nice because if they poop in one side (which she will) there’s still clean water in the other until you get home. And any kind of partial cover, such as a loose clump of dry Spanish moss or a small wicker plate holder, that allows them to see you more easily than you can see them, will allow her to balance out shyness and curiosity while she’s getting used to you. It’s actually quite fun to give them a variety of different ways to hide and watch them keep exploring between them. Make sure that there are hides that she likes at both temperature extremes, so she doesn’t blow off thermoregulation. In the wild, warm spots move when the sun does, but that doesn’t happen much in cages.

Also, don’t neglect escape-proofing when you get the new tank. Any time you’re wondering if a crack is wide enough or a clamp is wobbly enough to let her out, here’s a pretty good way to figure out whether it is or not: The answer is yes.



06/11/07  11:37pm

 #1316436


Wiccadshea
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 1314956


 Baby(?) Gopher Snake

Thanks for your help. I haven’t had the change to get her the 10 gal tank just yet, payday’s thursday. I did put some branches and a rock in the container she’s in and a heating pad underneath 1/2 of it, which seems to have made her happier. She’s stll grumpy tho; shakes her tail at me if I rearrange anything but I think part of that is the shedding?
Luckily I saw my pet store ppl today and they have live ad frozen pinkys.
I fully expect to get bit at least once while I’m moving her from the plastic container to the tank but I’ve read that if you put a drop of Listerine by their mouth they generally let go and it won’t kill them.
Thank you so much for you advice on how to feed her, I hope it does prove to be a good bonding experience.

It said for security purposes I can’t message anyone for a few days personally but I’d like to get some more advice from you if I could. I’m only used to dealing with pythons and boas and they’re so much easier.



06/12/07  11:25pm

 #1316550


JackAsp
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  Message To: Wiccadshea   In reference to Message Id: 1316436


 Baby(?) Gopher Snake

Why is everybody so worried about how to get harmless baby snakes to let go of them with alcohol lately? You’re like the fourth person I’ve seen ask about that trick in the last week or so, LOL.

Truth be told, unless you’re either putting food in the cage and she gets excited, or taking food out and she changes her mind, you may well never get bitten. They like to hiss and bluff until they’re used to you, but even wildcaught adults are often all show. I think "nature’s reasoning" is that if they make enough noise about SEEMING about to bite then all they have to do is fake it once or twice and the coyote or whatever says "That snake almost nailed me! I’m out of here!" Whereas if they actually chomped onto it it would get ad and kill them. Anyway, the Listerine trick works, but it’s not somthing you’re really going to have to worry about. The only time a member of that genus ever bit me it was because I was putting a live mouse in the cage, it pulled itself on top of my hand, and then it jumped off as the snake was lunging. I wound up with a snake chewing on my hand and constricting my wrist, so I walked into the bathroom and ran some water on her. She let go, I put her back in the cage, and she ate the mouse. Trauma over.

That container you’re using isn’t really bad for a snake that small. I like big cages, and so will the snake, but she’s okay for now. Take it easy on redecorating as long as she has what she needs; you can play around more with branches and things when you move her into the ten, but right now try to let her be used to the place too. When I play around with changes in cage setup, I usually do it when I’m cleaning the cage anyway. even tamer, well established snakes that seem to really like coming out to play still don’t like to see all their "buildings" moving around at close range. The cage should be a quiet peaceful place for them.

If you’re sure you’re geting the new cage this weekend, hold off on feeding right now. The stress of moving to a whole new environment again right after she eats might trigger a regurge. Set the ten up nicely, then move her in, then wait several days until you’re satisfied that she’s comfortable in there. Take your time setting it up so you can stay out of it for a while, except for changing the water. You don’t want to put her in there, then say "Hey, if I rearrange it I can add this cave1" then a day later have yet another brainstorm. Anything you can’t wait a week for should be donebefore she’s in there, because it’s her home, and it needs to feel like it’s not going to be reshuffled on her very day. You can add more hides any time you you want, but once something is in there leave it until she’s settled, then you can start tweaking things more. Also, refrain from playing with her until she’s eating. If she doesn’t feel like her hiding places are secure, it’s a big appetite killer. Once she eats, two days later the gratuitous handling can commence.

Chances are high that she’ll eat shortly after she moves into the new home. If she doesn’t, wait either three more days or until she sheds, whichever is sooner, and try again. If after she sheds she still won’t take thawed ones, you’ll have to try a live one. But think if you have her in the new cage before noon on Saturday she’ll be feeling like a normal snake again and ready to eat any pinkie live or dead that she’s in a small nestlike area with.

By the way, do the transfer to the new cage in the morning or early afternoon, even if it means one more night in the litle tub. They’re diurnal, so if you put her in when she’d be awake anyway she’ll still get a normal night’s sleep. If you put her in right when she was ready to go to sleep, and then she spends half the night trying to figure out where she is, that’s a little rough on her. For the same reason, you want some kind of dependable day/night cycle. If the cage is warm enough without a heat lamp, a simple fluorescent light turned on in the morning and off at night is fine. or if the room itself has a clear day/night cycle, you don’t even need that, as long as her system knows if it’s time to be hungry or time to be sleepy.

You’re gonna worry until she has that first mouse in her, but you’ve got a great starter snake. I think by next week you’re going to be very happy with her.



06/13/07  12:58am

 #2181372


Snakebite0425
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  Message To: Wiccadshea   In reference to Message Id: 1313431


 Baby(?) Gopher Snake

I’ll tell you a bit of information I was giving a baby gopher snake and no where does it say they eat goldfish but my friend that gave it to me said that he had been feeding them goldfish since they were born. I went to the pet shop and bought 4 baby goldfish and my gopher ate them all. He seems to enjoy them and he has since shed so if you wanna try it I don’t think it would hurt. I’ll post a pick later of my gopher eating a goldfish if that helps with your decision



10/15/10  04:25pm

 #2182165


JackAsp
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  Message To: Snakebite0425   In reference to Message Id: 2181372


 Baby(?) Gopher Snake

A LOT of snakes will eat goldfish. However


1. Goldfish have a very high fat to protein ratio, and cold-blooded animals do not have as many ways of burning off excess as mammals do. The whole "good fat/bad fat" thing doesn’t seem to be as applicable. So their liver and kidneys end up turning geriatric before the rest of them even hits middle-age.

2. Goldfish are host to a delightful range of multi-species-compatible flukes, hookworms, nematodes, and detrimental intestinal protazoa. Some show up quickly, others quietly whittle away at the host’s body for years, doing permanent damage.

3. Goldfish are rich in thiaminese, which is quite literally the exact opposite of a B vitamin. Have you ever seen a wobbly, slurring ex-drunk who hasn’t had a swig in YEARS? That’s pretty much what I’m talking about, dead on, except that your snake is slightly less likely to try to convince younger, still-healthy goldfish-eating juvies that he is their role model.

4.Goldfish are dangerously high in Vitamin A, which adds an extra load to the liver on top of the fat issue.

5. Goldfish use encourages other lazy husbandry practices. For example, if the snake is eating goldfish, then getting it on mice "eventually" is no big deal. Except that

a. You haven’t changed it’s water in a week, because there’s a feeder fish in there, which is continuously pooping more and more harmful microbes in to the water.... especially since goildfish are a cold-water species so they aren’t at maximum health when the temperature is in the 70s. Things that were dormant in their system at 70 are NOT at 75. Remember, they’d rather be 60. But if the snake cage isn’t in the 70s, then the whole "eating fish or not" question is pretty much moot.

b. The whole time you’re feeding it goldfish, you’re learning nothing whatsoever about how to feed it mice, and

c. A few days, or to be honest, even weeks, without eating is nothing to panic over and rush to problematic foods. Hatchling snakes have often gone literally MONTHS, and I don’t even mean just 2 or 3, I mean like 6 or 8, before finally taking their first meal.

Losing track now of that whole number/letter thing I was attempting: snakes are both smarter than you expect them to be when it comes to certain things, and STUPIDER when it comes to other things. And they can be amazingly stubborn on either level. There are dozens of ways to make rodents more palatable to a stubborn rodent-feeder. Using goldfish instead may also work... kind of like deciding to raise your dog on old bacon that’s been swirled around in the dirtiest pet-shop tank you could find. But...

Any rodent-eating snake that likes fish will eat a rodent that’s been scented with tuna water.



10/20/10  03:33am

 #2182168


Greatballzofire
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2182165


 Baby(?) Gopher Snake

JackAsp,
Snakebite0425’s snake turned out to be a garter snake. LOL!
Link
Even garters should not be fed just gold fish, however.



10/20/10  07:41am

 #2283304


Foreverhungryforinfo
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  Message To: Greatballzofire   In reference to Message Id: 2182168


 Baby(?) Gopher Snake

Hey, I found this post signed up and am also curious. Now I know a bunch of you are going to go spaz out on me. but I found about a 12-18inch. Gopher or Bull snake out in the old back yard. Guess what, he is now a pet of mine as of 7hours ago. Lol, but anyways. I have checked him over, well rounded literally, no external diseases, parasites or anything. He flicks his tongue out every once and a while but seems to like a corner of my 10 gallon tank... But I have read a 30 gallon tank will be needed in the near future and when this little beast grows up a 50+ gallon optimal is needed. Errrrr way out of my price range seeing as how I am 14 in these economic times. But yea. He is a very friendly little buger and no it is not a garner snake.. Lol it has the tan back with black squares tear marks and so on. But yea. Can this guy live in a ten gallon tank? And will he eat crickets for a week?? Or is he going to be picky and only eat pinkies and what not. Also will they have to be live because he was wild for a while... Haha but yea I will follow and thanks



10/19/12  11:18pm

 #2283336


Foreverhungryforinfo
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  Message To: Foreverhungryforinfo   In reference to Message Id: 2283304


 Baby(?) Gopher Snake

One last thing though which concerns me quite a bit. He or she won’t move unless I pick him up, then he like moving, and also he doesn’t seem to be flicking his tongue in and out anymore as I watch him.



10/20/12  11:05am

 #2283337


Foreverhungryforinfo
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  Message To: Foreverhungryforinfo   In reference to Message Id: 2283304


 Baby(?) Gopher Snake

How do I take a phone so you guys can see him



10/20/12  11:16am

 #2283344


Foreverhungryforinfo
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  Message To: Foreverhungryforinfo   In reference to Message Id: 2283337


 Baby(?) Gopher Snake

got, ok, it is a bit blurry but here he is. Like I said, any ideas as to why he doesn’t seem to want to explore his habitat, he has two hiding spots and all that, and I am also getting a different type of material for bottom. But yea



10/20/12  01:06pm


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