Common Feeding ProblemsHere are some answers to some FAQ's related to feeding. If the answers don't help and you need more assistance, please contact us.
PYTHONS | DRAGONS | TURTLES | FROGS
PYTHONS (See also Feeding Tips for Pythons)
- My python usually eats really well, but hasn't eaten now for 3 weeks.
This problem could be due to poor food quality, old food, incorrect thawing of frozen feed, or foreign smells and scents on the food. It could also be a result of a drop in temperatures (sometimes not seen during the day but occurring in the middle of the night), an incorrect Day/Night cycle, or possibly a sickness in the snake. The python could also be in a shed/slough cycle.
- My python doesn't want to eat. It is a baby, and it hasn't eaten since I got it.
Firstly, don't handle a new acquisition until it has fed at least a few times for you. Handling is stressful to babies and is a major contributor to feeding problems. Check your temperatures, and make sure the animal has access to temperatures at least 2oC above and below its Preferred Body Temperature. Has the animal got suitable hiding places that are these temperatures?
Check what food was being fed before you got your python
If this continues past 4 weeks, return the snake to the supplier or ask them to get it to feed for you.
- My python is 18months old, and used to feed really well. He has stopped eating for
the last 2 months.
This problem is quite often experienced coming into winter. In this case, either increase your temperatures so your python doesn't aestivate (recommended), or allow him to go into full winter sleep (not recommended if you aren't sure what to do).
If this problem is not temperature related, it might be a result of the animal outgrowing its current cage, and is somewhat stressed. Changing cages can often stimulate feeding within a week or two.
Substitute feed types, such as a rat for a mouse or vice versa.
- My python grabs his food, but then lets it go.
This might have something to do with the temperature of the food (too hot or cold), but usually its got to do with you jumping all over the place excited with seeing your snake feed, and he becomes stressed thinking a kookaburra wants to eat him. Keep your movements slow and steady when your python is feeding.
Another here is to keep wiggling and pulling on the mouse/rat when your python has grabbed it. This way, he thinks its alive and will try harder to 'kill' , often stimulating the completion of feeding.
- My python usually eats really well, but last night vomited up his last meal.
Oh oh!!! This is not a good situation. This usually means either there is something wrong with his food, or the temperature of the cage has plummeted (probably during the night). This problem needs to be rectified quickly, but give the snake a week before trying to re-feed.
- I want to get my python to eat rats, but he is addicted to mice.
This is relatively easy to fix. First start by feeding two Adult mice, one after the other. When your snake happily accepts this, thaw out one Adult mouse and one Hopper Rat for his next meal.
Feed the mouse first, and when you get to the last big gulp to swallow the back legs of the mouse, place the head of the rat in the snake's mouth. Generally he will keep on eating as if its just a really long mouse.
Repeat this about 4 times, and then your snake should readily accept rats.
- I'm worried my python is going to bite me every time I open the cage because I
feed him in the cage.
If you open the door of your python's cage once per week, and only to feed him, then this could well happen. But if you are in there playing around more often, then your snake won't associate the door opening with feeding.
DRAGONS (See also Feeding Tips for Dragons)
- My Dragon only eats Crickets. I can't get him to eat his veggies.
As a child, we were all told to eat our veggies if we wanted some desert. The easiest way to fix this dragon issue is to reduce the crickets (desert) and increase the veggies. Things will soon change when the tummy starts rumbling.
- My Dragon has had a big meal of crickets and now is dragging his back legs around.
Bad situation. This dragon has eaten food way bigger than the distance between the eye-arches. Keep him warm, well hydrated, and gently massage his tummy every 30mins or so. This oversized meal has placed intense pressure on his spine. You need to make sure all insects and veggies are a suitable size.
- My Dragon doesn't seem to like crickets when they have been dusted
with vitamins of calcium
Sometimes we get a bit overzealous with dustings, and use copious amounts. These vitamins and calcium do have a taste, as well as change the appearance of food, so using very small amounts to start with is advisable.
- When I feed crickets and roaches, I lose more out of the container and
loose on the floor than I get in the cage.
Place your insects in the fridge for about 10mins prior to feeding. They will go very cold and fall asleep. You can then count out exactly what you want to feed, check their size suitability, and then place them in a jar or bag. Return the rest of the crickets to their normal storage place, add some vitamins/calcium to your feed crickets, shake away and feed off. By this time, the insects will have awoken and be running around like nothing happened.
TURTLES (See also Feeding Tips for Turtles)
- My turtle doesn't like any other food but ************.
This is easy to fix. Stop feeding that particular food, and offer something else. After a couple of days, your turtle will be hungry and will try almost anything.
Alternatively, mix a small amount of the preferred food with a lot of a new type of food, and see what happens.
- My turtle won't eat anything.
This is probably due to stress, incorrect temperatures, or a disease issue.
- My turtle keeps biting me when I put my hand in the tank.
Its hungry. Feed it.
Some people believe that you can avoid this problem by using feeding tweezers when offering food. There is less association between hands and food.
FROGS (See also Feeding Tips for Frogs)
- My frog has gone off his food. I have tried crickets, cockroaches and silkworms.
Nothing seems to interest him.
This sounds like a temperature or health issue. Check your frog can get warm enough, and check for other stresses including dirty water, chemicals and body wounds.
- I've tried to offer a pinkie mouse to my frog. He is not interested.
Firstly, try feeding live crickets on the end of a pair of tweezers (feeding tongs). Your frog should attack this no worries. When you have done this for a few weeks, thaw a pinkie out and offer it jus the same. Generally speaking, the frog will grab it straight away.
- I have a water-based frog cage, and all the crickets drown in the water. What should I do?
Purchasing a small, plastic, clip-lid container to feed your frogs in might be a good idea, or try feeding your frogs with a pair of feeding tweezers. Using tweezers does allow you to monitor how much food each frog is eating.
- I feed my frog with tweezers, but every time he eats one cricket, he won't eat
straight away again for me.
Frogs have to swallow by applying pressure in the throat using their eye-balls. You will often find that a frog won't want to eat for a few minutes after swallowing. Be patient, and come back after 5 minutes, your frog will probably eat.