17 June 2010

Feeding the Snakes

We have a few snakes at Green Cay Nature Center that we use for educational purposes. I am in charge of feeding them weekly or every two weeks. Feeding involves thawing out mice and then inticing them to eat. With some of the snakes it's easy and with other ones it's a chore. This young Corn Snake was a challenge when we first got him. A breeder gave him to us because he had extra. Immediately you could tell something was wrong with the snake, it had a small kink in near it's tail and it wouldn't eat. But after many months of coaxing it into feeding it is now by far one the easiest snakes to feed.

Kim helped me out with the snake feeding this week by dangling the little mice around. The young Corn Snake eats about 5 or 6 pinkies at a time. I think it's great how they use gravity to help slide the little morsel down the hatch.

Another healthy eating snake at Green Cay is our Everglades Ratsnake. I don't particularly find this snake very friendly. It has a tendencity to be aggressive and when handling it often will musk on you. I usually keep my distance and we have a mutual relationship of avoidance. Of course when feeding comes around I must interact but I use some long tweezers so it doesn't miss and strike me instead. This week our Everglades Rat ate 2 X-Breeders (very large mice) and 2 medium mice. Like I said, a healthy eater.

For those that enjoy snakes and feeding you should check out the video below of the Everglades Rat downing that large mouse. It's pretty cool to watch even if snakes or mice aren't your thing. I'm always amazed by the ability of snakes to swallow something much larger than their head.


The Florida Blogger said...

I used to have a Ball Python that would get rat treats. It was pretty calm as snakes go, though.

Eva said...

We have a Ball Python at the nature center as well. Very relaxed. Actually we have some problems because with it because it rarely eats. We have to really entice him and it never strikes.