Anyone with Milk Snake experience? She won't eat!

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R3dguitarist
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Anyone with Milk Snake experience? She won't eat!

Post by R3dguitarist » October 7th, 2013, 6:06 pm

My little Eastern Milk Snake, 'bout 18.5 inches and 27 grams, has stopped eating. She's in a ten gallon with aspen bedding, constant water, and a heat mat (cool side at about 70 and warm at about 85). She was feeding on thawed large pinkies/small fuzzies every 5 days for about a month and half, but has missed the past four or five feedings. I have still offered food like before but she just isn't taking it. Any suggestions? I'm planning on buying a live pinkie tomorrow to try and peak some curiosity from her. Any help is appreciated!

herpfriend
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Re: Anyone with Milk Snake experience? She won't eat!

Post by herpfriend » October 7th, 2013, 7:53 pm

It could be it is getting ready to hibernate. I think photo period has as much or more effect on the urge to hibernate. The Red milk I have kept for years goes off feed in mid August to early September every year. It will eat skinks, but I don't want it to quit taking mice, so I don't usually try skinks. I just put it in a cool room and let it hibernate until late March or early April. It generally eats ravenously about 2 weeks after I take it out of hibernation.

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Re: Anyone with Milk Snake experience? She won't eat!

Post by jlzachary1 » October 7th, 2013, 8:06 pm

I agree with Herpfriend. I have a room full of milksnakes and i think the photo period combined with the pressure changes as the winter lows come in affects them quite a bit.

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R3dguitarist
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Re: Anyone with Milk Snake experience? She won't eat!

Post by R3dguitarist » October 7th, 2013, 8:14 pm

So then would it be best to try a live pinkie to just get a bit of food in there, or leave her be for the winter? I've never brumated any of my reptiles before.

herpfriend
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Re: Anyone with Milk Snake experience? She won't eat!

Post by herpfriend » October 7th, 2013, 8:21 pm

You can try a live pinkie. If she won't take it, cool her down for the winter. I keep mine at 50 - 55 degrees.

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R3dguitarist
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Re: Anyone with Milk Snake experience? She won't eat!

Post by R3dguitarist » October 7th, 2013, 8:25 pm

Alright, thanks for the help!

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Re: Anyone with Milk Snake experience? She won't eat!

Post by rtdunham » October 8th, 2013, 8:34 am

R3dguitarist wrote:So then would it be best to try a live pinkie to just get a bit of food in there, or leave her be for the winter? I've never brumated any of my reptiles before.
yes, but keep her in her present 70-85 surroundings for a couple weeks and then lower the temp (unplug the heat tape for a week) before putting her in the 50-60 degree setting. You want her to empty her gut before cool down. (And btw, if it's only been a week or so since she last fed, you might as well start the cooldown now, because with the above scenario you're still gonna be cooling her after 2-3 weeks off food.

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Re: Anyone with Milk Snake experience? She won't eat!

Post by justinm » October 10th, 2013, 5:13 am

I'm guessing this is a WC animal. If so it just wants to brumate. Put that snake in a tub with 4-5 inches of leaves or wood shavings and a water bowl. If you can keep it dark and cool, say mid 50's for a couple of months. That snake will come out and eat every couple of days for a month, then slow down eat every so often and then quit again as Fall arrives.

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Cole Grover
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Re: Anyone with Milk Snake experience? She won't eat!

Post by Cole Grover » October 10th, 2013, 11:56 am

There's a lot of sound advice in this thread. Nominate triangulum, like all temperate forms of the species, tend to go off feed this time of year as a natural preparation for brumation. Allow the animal to fully empty its gut at "standard" temperatures like you're running, then cool it. The only bit of advice I'd give that differs from that already given is that the temperatures could/should be a bit lower. I'd shoot for under 55F for best results. Brumating several hundred temperate milks every year for the past decade and a half has shown me that too warm a temperature can be problematic...

-Cole

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R3dguitarist
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Re: Anyone with Milk Snake experience? She won't eat!

Post by R3dguitarist » October 10th, 2013, 12:05 pm

Alright, thanks everyone for the replies! What time period should I brumate for? In other words, when should I cut the heat and when should I bring her back out?

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Re: Anyone with Milk Snake experience? She won't eat!

Post by tspuckler » October 12th, 2013, 5:23 am

I'd add a "humidity hidebox" to your setup, whether the snake is eating or not. In my experience young E. Milks make quite a bit of use out of a hiding area with damp sphagnum moss. Like the others who posted, I've had them go off feed at this time of year.

Tim

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