Mud snake overwintering

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DracoRJC
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Mud snake overwintering

Post by DracoRJC » October 10th, 2013, 8:10 am

Hey all - need some advice.

I have a captive-hatched mud snake (hatched by a friend in Virginia from a wild-caught female that mysteriously showed up on craigslist as a kingsnake...) that is about a month old. After keeping live earthworms and cricket frogs in the tank, I believe he has eaten something at some point, but not much, since some of the food has disappeared and he has maintained his normal weight. He has turned down leopard frog tadpoles and juvenile green treefrogs. In the spring I have access to redbacks and ambystomid larvae, but until then feeding this little guy is going to be very difficult in the winter, and his appetite still isn't terribly strong. For these reasons I am considering overwintering him, so there is plenty of food and he is hungry when he wakes up. Problem is, I've never overwintered a snake, and I'm entirely sure how I should go about it. Any help or advice is very much appreciated.

Here's a picture of the clutch upon hatching, just for fun.

Ryan

Image

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Mud snake overwintering

Post by Kelly Mc » October 10th, 2013, 6:59 pm

There are too many blank spots to answer your question with assurance. In the earlier times have worked in places where snakes would come in from all over the globe - taxa obscura - and lay eggs or birth, and wouldnt eat for eclectic baby dietary or species specific proclivities and i tube fed them. I also never brumed any neo temperates that were picky - like lampropeltis - and never lost a baby because it grew too weak to eat. I never brum any neos actually. I believe its overestimated - through thousands of un brumed babies that grew and thrived in robust health.

If that isnt an option I would keep an active season photoperiod on the baby and try to get it some suitable prey. Keep disruption to a Minimum.

Tube feeding again - takes all the risk away. I dont know why such effective support isnt more emphasized in herpetoculture as it is a standard tool in animal care - wildlife rehab, zoo husbandry and even domestic/companion. And snakes are much easier to gavage than most other animals.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Mud snake overwintering

Post by Kelly Mc » October 10th, 2013, 7:36 pm

1 part raw poultry to 1 part Tilipia pureed. Rep Cal enough to cover the head of Lincoln on a penny (per feeding). A few grains Herptivite or ground Centrum optional.

In order to suggest a feeding amount it would be useful to photo the snake laying next to a quarter, or a ruler or standard sharpie. It has been recommended to tube feed 2 % of specimens total body weight, but i just eyeball it w/ note strength and other particulars.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Mud snake overwintering

Post by Kelly Mc » October 12th, 2013, 5:48 pm

Personally though it may conflict with long time cannonized and quite respectable advice on the internet, i have routinely tubed 10% and probably more to non debilitated specimens ) ie; relunctant feeders with only good results. Though sometimes just enough food material to get an epithelial cycle going is enough to score voluntary feeding behavior - which is the goal of the procedure.

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