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Snake diet

Discussion in 'Snakes' started by Miss Sarah rayment, Sep 15, 2018.


  1. Miss Sarah rayment

    Miss Sarah rayment PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all

    Sorry this is a rather silly question.

    I have been snake sitting for a couple weeks now. He is a corn snake and his diet is basic: mice and water. I feel like maybe he would enjoy something new to try so I was wondering if it is safe to give him some flavours in water. I can't change his food, but I was thinking to give him some lemon water as an option for instance or some lightly concentrated squash. Obviously alongside his fresh water.

    Can snakes appreciate different flavours? Will he have the anatomy to digest properly? Is it safe?

    Obviously I won't do anything without telling the owner first as well, but was just wanting to find out some other thoughts first.

    Thanks
    Sarah
     
  2. cava14 una

    cava14 una Anne two black and white boys and a Nortie Tortie

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    I know nothing about snakes but I wouldn't change any creature's diet especially if it wasn't my own. I'm sure he's fine with plain water
     
  3. Miss Sarah rayment

    Miss Sarah rayment PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks cava14, helpful words. And sorry I realise this is in the wrong thread but no idea how to change that.

    It's something I have already talked to my housemate, the owner about and obviously I won't put anything in there before she's says yes to. Not sure if there is any experiences out there of corn snakes liking different things?

    Otherwise I'll just drop it
     
  4. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    Nah I really wouldn’t bother.

    Not sure how good they would be for the snake, it’s not going to come across squash water in the wild....

    Snakes are primitive things and so don’t really care about treats as such. It’s just food to them. If you want to give them a treat you could feed a day old chick or some snakes will eat a boiled egg (no nutrious value in that though) but most aren’t bothered if they eat mice their whole lives!
     
  5. Miss Sarah rayment

    Miss Sarah rayment PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks teddy

    That's a shame I was really looking forward to broadening his experiences. I guess I'm going to leave it.

    Thanks for the suggestions! I'll mention the chick thing to my housemate
     
  6. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn’t feel too bad - the snake won’t know! And they don’t understand treats :)

    But yeah, if you do want to treat then you can give them a chick, if they’re big enough. I mean you can get hamster and gerbils (frozen obviously) to feed too. I’ve never bothered as mine are happy on mice and rats but I guess if you want to. Though I have read that hamsters can be tasty to snakes and if they have a few then you might have trouble getting them back into mice.

    If you’re mainly feeding mice then don’t worry about the next bit. But if you do decide to mix it up a bit and feed something else more often then do look up the fat content as if they are higher in fat you’ll need to feed less often, if a snake becomes overweight it is hard to shift it. Rats have a higher fat content than mice so it is generally not advised to feed them to corn snakes as they don’t need the extra fat, unlike pythons who would mainly be fed on rats.
     
  7. cat001

    cat001 PetForums VIP

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    One thing to consider is that humans are unspecialised feeders, we are omnivores and eat a broad range of foods so have a completely different experience of what constitutes a good and satisfying meal to an animal with a highly specialised diet such as a snake. They're evolved to enjoy a specific diet whereas we find enjoyment in variety. We have a gut and sensory system that supports this, we can detect foods higher in sugars (energy) and taste compounds that may be detrimental such as toxins. Snakes, being specialised creatures do not need to distinguish different flavours as their food is consistent in nutrition as they're consuming the entire animal and their bodies have evolved accordingly. They lack tastebuds and have a different gastric system to us. They can't appreciate the flavours we do because their's no need for them to select for specific foods with specific qualities. They may also lack specific enzymes and gut flora required for processing specific nutrients so could have trouble digesting foods that are not small animals.

    The only thing I would enrich a snakes water with is a bit of reptoboost, and occasionally scent their food with rabbit fur to keep things interesting or occasionally treat with a chick. Additionally, snakes have wildly efficient digestive systems, especially when contrasted with our comparatively inefficient digestive systems. Adding processed sugars found in flavoured waters could be highly detrimental as its not something a snakes physiology typically has to deal with.
     
    #7 cat001, Oct 14, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
    Teddy-dog likes this.
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