Feeding burmese pythons

Feeding burmese pythons

Postby Gustav » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:04 pm

Hey guys and gals. I bought my first burmese yesterday. An albino yearling from a guy in lonehill. I don't know the sex yet but will find out tomorrow. I have experience with snakes as I have about 8 others(ball pythons and KSB) at the moment. I just want to know what would be a good feeding routine for a burmese? and if the sex of the snake makes a big difference in the routine/frequency of feeding? And last what would be the best option: feeding inside the cage or outside? The snake is about 1.2m at this stage.

Thank you
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Re: Feeding burmese pythons

Postby Sico » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:12 pm

Gustav,
I think a lot of guys will differ in their opinions, and if you do a search on the forum you will find that this has been discussed several times. I feed mine every 8-10 days, and food of a decent size enough for them to fill up (a yearling should take a large rat without hassle). I find mine have a very fast metabolism and will eat and defecate within a week from that time. I normally wait for them to defecate before feeding again, and I feed them more before the winter months as I have found that they tend to eat perhaps only once or twice during the colder period in Joburg. I feed mine in the cage, but this has taught them that whenever the cage is opened they assume they are being fed and become very alert and will strike at anything. I do not have a problem with this, as I do not handle them, other than to remove them from their cages to clean them, and I "neck" them with a grabstick when i need to move them, once they are out of their cages they tend to be pretty placid.
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Re: Feeding burmese pythons

Postby rolandslf » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:18 pm

As Sico said, feeding in the cage leads to an attitude of - If the cage opens it is for food.
Your Burmese can be trained using a hook to not respond on opening the cage. This has been discussed on the Forum, use the FAQ Button.

I would feed one largish prey item every 14 days for 3 feeds and then skip a feed, resuming the cycle on what would be the next scheduled feed day.

Sico - I do not know it all, but I personally would not use a grabstick to neck a Burmese, too much room for injury to occur.
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Re: Feeding burmese pythons

Postby Sico » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:53 pm

Roland, I've just found it's way easier, and it doesn't require much force, once they realise that their necks are restrained (and not with much "squeese) they seem to just chill. I'd then take them by the neck by hand, and they're as easy as putty to work with. I used to just give them a tap on the nose, but then my big boy wised up, and as I tapped he opened his mouth and gone was my hand for the next 5 minutes... It was like setting off a gin trap with my fingers...
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Re: Feeding burmese pythons

Postby Jamster » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:36 pm

my big boy has a good feeding response but is very tame, as soon as i touch him he hisses a bit but he no longer wants to eat me. you can train them. every time before you pick him/her up you him/her with a bit of water in a spray bottle, and when feeding dont spray, the snake will quickly become used to the routine of spray and handle, aswell as no spray and feed. The best though is to feed out of the cage, when my burm was still that size i put him in the bath to feed, he knew exactly what was coming when i put him in the bath, also easy to clean up afterwards. Just rinse the bath with hot water before so it isnt ice cold on the snake :)
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Re: Feeding burmese pythons

Postby Jamster » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:38 pm

I personally would never use a grabstick om a burmese python.
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Re: Feeding burmese pythons

Postby Gustav » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:55 pm

Thanks a lot. I thought this is a forum where one asks questions to get answers from people with experience willing to share with people like me that are new to the hobby or just new to a specific snake species. I have read the older posts on more or less the same topics. I have read on the internet about the training of Burmese pythons at feedingtime but wanted to hear what works best from keepers own experiences.
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Re: Feeding burmese pythons

Postby rolandslf » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:39 am

Gustav - You thought correctly.

Where we seem to criticise you, it has been constructive. We are not experts, at least I am not, but in all honesty, it is just so easy to exert too much pressure with a grab stick and you end up with an injured snake.

When it comes to the hook stick, don't just tap him with it, I actually place the hook stick on his head or just behind his head and give downward pressure pushing his head down, take note that I do not pin his head to the floor of his cage, I maintain the downward pressure for a few seconds, then use the hook stick to move him towards the front of the cage and normally allow him to move partly out of the cage on his own before then picking him up.

I feed him in his cage, and he will very quickly learn that the stick on head andallowance to move out of the cage on his own means "No Food', believe me, Snakes are intelligent.

The above procedures work for my Dumerills and my RTB, I will now train my Burm on this.

Lastly, our snakes well being is always of paramount importance and this is why some of us react a bit strongly.
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Re: Feeding burmese pythons

Postby cvanvollenstee » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:40 am

Hey like rolandslf said we are not experts so I am going to tell you what works for me, and with this whole procedure I know precisely when my snakes is going to hap me.

I have feeding tubs for my burms. When I stick my hands inside the cage they are docile as 10, but when they are in the feeding tubs you do not bring your hand near them for you are going to get hapd.

So I say invest in some feeding tubs so that when you stick your hands in your cage you do not need tongs or special equipment. Always feed dead rats, because those rat teeth can do some serious damage with one bite, I use paintballs CO2 canisters with a remote line to kill them it is about R400 for the whole kit, and if the burm does not eat the rat within 20min and he has not eaten the previous week put the snake into a pillow case for about an hour and a half and if he did not eat by then try next week and chuck the rat.

Hope it helped
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Re: Feeding burmese pythons

Postby cvanvollenstee » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:42 am

Jamster wrote:I personally would never use a grabstick om a burmese python.


I am 100% with Jamster, I have a hook and when it is feeding time I handle my burms with pointy and at the front.
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