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  1. #1
    Hi, I'm New Here! bubdonna's Avatar
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    garter @ ribbon snake?mate? & diet

    hello i have a local eastern garter snake i caught outside my home here in NJ. have had it for since last july, just brought it up from the basement 3 weeks ago, not sure if its a male or female?It has always been a poor eater except if i can find salamanders which she cant get enough of, but at times hard for me to locate. It will eat nightcrawlers at times i guess when its real hungry?ate 2 worms the last 2 weeks & i was able to find some salamanders today as it warmed up to 65 outside today, she ate all 3 i put in her tank.
    Also i purchased a ribbon snake from a pet store as i wanted it to have a friend? male or female? will they mate? or breed ever if there sexes are correct? It seems to only eat live fish? feeders i buy from the pet store, been reading about diets & wonder if i need to suplement either snake? with vitamins or? & should i keep trying to feed them other foods? seem like both are set in there ways, . they get along great, always laying & intertwining together. seems like the best of friends, normal? any other pointers i need to know? i had a corn snake{local NJ found} when i was younger for 6 years, very easy to keep had it for 7 years till it excaped. ate anything & everything,!no trouble like these 2 seem to have had?.

    Thanks for your help
    Bubdonna

  2. #2
    Former Moderator Cazador's Avatar
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    Re: garter @ ribbon snake?mate? & diet

    Bubdonna,

    That's a funny screen name you have there. Is it a nickname, or how did you come by it? Anyway, welcome to the forum.

    First, I don't know the first thing about keeping salamanders alive in captivity, but perhaps somebody here could help you with the basics? You'll be able to convert that eastern garter over to just about any food you want by washing the other food to remove it's scent; then rubbing the clean food against one of those captive salamanders for about 5-10 seconds. It's called "scenting," and it sounds like you'll have quick success with this technique.

    Second, the chances of these two interbreeding are extremely remote, and the chances of them producing viable offspring are even less. For some reason this topic has been coming up a bit more frequently lately. Have a look at this post (http://www.thamnophis.com/forum/gene...siblities.html) for more information.

    I'm surprised your garter won't take live fish, too. I've never kept a ribbon, so hopefully somebody else will tell you more about their feeding habits. Here's a fun little trick that I like to do to make snakes think they're eating live prey. Just thread some monofilament fishing line (or even sewing thread) through a needle, and stick that through one end of a dead fish. Tie a knot in one end that gives resistance, but can be pulled through the fish after the garter grabs the fish. Put the fish in the water dish for starters and hold on to the other end of the string. When the garter comes to investigate, pull on the string to make the fish move. Snakes go nuts over it, and doing it is a lot of fun. That's why we own snakes, right?

    If you want to get more creative, cut mouth-sized chunks of fish from a trout. Wash and scent them with the salamander; then give them some action.

    Last pointer for now... be sure to check out the care sheets by clicking on the "articles" tab in the top right corner of any page. Be sure to follow up with us on the progress of your scenting and feeding progress, okay?

    Rick

  3. #3
    Hi, I'm New Here! bubdonna's Avatar
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    Re: garter @ ribbon snake?mate? & diet

    Thanks for the info i will try it, as for the nick name i used, Bub is my nick name & donna is my wifes first name, Bubdonna.
    Salamanders seem to be a problem for me to keep alive more than 3 or 4 days? but i try to catch just what i will feed that night, as long as the area i flip rocks & logs is producing them,very weather sensitive, some days they are easy to locate others very difficult.just wonder how the nutrients are in a all fish diet for the ribbon & a salamander-worm diet for the garter? they do look healthy & fine, was worried they might not get along, but seem to be best of buds now.

    thanks again
    i will be posting here more now that i found this place, its great!@

    bubdonna

  4. #4
    Sid
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    Thamnophis Addict Sid's Avatar
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    Re: garter, ribbon, diet supplement?

    Hi and welcome to the forum. Have you tried feeding Rosie minnows? They are normally found in pet stores. Both Garters and Ribbon Snake will normally take them willingly. I feed them live. Would love to see photos of your two pets .

    Sid

  5. #5
    Former Moderator Cazador's Avatar
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    Re: garter @ ribbon snake?mate? & diet

    A salamander diet should be fine, but the problem is (as you know) finding enough. Once summer comes and things dry out, they'll become harder and harder to find. That's why it's important for you to try scenting other food items now and conditioning your snakes to eat other things.

    A worm-only diet, however, is not healthy. It's severely lacking in calcium. Studies have shown that garters fed a worm-only diet grow much slower than those fed fish or mammals. There were no mentions of amphibians, but they'd be as nutritious as fish and mammals unless, of course, you're feeding large amounts of toxic species.

    The key to any well-balanced diet is variety. Even if you're supplementing with vitamins and minerals, you could still be deficient in certain micronutrients. That's why variety is the spice of life when feeding garters.

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