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  1. #11
    "Preparing For Fourth shed" Spankenstyne's Avatar
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    Re: "Goldfish are better than mice".

    First off kudos for trying to help educate him & steer him in the right direction when it comes to caring for his snakes.
    The thing is, he's not entirely wrong either. Yep some garter species will sometimes opportunistically take mice in the wild, but I don't know of any that take them as the bulk of their diet. I also am of the belief that a strictly rodent diet isn't necessarily the best for them either. People have shown it can work and it's more convenient for us as keepers, but these guys are a little different from other species that mainly feed on mammals & birds. Variety is the key & will help keep your garters from becoming deficient, and keep 'em healthy.

    The longer you're in the hobby the more you realize there aren't really any absolutes. It's less about being right and more about doing right by your animals.
    Chris

  2. #12
    Mr Thamnophis ssssnakeluvr's Avatar
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    Re: "Goldfish are better than mice".

    I don't totally agree with you....I do give a variety but they do just fine on a diet of rodents. Wandering garters do take a lot of rodents in the wild. A lot of the areas I find them in have lots of field mice and not much else.

  3. #13
    Forum Moderator infernalis's Avatar
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    Re: "Goldfish are better than mice".

    Quote Originally Posted by ssssnakeluvr View Post
    I don't totally agree with you....I do give a variety but they do just fine on a diet of rodents. Wandering garters do take a lot of rodents in the wild. A lot of the areas I find them in have lots of field mice and not much else.
    I'm with Don on that issue. My biggest monster eastern (W/C) that I just got certainly did not reach the size she is by eating night crawlers.

    She refuses anything BUT mice.

    I found her in a big open meadow far from any fish.

    I'm sure toads were also part of her diet, but I won't be feeding her any toads.

  4. #14
    "Preparing For Fourth shed" Spankenstyne's Avatar
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    Re: "Goldfish are better than mice".

    Don, fair enough. I undertand them to be probably the most opportunistic of the garter species that will eat a wide variety of anything they can overpower & more rodent than other species. I wouldn't doubt there are populations that eat more rodents where they're more abundant.

    I'm not disagreeing at all that it can be done, I know it can be. I just doubt that it's the best thing for garter snakes longterm to only be fed mice. I think you likely agree with that or you wouldn't be bothering to feed a variety. I know that someone like yourself who cares greatly about these snakes feeds what he feels is best for them longterm.

    Essentially I'm getting at that while we know goldfish aren't a good food item that mice while doable might not be the perfect solution on their own either.
    Chris

  5. #15
    "Preparing For Fourth shed" Spankenstyne's Avatar
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    Re: "Goldfish are better than mice".

    Quote Originally Posted by infernalis View Post
    I'm with Don on that issue. My biggest monster eastern (W/C) that I just got certainly did not reach the size she is by eating night crawlers.

    She refuses anything BUT mice.

    I found her in a big open meadow far from any fish.

    I'm sure toads were also part of her diet, but I won't be feeding her any toads.
    Again, fair enough but you also don't believe she has only eaten mice her whole life. It's possible there have been baby birds, slugs, worms, amphibians, or who knows where she's travelled since birth etc.
    I think we're mostly on the same page here. I probably mis-stated the case with the "bulk of the diet" comment which kinda lost my intent. Basically what I mean is that there doesn't seem to be only one thing that is the perfect solution.

    Let me ask this, if we believe that mice are the perfect food item for garters then why aren't we all feeding only mice from birth?
    Chris

  6. #16
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    Re: "Goldfish are better than mice".

    Same reason that I give my dog treats that aren't necessarily "perfect food"?

  7. #17
    Forum Moderator infernalis's Avatar
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    Re: "Goldfish are better than mice".

    Quote Originally Posted by Spankenstyne View Post
    Again, fair enough but you also don't believe she has only eaten mice her whole life. It's possible there have been baby birds, slugs, worms, amphibians, or who knows where she's travelled since birth etc.
    I think we're mostly on the same page here. I probably mis-stated the case with the "bulk of the diet" comment which kinda lost my intent. Basically what I mean is that there doesn't seem to be only one thing that is the perfect solution.

    Let me ask this, if we believe that mice are the perfect food item for garters then why aren't we all feeding only mice from birth?
    One thing I do believe is that we all have different beliefs.

    I start giving my snakes chopped up bits of pinkie mouse as soon as I can.

    at first I mix it with chopped up fish, then wean them off the fish as soon as I can.

    Personally I notice far more rapid growth once they start eating the pinks.

    However, due to the sheer number of snakes I own, it is more convenient and economical to feed them the mice.

    However, I do not wish to argue with anyone, some folks like to offer variety, some folks stick with fish, some people feed lots of worms.

    My own personal preference is the mice.

    As for my w/c I'm sure she started out on much smaller items, and worked her way up.


  8. #18
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    Re: "Goldfish are better than mice".

    I know that when I was feeding amy fish, her growth was steady but slow. After a couple of months on straight pinkies, she's growing extremely fast. 1.5 inches in 4 weeks last time I checked. Now, instead of shedding every 5-6 weeks, she's shedding every 4 weeks. That's proof enough for me.

    In the interest of variety, I still give her bits of silversides (pond smelt) meat, and pieces of night crawlers now and then.

    Some of my adult concinnus seem to prefer whole silversides and night crawlers but I still scent a fuzzy and give them 3 or 4 per month. Others will take unscented pinks readily so I feed them pinks and silversides. My anery's seem to prefer fuzzies and pinks, and only occasionally accept fish or night crawlers. Those on mostly rodents get fed once or twice a week, and they poop a lot less. Also, you can put reptile calcium supplements in with your worms' food and they will eat it up.

    And then there's the stubborn ordinoides that will only take worms and slugs. They get fed often. On a side note, I think people underestimate the amount of calcium that can be found in a slug when they are gut-loaded with lots of greens.

  9. #19
    "Preparing For Fourth shed" Spankenstyne's Avatar
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    Re: "Goldfish are better than mice".

    It's all good, no interest in arguing here either just friendly debate. The world would be a terribly boring place if we all had the same opinions

    The main thing being that we're all garter enthusiasts and want the best for our snakes
    Chris

  10. #20
    Forum Moderator infernalis's Avatar
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    Re: "Goldfish are better than mice".

    Quote Originally Posted by Spankenstyne View Post
    It's all good, no interest in arguing here either just friendly debate. The world would be a terribly boring place if we all had the same opinions

    The main thing being that we're all garter enthusiasts and want the best for our snakes

    Cheers to that!!

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