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Thread: Another thread on Garter not eating...

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    Another thread on Garter not eating...

    Hello everyone,

    As I was saying in my presentation post, I just got a male Garter Thamnophis sirtalis subsp parietalis, 2.5 years old about a month ago. It's my very first snake in captivity so I am a bit stressed about its conditions. In advance, sorry for my approximate english, I am french

    He was eating frozen Smelt (Atherina boyeri) about once a week when I got him, refusing every other kind of food (living fish, small earth worms, frog legs, frozen filet etc.). The guy who gave it to me was feeding him exclusively with frozen fish, I guess that's the reason why the snake wanted to eat only this kind of food.

    Since 2 weeks though, he completely refuse to eat and seems less active than before. I changed a bit the set up of its terrarium recently and maybe that stressed him a little, I don't know. When I put food in his terrarium, on a little plate, he seems more active and going everywhere in his terrarium, even passing through the food without eating it.

    My conditions : big terrarium with places to hide 100 x 40 x 50cm, living plants, substrate based on pine barks, a hot zone and "cold" one, mean temperature of the day about 27C and during the night around 24C. There is a little spot to swim but he isn't very interested in this, oddly. I tried giving him a big swimming pool but I put it out as he wasn't going in there and it was taking a lot of place. What else... The terrarium is in my living room, there's some indirect light during the day (close to a window) but I don't have any lamp. I am in my house only at the end of the day so I don't think he is stressed by me.

    Finally, I don't think he is going to change skin as its eyes don't look "grey", but its colors seem a bit less bright than when I had it. Maybe it's only this but I wanted to have your point of view, since it's my very first experience with snake

    I can share pics of the terrarium if you wish !

    Thank you a lot in advance for your help guys !

    Au revoir

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    Re: Another thread on Garter not eating...

    A change in surroundings can cause them to go off food as well as going into ecdysis (shedding) if that is happening. Be sure to offer a couple of hides and a big water dish. Try hiding the small plate of food under one of the hides. What was the snakes main food before you acquired it? Have you tried any fish yet? Sometimes, a strongly scented food might spark an interest. A couple of weeks off food isn't bad. Monitor her weight and physical appearance for any drastic changes.
    Steve
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    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

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    Re: Another thread on Garter not eating...

    Thank you for your answer, maybe I am worrying for nothing, it's been only 2 weeks he doesn't eat and only a few days he is less active. He was used to eat small fish, I guess that's why he was only accepting Smelt at first. I tried feed him with one living fish but he wasn't interested, the fish was kind of big compared to his head though. I will add a small light to its terrarium, that's the only thing missing on what I could see. Concerning the water dish, he is not very interested in that too, espacially since he's not eating.

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    Re: Another thread on Garter not eating...

    Interested or not be sure to offer a large water dish. Garters as a rule love water.
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

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    Re: Another thread on Garter not eating...

    Have you tried night crawlers? Garters love worms, they aren't good nutrition but when my garter was refusing to eat i was able to tempt it with night crawlers.

    if it takes to them i'd suggest training it to eat mice, they are super easy,, just wrap a worm around a mouse and they'll usually go for it.

    they can go a month or longer without eating, its unsettling but thats reptile metabolism for you.

    Not all worms are equal. you want night crawler,s like you get from pet supply or bait shops. The worsm garden places sell for composting aren't good for them.
    Last edited by Radix; 05-21-2018 at 02:17 PM.

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    Re: Another thread on Garter not eating...

    [QUOTE=Radix;271743]Have you tried night crawlers? Garters love worms, they aren't good nutrition but when my garter was refusing to eat i was able to tempt it with night crawlers.

    if it takes to them i'd suggest training it to eat mice, they are super easy,, just wrap a worm around a mouse and they'll usually go for it.

    they can go a month or longer without eating, its unsettling but thats reptile metabolism for you.

    Not all worms are equal. you want night crawler,s like you get from pet supply or bait shops. The worsm garden places sell for composting aren't good for them.[


    Why do you say nightcrawlers are not a good food?
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

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    Re: Another thread on Garter not eating...

    [QUOTE=guidofatherof5;271744]
    Quote Originally Posted by Radix View Post
    Have you tried night crawlers? Garters love worms, they aren't good nutrition but when my garter was refusing to eat i was able to tempt it with night crawlers.

    if it takes to them i'd suggest training it to eat mice, they are super easy,, just wrap a worm around a mouse and they'll usually go for it.

    they can go a month or longer without eating, its unsettling but thats reptile metabolism for you.

    Not all worms are equal. you want night crawler,s like you get from pet supply or bait shops. The worsm garden places sell for composting aren't good for them.[


    Why do you say nightcrawlers are not a good food?
    ITwo thoughts, One is worms are not as nutritionally dense as fish or mice, so they aren't the "best" food for a garter, from what i have read.

    The other, is some kinds of worms are unhealthy for the garter, possibly even toxic. I can't find the article now, but it said that worms like red wigglers you use for composting can be toxic c to garters, like goldfish aren't good for gartes because they have that enzyme that inhibits vitamin b absorbtion.

    Night crawlers were totally okay, according tot he reptile shop i was getting them from.

    If i am wrong, please let me know i hate being misinformed

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    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Another thread on Garter not eating...

    [QUOTE=Radix;271745]
    Quote Originally Posted by guidofatherof5 View Post

    ITwo thoughts, One is worms are not as nutritionally dense as fish or mice, so they aren't the "best" food for a garter, from what i have read.

    The other, is some kinds of worms are unhealthy for the garter, possibly even toxic. I can't find the article now, but it said that worms like red wigglers you use for composting can be toxic c to garters, like goldfish aren't good for gartes because they have that enzyme that inhibits vitamin b absorbtion.

    Night crawlers were totally okay, according tot he reptile shop i was getting them from.

    If i am wrong, please let me know i hate being misinformed
    My wild radix population feeds almost entirely on Lumbricus terrestris - Canadian Night Crawler. They do have a high water count but whats left sure makes the radix grow. You are correct Eisenia foetida - Red worms do have a toxic fluid they use for defense. Aporrectodea rosea - Rosy-tipped worm(earth worms) Have saved many a garter neonate from starving and gave them a good start to other worms.

    https://www.opalexplorenature.org/rosy-tipped-worm
    Eddie likes this.
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

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    Re: Another thread on Garter not eating...

    Hi everyone and thank you all for your very interesting anwsers !

    Since I added a little light (leds 30W), turned on from 8am to 10pm, it seems more active and he just ate a bit of fish filet I cooked for myself (well I didn't cook his little part). He didn't eat much but enough. I am happy with the terrarium now, I may change it a little in some weeks/months when I will change the "soil" made of pine barks, but he seems better now. He has indeed a place to swim but I am surprised he doesn't go lay in there at all. I think my conditions are now okay, I will try to give him various preys but he was used to eat little fish for 2 years so it's a long road before he accepts frog legs or mice, but I have read that they are way more nutritious. For now, I will only put a bit of vitamines on his fish and it's gonna be fine I guess.

    I will try these worms, I have also read that one species is toxic, but it's not Canadian worms. Thank you for your answers, I will try to take a pic of him to show you, but he is kind of shy, very curious but very shy ahah

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    Re: Another thread on Garter not eating...

    Quote Originally Posted by yoly View Post
    Hi everyone and thank you all for your very interesting anwsers !

    Since I added a little light (leds 30W), turned on from 8am to 10pm, it seems more active and he just ate a bit of fish filet I cooked for myself (well I didn't cook his little part). He didn't eat much but enough. I am happy with the terrarium now, I may change it a little in some weeks/months when I will change the "soil" made of pine barks, but he seems better now. He has indeed a place to swim but I am surprised he doesn't go lay in there at all. I think my conditions are now okay, I will try to give him various preys but he was used to eat little fish for 2 years so it's a long road before he accepts frog legs or mice, but I have read that they are way more nutritious. For now, I will only put a bit of vitamines on his fish and it's gonna be fine I guess.

    I will try these worms, I have also read that one species is toxic, but it's not Canadian worms. Thank you for your answers, I will try to take a pic of him to show you, but he is kind of shy, very curious but very shy ahah

    You should change out the pine bark for aspen. Pine isn't a healthy substrate, it can cause breathing problems in reptiles. Just a word to the wise.
    Eddie likes this.
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

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