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Thread: Baby garter snakes won't eat. Help?!

  1. #1
    Never shed NickeyV's Avatar
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    Unhappy Baby garter snakes won't eat. Help?!

    Hi everyone. I am new to this forum so I don't know much here. But anyway, a while back I got my first pet garter snake. I didn't know whether it was male or female but named it Lucifer. One day it surprised me with 20 babies! 3 never made it. The other day I bought some fuzzy mice for Lucifer and waxworms for the babies. 8 of them ate the waxworms including one of them a runt cause he was the smallest. I gave him a small one and he was able to eat. A couple of days later I found him dead. Maybe it was too big for him? I don't know but I blame myself. Now I have 16 and 8 of them just wont eat. Including one that is deformed. Is there any way to make them eat? I tried waxworms and pieces of fish fillet. I would try different things but we have no money with the way the economy is. I need to know A.S.A.P.

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    Dutch, bold and Thamnophis-crazy Thamnophis's Avatar
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    Re: Baby garter snakes won't eat. Help?!

    When I have young garter snakes that refuse to eat, I cut small pieces of fish (usually smelt) and put them on a dish in a layer of water in which the fish thawed. Most of them start to eat in this way. I give this every day for a week or so.
    It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner. Frank Zappa

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    Thamtographer katach's Avatar
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    Re: Baby garter snakes won't eat. Help?!

    Welcome to the forum family! Try night crawlers and slugs. Cut the night crawler into pieces smaller than their head so it's easy for them to eat. You may have to use a pair of tweezers and put it right in their face. A picture of your little ones would be helpful too. Also, read the care sheet it has lots of great information.
    Garter Snake Care Sheet - Caresheets
    Kat
    2.2 T.s.pickeringii, 0.4.7 T.ordinoides 1.1 T.marcianus 1.1 T. radix 1.0 T.s.parietalis 1.2 Pseudacris regilla

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    Pyrondenium Rose kibakiba's Avatar
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    Re: Baby garter snakes won't eat. Help?!

    Toss the wax worms. Garters don't eat bugs. Try night crawlers, salmon, tilapia or pinky chunks.
    Chantel
    2.2.3 Thamnophis ordinoides Derpy Scales, Hades, Mama, Runt, Pumpkin, Azul, Spots
    (Rest in peace Snakey, Snap, Speckles, Silver, Ember and Angel.)

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    Forum Moderator infernalis's Avatar
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    Re: Baby garter snakes won't eat. Help?!

    Quote Originally Posted by kibakiba View Post
    Toss the wax worms. Garters don't eat bugs. Try night crawlers, salmon, tilapia or pinky chunks.
    Exactly what I was going to say, they cannot digest those correctly.

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    I have a condition! RedSidedSPR's Avatar
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    Re: Baby garter snakes won't eat. Help?!

    First, do not feed WAX WORMS or any kind of "bug". I wouldn't feed adult mice either, but I think you can.Heck that's probably your biggest problem, they don't eat those, so no wonder they aren't eating. Try chopped nightcrawlers, live feeder guppies.

  7. #7
    Pyrondenium Rose kibakiba's Avatar
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    Re: Baby garter snakes won't eat. Help?!

    Fur can cause problems in some snakes. Garters don't (there are exceptions) always eat mice or rats in the wild, if they do its usually rare. Around here, garters eat nothing but worms and slugs with the occasional field mouse. There aren't many here, so naturally not many are ever eaten.
    Chantel
    2.2.3 Thamnophis ordinoides Derpy Scales, Hades, Mama, Runt, Pumpkin, Azul, Spots
    (Rest in peace Snakey, Snap, Speckles, Silver, Ember and Angel.)

  8. #8
    Hi, I'm New Here!
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    Re: Baby garter snakes won't eat. Help?!

    This is an old thread, but I had this problem and wanted to share my experience in case others might find it useful. I have two snakes who eat just fine and another who was born on the same day, but has refused to eat since birth. This was the runt of the litter/clutch/bag of babies. So after a month and a day, he was about a third the size of his siblings and I tried everything I could to get it to eat, including putting him in a small container with only tiny pieces of food (cut up night-crawlers, tilapia, and smelt). I couldn't locate feeder guppies within an hour and a half of my house so that wasn't an option.

    Finally, i just manually opened its mouth as gently as I could and put a piece in. I figured this last-ditch effort would result in the food being spit out, but to my amazement when I put him down he started attempting a swallow. Even though the piece was super tiny, he seemed to have trouble and it was tortuous to watch. But he finally swallowed it! I then tried with a bigger piece and he had less trouble this time. I'm hoping that when I try to feed him again tomorrow or in the next few days he will just eat normally, but at least I know now how to get him to eat. Hope this helps you.

  9. #9
    "Preparing For Second shed" gibble888's Avatar
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    Re: Baby garter snakes won't eat. Help?!

    I have also forced food with good results....the next day he ate on his own and has been great ever since.....but some seem to think its taboo.

  10. #10
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Baby garter snakes won't eat. Help?!

    Sounds like it was your last thing to try. Please keep us posted on this little one.
    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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