View Full Version : Hognose general BS

Glenn Bartley
01-30-2003, 11:37 PM
Man this is really confusing, I want to talk in general with anyone about Hognose Snakes - I don't want to talk behavior, or cultivars (what by the way are cultivars?) nor do I want to talk health and so on and on. Too many darned topics - it would be a lot easier with just a Hognose Snake topic - and leave all those undfer subjects under the General Forums header.

Oh well, I have a pair of fall 2001 Western Hognose Snakes. Had them for about a year and a quarter. The female is much larger than the male, he stopped eating for about 3 months but has begun again. He is still easting pinkies and she takes large crawlers to small jumpers - both unscented.

I am eagerly awaitng the day I can breed them. They are one of the neatest snakes ever, surpassed by the eastern (but hard to keep) Hognose.

01-31-2003, 08:29 AM
I have a little male Western. He gets very worked up if I look at him when he's in his cage, but when I take him out he's very calm. I think it's like having a little viper that I can handle! The strange thing about mine is that he stopped eating right after I got him. I toad scented some mice a few times, and he never misses a meal now. I guess I should keep my fingers crossed, but right now he's a great worry free snake.


Glenn Bartley
02-01-2003, 12:43 AM
Mine is eating ok now as long as I can get live pinkies. He will be back to thawed soon enough I would guess. Either that or another hunger strike.

02-01-2003, 10:14 AM
I bought a pair of westerns at Daytona in 2000. They both ate frozen/thawed for me right off. I decided not to brumate them, & the female decided not to eat. I managed to find a tree frog in January(I'm in Al.), scented a pink & she started right back on the frozen thawed. I didn't brumate them again the next year (01/02), & the male stopped eating that spring (02) when all my other colubrids were breeding. I tried everything I could think of, but he just wasn't interested. In mid summer he started back on his own. The female will eat anything put in front of her, & she is almost twice the size of the male. They are in brumation right now, & I am hopeful they will breed in the spring.

02-02-2003, 08:38 AM
I guess they're just one of those snake where you never know when they'll go on strike (crosses fingers). That's why I don't like to recommend them to beginners, otherwise they'd be perfect. Disregarding that whole rear-fanged thing.


03-17-2003, 08:19 PM
they'll go on strike

I actually view the whole thing that they will do in regards to the non-feeding issue as more of a .. I have decided that I no longer want f/t rodentia for my meal. UGH.. I'm at this point right now with one of my westerns here.....arghh Has even gone so far as to refuse a scented rodent for me also. Keeps it up one more week and gonna get that tree frog for her I think :uhh:

09-22-2003, 10:54 AM
One of the problems is that many of the hognose ssp. out there are not represented properly. Many are wild caught. The wild caughts in particular need brumation/hibernation. This is even necessary with some C.B.'s and for breeding. Always, keep a few toads in the freezer for scenting. Treatement with Flagell/Metronidazole for protozoans a must. It will also, help the appetite. In regards to the size difference in males and females... I've seen hundreds of hogs and males are usually much smaller. Don't worry there. This is just a generalized statement. If anyone needs details just ask. Thanks Ray G.

12-14-2003, 05:56 PM
I've got a male western hognose about 2 years old now. He's got quite the attitude, attempts to bite every time I reach for him but once he's out of his cage he's fine. I have been bitten by him once and it was a good one, he wouldn't let go. Has anyone else ever been bitten? Curious if anyone's been bitten by an adult? As for the mild "venom" people talk about..all I had was a bloody finger, survived it just fine. There's a guy around here that says he knows someone that lost his finger from a hognose bite!!! Never heard of that before. I'm thinking he must have had an allergic reaction of some kind. Oh, and yes, my male stops eating every once in a while too but does him no harm. I just wait until he's ready again, he eats f/t unscented.

Glenn Bartley
12-14-2003, 06:14 PM
Check out the photos and story at this link: hognose snake bite (http://www.herpnet.net/bite/).

This made a believe out of me as to whether or not they inject venom. Note though that the snake had to chew at it for a while. I doubt this is an allergic reaction as it certainly looks like other "mild" envenomations I have seen.;)

12-14-2003, 09:06 PM
Went to that website and looked at the pictures...Very interesting! Guess I'll be a little more careful when I reach into my hognose tank from now on. I didn't have any kind of reaction to him biting me but I had to do the same thing as the guy at the web site, had to put him under running water to get him to stop chewing. Mine's probably quite a bit smaller too though. Maybe the guy around here really did lose his finger! Thanks for the info....


01-26-2004, 07:21 PM
awww i just bought my hognose hes soooooooo cute hes 7 inches long and i just wanna squeez him (im not very professional am i sorry lol) but hes my first hognose i fell in love with them when i worked at a pet store about 3 or 4 years ago and would care for an adult we had there. im gonna see if i can get him to eat his first pink since i got him about 5 days ago ......hope everything goes well they had him eating steadily at the reptile shop and sent me home with a chart of it so wish me luck!

01-27-2004, 11:49 PM
he ate it:D

02-14-2004, 02:44 PM
Hey, how do you guys scent your pinkies? I read over the method on Hognose.com, but was wondering if there were any less messy ways to go about it. The guy I bought my western hognose from said that he just rubs a live tree frog against the pinkie. Someone else I know who is really into snakes (he's an animal rehabilitator focusing on reptiles) told me the same thing.
What do you guys think? Has anyone here done it this way with positive results?

02-14-2004, 03:46 PM
When I first got mine, he wouldn't eat. So I caught a frog and rubbed it ALL OVER the pinkie. The pinkie was pretty slimey when I was done. It took him a while but after a couple of times he did start eating. I kept the frog until I knew I didn't need it anymore, then I turned it loose. I had to scent the pinkie probably for about 2 months at the most.

I've heard of other disgusting ways but this way worked for me so hopefully it'll work for you too!

Good luck!


02-18-2004, 10:19 PM
Thats what I had to do with mine.It will take a f/t pinkie now without any frog or toad scent on it.

02-23-2004, 08:11 PM
My first snake was a Western Hognose baby! (Actually, it's my only snake...). Got him/her when he was 1 month old. How can you tell if it's a male or female? He's too small to probe... And yes, mine is a finicky eater sometimes too. He's 6 months now... 11 inches long. :)


02-24-2004, 10:44 PM
There is a website where there is a picture of the tail of a female and a male hognose. You can find it at Webmaster@herpo.com or go to kingsnake.com and look for John Hollister in the breeder section. When you get to his website look for his article about "tips on visually sexing snakes". He just happens to have hognose snakes used as an example. But yours might be too young still.......worth a try. They're actually very easy to sex when they're old enough...Good luck


Clay Davenport
02-25-2004, 12:52 AM
Here is the page you are referring to

John has changed his email due to spam issues and I believe the one you listed has by now been deactivated.

02-25-2004, 01:11 PM
Mine is male! Thanks for the help. :)

05-18-2004, 03:37 PM
If you want to talk about a hard to mantain animal besides the Eastern Hog, It would definetely be the Southern Hognose. It is an endangered animal, and only found in 6 states, I own one, and it has very strict living requirments. It's about 16 inches long (female) and its main temperature is in the high 70s, It also cant use bark, and other normal substrates, my personal preference is a type of jungle mix.

It needs Sphagnum moss and almost 6 in. of substrate (to burrow), no natural nests have ever been found, and they are a very rare snake, and i am grateful for having one. Thought you might like to know, lol.

05-19-2004, 03:46 PM
Wow, a Southern h.nose huh? Are you going to try to breed it if you find another one? I know they're rare, I would love to have one! How's the temperament on that kind of hognose?

Good luck with her and hopefully you can find her a mate.

07-13-2004, 09:46 AM
Yes i will try to breed one, but none are for sale lateley. Their temperament is normally pretty calm, ive never been bit, and he occasionally hisses and flattens out, but he does eat pinkies and rats now, and now hes about 18 inches. But they would be a great snake for people to get into so they can be saved, but definitely not for the novice keeper.

01-01-2005, 09:52 PM
Figured I'd add to this general hognose BS thread, even if it is 6 months stale...

I have 2 hognose snakes.

One is a captive bred '99 female Western hognose that I purchased in 1999 at a reptile expo. She is a fat and saucy thing and has always been a great eater! I brumated her last winter and bred her in the spring to my friend's male. Unfortunately, I miscalculated when to expect eggs. Apparently she had been bred for awhile, even though we had not witnessed any mating behavior for several weeks after introducing her to the male. About a week before she laid her 3 eggs, she had been palpated by some vets from LSU's vet school, and they could not tell she had been bred! Wasn't I surprised when a week after bringing her back home to her old tank, she laid 3 eggs in her substrate! Two of the eggs were good but one was a slug. I didn't have my incubator set up, so the eggs had to sit in a tupperware container for a week in moist spaghnum moss until I got it set up. The 2 eggs didn't make it, and I am not sure if it is because they were laid in her rather dry susbstrate, because they weren't incubated at the right temp. while in her tank with her, or because I kept them too wet while in the incubator. I suspect the latter, as I always hear about keeping the eggs too wet as one of hte most common mistakes in hatching out eggs. Hmmm. I am starting to brumate her again now, and I'm planning on breeding her to the same male again this spring.

My 2nd hognose is a cb '04 female Eastern hognose. I bought her in October 2004 at a reptile expo from a guy who said she was eating toad-scented pinkies. She has been ornery for most of the time I've had her now. Her first feeding, she refused her unscented pinkie. I got a toad to keep for scenting purposes. I first tried just rubbing the pinkie on the toad, but she wouldn't take it. I had read that if you rub the pinkie around in the toad's mouth, that will help. I tried this, and she ate like a champ! It worked like magic. Her next feeding, I again scented the pinkie by just rubbing the toad and she wouldn't take it. So, I used the toad's mouth again. This time she chewed and gnawed on the pinkie on several occasions, but didn't eat it. I waited a week and tried to feed her again. She still wouldn't eat. Waited another week, and she still wouldn't eat. This time I decided to force feed her, and it went well (except for her pooping all over my hand). Ever since then, she has constantly refused to eat on her own. Although she is in good body condition for a little snake, and her behavior is normal, it is worryng me. Will she ever come around? Anyone have any tricks up their sleeves? As soon as spring hits, I plan to get her some baby toads to freeze/thaw and feed to her. Please, give me suggestions.


01-07-2005, 12:19 PM
Just a note: A lot of snakes will not eat for about 1 to 3 months during winter or during certain photo periods (time changes). If your snake hasnt eaten for a month or so he may be fine as long as he seems to have the same energy and no symptoms of diseases. I care for hognosesas well as other snakes and I find this eating behavior common in other snakes as well. Goodluck with your hogs and if anyone has any eastern or southern babies I would love to get one to use for our education programs.

01-23-2005, 06:07 AM
for griffin:
i know this probably sounds grose, but i went to this one website before, sorry i cant remember which one, and they gave me a suggestion to blender up a couple of toads and put them in those cube trays and get a pinkie and let the umm stuff in the ice tray melt and dip the pinkie into the juice and try to feed your snake. If you have the guts, try it. It might work. There is an easier way though. There is this kind of spray i think that gives pinkies the toad scent. Thats probably a lot easier than getting live animals, but i dont know if all pet stores sell that. Good luck

Glenn Bartley
01-23-2005, 12:28 PM
Man that sure was a pretty small amount of time to wait before force feeding a snake that was otherwise, except for not eating, in good shape. By force feeding a snake prey that it will ot normally accept you only heighten the stress related to that food item. There is now a chance the snake will associate a bad experience with the scent of thawed mice.

If you were that quick to force feed it, I wonder how patient or impatient you may have been regarding waiting to see if the snake would accept a thawed mouse. Yes I know you waited a week between feeding attempts but I mean how long did you leave the mouse in with the snake? feeder.

There are many tricks to get them to feed when relectant, and the first and foremost trick is to wait a week or two before even attemtpting the first feeding after acquisition. That way you are pretty sure the snake is hungry. You also get proof positive of whether or not the snake had been eating before you got it because it will have taken a dump in that time , if it had been fed within a few days before the purchase. You also get to examine the fecal sample to see if it looks normal.

When you try to feed it, if it does not eat right away, leave the thawed mouse with the snake overnight. Place both of them in a small container together (with air holes). The mouse will often be gone in the AM even when the snake is a poor feeder. If not gone, wait at least 3 to 4 days and try a scented live mouse. If they do not work, try a toad. If the snake still refuses to eat when offered a toad, you need to do some checking on environmental conditions and maybe on the health of the snake itself.

If your temps are off, even by a few degrees from how the seller had kept this snake, that could be a problem. If the olight cycle is off that could also be a problem. If the toads used for scenting are not the same species, try to switch scenting toads. If the snake can see any natural light to become acclimated to the natural light cycle (and I assume you live in the USA) then the snake may be going into brumation and, then you should not be trying to feed it, and definitely not be force feeding it. Some snakes will not eat if they feel it is time to brumate while others can be kept feeding all winter.

Other factors in the environment could be: type of substrate you use (some throw snakes off feed - such a cedar {which can also kill snakes}); too much handling (don't handle this snake - except for cage cleanings - until a month or two after it is feeding regularly); to many things going on outside the enclosure such as dogs, cats, kids or you paying too much attention to the snake and stressing it out. Other snakes in the snake room, or their scent, can sometimes make a new snake quite nervous.

If the snake starts losing weight rapidly or acting sick or showing any signs of illness, then a trip to the vet is in order.

Chances are this snake will need a properly scented pinky, or a toad of a species for which its senses are wired. Easterns, at least some of them, are notoriously hard to change over to even scented pinkies. If not then there is a good chance something in the environment is not correct or it is ill. If it appears healthy, check the environmental stuff first.

Good luck,
Glenn B