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Old 02-06-2018, 09:17 PM   #1
Mec23
Getting Rhino ratsnakes to eat

Any tricks getting a stubborn rhino ratsnake to eat ? I've tried floating pinkies in there water bowl, guppies, live pinkies, putting them in a small paper bag with a pinkie, leaving pinkies in the tub with them over night, assist feeding, none of the usual tricks are working... I got a pair and one strike fed for me but the other is being a pain...

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Old 02-07-2018, 12:45 AM   #2
hotlips
I've never worked specifically with those: I take it they're hatchlings? Sometimes offering too frequently just stresses them more...how long have you had them? Were they shipped to you? Did they both feed before you got them? if so, on what? Have you tried giving more privacy? (cover cage with a towel or paper so they can't see you, etc) I know, some snakes will turn & grab a pink that bumps their neck, while the next one gets put off by that. Can be frustrating at times, but maybe just wait a week for hunger to kick in and stress to subside? They aren't housed together are they? (that
stresses most snakes, house solo...) Plenty of hides in the cage?
 
Old 02-07-2018, 01:18 AM   #3
Mec23
They are hatchlings, they were shipped to me as feeding on Frozen thawed pinks, they're being kept in a rack individually on paper towel with lots of hiding spaces and fake plants. I've only had them a few weeks. I got one to eat while he was in his water bowl which from what I've read is pretty common.

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Old 02-07-2018, 02:01 AM   #4
hotlips
How frustrating... I assume you have feeding tongs & have also tried wiggling the f/t pinks? Sounds like they might be the type of snakes that are turned off by too much mouse scent, from what you said? (fed on f/t, fed in water-which covers the scent) When you fed f/t, did you thaw it in water? (that might help? I have a snake that's not a mouse-eater by nature & he "insists" on "washed" fuzzies, thawed in water) Every now & then I've had a snake that didn't want to eat until their f/t started getting "ripe"...it was accidental, after a long day & work, & before I could remove the offending rodent, the snake was chowing it down...I know, "ew!" but thereafter he learned to take fresh anyway. Of course, if that was the case, the seller should have told you.
I assume you haven't been handling them either? (it's always best to ensure baby snakes feed several times before any handling, as the intimidation can mess up their hunger; shipping & changing homes doesn't do them any favors either, especially if they only fed once beforehand? I assume you asked the seller?)
 
Old 02-07-2018, 02:23 AM   #5
hotlips
What are the temperatures in their cages? & they need lots of humidity, which is hard to do on paper towels, even with a larger water bowl. You might try offering a "humid-hide" (a plastic food container with an entrance hole cut into it, with soaked moss inside). Guess you'll have to keep trying things, "been there".
 
Old 02-07-2018, 02:42 AM   #6
hotlips
Another idea, since these climb a lot in the wild: some snakes feel braver pouncing on prey from a branch overhead, if you can manage to do that in the cage they have? Good luck!
 
Old 02-12-2018, 12:13 PM   #7
pjkohn
I've kept rhinos for a few years and have had some troublesome babies as well. Including hatchlings I received has f/t pink feeders. Some of them are bulletproof right from the get go, others require a little bit more patience. And that's the key, patience. They have a hardy, tolerant species that can do well in a very simple set up. So if they're in the comfortable room temp range and they have reasonable humidity, you really don't have to worry about dialing in temperature and humidity too precisely. In fact, I found that the more I kept changing things up and playing with their environment, the longer it delayed the process, because they were never able to settle in.
When trying to get these guys to eat, it's not a species you want to disturb too frequently. Give them 4 or 5 days between feeding attempts. Even the little tiny guys can go a long time without eating and be just fine, as long as you don't overly stress them. If they don't take the pink on their own out of the water bowl, I've always had the best luck off tongs. Ideally, try to catch them at a time when they're outside of their hide. Your approach with the tongs should be slow and calm. Try just offering it up in front of them and let them smell it. Then, gently try to illicit a strike response out of them by gently nudging them on the sides with the pink's nose. Be careful not to bump them so hard or often that you cause them to flee. Usually once they go into a flee mode, they won't have interest in eating for the day.
Try to keep the pink lined up so that when they do strike the nose goes directly into the back of their mouth. If they get a good hold, they'll likely sit there with it for a while. At this point, you want to be patient again. Let them just decide what they want to do with what's in their mouth. Don't move it around to get them to pull tighter, they'll just let go. If you're able, sometimes it helps to slowly, gently let go of the pink and take a step back. Don't try to close the cage, just stay close enough to keep an eye on them. With any luck they'll decide to start eating the pink.

There's my best advice I've had luck with. Good luck!
 
Old 02-12-2018, 12:18 PM   #8
Mec23
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjkohn View Post
I've kept rhinos for a few years and have had some troublesome babies as well. Including hatchlings I received has f/t pink feeders. Some of them are bulletproof right from the get go, others require a little bit more patience. And that's the key, patience. They have a hardy, tolerant species that can do well in a very simple set up. So if they're in the comfortable room temp range and they have reasonable humidity, you really don't have to worry about dialing in temperature and humidity too precisely. In fact, I found that the more I kept changing things up and playing with their environment, the longer it delayed the process, because they were never able to settle in.
When trying to get these guys to eat, it's not a species you want to disturb too frequently. Give them 4 or 5 days between feeding attempts. Even the little tiny guys can go a long time without eating and be just fine, as long as you don't overly stress them. If they don't take the pink on their own out of the water bowl, I've always had the best luck off tongs. Ideally, try to catch them at a time when they're outside of their hide. Your approach with the tongs should be slow and calm. Try just offering it up in front of them and let them smell it. Then, gently try to illicit a strike response out of them by gently nudging them on the sides with the pink's nose. Be careful not to bump them so hard or often that you cause them to flee. Usually once they go into a flee mode, they won't have interest in eating for the day.
Try to keep the pink lined up so that when they do strike the nose goes directly into the back of their mouth. If they get a good hold, they'll likely sit there with it for a while. At this point, you want to be patient again. Let them just decide what they want to do with what's in their mouth. Don't move it around to get them to pull tighter, they'll just let go. If you're able, sometimes it helps to slowly, gently let go of the pink and take a step back. Don't try to close the cage, just stay close enough to keep an eye on them. With any luck they'll decide to start eating the pink.

There's my best advice I've had luck with. Good luck!
Thank you for responding... What temps are you keeping hatchlings at ? At room temp are you providing a heat source on one end ? I have them I'm tubs and my room is about 72. They have heat tape under a section of the tub where it gets about 85

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Old 02-12-2018, 12:21 PM   #9
Mec23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mec23 View Post
Thank you for responding... What temps are you keeping hatchlings at ? At room temp are you providing a heat source on one end ? I have them I'm tubs and my room is about 72. They have heat tape under a section of the tub where it gets about 85

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This is what my tubs look like. I taped up the outside to help them feel even more secure

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Old 02-12-2018, 01:27 PM   #10
pjkohn
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mec23 View Post
Thank you for responding... What temps are you keeping hatchlings at ? At room temp are you providing a heat source on one end ? I have them I'm tubs and my room is about 72. They have heat tape under a section of the tub where it gets about 85

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Taping the tub is a good idea. A little added security I'm sure helps.
When I saw room temp, what works for me, is just whatever my Michigan room naturally happens to be. This time of the year it's 68 during the day and drops 1-2 degrees at night, and my hatchlings feed no problem. I do not personally use a heat source at all for my rhinos, but if you have the set up they can certainly benefit from a little gradient. However, I believe 85 is way too hot for rhinos, especially in such a small tub. Because your room ambient is already at a decent temp of 72, I would recommend setting your heat tape to 78. They really don't need a lot of heat, this is a very cool climate species.
Other than that, your set up looks perfect. Some good hiding and terrain options. Just get them cooled down a little, be patient with them, and once they get feeding they'll be bulletproof for you.
 

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