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Old 10-09-2019, 07:58 AM   #1
Question Tips and Tricks for Starting Childrens?

Hello everyone!

This was my and my husband's first year ever breeding snakes at all, and it's been both exciting and terrifying lol! I'm happy to say that we had 100% hatching success with our 9 Childrens eggs at the end of August, but waiting them out to start eating has gotten nerve wracking... I see a thread from 2006 suggesting up to 8 weeks before they will, so I still have hope.

However, in my nervousness, I've been scouring the internet for advice, and found some... interesting suggestions. Wanted to share those here to see what more experienced breeders think, and see if there's anything I've missed. So, here's the main three I've seen repeatedly:

1. Washing the pinkies and/or mouse tails with soap and water before offering - seems this is to remove the mouse smell, since they start on lizards in the wild?

2. Scenting with lizard/gecko - I purchased Reptilinks iguana microlinks to try this, since I wasn't certain how I felt about rubbing pinkies on my leachies lol

3. Boiled egg white - saw this mostly with starting hognose hatchlings, with both straight egg white being offered, as well as a piece of egg white stuck to a pinkie's head. This one intrigued me the most, as I don't know why egg smell would interest hatchlings that usually eat lizards and toads?...

Any thoughts or other suggestions that I've missed? Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:20 AM   #2
Herpin Man
I work with Stimson's pythons, which are closely related to Childrens. Most will eventually respond to tease feeding. For those that don't, I rinse live pinky mice in water- no soap. Then I dip them in raw egg yolk. Sometimes it helps to isolate the snake and the mouse in a deli cup overnight, sometimes it doesn't. Nearly all of them will take live pinkies eventually. Scenting with geckos doesn't seem to help, but they love live geckos (I also have a very productive colony of mourning geckos).
Different individuals respond to different feeding techniques. Teasing the snake with the mouse is important. Some respond if you hold the mouse up to the nose, some respond when you caress it's neck with the mouse, others respond when you jiggle the mouse madly in front of it. It takes persistence and patience. I very rarely have to resort to force feeding- only as a last ditch effort to keep the snake alive.

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