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Old 06-20-2018, 05:55 PM   #1
New Hognose owner with questions

Hello I am new to owning a hognose snake, much less a reptile. I did do research before adopting my 2 month old beauty, I bought everything I read I needed (and more) but after all my preparation upon getting her I realized there were more questions that I had that was not answered by my initial and subsequent research...

1) When is it ok for me to handle her? I assume I have to wait so she can acclimate to her new environment like most pets, and I have seen at least one source/person that said 5-7 days.

2) I read babies should be fed every 3-4 days, I had gotten her on fathers day and the breeder said she had eaten 3 days before that. If I have to wait 5-7 days to handle her should I not feed her until those 5-7 days are over?

3) How do people really feel about reptilinks? Based on all my searching most people seem split some are for it and some are against it...has anyone here fed their reptiles reptilinks?

4) Multivitamin supplements, I have read through very few sources that recommend multivitamin supplements, most sources say snakes get their vitamin through their prey and do not need additional supplement...what is the general take on this?

5) UVB lighting, is it bad is it good? I have read in a single place where someone said they use it because its natural for them to receive uv rays in the wild and that this increases their metabolism, while in other places I've read they get all the vitamin d they need from the bones of their prey...

Lastly, I'm just really worried about feeding her right now, shes gone past the 3-4 day feeding time, but I also didn't want to stress her out, how long can a baby go without food?
Old 06-20-2018, 11:11 PM   #2
Herpin Man
1) There is no exact time period. For me personally, I don't handle a new animal until it is feeding regularly. To me, that is a sign that it is acclimated to its new environment.
2) Babies should be fed regularly, but they are designed to eat when food is available, and do without when it isn't available. I feed appropriate size meals weekly, but that is more to accommodate my schedule than the snakes. I have been known to feed neonate snakes twice weekly, if I feel that they need to gain size or weight more quickly. Regarding handling after feeding, I try not to disturb them for about three or four days after eating. There is no hurry to handle, the babies are usually squirmy regardless.
3) I have never used Reptilinks, and I doubt that I ever will. I don't see the point of feeding them something like that when I know that mice give them proper nutrition.
4) I do not normally use supplements with rodent eating snakes (although I may use calcium for a snake that has recently laid eggs), and I don't think that many breeders do. I have bred and raised many hognose and other colubrids that lived long healthy lives without supplements.
5) UVB lighting may benefit hognose, but I don't think it is necessary. I have never used it with this species, and again, most breeders don't- and the snakes grow, reproduce, and thrive without it.

If you are worried about feeding the snake, then feed it. I believe that neonate colubrids can eat fairly heavily without health issues. I also believe that sufficient feeding should take precedence over your desire to handle it. While it is true that a baby snake can go weeks or sometimes months without eating, it is important that they be fed regularly. It's been my experience that snakes that are fed well as neonates will be healthier, less prone to feeding strikes, and will reproduce better.
Old 06-21-2018, 07:43 PM   #3
I just want to add that feeding in the enclosure doesn't count as handling the snake. It sounded like you were combining those both from your post. People will wait a full week to settle a ball python, but they're more notorious at refusing earlier food offerings and typically only eat weekly anyway.

I'd go ahead and try to feed if it's been a day or two in its enclosure with you if you want to. This may not be a BP, but try to feed the same prey as the breeder was (lizard/toad scented pinky, unscented, etc.). From what I've read on here for hognose, it's especially important when it had been eating scented mice because that usually means it had been refusing the unscented mice. If it had refused for the breeder, it isn't likely to switch for your first meal while settling from a move.

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