If you ever wondered what a happy snake looks like, this is about as good as it gets. Blue was content and happily lounging on her hot spot last night after having two large rats for dinner. I feed her pre-killed rats once a month that I buy frozen, keep in the freezer, and thaw out a couple of days before feeding time. Then I heat the thawed rats in hot water before I feed them to her.
She decided she was really hungry last night after she shed her skin a few days ago. She was striking at anything that moved, mostly me, as I got her from her encloser into her feeding box. When I threw the heated rat in the feeding box, she grabbed it and constricted it like it was live prey. But then instead of just eating it, she had to play with it for a while. This is the only snake I know of that plays with her food. It’s very annoying because I want her to eat her rats so I can put her back in her enclosure.
How does a snake play with a dead rat you may be asking? After she’s constricted it for a while, she will bite it and drag it around the feeding box, push it around the feeding box with her nose, start to eat it, then stop, and check the other end of the rat. Often when I open the feeding box to see how she’s progressing, she will strike at me, and then resume playing with her food.
After she finishes eating her rats, she is satisfied and very easy to handle.
Blue, our red tail boa, is back from her few months at Tristan’s. The woman who thought she was interested in a boa was surprised by how long they live and how big they get, and lost interest in helping Tristan take care of Blue. After issues like the thermostat that controls the heating system in Blue’s cage failing, we decided to bring her back to our house where it’s much easier for me to take care of her.
This is a really cute baby Coachwhip Snake (Masticophis flagellum) that Marble brought inside and presented to us on Saturday. The morning temperatures have been freezing down to the mid teens in the mornings, but the high was around 70º F on Saturday afternoon; therefore, I guess this little guy was out trying to find another meal before hibernating, or Marble was scratching around in the mulch and found the snake. Lizards and snakes like to burrow into the mulch when it’s cold outside. The mulch is warm campared to the outside temperatures because of the composting action. You can see a photo of steam rising from one of our mulch piles on a cold morning at https://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog/2015/9/bright-night-cool-steamy-morning. You can also see photos of a pair of adult Coachwhip Snakes in their mating ritual at https://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog/2017/5/snakes-in-love. And lastly, you can see Spunk’s reaction to a Coachwhip Snake at https://wp.me/s1yQyy-snake.
Laurie saw this cute Western Hognose Snake in the bedroom, and called me in to catch it. I presume Sasha brought it inside since she was in the bedroom when Laurie saw the snake. It showed no bite marks or other signs of injuries.
When Sasha brings lizards in the house, they are rarely injured. She is very gentle with the critters she catches. Likewise, when Silver catches bunnies and gophers, he carries them like a mama kitty carries kittens. He often brings his catches inside, so I end up chasing bunnies and gophers all over the house before I get them out.
Mr. Hognose was very calm, felt right at home, and he was very cooperative doing a photo shoot on the Train Tele. If you missed the original “What’s on the Tele?” post, you can see it at https://wp.me/p1yQyy-4BG.
Blue, our 19 year old boa constrictor, who is soon to turn 20, has flown the coup, so to speak. She moved out of our house, and moved in with Tristan. Blue will be happy at Tristan’s because she will get more attention now. I’m not supposed to handle reptiles because of my compromised immune system; therefore, I only handled Blue to get her out of her cage to feed her and clean her cage; and most of the handling was with a snake stick. She is a family snake and has lived with Tristan before.