How much and how often do I feed a worm snake? +more

Discussion in 'Other Colubrids' started by Karlee, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Karlee

    Karlee Member

    I was searching online forever and I can't find a thing about how much and how often do I feedd them. I want to give it occasional earth worms and small crikets often. Also, what are some the common illnesses that they can catch. And can I house two in a twenty gallon aquarium at the same time?
  2. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    Can you be more specific on the kind of worm snake you will be getting? Are we talking something like a western/eastern worm snake or something more like the brahminy blind snake i mentioned before?

    Something more like an eastern or western worm snake would probably suit you best if you are wanting to feed them on worms and crickets. They almost exclusively eat earthworms, though, so you would have to flip your feeder choices--mostly earthworms and maybe the occasional cricket (if they'll eat them...I don't know that they will).

    As far as feeding frequency goes, I can't find any suggestions for these species in particular, but I can use my common sense to help you out a little bit. =D First, these are (obviously) very small snakes. Generally speaking, smaller animals tend to metabolize fairly quickly. Even in reptiles, with their largely temperature dependent metabolic rates, this still holds true. That's why baby beardies poop a heck of a lot more than adults, for example--they're smaller, so kept at a constant temperature, they metabolize quicker than the larger adults. That also means they eat a lot more than their larger counterparts. I'm kind of going off on a tangent here...Basically it boils down to this: Smaller animal = faster metabolism = bigger appetite = more frequent feedings. I also looked into the feeding frequency that people go by when keeping certain garter snakes, which have a slightly similar diet (not the same, but they both eat worms at least). The general consensus seems to be that a snake feeding primarily on worms as opposed to vertebrate prey needs to be fed more frequently. Knowing all of that, I'd say it stands to reason that a small, invertebrate-eating snake such as your potential future worm snake needs to be fed pretty frequently. If it was my snake, I'd probably feed juveniles every 1-2 days and adults every 3rd day. You may want to talk to your supplier some more about this, though. Find out what they are feeding and how often. Don't be afraid to ask questions!

    I think you'll have to ask them about enclosure sizes and cagemates as well. I can't really find anything stating whether they cannibalize or not. I will say though, I think snakes do better in general when they are housed alone. Our snakes at work always eat more consistently when they have a cage to themselves. Snakes aren't social animals by any means, so they won't benefit in any way from having a cagemate. That's just my two cents on the matter...

    I don't know of any particular diseases that worm snakes and blind snakes are prone to. I think the biggest issue from what I've read is the feeding regimen. They can be a little difficult to feed simply because they are so small. You will have to chop your nightcrawlers up for smaller individuals. It's not a pleasant task, but you gotta do what you gotta do. While I'm on the subject, don't feed your snake red wigglers. Yes, they are smaller. However, they have been reported to be harmful in certain snake species, as they secrete a toxin when stressed. Whether the toxin production is biologically or dietary related is unclear, but either way you should avoid these worms.

    Sorry if I've intimidated you with my little rant here. I just know there isn't much info out there on these snakes needs, and I don't want you to feel unprepared for your new pet in any way. =D
  3. Karlee

    Karlee Member

    Thanks and I was talking about a western worm snake. Ill ask my local vet on any specific details about their care.

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