How to Feed a Snake

One of the most fascinating aspects of having a pet snake is watching it feed. Depending on the species, your snake may bite its prey and then wrap itself around the prey until it suffocates its meal. This is a captivating sight for a snake owner to see. Read the tips listed below and learn about how to feed a snake.

  • Feeding hatchlings If you have a young snake, it may only be able to eat small, young prey. To feed a hatchling a pinkie mouse, place both the snake and the mouse in a small cup. The snake will be forced to concentrate on the food and will begin to eat it [source: LIHS].
  • Feeding methods For a human, both the prey and the snake pose a possible risk of harm. Mice may carry diseases while a hungry snake can attack its owner. When feeding your snake live prey, use barbecue tongs to lower the prey into the snake tank, to ensure that you don't get bitten by mouse or snake [source: CPVH].
  • Feeding times How often you feed your snake will depend on the age of the snake. Young snakes should be feed once every week or two weeks, while adult snakes should be fed once every three to six weeks [source: LIHS].
  • Prey Particularly for species of snakes that are not constrictors, it's recommended that you feed them dead or incapacitated prey. A live rodent is capable of defending itself against a snake and inflicting wounds. However, there are snakes that will not accept dead prey. In this case, feed your snake live mice and carefully supervise the feeding process to ensure that your snake has eaten its prey safely [source: CPVH].