Reticulated Python Feeding: All You Need to Know – The Reticulated Python is a giant snake that can reach a body length of more than 8 meters. With such length, they are the only family Pythonidae which is the longest when compared to other families, such as Molurus Python, Green Tree Python, Ball Python and others.
In some tropical countries, this snake is often found even entering residential areas. Some of the reasons that make them enter residential areas, such as habitat loss/reduction, the availability of food is running low in the wild, or they are looking for potential places to get prey.
Although in the tropics there are frequent encounters between snakes and humans, the Reticulated Python is still not a favorite pet there. Peoples tend to stay away from these giant reptiles. But, for snake lovers, keeping a Reticulated Python is a pleasure and a matter of pride. It doesn’t matter how dangerous or big they are.
Because of its giant body, it makes the hobbyist feel challenged in caring for the Reticulated Python. You need to know, caring for a giant animal like this python requires more effort, not just basic needs. You need an extra budget for feed, adequate space, and special attention. Therefore, Reticulated Python is not recommended for beginners.
Well, in this article we will discuss about Reticulated Python Feeding. Let’s dive in!
Reticulated Python Diet
Reticulated Pythons are carnivores, which means they need animal protein to survive. In the wild, they hunt animals such as rodents, poultry, to large mammals such as sheep, cattle, deer, buffalo, and pigs.
They have infrared that can detect the presence of prey. This unique ability comes from the holes in their faces, called pit organs. This ability allows the Reticulated Python to detect the warm body of prey up to one meter. They can also see prey in the dark or at night because of this ability.
They hunt by ambushing their prey that passes, and then will bite them until they are helpless. At the same time, they will also be wrapped around the prey resulting in bone destruction, as well as stopping the prey’s breath. When the prey is helpless, the Reticulated Python will start to slowly swallow it with its large jaws.
They will eat prey whole, from head to toe. After that, the Reticulated Python does not eat again for some time, from a few days to several months.
How to Feed a Reticulated Python
Feeding is a fun moment for every pet keeper. Plus, it’s also an important moment for pets to survive as well as maintain health. For that, it is important to focus on what they eat.
In addition, feeding can also be an indicator for pets, including Reticulated Pythons whether they are healthy or sick. For example, when snakes won’t eat as usual, it could be that they are sick or experiencing some other bad event.
Feed for Reticulated Python
When you care for Reticulated Pythons in a cage, you also need to provide them with the same type of food as in the wild. This will keep the snakes from stress, when their diet is no different from their previous habits. Especially if they are wild caught.
But it’s possible that they also like frozen mice or something. For this, you have to get used to them first, by giving them repeatedly until there is no other choice of food, so that in the end they will eat the frozen food.
But if Reticulated Pythons have a choice, they prefer live food to frozen.
What you need to pay attention to when feeding the Reticulated Python, is the size of the prey. As an estimate, you can feed younger snakes one small to medium-sized mouse. When the snakes grow bigger, you can feed the larger mice. Once they reach 2 years, you can feed the Reticulated Python a rabbit or fowl every 10 to 14 days.
Some feeds that you can give to Reticulated Python such as:
- Mice (live/frozen)
- Guinea pig
- Raw Beef
- Raw Pork
You can easily find the feed above at the online shop or nearest pet store.
Another thing you need to pay attention to is water for them. They need water to prevent dehydration and help digestion.
You should give clean water to the Reticulated Python. Don’t forget to change it regularly, and clean the snake bowl. This is to prevent the buildup of bacteria in the water which is bad for the snake’s health.
Reticulated Python Feeding Schedule
In Reticulated Python feeding, you need to be disciplined with the schedule. And, it can be adjusted to the size of the snake, because each snake has a different size. For example, for younger or babies you can feed more frequently. As for adult snakes you can feed less frequently. Adult snakes are more resistant to hunger than babies or immature.
Or, you can apply a feeding pattern by paying attention to their defecation schedule. Every 3-5 days after the snake has defecated, you can feed them again.
Or more easily, you make a regular feeding schedule, for example once every week, every two weeks, or once a month. Depends on the snake size, and feed size.
Once you know their feeding schedule, make it a habit. Of course by paying attention to their size growth.
You can feed them in the afternoon or evening.
Be careful, don’t overfeed!
Maybe you enjoy seeing your Reticulated Python go crazy with food. But know, it is not good for their health, it can even result in sudden death of the snake.
As a novice keeper, it’s natural for you to worry that they will starve. But they don’t! They are snakes, unlike any other animal! So, you don’t have to worry about snakes not eating for a long time. They are designed for that.
One more thing you need to know, Reticulated Pythons are food-oriented, so you may find them always hungry. But that’s what they are!
Well, that’s all you need to know about Reticulated Python feeding, and what type of food they eat. We hope this helps!