Chain Feeding Multiple Food Items.

Why would you want to chain feed multiple food items?
There are couple possible reasons you might want to use this technique.

  1.  The single most useful reason is that you wish to switch the snake in question from one type of food to another. Example, an individual regularly refuses frozen/thawed lab mice, but with readily take a live deer mouse. By chain feeding you can get this snake to eat several lab mice to "get the taste" in its mouth so that it realizes that they are good food. Often from then on it will eat the items chain fed. This would also be very useful for those species which eat one source of food (i.e. lizards), but need to be switched to mice.
  2.  An individual snake is a difficult eater. When it does choose to eat, you want to ensure it obtains a large meal.
  3.  You need to feed an item (ie medication) to a snake that it would otherwise have to be force-fed.
  4.  You have to force-feed a snake, and wish to give it a larger meal without having to force-feed another item.
A live fuzzy was given to this female to begin with. She was given a regular lab mouse, which was used only for illustration purposes. You may be offering some other food item, like a deer mouse or scented pinky depending on why you need to perform chain feeding.
At about this point, you need to have your second food item to be chain fed ready to go.
Move the next food item into position - hold it by the midsection with the head pointing towards the snake. Move slowly so as not to spook the snake.
While there is still 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of the first food item still beyond the end of the snakes nose, gently push the nose of the second item into the first.
As the last couple swallows of the first food item are being eaten continue to feed the second item into the mouth. Be sure both food items are in constant contact with one another.
Once several bites have been taken, the Rubber Boa will continue right on to the second food item. Once started, they generally do not stop until there is no more in their mouth.
At this point, consider whether a third item is warranted. I think this lady could easily eat four this size, and perhaps a fifth. If the items were smaller, more would be warranted. There is no problem filling a Rubber Boa with such a large meal. They often do so in the wild whenever access to such quantities of food is available. But, after such a large meal, they likely will not be interested in eating for a while. Assuming that you chain fed a new type of food item, they will be much more likely to take it on their own next time you try.

For more feeding information, see the Feeding Page,
and the juvenile Feeding Page.

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