What Do Snakes Eat

If you're considering getting a snake as a pet, you might wonder "what do snakes eat?" A broad answer to the question is that they, as predators, will eat anything they can overpower and swallow. The list includes everything from insects, snails and worms to mice, birds, eggs and other small mammals. To answer more specifically, you first need to know how large the snake is and what its habitat is.

Garter snakes found in your backyard might eat insects, but may add frogs to its diet if it lives near a pond. This is an example of how a snake's diet changes depending on its environment. The snake's diet depends on what prey is around.

Size also factors into what they eat. With this in mind it is not uncommon for baby snakes to eat a completely different diet than their adult counterparts. This comes in to play when young snakes are considerably smaller than the adults, which is not the case with all species of snake. Obviously, small snakes eat smaller prey. They are more likely to eat insects, spiders, lizards, mice, voles and other smaller animals. As the size of the snake increases, the size of the prey increases. Large pythons and other constrictors like anacondas can eat pigs, monkeys and even deer.

If you have gone out and purchased a pet snake, you will likely be buying a lot of rodents for your new pet to eat. There is debate among snake owners regarding whether feeding your snake live prey or frozen or pre-killed prey is best. The decision is based on personal preference as well as to how well the snake handles killing its own prey. Feeding your pet live prey runs the risk of injury to the snake as the prey can inflict damage as it fights for its life (especially rats). The pre-killed or frozen option is the safest option as it removes the risk of injury. If you've raised your snake on live prey and are making the change to pre-killed you may need to start by giving it freshly killed prey (i.e. you do the dirty work for the snake and feed it to him/her immediately). You might also have to wiggle it around a little to make the snake think the prey is still alive. If you do this, do not EVER hold the prey in your hands. Use tongs or something like that to do so.

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