You have probably wondered about the specific diet elements that your pet snake needs. It’s a good thing you have done that, and there are various things you have to consider. This guide takes a look at whether ball pythons eat eggs.
You have to be careful before feeding your snake any new meal because they have delicate digestive systems. And, eggs might not be good for your snake’s health, and it’s good for you to know why
Can ball pythons eat chicken eggs?
Ball pythons consume their food whole, which means that they cannot eat chicken eggs. The reason for this is that the eggs are likely to block the snake’s digestive system, which can have devastating effects. The reason is that snakes don’t have the right digestive structures to break down eggs.
Snakes that can break eggs have a special adaptation in their gut known as vertebral hypapophysis. The snakes use this to break the hard section of the eggshell. The snake’s digestive system is not powerful enough to break down the traditional eggshell, so their bodies do it through the vertebrae. The digestive system of snakes has evolved to break down prey items such as mice, bats, birds and small insects.
The hard outer shell of eggs is the only reason why they are dangerous for snakes. However, the contents of the egg itself are not dangerous to your snake, because they are highly nutritious. If you are planning to feed eggs to your pythons, ensure you break them down first. But remember that not many pythons have a taste for eggs, and they would rather sit hungry than opt for a prey based meal.
Snakes that don’t consume eggs like ball pythons don’t have these specialized gut adaptations. If your snake accidentally swallows an egg, its digestive system might have an unusual reaction. Unfortunately, if the snake fails to regurgitate the eggs, you might have to contact veterinary services.
Snake species such as the East African Egg eating snake have a purely snake-based diet. However, pet snakes such as rattlesnakes and pythons are not able to digest eggs.
You should also realize that while some snakes can consume eggs and still be fine, other snakes will have digestive problems if they consume eggs. So here are the few reasons snakes why snakes don’t eat eggs that you should be aware of:
- Snakes don’t have the correct digestive system for breaking down eggs. Ball pythons especially are delicate, and anything as large as a chicken egg can easily lead to unwanted situations.
- Snakes don’t naturally eat eggs because they mainly feed on live prey. Most snakes won’t feed on any pre-killed prey in the wild, probably because it may harbour pathogens. Snakes only feed on live prey in the wild, and this shows their unique diet preferences.
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What Kind of Snakes Cannot Eat Eggs?
There are only two well-known snake species that can consume eggs, including:
These are the Indian and African Egg eaters. These snakes also go by the name Dasypeltis and exist mostly around Africa. The snakes are non-venomous and prefer living in wooded areas that experience warm temperate climates.
The Indian Egg eaters also go by the name E.Westermanni. The snakes often have a dark brown or black appearance, with a white stripe on the top sections of their bodies. Similar to the African Egg Eaters, E. Westermani feeds mainly on eggs. They have unique structures in the digestive systems that snake experts call the “Vertebral Hypapophysis.” These are structures that exist around the oesophagus and help in the breakdown of eggs.
PRO TIP – Both egg-eating snake species still make up for excellent pets, despite their unique diet preferences.
The traditional snake species can also consume eggs, but this is likely to have adverse side effects on their health. It’s likely to compromise the snake’s digestive system, and it will eventually regurgitate the shell back outside.
Snakes in the wild will avoid eggs because they can easily lead to life-threatening health issues. However, a snake in captivity might be different. They might consume the egg negligently, and you should always be aware of such problems. The preferred diet for snakes would be the one that includes insects and rodents. It is rare to find a snake that lives on an egg-based diet solely.
Instead of feeding eggs to your snake, you should consider giving them a well-balanced diet. Below are the measures you should consider instead of feeding eggs to your snake:
- You should only feed your pythons warmed food that should be at room temperature.
- Never use a microwave to defrost frozen snake meals. Plus, never prepare your snake’s meal in the same area you make your meals.
- Never feed live rodents to your snake. Live rodents can easily cause harm to your snake, which can be fatal.
- You also have to ensure the meals you feed your snake are free from contaminants. Snakes have delicate digestive systems, and pathogen-filled meals are likely to earn you a trip to the veterinary.
What can ball pythons eat besides mice?
Ball pythons will consume small mice, birds, and insects during the first few months of their life. That is because, like all snakes, ball pythons are independent animals from when they hatchlings. However, as they develop further, the ball pythons can move on to other different feeding categories.
While most diets consist of rats and mice, variety is also essential to your pet’s overall health. Your ball python pet can consume other foods including quail, gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters. The snake can consume the prey when it’s alive or when it’s already dead. However, basic ethics in animal husbandry implies that you should never feed a live animal to your snakes.
Feeding your snake a pre-killed meal can have many benefits. First, it reduces the likelihood of getting injured because some pets have sharp teeth, such as live mice. Second, you also avoid unethical practices, which are not good when you have mice. Most people prefer going for frozen feeders and thawing their meals before feeding them to the pets.
If you prefer a frozen feeder alternative, you have to ensure you keep the feeder warm. It should sit at room temperature before you give it to your snake. Since ball pythons are cold animals, you should avoid feeding them cold food. The cold food is likely to lead to a significant temperature drop in your pet’s body.
However, avoid feeding when it’s too hot for your pet snake, as this can lead to burns. Once you prepare the meal, let the meal sit for a few minutes before feeding the snake.
When it comes to feeding, you should consider the following:
- Ensure you feed the young snakes once or twice each week.
- Feed the snake in a specific dish or container so that they don’t associate your hand with feeding.
- Ensure your fish has access to fresh and chlorine-free water 24/7
Before you can feed your ball python anything, ensure that you are well informed. Your ball pythons can eat eggs, but it’s not good for their health. Their digestive systems and body structures are not suited for breaking down eggs.
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