How often a snake eats large depends on a few different factors:
- The size of the snake, this is important because the bigger the snake the larger meal it will need to maintain good condition.
- How healthy the snake is from previous eating, if underweight the snake will need a bigger meal or eat more often.
- Age of the snake, this is important as a baby snake will eat more often to give nutrients for the snake to grow bigger into adult size.
- Opportunity, this is very important with snakes, they must seize the chance to eat in a split second in order to survive and hunt successfully.
First is the size, the is easy as the snake needs to eat a meal that is relative to the size of the snake.
A 10ft, 10kg snake is not going to for fill from a small mouse, snakes will hunt what they feel is big enough and more often than not it will be around the same girth as the snake’s body give or take 20% more or less.
An overweight snake may be less inclined to actively look for more prey.
For example, a snake that has eaten a large meal for its size could need between 10 days+ to let the meal fully digest, making the frequency of meal much slower.
On the flip side, if a snake is only finding small prey items, it will want to eat more often, as much as every 5-7 days.
A snake that is under 1 year old will eat much more often than a snake over 10 years old. This is because as a snake grows the previous meal is unlikely to be sufficient for them the next time of eating.
This in the wild is the most important factor, a snake cannot get food readily. It must hunt and grow to be very good at it.
Snakes when given the chance will take the chance to eat more prey items if it presents itself because the snake does not know when its next meal is coming.
Snake frequently go over 6 months without eating a single meal for some species.
If this is the case, a snake will have to be an opportunistic feeder to have any chance of surviving in the wild.
Feeding Your Pet Snake
If you are wondering what to feed your pet snake, it is very easy.
Use the girth of the snake’s body and try to feed a meal that is that size of slightly bigger.
The meal frequency should be between every 7 – 14 days dependant on the species of your pet snake.
So How Often Will A Snake Eat?
This varies wildly, to give an example it is anywhere between every 5 days to occasionally going 6+ month without a meal.
Snakes do not have a diet plan that they must adhere to, there it is not set in stone, but a healthy snake will take the chance to eat more often than not when the chance of catch their prey presents itself.
All snakes are classed as opportunistic feeders.
What Do Snakes Eat
What a snake eats largely depends on the species and what is available to them in the environment.
The most popular meals are, mice, rats, chickens, birds, eggs, fish and many other species of rodent including the biggest rodent in the world the capybara.
Their ability to adapt to the surrounding is amazing, such as the garter snake which hunts mostly for fish in the wild and will stalk their prey.
Other snakes like the boa constrictor are an ambush predator and will sit and wait for days, weeks or months for an unexpecting prey to walk too close.
After A Snake Eats
After a snake eats a meal, the digestion process begins, and because a snake is cold blooded, they will seek out the sun to help speed up the digestion process.
This is called basking. A snake will find a hot area and let their body warm, and it is does, the snakes stomach acids and digestion process will work much faster than in the cooler areas.
On the flip side, if a snake is struggling to find a sufficient meal for a longer period of time, they will sit in cooler areas and doing this slows down their digestion and give them much more time to find a meal.