Snakes are some amazing creatures. While it’s hard for humans to imagine living without food for more than a couple of days, snakes have no problem with that. But, exactly how long can a snake go without eating?
If you’re leaving for a short vacation, you probably don’t want to take your snake along with you. And let’s face it; a snake isn’t a dog. It’s not easy to find a neighbor that will volunteer to care for your snake in your absence.
Since you’re supposed to be around to care for your snake, how long can you be away? If you go away for too long, your snake will probably die.
In this article, you’ll learn how long snakes can survive without food or water and how they manage to endure for so long without food.
How Long Can a Snake Go Without Food?
Snakes have an unusual superpower that only a few other animals possess: going into an inactive state. In their inactive state, they reduce their metabolism by up to 70%, effectively reducing energy use.
When they use less energy, they definitely will need to eat less food, and this can make snakes go for a very long time without food.
Due to this impressive ability, snakes are known to survive for up to six months without any food. While six months sounds unbelievable, it is only a feasible average. There are records of snakes that thrive for up to 2 years without food.
Before you start starving your snake, it’s important to note that all snake species are different. While we might have seen snakes that go without food for two years, you snake mightn’t have that ability.
If you’re unsure how long your snake can go without food, you should consider researching or talking to your veterinarian about it.
How do Snakes Survive Without Food?
Snakes are special animals. Not only can they manage to stay for months without food, but they also continue to grow, even without feeding.
When snakes enter brumation, they do not kill any prey, nor will they require any food. In this stage, they also lower their metabolism by up to 72%, drastically reducing their energy requirements.
Snakes store excess food just like any other animal; as fat, in some parts of their bodies. When the snake is on brumation, it depends on this fat supply to stay alive and keep growing.
This action isn’t unique to snakes; it is also common to most other animals. However, what isn’t common to most other animals is their unique ability to reduce their metabolic rate by more than 70%!
When a snake’s metabolic rate has reduced drastically, it will require far fewer resources to survive. Also, unlike most animals, snakes can utilize their food reserves to extreme levels before they die.
Contrary to what you may think, snakes do not go inactive when they are in brumation. They still stay alert, and they can bite if they sense any threat. You still have to be careful when handling an inactive snake.
You just have to give it to the serpent man.
How Often Should You Feed Your Snake?
The fact that your snake can go for two years without food doesn’t mean it should go for two years without food. You will need to feed your snake more often, and how often is one of the commonest questions pet owners throw around.
How often you feed your snake depends on the species of the snake. Some snakes will only eat once every two weeks, but others will need to eat up to twice a week.
Also, the age of your snake and its size will play crucial roles in determining how often you should feed your snake.
If your snake starts rejecting food, you might be overfeeding the snake. Nothing replaces medical advice; contact your vet if you feel you’re not feeding your snake the right way.
Humans fast from dusk to dawn, but snakes are just on another level. Have you tried fasting for two years?
Unless you can reduce your metabolism by up to 70%, you should refrain from attempting this.
With snakes’ insane ability to survive without any food, it is now understandable how dinosaurs fell to the last mass extinction while snakes didn’t.