Do King Snakes Stop Eating During Winter ?
King snakes are not venomous and can feed on other venomous snakes like copperhead and rattle snake due to their natural immunity towards their venoms. They prey on eggs, birds, turtles, frogs, lizards and small mammals.
These snakes are active during mornings and also the later part of the day. However, if the climate is hot, they hunt in the night. They locate the prey with their sense of smell and constrict and suffocate the animal by coiling around its body. They can even swallow a prey that is still alive.
King snakes are generally quiet but when they are attacked by predators, they roll up like a ball keeping their head in the centre and let out a loud hiss. They also vibrate their tail and smear feces and a strong musk with a bad smell.
King snakes have a tendency to hibernate especially before breeding or during skin shedding and hence they stop eating during winters or autumn seasons. Otherwise, they tend to rest at a properly equipped place clearly indicating the beginning of their hibernation period.
Some of the species of king snakes include Common King Snake, milk snakes, scarlet king snake, Western Black King snake, California King Snake and Desert King snake.
People who have king snakes as pets should avoid feeding the snake for about 4 – 6 weeks during hibernation and keep the snake in a warm enclosure at a temperature of about 50 - 65 degrees to ensure that the digestive system works properly. At the end of the hibernation period, bring the enclosure back to normal temperature and feed the snake.
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