The Effect of Rodent Colouration On Snake Feeding

You would think that the colour of a mouse or rat would not make a difference to whether a snake will eat it or not. However the colour of the rodents you feed your snakes can have an effect on their eagerness to feed. I recently purchased some frozen mice that were black in colour. My snakes ate the light coloured mice with no problem but when it came to the black mice they got silly. Both my Yellow Rat Snake and my Californian King Snake viciously grabbed the black mice only to drop them moments later and completely ignore them. Neither snake would take the black mice off the feeding tongs a second time. My snakes have reacted to the warmer weather and are extremely active and seem to be on a mission to destroy their cage decorations on an hourly basis. This could have something to do with not eating but they fed on the lighter coloured mice with no problem. My Yellow Rat Snake will not eat rats over the size of weaners even though he is quite capable of eating a medium rat. The colour of the mice can make a positive difference to the feeding habits of certain snakes. Ball Pythons are said to prefer darker coloured mice ( at least wild hatched specimens do). Wild caught snakes will sometimes feed better on dark coloured mice. Another interesting fact is that feeding pinkies, fuzzies or rat pups to larger snakes instead of adult rodents can make a difference to feeding. I have found that both my snakes relish rat pups especially my cal king. So colour, type of rodent and age of rodent can make a difference to a snakes willingness to feed.