Any of you snake guys ever had any luck keeping a pet mud snake. We caught one this summer and they sure are nice snakes. I"ve had them before but I would never keep them very long because they usually wont eat. This is really a mute, moot (whatever) question as the one we had got out in the house about a month ago. Havn't seen him since but if he turns up I'd like to try and keep one. They are very docile snakes.
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Feed mainly on salamanders, and are very nocturnal in their feeding. If he has trouble eating it may be the food you are feeding him. If he wont take a live salamander, then cutting off the tail and force feeding him the tail till he is larger is a god road to follow. Some snakes just do not do well in captivity and this may be one of them.
Once you get it feeding on bits of salamanders, try then rubbing salamander parts on to parts of 'pinky' mice from pet stores. The scent is transferred on to the pinky and that may coax the snake into taking it. A few feedings done this way then reduce the amount f scent transferred every other time and you should be able to get the snake on to an all pinky or 'pinky part' diet, thus providing you with a ready source of 'non wild stock depleting' food.
I have kept them but they are very prey-specific (only eat certain salamanders). Without a good source of Amphiuma, Siren, or Ambystoma Salamanders you may have little success.
Scenting mice with salamanders may well work. Best to do this with young snakes.
I have also had good luck by feeding muds in a black plastic bucket with the lid on. Food is too close to ignore, it is dark inside, and they cannot see you (and you do frighten them).
Muds are BEAUTIFUL! But maybe best left in the swamp after a few photographs and some video shots.
Joey P. Holmes
This is why populations of reptiles decline in certain areas. If you want a snake for a pet, go to the store and buy a more "domestic" breed. Don't take a wild specimen from it's habitat, this only helps to reduce variance and availability of breeding populations.