What Do Garden Snakes Eat? Feeding Your Backyard Buddies | Kidadl


What Do Garden Snakes Eat? Feeding Your Backyard Buddies

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Common garter snakes are non-venomous snakes that roam freely around human settlements.

The common garter snake species is harmless to humans, but they do prefer a nourishing diet. Discover with us what provides these non-venomous snakes with the necessary nourishment.

Garden snakes, also known as Garter snakes, are a species of snakes found in several habitats. They belong to the genus Thamnophis. Several species of snake belonging to this genus are spread throughout North America. Garter snakes grow to a length in the range of 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m). Their skin is brown and green in color with checkered stripes. Their heads are quite small. These reptiles can survive extreme cold and warm temperatures. Just like most snakes, garden snakes hibernate in winter. Garden snakes are basically harmless to humans. They are not at all venomous. You can easily handle garters and even keep them as pets.

After reading about the feeding habits of non-venomous snakes, you may also like to know do all snakes lay eggs and what do corn snakes eat.

Are they herbivores or carnivores?

Garter snake species are mainly found in North America. These reptiles survive equally well in warm and cold environments. Garden snakes are known for their ability to adapt to their surroundings. They even do well in captivity. Their diet varies based on the surroundings they live in.

Garden snakes are carnivorous animals. They hunt and prey on anything that comes in their grasp. No garter snakes have herbivorous elements in their diet. Common garter snakes even feed on the eggs of birds and frogs. They prey on earthworms, small fishes, birds, rodents, mice, slugs, small mammals, frogs, toads, snails, lizards, and salamanders. Garden snakes living near the water have different diets than those living on land. So if you are getting a pet garter snake, make sure to know what it eats.

Do they attack small animals and eat them?

Garden snakes are a carnivorous species of snakes. One can also say they are mild predators. They pounce on anything in sight to fill their stomachs. These animals understand smell very well. It helps them in hunting. They do not bite their prey; they swallow it whole.

Garden snakes do attack small animals and eat them. They are very quick to catch small animals. Their prey is usually small rodents, frogs, insects, and slugs. They kill their prey and eat them instantly. If your garden is infested with mice or rodents, letting out a few garden snakes might turn out to be a great way to get rid of the infestation. You can, later on, keep those snakes as pets or deliver them to a local shelter.

What do baby garden snakes eat?

Pregnant females of the garter snake species give birth to a bunch of baby snakes at a time. They are born green and brown with stripes on them. They shed their skin immediately after birth. Getting garter snakes to eat in the early stages of their life is a difficult task.

Baby garden snakes have very small mouths. They cannot be fed the usual diet that adult garter snakes have. Cutting the adult diet into small pieces works for some young snakes, but most are not interested in eating something that is immobile. A study conducted showed that feeding small rodents and mice cut in bite-size pieces caught the interest of baby garden snakes. They generally do not eat big foods until their mouths are big enough, but rodents seem to spark their interest.

Common eastern Garter snake coiled in the grass

What do garden snakes eat in land areas?

Garter snakes have stripes on their body and live in landed areas as well as aquatic areas. This wildlife lives in diverse habitats, including rocks, dens, soil, and tree trunks in land areas. Garden snakes are very active hunters. They easily find food. The diet of garter snakes living in land areas is different from those living in aquatic areas.

Garden snakes are a common occurrence in land areas. They inhabit several land areas across North America. In land areas, garter snakes prey on snails, lizards, rodents, mice, slugs, earthworms, birds, rabbits, insects, and eggs. They will find their prey and attack them before they eat them whole. Their diet in aquatic areas includes amphibians such as frogs, toads, and salamanders. They do not attack large animals such as dogs and cats in land areas because they are likely to get overpowered because of their size.

What Garden Snakes Should Eat As Pets

Garden snakes never become pests. You might find a number of them in your surrounding area, but they do not tend to cause any trouble. Humans have kept garter snakes as pets since long ago. They make excellent pets once you get them to eat, which truthfully is a tough task.

What to feed your pet garter snake really depends on its age. If you got hold of a baby garter snake, then regular garden snake food might be too big for its mouth. Adult garter snakes can eat regular food. You can try feeding them small fish such as the comet goldfish, crickets, earthworms, frozen/thawed rodents, and toads' eggs. Most of these pets do not generally like dead food, but it is worth a try. Adult snakes need feeding only once a week. Once you have established what they love to eat, you can feed them that regularly.

Should you feed wild garden snakes?

Wild garden snakes are adapted to their surroundings. They can find their own food. They are very quick to move, which enables them to hide quickly. Even though garter snakes are non-venomous, feeding wild garden snakes may not be such a good idea.

Figuring out what to feed wild garter snakes is a tricky task. Northwestern, Butler's, and Short headed species of garden snakes prefer to eat earthworms. But Western, Ribbon, and Eastern garter snakes prefer live fish over earthworms. Feeding wild garden snakes means you should be aware of these species-based diets. Wild garden snakes won't eat whatever you give them, especially if it is dead. They prefer to catch small mammals and small fish on their own. Hence, there is a very strong chance that they won't accept your food.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you like our suggestions for 'What do garden snakes eat?' then why not take a look at 'How to identify a copperhead snake', or 'Garden snakes facts'.

Kidadl Team
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Kidadl Team

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