Gopher Snake Diet
An active gopher snake will happily eat every 10 days. They will eat, and should only be fed, killed prey. A snake who is not hungry when the live prey is introduced into the enclosure often finds itself becoming the meal, especially if the prey is a rat. To economize, buy in bulk. Contact your local herpetology society; many members breed mice and rats, and most will pre-kill them for you. Remove the prey item from the freezer and allow to defrost at room temperature. When defrosted, use forceps or tongs to pick up the rodent by the tail, and place it in the tank. Once you get to know your snake, you can hold the prey in front of the snake for the snake to strike at. Make sure you wash your hands after handling prey, or other animals, before putting your hand in the snake’s enclosure. Smell overrides all other senses when it comes to food; even if your hand does not look remotely rodent-like, it smells like one, ergo it must be one. For a change of pace, offer a quail egg. If the snake eats it, offer it one every couple of weeks in addition to its regular feeding.
A bowl of fresh water must always be available at all times. It will be used for drinking and sometimes for bathing. If the snake defecates in it, the bowl must be cleaned and disinfected immediately.