What Do Baby Garter Snakes Eat?

What Do Baby Garter Snakes Eat

Snakes are peculiar creatures that have great adaptability according to their surroundings. They are found in numerous terrains that include land, water, dessert to name a few.  

This has resulted in the meteoric rise of considerable varieties of snakes throughout the years of evolution. This article is mainly focused on a particular type of snake known as the garter snake and its babies and the diet they follow for their survival.  

What do baby garter snakes eat? Baby garter snakes are carnivores and will eat young mice, small amphibians like frogs, insects, worms, small fish, eggs, and other small animals that they can fit in their tiny mouths.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into their prey.

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What do you feed a baby garter snake?

1) Mice offsprings 

Mice are their most favorite form of food. They’re easily available in the surroundings and garter snake babies are very small in size and appetite.

To engulf the whole mouse altogether would be a tough process for them. They either consume it in bits and pieces after their mother has caught and injured it or directly attack its newborn offspring that are available near to them. If there is a scarcity of mice in the surroundings, the babies easily search for other kinds of rodents and especially their offspring. 

2) Amphibians 

Garter snakes are very deadly reptiles and are renowned for their killer instinct. The most common amphibians that garter snakes feed are toads and frogs. The younger one is not too far away from attacking the amphibians. Same as with mice offsprings, the younger snakes go for the tadpoles. Tadpoles are a good source of protein and are widely available in nearby waters.  

3) Earthworms 

Earthworms are one of the most preferred choices of food for the garter snake babies as they are complete in proportion, easy to catch, and even easier to digest. They don’t need their mother to cut them into bits or help to catch them. They feed on different varieties of earthworms growing in different parts of their surroundings. 

4) Fish

Snakes love to eat fish and they have the right amount of protein that makes them strong to fight in their surroundings. The babies also like fish and like to hunt for very small specimens. Apart from fish, they like to go for eggs of different fish that are laid down in the ocean. There are plenty of fish eggs in the water and the garter snake babies that are excellent swimmers unleash on them.  

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5) Other food sources 

Garter snake babies have also developed some taste for other sources of food. These sources include different types of insects such as slugs, leeches to name a few.  

Most of the diets or food sources that are mentioned above are from their natural habitat. There are also instances, where the garter snakes or their babies are kept in the home as pets. In the home, they are nurtured with all the same quality and resources of food. But apart from that, there are other sources of food that are fed to them for their correct growth and nourishment.  

1) Supplements 

This is highly important for all the garter snake babies because an owner can’t provide all the necessary food sources all the time. To overcome this scenario, there are certain supplements that are rich in calcium and vitamin. They are fed with multiple combinations of dosages as per requirements.  

2) Processed food 

These types of food are also fed to garter snake babies if there is a limitation for their natural source of food or their owner has some problem in catching them. Processed foods are not that bad or hamper any growth. They’re also highly affordable. 

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How often do baby garter snakes eat?

Baby garter snakes eat every second day which is more frequently than adult snakes. According to gartersnake.info, a baby garter pet snake should get two or three small earthworms, or one-quarter to one-third of a large nightcrawler, or a few feeder guppies, or one large feeder platy, or one-quarter to one-half of a pinky mouse.

How long can baby garter snakes go without eating?

They usually eat more frequently than adult snakes and cannot last as long without food. They can last up to two weeks without food and after that, it gets dangerous for their overall health. Once they’re adults, and particularly during mating season, it’s not unusual for them to go two months without food.

How do you know when a garter snake is hungry?

Baby garters can be a bit shy and timid when they first arrive so you shouldn’t force food on them. After like three days, you can introduce food to them. Once you get into a rhythm of feeding them, you’ll get a hang and clearly know when they’re hungry. They might even nibble on your fingers when you reach into their hands.

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Will a garter snake starve itself to death?

It depends on how stressed they are, but garter snakes can certainly starve themselves to death. Many garter owners have reported this unfortunate phenomenon.

What do baby garter snakes not eat?

It’s hard to generalize, as there are many species of garter snakes, but one thing is for certain and in common for all of them – they are carnivores and therefore will not eat any vegetables or plants. They’ll also not eat food that is too big for them and that might be intimidating, at least at first. Mealworms and other larvae are also not their favorites, and the same is reportedly true for crickets.

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Adrian Volenik

I've lived around animals my whole life and I hold a Diploma in Animal Physiology. When I'm not reading or writing about wild animals, health and fitness, and technology, you can find me playing with my son and two cats. My pastimes include running, playing video games, and solving the NY Times crossword.