Are you simply curious?
Or do you have a pet baby garter snake?
I ask, because the answer is going to be different.
Wild snakes eat all kinds of things that you shouldn’t, or probably don’t want to, feed them in captivity.
It is always best to feed pet snakes foods that are easy to find. Of course, they should also be things they enjoy.
So what do baby garter snakes eat in the wild and what should you feed them in captivity?
Keep reading to find out. We will cover everything you need to know about feeding a baby garter snake.
Table of Contents
What Do Baby Garter Snakes Eat?
Baby garter snakes eat a lot of different types of prey in the wild. Basically, they eat any animal they can find that is small enough to fit in their mouths.
In captivity, you can also feed them a variety of foods, from from guppies, to worms, to earth crawlers and even to cut-up pieces of chicken. The main requirement is that it is not too large.
Newborn garter snakes need lots of protein to help them grow into healthy adult snakes. If you’re planning to feed your snake live food, then they love guppies and earthworms. Otherwise, they’ll enjoy lean white meat such as chicken, chicken hearts and tilapia fillets.
I would advise cutting up any white meat, especially larger pieces like chicken. Baby garter snakes are very small and will struggle to eat anything bigger than they are. To save yourself from any nasty regurgitations make sure any food is cut into small chunks.
Guppies And Earthworms
If you want to feed your baby garter snake earthworms or guppies, then you need to keep them alive until just before you plan to feed your snake. At that point, you can kill them, or simply let your snake eat them live.
This ensures that your snake is getting lots of fresh nutrients from its food. Of course, this means that if you’re planning on feeding your snake guppies, you will need to keep a small aquarium in your home. Make sure you have room for both your snake tank and a fish tank.
It is much easier to keep earthworms in your home. You should be able to keep them in any type of tank or containers. You just need to make sure they have plenty of soil to keep them happy.
You may also want to cut up any earthworms or guppies before feeding your baby snake. Just like with any white meat, the smaller the portions, the easier it will be for your snake to digest.
What happens if a snake eats something too big? It could regurgitate the food, which can cause internal damage and even death.
Make sure to feed your baby garter snake every other day or twice a week. You should feed your baby snake as much as it will eat. You want to make sure your snake keeps growing and the best way to do this is to make sure it’s eating plenty of food.
If your baby snake isn’t hungry, it probably will not eat whatever food you give it right away. This should help to give you an idea of how often you should feed your snake.
I would also recommend adding variety to your baby garter snake’s diet. Variety ensures that it is eating a wide range of nutrients, which is important to help snakes grow. It also means your snake won’t become bored with its diet.
For example, if you make guppies the main component of your pet’s diet, then you could switch it up occasionally by giving your pet some chicken meat or chicken heart. That will keep things interesting and provide varied nutritional benefits.
Can Baby Garter Snakes Eat Mice?
You should not feed your baby garter snake mice, because they are still too small to eat this type of prey. At least not the entire mouse. You should not feed your baby snake whole mice, because it can harm your snake or result in regurgitation.
If you would like to feed your snake mice, you should feed it smaller parts of a mouse. You can feed it small parts of a pinky mouse and then after a few months, once your baby snake has grown, you begin to feed it an entire small pinky mouse.
Once your garter snake has become an adult, you can worry less about what you feed it. Your snake can start to eat fully-grown mice. You do not have to feed your snake live mice, if you prefer not to.
In fact, feeding it dead mice is safer anyway (mice can put up a fight and injure your snake). It is also much easier to get your hands on dead mice than live ones.
We do have an article on where to buy live mice for snakes here. The easiest way to feed snakes dead mice is to buy frozen ones and defrost them before offering them to your snake. You can find frozen mice and rats in pet stores and on Amazon.
What Baby Garter Snakes Eat: Final Thoughts
Baby garter snakes in the wild eat whatever food they can catch. Since this species lives in many different locations with varying environments, the animals they prey on vary considerably.
In captivity, it is easiest to feed them earthworms or white meats like chicken or some fish. You can also feed them guppies, but this means you will need an aquarium to keep them alive until feeding time, or close before it.