If you’ve ever found snake skin in your garden or in the wild you may have wondered if the snake has eaten its shed. While it’s not a common occurrence there are some cases where snakes have been known to consume their own shed. Here’s a closer look at this unusual behavior.
What Is Eating Your Shed?
Before we get into whether or not snakes eat their shed it’s important to understand what eating your shed actually is. When a snake sheds its skin it will typically eat the skin as it comes off. This helps to speed up the process and provides the snake with nutrients that it would otherwise be lacking.
However in some cases the snake may not eat the skin as it comes off. Instead it will wait until the skin is shed and then eat it. This is known as eating your shed and it’s not something that all snakes do.
Why Do Some Snakes Eat Their Shed?
There are a few reasons why some snakes may eat their shed. One reason is that it provides the snake with nutrients that it needs. When a snake sheds its skin it’s also shedding a layer of scales. These scales are made up of keratin which is a protein that snakes need in their diet.
Another reason why snakes may eat their shed is that it helps to keep the area around their home clean. If there are shed skins around it could attract predators or other snakes. By eating the shed skin the snake is getting rid of any evidence that it was there.
Finally some snakes may eat their shed because they simply enjoy the taste. While it’s not a common snack for humans some snakes seem to enjoy the taste of their own skin.
Do All Snakes Eat Their Shed?
As we mentioned not all snakes eat their shed. In fact most snakes don’t consume their shed skin. There are a few reasons for this. First as we mentioned eating your shed is not necessary for the snake’s survival.
Second some snakes simply don’t like the taste of their shed skin. While it may provide them with nutrients they may not enjoy the taste enough to make it worth their while.
Finally some snakes may not be able to digest their shed skin properly. If a snake eats its shed and then vomits it back up it could be a sign that the snake is sick.
Should You Be Concerned If Your Snake Eats Its Shed?
In most cases there’s no need to be concerned if your snake eats its shed. However if you notice that your snake is eating its shed more often than usual it could be a sign of a health problem. If you’re concerned about your snake’s health it’s always best to take it to the vet to be sure.