My most recent order of a whole bunch of ball pythons came 3 weeks ago. They are all kept the same, temps, humidity, etc. Many started eating first feeding, and the rest started eating on the second feeding, except one. She is a 1000 gram female. While all the other snakes from this breeder are high quality and came well, this particular one came with stuck shed. Misting the enclosure did not get the shed off, and eventually I gave her a warm soak for a little while and the shed came off. However, the snake isn't eating. I believe it is not because of the food item preference as she just seems scared whenever I open the tub and try to feed. She would hiss and hide her head and scramble to the back of the tub. I gave her a hide and it seems not to do the job (I use a rack and usually give hides only to problem feeders). I know that 3 weeks isn't a long time and ball pythons go off feed, but it is a long time for a snake to calm down after arrival to new surroundings. I am just trying to find a way to make her less scared.
Like I said I have given a hide. What else can I do?
Should I, instead of tong feeding, just put the rat inside and let her eat it overnight (Frozen thawed of course) because she is scared when I try to feed? (I have one in there as I type this, but that is left after I tried zombie dance which she was scared, so next time maybe just put it in there without trying to tong feed?) One of the other snakes which is her sibling, took a rat this way, but is also willing to tong feed.
Does painting the tub so that it is opaque help? Will the paint change the insulation and change the temperature?
Perhaps start with offering a smaller prey item then what she normally eats. How often are you trying to feed her? Offering to many times to often will just stress her out more. Offer once every week.
I do offer her once a week only.
I am feeding a rat that is 10% of her weight only now.
She seems scared whenever I open the tub, even when just needing to change the substrate, fill water etc. She is nice and fat and apparently has been eating well according to the feeding records that the breeder sent to me with the snakes.
What size tubs are you using? I had a 1000g pastel female go off feed for 11 mos. I finally crammed 2 hides and her water in her 41q tub and she ate. She's a skittish one as well so I think the extra clutter helped her feel more secure.
Here's something I recently stumbled upon when searching about feeding issues. I plan to give it a go with my female maybe today with feeding scheduled for Thursday. I found many posts on it but here's one below. It involves loosley crumpling newspaper and filling the tub.