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  1. #31
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    This worked for me And I'm sooo happy
    Here's Ianto's story, if anyone is interested:
    Ianto is my garbage disposal of a lemon pastel; he came to me on 8/1/2013 at 380g and commenced eating(all on F/T). On 12/30/13, he weighed in empty at 984g. He had a small rat on 1/1 and 1/8, and started refusing on 1/15. On the first refusal I just thought he's going into shed because he's one that won't eat in shed, so I brushed it off and tried again on 1/22. No luck, and none again on 1/29, and no signs of shed in sight. He was acting like he was going to eat, coiling up and s-ing his neck and getting really close with his tongue flicking like crazy, but then he would just freeze for 1-5 minutes and then scoot backwards away from it and go back under his hide. I started to think maybe it was something to do with the rats so I offered one to my Pewter male who slammed it. Since it wasn't that, I though maybe he was just being a moody male during breeding season. I started offering weaned instead, hoping maybe a smaller rat would entice him but to no avail. Tried weaned on 2/15 and 3/5; no eating but still with the same behavior. Switched down to pups on 4/6 and 4/21 and still no luck. I weighed him on 4/23 at 908g, and went looking for some way to get him eating again. That's when I found this; seemed like pretty sound advice and decided to give it a shot. He got a new tub/water bowl/hides and was moved all on the same day(4/25); I have two four slot racks right next to each other and he was moved from the very top slot in the left one(where he's always been) to the very bottom slot in the right one. I offered a pup last night and he hit it so hard and so fast I nearly jumped out of my own skin! I don't know if he'll eat again next week but I'm just so happy my sweet boy finally has some food in his belly again. Thank you so much for this thread

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  3. #32
    BPnet Veteran J.P.'s Avatar
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    good for you RoyalRose, we have the same story, or rather our snakes do. two of mine suddenly started reacting to their food exactly like your Ianto. the first time i saw this article made me decide to finally get a rack system. sadly, despite the new rack, this technique has not done anything to improve their feeding response. on the other hand, the convenience of the new snake rack i made is a very welcome improvement over the old stacked tubs i was using.....

  4. #33
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    Re: The Psychology of Problem Feeders Get your Ball Python eating again

    I have a yellow pastel that is about 2 years old. I got her from a guy off craigslist that said she eats two large mice weekly. BTW I have had her for about a year. The first week I had her she ate a small rat. I was so thrilled because she was my first morph and I was bummed when I bought her because the guy said she only took mice. Now I must admit that my husbandry skills weren't good at all at first. Now I have improved and am on the right track. My only issue is that she will not take a rat from me now. I have tried putting the blood of a mouse on a hopper but still no luck. I also went as far a braining a rat and letting her go off fed. This snake will starve herself to death so that doesn`t work. I actually moved her up to the top of my rack instead of the middle to see if that will help entice her. I am also going to try tossing the rat in mice bedding. If you have any other advice please help. P.S. she is about 404 grams which I know is small for what she should be. She ate 2 large mice two weeks ago and 1 last week

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  5. #34
    BPnet Senior Member reptileexperts's Avatar
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    also seems to give some reason as to way BP on paper towel / newspaper seem to feed better than those kept on aspen, since we are prone to do full enclosure cleans when using paper versus spot cleaning aspen. . .
    -------------------------------------------------------
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    "...That which we do not understand, we fear. That which we fear, we destroy. Thus eliminating the fear" ~Explains every killed snake"

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  7. #35
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    Thanks JP. Sorry your snakes haven't done any better in racks, but aren't they just the most convenient things to use?

    mick_yoda- Have you tried feeding a mouse hopper and then a rat fuzzy that's been scented with the mouse, in the same feeding? I've never had any problems switching snakes over but I have read posts where people have said to try that. Give her what she wants and then offer what you'd rather her eat while she's still in feeding mode, so she starts getting used to rats. 404 is small for her age but as long as she's not boney looking and you're getting your husbandry where it needs to be then that's the best you can do for her, and it's good to know you care enough about her to seek help from your peers It might be worthwhile to put a little weight on her before trying to switch her though so that she has some fat stored up, you know?

    reptillexperts- I do keep mine on aspen and while I mega spot clean(I take out 2+ inches around the spot depending on how messy, and wipe it down really well with cleaner and add more to cover what I took), I did find a little bit of urates buried at the very bottom of Ianto's tub that I had missed. I'm wondering if that's what's happening, they don't get 100% clean for a bit and it sticks in their head that they shouldn't eat, or something. Who knows, silly things

  8. #36
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    Re: The Psychology of Problem Feeders Get your Ball Python eating again

    Thanks royalrose for the advice. I haven't tried that. I am going to feed today so I'll try to sneak a rat in on her. Lol......she is si stubborn though. Ill repost tonight.

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    Re: The Psychology of Problem Feeders Get your Ball Python eating again

    Still had no luck she didn't even want the mouse

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    Re: The Psychology of Problem Feeders Get your Ball Python eating again

    Its ok though because my asfs had babies today.....maybe I can just get her on those.....my male spider might have to be on asfs too because he is a mouser as well.

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  11. #39
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    Re: The Psychology of Problem Feeders Get your Ball Python eating again

    Thanks Justin. This worked for me but I tweaked it a bit. I changed my substrate from coconut husk to newspaper and managed to break a fast! I also disinfected the tub with f10. Going to try convert all my ball pythons to newspaper as I can clean the tubs a lot easier than with husk.


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  12. #40
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    Re: The Psychology of Problem Feeders Get your Ball Python eating again

    Justin, you are a life saver. Thank you so much for that article, it worked beautifully for me. I'm happy beyond belief/relief!

    Back in October I got a healthy juvenile male Enchi (3-4 months old) at the MA Reptile Expo. I started him out in a 18x18x12 Exo (about 17 gal), picked aspen bedding as substrate, provided fresh water, two hides (warm+cool sides), correct humidity/temperatures and he ate fine (small mice) for the first 2-3 feedings. In a rather foolish attempt to stabilize the humidity in his tank (instead of going down the damp-towel-over-mesh route) I switched him to cypress mulch. At first it seemed to have worked out great, he still ate (11/15) while on the mulch. One day later however, I caught attempting to swallow a piece of mulch and I had a minor panic attack, got him out of the tank, removed the piece of mulch from his mouth and switched him back to aspen bedding to avoid running into that situation (no more cypress mulch, check). Phew, I thought, so far so good.

    A week after that he goes into shed, I don't see him for a little over a week, and skips his feeding, which was expected. After he shed, I removed his old skin and cycled the aspen bedding to give him a fresh substrate. After that he really started acting up, crawling restlessly in his tank, trying to find a way out. After reading some posts I figured he was just hungry (he kept flicking his tongue while exploring) and then begun to consistently deny food. I was aware the BP's are notorious for being picky eaters so I didn't think much of it. I questioned however whether I wasn't getting my husbandry right as he continued to roam his tank (even during the day) and I started to get a little paranoid (a lot went through my mind, I started reading posts about people who had their BP's die on them, all sorts of horrible things that didn't help at all). After he skipped yet another feeding last night I really started to worry: I looked up exotic vets in the area and also thought about contacting his breeder. I had read your article several times before and thought to myself "last time he ate was on cypress mulch...what if I clean out his tank and try a different substrate?". I went with it (my next option was to try live feeding, which I'm not a fan of for several reasons but was ready to commit if I had to). Out goes the aspen bedding, in goes the paper towel. I came home from work today, checked on my little guy (Balthazar) and he was chilling in the hide that's on top of the UTH so it was already a relief that he was not frantically moving around.
    One mouse to go please, 100F. He slammed that thing in a heartbeat!!! I was literally jumping in joy (in another room so I wouldn't scare him ). So again, thank you. I find it challenging these days to get advice online that is actually valuable based on the atrocity that I've read all over forums so I read everything with a big grain of salt (I picked up a copy of Complete Ball Python by Kevin McCurly which I highly recommend, the guy knows what he's doing). I'm not saying that aspen bedding is not recommended as substrate - I've seen and read many breeders/owners who have had success with their BP's on aspen bedding but as someone else mentioned on this thread: each ball python is different. It's a matter of finding what works for your pet and it's your duty as a responsible owner to ensure that all his/her needs are met. I intend on keeping mine on paper towel - while it's not aesthetically pleasing it is easier to clean, readily available, and was the solution to break my snake's fast. I guess aspen bedding was rubbing him the wrong way, literally :-P

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