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  1. #11
    BPnet Veteran DennisM's Avatar
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    I've never tried feeding birds to BPs, maybe I'll try some this weekend, got plenty of chicken and quail on hand. Only recently did it come to my attention that they are on the wild menu. Still, rodents are the staple of their diet and should remain so in captivity.

  2. #12
    BPnet Senior Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    When you say chicks, what size do you mean? Usually chicks are 1-3 day old, which isn't a suitable meal, mostly downy feathers and feet, very little actual meat and even less calcium. A chicken large enough to be nutritionally complete is too big for a ball python to eat. Bird on occasion would be fine but if you want to feed only chickens or your ball gets stuck on them you might have problems. I've got a bunch of quail right now for my larger carnivores and tried offering some smaller ones to a boa and sstp, neither would touch them though.

  3. #13
    BPnet Veteran DennisM's Avatar
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    Re: Any luck feeding a ball python something other than rodents?

    Quote Originally Posted by DennisM View Post
    I've never tried feeding birds to BPs, maybe I'll try some this weekend
    Well, I offered a day old chick to a couple of small BPs and got no takers. Rather than continue the experiment with the remaining appropriately sized BPs, I just fed it to a small carpet python. I did however get a yearling BP to take a rabbit pink (about the size of a weanling rat) without hesitation. Nonetheless, I suspect a weaned rat is a better meal, so I'll just stick with that.

  4. #14
    BPnet Senior Member Albert Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Any luck feeding a ball python something other than rodents?

    Mice and rats should be the consistent prey. Anything else should just be a treat and offered occaisionally. Chicks do however contain high amounts of protein. They also have considerable amounts of calcium as well. Unfortunately excessive amounts of feathers.
    Stay in peace and not pieces.

  5. #15
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    Re: Any luck feeding a ball python something other than rodents?

    I feed my CB Ball Python, 19", thawed out one day old chicks. He takes them without any hesitation.

  6. #16
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    Re: Any luck feeding a ball python something other than rodents?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrolicious View Post
    I'm just curious if anybody has any personal experience with feeding a ball python anything other than mice or rats. Like small birds(even a baby chicken) or frogs or something else. It's the holiday season so I figured I could do something fun with my snake and feed him something else for once.

    My python is 3 or 4 years old, I got him when he was 1 month. He was weaned on mice, both live and frozen/thawed, and as he's grown I've increased the size and switched to rats.

    I'm not interested in trying gerbils or hamsters based on the rumors that they are addictive.

    Mine loves meatballs in some gravy. They also occasionally love a slice of meat lovers pizza. But honestly why change what works?

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  8. #17
    BPnet Senior Member BFE Pets's Avatar
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    I always have a variety of different feeders on hand as I have multiple species. I have some ball pythons that readily eat a lot of different things.

    here's a list of feeders some of my bp's have taken.
    Chicks
    Quail
    guinea piglets
    hamsters
    ASF
    gerbels
    rats
    mice
    degu
    rabbit pinks
    Come see what's new with us at https://www.facebook.com/BFEPetsandSupply

    Happy Herping!!!!

  9. #18
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    Just curious, and wondering if anyone knows... when bp's eat birds in the wild, do they actively seek out ambushes where they might catch birds as opposed to rodents? Or do they eat birds mostly when there aren't enough rodents around or they haven't gotten lucky in awhile? Or do they mostly seek out places where they'll find rodents but take whatever opportunity presents itself?

    I guess the corollary to this would be, is a different prey item actually a "treat", and if so, which ones? In general, "treats' for animals (and for people!) have higher amounts of certain nutrients, calories, fat, sugar, salt, etc, than the normal diet. The things that make something a treat tend to be things that the animal does need, but that is hard enough to come by in its natural environment that getting enough takes a certain amount of extra motivation. (The problem for modern humans and sometimes for their overweight pets is that we're wired to crave fat and sugar because our ancestors needed those things but they were relatively hard to come by, whereas in modern life you could totally eat nothing but cookie dough if you wanted)

    But a snake basically leaves the complicated part of getting balanced nutrition to its prey animal, and then just slurps down the whole thing. But at the same time, different prey animals do have different nutritional content (not to mention the difference between a malnourished rat and an obese rat or whatever). So do some prey animals constitute "treats" to snakes, like millet for budgies, mango for my friend's tortoise, honey glazed ham for my dad's cat, apples for horses, or cookie dough for me?

    Or is it more like, I had a latte today and a cappuccino yesterday and a flat white the day before that, but it's really all just different amounts of milk and espresso and even if I have a preference I don't care that much and if it's coffee time I'll strike at whatever's in front of me?

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