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Thread: mice to rats

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    mice to rats

    Im wondering if anyone has some advice on getting a ball to take a small rat instead of a big mouse.My ball doesnt seem to be interested in the rat.Its not really that much bigger just a different sent I guess.But hes going to have to move up to rats some day soon.Mice dont seem big enough anymore.
    Wondering if anyone has had the same problem.Thanks

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    BPnet Veteran Adam_Wysocki's Avatar
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    Re: mice to rats

    Many ball pythons are very particular about the type of prey they will eat. You snake may never move on to rats, and it really doesn't need to. Offering multiple mice per weekly feeding is plenty of food for even the largest adult ball pythons.

    If you are that determined to get your ball python on rats, you can try setting a rat up in a small "critter keeper" type cage with lots of dirty mouse bedding, food, and water for 24 hours and then offering it to your snake.

    Another trick that works is to let a mouse run around in your snakes enclosure for a couple of minutes and when you see your snake become alert to it's presence, remove the mouse and drop in the rat.

    It will take time and persistence, but it can be done.

    Good luck.

    -adam
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    "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."
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    BPnet Veteran DrEwTiMe's Avatar
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    Re: mice to rats

    Adam i have been toying with the idea of moving to rats for some time now, i am gonna take my snake to my vet friend so that i can get her weighed and see if perhaps its time to feed her some bigger items. My question is, would there be any actual benefit in moving my snake to rats( more wholsome meal, one prey items as opposed to multiple ect) rather then ust keeping her on several mice? And is there any more inherint danger or feeding rats rather then mice? I hvae been stuck as to what i should do heh, i feel like my snake is right in between where she is ready to take on more then one mouse but not quite big enough for a small rat. Im also going by what the lady at the pet shop told me which is that the small rats are at least 3 times bigger then an aduly white mouse. What should i do?
    0.1.0 BP { NyXx }

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    BPnet Senior Member daniel1983's Avatar
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    Re: mice to rats

    personally, I would try feeding multiple mice for a while. If the bp wants two mice, it will take two mice. kinda think of it as a way for your bp to determine how much it wants to be fed. I feed both of my bps 2 mice a week right now. My main reasons for feeding mice are that mice are easier to defrost than rats (because they are smaller) and because I have the room to breed my own mice. Everyone always talks about the growth that you see when you start feeding rats....you see the same growth when you feed multiple mice so dont worry about that.
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    BPnet Veteran Adam_Wysocki's Avatar
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    Re: mice to rats

    Quote Originally Posted by DrEwTiMe
    Adam i have been toying with the idea of moving to rats for some time now, i am gonna take my snake to my vet friend so that i can get her weighed and see if perhaps its time to feed her some bigger items. My question is, would there be any actual benefit in moving my snake to rats( more wholsome meal, one prey items as opposed to multiple ect) rather then ust keeping her on several mice? And is there any more inherint danger or feeding rats rather then mice? I hvae been stuck as to what i should do heh, i feel like my snake is right in between where she is ready to take on more then one mouse but not quite big enough for a small rat. Im also going by what the lady at the pet shop told me which is that the small rats are at least 3 times bigger then an aduly white mouse. What should i do?



    For breeders, rats are really the way to go ... they bulk up ball pythons quickly with their size and are a lot easier than feeding multiple mice.


    For a hobbyist with a single snake, I would look more at rodent price and availability. If mice are easier to get and a couple of mice a week is cheaper than a rat, I say stick with mice. I know that sometimes rat sizes and availability can be a pain in the a$$ at pet stores around here and mice seem to be everywhere. If I had only one ball python, I would probably stick with mice because of the convenience.



    Both are totally healthy food choices and have all of the nutrients that your ball python needs. Many people are quick to quote studies that show a small rat has more nutrients than a mouse or fuzzy mice have more calcium or stuff like that, but without knowing what a ball python actually needs and uses nutritionally, their points are really moot. I've raised enough ball pythons on mice to know that they are as good of a food choice as rats.



    Hope this helps and good luck with whatever you decide.



    -adam
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    Re: mice to rats

    We have our royal eating F/T rats. Mainly because I can order them in bulk and they're a lot cheaper than mice or rats can be found locally. However, if he ever decides he wants to feed on live I'll have to go with mice. Rats are not indigenous to Alaska and are thus illegal to possess (unless they're dead). Switching from live mice, to F/T mice, and then to F/T rats was just a matter of offering them. He's never refused anything.

    I read in the current issue of Reptiles Magazine an article that eluded to the idea that it is important to feed reptiles a variety of prey for good health. I've also read online that once you have a royal switched to rats, you should never offer him anything else unless you absolutely have to. Is there any truth to the Reptiles article?

    -Jason

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    BPnet Veteran Adam_Wysocki's Avatar
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    Re: mice to rats

    Quote Originally Posted by Neumann
    I read in the current issue of Reptiles Magazine an article that eluded to the idea that it is important to feed reptiles a variety of prey for good health.
    I would tend to think that this applies more to some species of lizards .... like people that feed their beardies the same thing day in and day out with no variety. I'm not sure they really meant snakes, but I haven't seen the article?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neumann
    I've also read online that once you have a royal switched to rats, you should never offer him anything else unless you absolutely have to.
    Probably because many ball pythons become imprint feeders, once they get onto something it's hell getting them to switch back. So if you're feeding your ball python rats and want to try an $8 hamster, you may end up buying $8 hamsters for the next 20 years.

    -adam
    Click Below to Fight The National Python & Boa Ban




    "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."
    - Anna Sewell, author of Black Beauty


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    BPnet Veteran DrEwTiMe's Avatar
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    Re: mice to rats

    Thanks for the information guys.

    Just for me to use as a guide, do any of you recall about how much your snakes weighed when they started taking multiple mice at one feeding? I have a feeling that my snake is ready but since i have to buy them, if she does not eat one im stuck with a moust for a whole week and i have no tank or anything to put them in, the last time she didn't eat 2 i had one living in a serving bowl for a week heh.

    I also feed live so the thawing out issue does not really effect me so much but i see how that would definitly be more of a pain with rats.

    Price has been another issue for me because even buying 2 mice a week at the higher local( mom and pop) pet store prices( i refuse to buy from petco because of the condition of the cages) would be around 4.20 $. While one small rat is 5.00$ and on top of that i would have to special order it through the pet store so that i can have it on the day that i feed.

    I think this week im going to try 2 mice and see how nyxx takes to it, i also have a friend that is beginning to start breeding mice so im hoping that soon enough they will be free for me *crosses fingers* hehe.
    0.1.0 BP { NyXx }

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    BPnet Senior Member daniel1983's Avatar
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    Re: mice to rats

    drew...i can get all my snake stats when i get home from work and let you know. I want to say somewhere around 21''...275g.. but I am not for sure. I know I offered 2 mice for 2 weeks before my male actually took both.
    -Daniel Hill
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    Re: mice to rats

    My bp used to eat rats...mediums actually...after a few of those, she basically stopped eating for the winter. I got her eating again with mice, and she seems stuck on them. She'll eat 2 or 3 in one sitting right now if I'd let her. I know that its ok, I just hope that she'll be able to build up ample fat reserves because I do plan to breed her at this time next year if she is ready.
    -Brad

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