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  1. #1
    Telling it like it is! Stewart_Reptiles's Avatar
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    My ball python won t eat - My BP is stressed - hatchling 101

    Every year especially when baby season is upon us, many people become proud new owners of their very first hatchling Ball Python, sadly more often than not the excitement often turn to frustration and worry when their new acquired pet refuse to eat for them.

    The good news is that YOU can get your animal to eat on it’s own but for that you will often have to forget everything you read, everything you were told, forget about what YOU want or like and be open to a PROVEN temporary method that has help many get their animal to feed for them.

    Ball Pythons unlike other species MUST have their needs met to a T, it is very important especially with an hatchling getting used to a new environment, among those needs SECURITY is the single most important one and should always be kept in mind.

    So how can you provide your hatchling with an optimum setup that will get you on track rapidly, leading to a more enjoyable first time experience?

    If your hatchling is less than 200/250 grams here is what I always recommend.

    First: If your new baby has not fed for you in the first 3 to 4 weeks it is time to act, while adult can go a long time without food younger animals do not and it often becomes a vicious circle (the less they eat the less they want to eat)

    Second: Change everything and do it to a T (do not pick and choose what you like)

    Ball Pythons unlike other species MUST have their needs met to a T, it is very important especially with an hatchling getting used to a new environment, among those needs SECURITY is the single most important one and should always be kept in mind.

    • Use a 6 quarts tub as enclosure; remember this is TEMPORARY, until the animal reaches 200/250 grams and or until you can read and troubleshoot your animal yourself. (Whether you dislike tubs and even if have the perfect 10 gallons setup ready to go, it does not matter what matters it to provide an optimum setup to help your snake resume feeding)
    • Provide aspen or coconut chips as bedding, those will allow your new pet to bury itself in the bedding offering added security.
    • Provide 1 plastic flower pot saucer as hide (6 inches in diameter), they are very low profile with the top touching your BP’s body, which will provide an even more secure environment.
    • Provide a small water dish.
    • Provide temperatures of 76/78 on the cool side and 86/88 on the warm side (no higher, this will be achieved with a a UTH combined with a thermostat, you will also need a reliable digital thermometer to achieve those requirements.
    • Provide a humidity level of 50%/60%
    • Wait a week with no handling and offer a live mouse or rat (depending on what the animal was previously feeding on with the breeder), if you are not sure, or the animal comes from a pet store, offer a live mouse. The ideal prey should be slightly smaller or equal to the girth size (widest part of your BP’s body) – Remember offer in the tub (do not feed outside the tub), close the lid and remove if un-eaten after 10/15 min.

    Now keep in mind that it might not work the first time around and in some extreme cases (un-started animals, failure to thrive, rehab) it might take more than one try and some additional measures, but it can be done.
    Once your animal takes a few meals for you (3 to 5 meals) you can start handling it and/or even move it back to a different enclosure that is suited for a young animal such as a 10 gallons tank that you will upgrade over time.

    Ideal setup



    Ideal hide for above setup

    Last edited by Stewart_Reptiles; 02-17-2020 at 11:17 AM.
    Deborah Stewart

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  3. #2
    BPnet Veteran StillBP's Avatar
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    Re: My ball python won’t eat

    Finally a sticky my bp will not eat
    thanks for that one deb
    Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.

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  5. #3
    Telling it like it is! Stewart_Reptiles's Avatar
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    Re: My ball python won’t eat

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBP View Post
    Finally a sticky my bp will not eat
    thanks for that one deb
    We have others but this one specifically oriented toward young hatchlings and new owners.
    Last edited by Stewart_Reptiles; 06-13-2016 at 09:59 PM.
    Deborah Stewart

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  7. #4
    BPnet Senior Member Reinz's Avatar
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    Great explanation with reasons.
    The one thing I found that you can count on about Balls is that they are consistent about their inconsistentcy.

    1.2 Coastal Carpet Pythons
    Mack The Knife, 2013
    Lizzy, 2010
    Etta, 2013
    1.1 Jungle Carpet Pythons
    Esmarelda , 2014
    Sundance, 2012
    2.0 Common BI Boas, Punch, 2005; Butch, age?
    0.1 Normal Ball Python, Elvira, 2001
    0.1 Olive (Aussie) Python, Olivia, 2017

    Please excuse the spelling in my posts. Auto-Correct is my worst enema.

  8. #5
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    Thanks for the info, I'll have to get some of those saucers and take the paper towel out. 5 of my 8 babies have not eaten for me yet so I'll have to see if that gets them going.
    BP MALES:
    Bumblebee (Zeus), Phantom (Menace), Normal (Salazar), Lesser (Lester), Pastel het Albino (Hagar), Mystic, Pastel het Clown (Bozo), 2 Yellow Belly, Enchi, Lesser Leopard, Banana Pinstripe, Pastel, Champagne, Chocolate Mojave het Hypo, Yellow Belly het Clown
    BP FEMALES:
    2 Pastel het Pied (Medusa)(Matilda), 2 Pastel het Albino (Helga & Hootie Hoo), Lesser, Cinnamon (Sindee), Spotnose (Sassy), Pastel, 3 Normals (Chloe, Big Moma), Mystic, Enchi het Ghost, Specter, het Clown, Pied, Pastel 66% het Pied, Bumblebee, Chocolate het Hypo

    2 2018 hatchlings - Superstripe, Spector

    1.0 Bearded Dragon (Gollum) and 5.8 Leopard Geckos
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  9. #6
    Sometimes It Hurts... PitOnTheProwl's Avatar
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    Now if we can get people to read/search it.
    Don't forget to copy and paste the link hen members post for help.

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  11. #7
    BPnet Senior Member BMorrison's Avatar
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    Re: My ball python won’t eat - Hatchling 101

    Deb always coming through with the knowledge bomb for the new comers!

    Big reasons why I'm only on this forum. People are knowledgable. Even if they seem brash or arrogant it's because these things are PROVEN to work!

    Myself after the last 8 years, I've learned different methods but after 8 years it's taken tinkering and lots of advice from people like Deb! Should be bumping this daily so the new keepers can read this and get an upper hand before dealing with a sick or stressed animal!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  13. #8
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    My baby python had its 1st shed. It wont eat.. Is there a wait period after shedding.

    Just got it homed and made a wonderful environment. Im 😞 it wont feed? ??? Help!

  14. #9
    Registered User SpaceJellyfish's Avatar
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    Re: My ball python won t eat - My BP is stressed - hatchling 101

    This helped a ton! Got my baby eating again

  15. #10
    BPnet Veteran Sunnieskys's Avatar
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    Amazing! Thanks, Deb! Bringing another baby home from work and this will help. Now if people would just search lol.
    ~Sunny~
    Booplesnoop
    Coilsome, Odyn, & Eeden AKA theLittleOne

    0:1 Pastel Het Red Day Chocolate
    1:0 Normal
    0:0:1 Pueblan milk snake

    *~* Nothing sticky (tape, stick on gauges, Velcro) goes into your enclosure! Again...NOTHING sticky goes into your enclosure....EVER! *~*

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