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Thread: Over Eating?

  1. #1
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    Over Eating?

    Hello Everyone,

    I've had my BP for over a month! A little background, we adopted him from someone that was feeding him two feeder mice once a month. He didnt even want to move when we brought him home. Felt way to light for his length and moved really slow. When we adopted him they stated he hadn't eaten that month, Immediately we fed him two mice. Waited 2 Days to hold him, He was still hungry, We fed him two more! Next day he was still striking the cage, We fed him only one more mouse! It was insane...... He is now on a regular feeding schedule (7 Days) , He is about 2 1/2 foot long. So I've upped him to two small rats. He has done great ate two for the past two feedings! Then we came to this feeding day, He has gained lots of weight looking really good even stronger. He is acting extremely hungry again, He has eaten 4 small rats since 9/28. 9/28 he ate two, 9/29 one small and today 9/30 ate another. Is this something that BP's go through. I've never experienced this with a snake, however, I've never adopted a neglected snake before. I am concerned that he shouldn't be eating this much. I want to assume the current feeding Frenzy is due to actually getting to weight and girth he should be

    His enclosure is 90 hot side and 70 cool side humidity 55-60%, We hold him everyday. He will pretty much ask to be held, He will climb to the top of the cage and loves to explore with my Son. Sometimes it's even like he is giving us kisses! We really do adore our baby Riley! I want to make we are doing right by him.

    Please any advice is welcome!!


    PS. I am feeding him based on how he acts when hungry. With the exception from the first feeding with us. he has very direct signs he is hungry, Any noise around the cage he pops out of his hide, and will just watch me move or remove the lid.

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    Id stick to feeding one rat a week. Its better to feed an appropriate good item vs. Several small ones.

    Id feed a small rat or maybe medium. Feeding too much isnt good. And i wouldnt hold him for at least 24hrs, let him digest for a bit. Think of you eating a huge thanksgiving meal and then jumping on the trampoline right after. Feeding too often could lead to regurgitation as well handling right after eating.

    Snakes are oportunistic feeders. If that is a word. They eat any oportunity they get cause in tje wild hiding out in a burrow it could be a long time before a meal comes by. So by offering meals so often yes they will eat everytime you feed them. Assuming yours isnt picky. Dont try to fatten him up so fast.

    And get rid of mice. Feed rats, even a baby ball could eat a pinky rat.

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    BPnet Veteran chrid16371's Avatar
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    Re: Over Eating?

    You are feeding way to much way to fast, he needs time to adjust and to digest. How much does he weigh? Did you mean small mice or was rats correct bc 2 small rats once a week is to much, 1 small rat around 50-60 grams every 7 days should be enough for him the rest of his life. Overfeeding can lead to problems including fasting.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
    Last edited by chrid16371; 09-30-2016 at 08:37 PM.

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    BPnet Senior Member redshepherd's Avatar
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    Do you mean small mice, not small rats?

    Stick with one appropriate sized meal (width of prey = width of thickest part of snake) every 5~6 days, and it will keep him healthy and he will gain weight and grow as normal, no worries. Avoid handling for 1~2 days after feeding as well. There isn't any upside to stuffing him for days in a row like that, even for a neglected snake, only risks.
    Last edited by redshepherd; 09-30-2016 at 08:54 PM.




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    Re: Over Eating?

    So I guess my Main concerns is how would I know that he isn't actually hungry. I wait a full 48hrs before holding after eating. I've personally never ran into this issue before! He has noticeable ( I'm ready to eat signs) and I want to be held signs. When hungry he will only poke his head out and strike the cage if I come near or attempt to open. I do remove and feed in another enclosure! Where as when he is asking to be held he climbs his branch at the top of the enclosure, and when I open he will come right to me or my son. He isn't a baby and I only adopted him because they told be personally they couldn't feed him. That wasn't fair to him not one little bit, But now I'm getting concerned because I've never come across a snake so inconsistent. He was on a feeding schedule, a great one, He wanted two small rats he got it.

    I purchase the frozen mice from PetCo.

    in addition I am in no way trying to fatten him up, I just want to make sure he feels fed! If I were to let him sit for a week feed another small rat would he continue to strike or would he let me hold him, We enjoy our time with him. I've already fed him the small RATS, I'll give everyone an update in 48hrs if anything has changed or if he continues to strike.
    Last edited by skmthompson1992; 09-30-2016 at 10:55 PM.

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    BPnet Senior Member cchardwick's Avatar
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    I have a normal ball python that I got for free that was sort of a rescue snake. When I got it the poor thing was the size of a hatchling but it was a year old, the guy was feeding it one fuzzy mouse per month! He immediately took two adult mice when I first got him. I power fed him with several rodents twice a week until he started eating three adult mice in about half an hour, then I moved up to small rats just recently. I'm thinking that if a snake is starved for a long time they really have a strong feeding response when the food is available. My little guy grew like a rocket! I think he was making up for lost time.

    Personally I think I'd feed based on appearance. I power fed my snake until he was super fat like a sausage and could hardly even crawl around LOL. It was at that point where I backed off on the food and feed half as often. Some snakes will practically eat themselves to death. My dwarf reticulated python takes all my left over rodents, that's actually why I bought her. I'm amazed that she can chow down a medium rat followed by several adult mice and she is only about a year old. The funny thing about her is that even though I power feed her she has a metabolism that is crazy fast, in just a couple days she is skinny again. It was kind of like that with my normal ball python, he had a crazy fast metabolism and could eat a ton without getting fat, he was just getting longer. Then at one point it changed and he started getting fatter instead of longer, that's when I slowed down. It's kind of like feeding a teenager vs. an adult, a teenager can eat like crazy and not really get fat (in most cases LOL).
    Last edited by cchardwick; 10-01-2016 at 01:25 AM.


  7. The Following User Says Thank You to cchardwick For This Useful Post:

    skmthompson1992 (10-01-2016)

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    Re: Over Eating?

    That is how I was feeling, He was way long but didn't have the girth he should have! I just wanted to follow his signs when he is hungry he tells me, if he wasn't hungry he wouldn't tell.

    Thank you, I am still waiting another day to attempt holding then I will give everyone an update(:

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    I just want to throw in that the cool side shoul be no lower than 75.

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    Re: Over Eating?

    I got a BP from the Reptile Rescue close to home. I was told he was a sometimes fussy eater. Turns his nose up at FT SA soft fur and even regular med rats sometimes. That all changed when I put 2 live med rats in the cage. Had nowhere else to put the second so I left it in the cage overnight. Suddenly he is quite aggressive. The first one went down in less than 3 minutes and the second one didnt last the night. He is actively hunting them into the little burrow I gave them and he has become a lot more active. All of the snakes I have had since I was a kid in the 50s would only eat when hungry. None of the species I have kept were ever overeaters so I figure he is eating because he is hungry. He ate 2 med rats a week ago and is hunting now. Nice to see. I figure he just needed a little stimulation. He was pretty much immobile when I got him. Not so much now. He is all over his 40gal cage. He is about 40in long now so not a tiny snake. He has filled out since I got him but he is greased lightning when there is live food in the cage. No problem feeding him now. Then again I have never known snakes to be eating dead things. It surprises me that he has eaten as many FT med rats as he did. He definitely prefers live.

  11. #10
    BPnet Senior Member cchardwick's Avatar
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    Re: Over Eating?

    Quote Originally Posted by bogie View Post
    I got a BP from the Reptile Rescue close to home. I was told he was a sometimes fussy eater. Turns his nose up at FT SA soft fur and even regular med rats sometimes. That all changed when I put 2 live med rats in the cage. Had nowhere else to put the second so I left it in the cage overnight. Suddenly he is quite aggressive. The first one went down in less than 3 minutes and the second one didnt last the night. He is actively hunting them into the little burrow I gave them and he has become a lot more active. All of the snakes I have had since I was a kid in the 50s would only eat when hungry. None of the species I have kept were ever overeaters so I figure he is eating because he is hungry. He ate 2 med rats a week ago and is hunting now. Nice to see. I figure he just needed a little stimulation. He was pretty much immobile when I got him. Not so much now. He is all over his 40gal cage. He is about 40in long now so not a tiny snake. He has filled out since I got him but he is greased lightning when there is live food in the cage. No problem feeding him now. Then again I have never known snakes to be eating dead things. It surprises me that he has eaten as many FT med rats as he did. He definitely prefers live.
    Not sure if you are aware of this but a rat left in with a snake overnight is an extremely bad idea, you are lucky your snake is still alive. I've seen photos of what a rat can do to a snake and it's not pretty. They can tear them to shreds. Especially if the snake tries to bite the rat and misses and the rat figures out what is going on, the rat can get very aggressive and bite the snake. Usually I watch the whole thing, if the rodent becomes aggressive I'll remove him and never feed him live, I'll use CO2 to put him down and feed a fresh kill.

    The only rodents you can safely leave in with snakes unsupervised are rat pinkies with eyes closed or mouse pinkies for smaller snakes like small King snakes. Yes, all ball pythons will do much better with live, but it's a huge risk to the snake even when supervised. I've even fed live rat pups to smaller snakes and once I had a baby snake just bite the leg of the rat pup and that poor thing squealed for about 10 minutes. Finally I took him away from the snake and let him try again, that time it worked. And lucky that rat pup didn't even try to bite the snake, I could only imagine the carnage if it was a medium rat and the snake didn't have a good hold on him.

    A lot of snakes will lose an eye to a live rodent, in fact most snakes fed only live are pretty beat up and missing quite a few scales from being bit from the rat during feeding just before the snake can put him down. Personally I don't like feeding live at all, better to put them down with CO2 and feed fresh killed. Sometimes with a big snake that refuses to feed I'll feed them a live rat pup, that gets them in the mood and then after that they almost always will take a larger fresh killed or frozen thawed.
    Last edited by cchardwick; 10-02-2016 at 01:55 AM.


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