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  1. #1
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    BP Unusually Small?

    Hey all, I'm super new to the forums! I got my first BP off craigslist about a month ago. She is in great condition, super healthy little (assumed) gal! Her previous owner didn't specify whether she eats rats or mice, but the latter wouldn't surprise me, as she is only 264 grams and a little under 2 feet long. She eats frozen, apparently, but hasn't taken food from me yet. I'm trying her on rats, and thinking about getting her a live feeder because she hasn't responded to me heating, pre scenting, and braining the frozen weanlings. She shed for me not even a week ago, so that explains her earlier reluctance, but I tried to feed her today, and she showed some interest but still didn't eat.

    I feed her in her enclosure, and when I tried today, she tried to coil around the rat on the fourth strike, only for one of her hides to get in the way. She just got agitated after that. Any tips for me to get her to eat? She was eating fine in her old home, with thin aspen bedding, low humidity, and unregulated temperatures. She's on a mix of coconut fiber and cypress mulch now (which she seems to adore! Shes burrowing now that she doesn't have a hide and dish that take up her whole enclosure!), with better temps and much better sized hides and water dish, and she's still not eating.

    Also, I was told she is somewhere between one and a half and two, so her small size is a bit concerning. My only guess is either she's a much pickier eater than I was told, or kept on mice when she really should be on rats. Any help with getting her to eat, and any advice on how to get her up to a good size would be appreciated!

    Here's a picture of her:


    And here's her enclosure:

  2. #2
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    Congrats and Welcome!

    Here are a couple of things that I try with problem feeder.
    1) I feed live and I feed at night. Just before I go to bed I drop in the prey item and then 1st thing in the morning I check to see if the prey item is gone. If not I remove the item and try again in 3-5 days.
    2) I don't interact (play/handle) the snake in question until it gets to a consistent feeding schedule. I only got into the tub to change the water when necessary.
    3) I try to feed the same day of the week and same time. This will help to establish a more consistent feeding response. Once established you can adjust to what ever you like. But until then I feel it's what best for the animal.
    4) Being 1/5 - 2 years old and being 256 grams is a concern but I think it's more about consistent feeding than anything and not the animal itself. She was probably feed to small of a meal and feed every 2 to 3 weeks, which would explain her size. Once on a consistent feeding schedule with the proper size prey item this will be corrected almost immediately.
    5) if none of the above has any positive result I would consider covering the exposed glass on your tank. This would be the last thing I would do and only if all the other changes don't help. It's far down the list of options.

    I don't think you have anything to be overly concerned about. She at least had an initial response so we need to build in that, If you have any other questions just let me know. I'd be happy to help anyway I can.


    Pete
    Pete's Pythons
    Tampa, FL

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  4. #3
    Registered User sufficio's Avatar
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    Re: BP Unusually Small?

    Quote Originally Posted by Damage, Inc. View Post
    1) I feed live and I feed at night. Just before I go to bed I drop in the prey item and then 1st thing in the morning I check to see if the prey item is gone. If not I remove the item and try again in 3-5 days.
    I'm not an expert, but isn't this dangerous? Especially with rats? I know I've read more than a few stories about live food being left in an enclosure overnight and the snake ends up dead.

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  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran tttaylorrr's Avatar
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    Re: BP Unusually Small?

    Quote Originally Posted by Damage, Inc. View Post
    I feed live and I feed at night. Just before I go to bed I drop in the prey item and then 1st thing in the morning I check to see if the prey item is gone. If not I remove the item and try again in 3-5 days.
    Quote Originally Posted by sufficio View Post
    I'm not an expert, but isn't this dangerous? Especially with rats? I know I've read more than a few stories about live food being left in an enclosure overnight and the snake ends up dead.
    that is extremely dangerous and, frankly, stupid.
    Last edited by tttaylorrr; 07-10-2018 at 04:42 PM.
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  8. #5
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    Couple of things I see. Those stick on gauges....get them out NOW! Nothing sticky ever goes into cages. Plus those gauges are not accurate anyway.

    Cover three sides of the cage leaving the front to see.

    Those plants need to come down for more security for your beep.

    No handling until your beep eats.

    feed at night with the lights off. (NEVER leave a live animal overnight...that is well I'll be nice...it is dangerous to your beep).

    How are you measuring your temps and do you have a thermoSTAT for your heat mat? Not a thermometer that's different.

    humidity should be 60%
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  10. #6
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    Re: BP Unusually Small?

    Yeah, I've heard that's pretty dangerous for the snake. She seems to spook herself after striking a few times and gets agitated if I'm dangling the prey near her for too long, I'd definitely have to heavily monitor her to make sure she doesn't just panic and hide. I'll try feeding live, though I'm worried about having to keep her on live, as she's just as likely to hide from the frozen as strike at it. Don't want to cause any unnecessary suffering to either her or the feeder.

  11. #7
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    Re: BP Unusually Small?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnieskys View Post
    Couple of things I see. Those stick on gauges....get them out NOW! Nothing sticky ever goes into cages. Plus those gauges are not accurate anyway.

    Cover three sides of the cage leaving the front to see.

    Those plants need to come down for more security for your beep.

    No handling until your beep eats.

    feed at night with the lights off. (NEVER leave a live animal overnight...that is well I'll be nice...it is dangerous to your beep).

    How are you measuring your temps and do you have a thermoSTAT for your heat mat? Not a thermometer that's different.

    humidity should be 60%
    Ah I've been meaning to go and get a thermostat as soon as I'm able to afford it! I purchased the velcro thermometer and humidity gauge without knowing how inaccurate they are, but at least I have some temporary way of gauging if the temperature or humidity is way out of whack. Also been thinking of a new heat mat, since this one came with her, and while it does work, feels like it might not be warm enough. I'm reluctant to get one that's too hot, though, because she does like to burrow and will lay right on the pad, which has been fine so far because it isn't super hot. Not like I can really discourage burrowing.

  12. #8
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    Re: BP Unusually Small?

    Also! I have been covering her enclosure more often, really only taking the blanket off for the picture and when I need to get in to change stuff around. I will admit, however, to being one of the new BP owners who couldn't keep their hands off the first couple weeks. I've handled her once or twice after her shed, only the second was for me, the first was quick to make sure she was all done shedding and it went smoothly. I'll hold off on handling her until she eats.

  13. #9
    Registered User AnnieHeart's Avatar
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    Re: BP Unusually Small?

    I use and would recommend a thermostat brand called Herpstat. Works wonderfully, high-quality, and very simple and easy to use.

    Thermostats are very important and you need to get one ASAP.
    -Annie and the snakes

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  15. #10
    Registered User Avsha531's Avatar
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    Re: BP Unusually Small?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heartley View Post
    Ah I've been meaning to go and get a thermostat as soon as I'm able to afford it! I purchased the velcro thermometer and humidity gauge without knowing how inaccurate they are, but at least I have some temporary way of gauging if the temperature or humidity is way out of whack. Also been thinking of a new heat mat, since this one came with her, and while it does work, feels like it might not be warm enough. I'm reluctant to get one that's too hot, though, because she does like to burrow and will lay right on the pad, which has been fine so far because it isn't super hot. Not like I can really discourage burrowing.
    Welcome to the forum! Just so you know, even if the heat mat doesn't feel that hot to you, it doesn't mean it isn't getting too hot. Our body temps are close to 100 degrees, but if the heat mat was at that temperature (unregulated they usually get way hotter than that) there is a real concern about the snake getting burns. Also, the effect the heat mat has on ambient temps is negligible, it is really for more localized belly heat. I strongly suggest getting a thermostat asap, and if you can't check the temp with a temp gun immediately, unplugging the heat mat until you can. Temp guns are like $15-20 on Amazon, and I'm sure you can find one at walmart or home depot. Either way, especially considering your beep doesn't have any food in its stomach its better that it would be a liitle colder than to potentially risk burns. Please keep us posted, definitely recommend that you read the caresheets and stickies and I hope your baby starts eating soon

    PS-For feeding, if it was on mice maybe try mice for the first few feedings. After that, I found that you can throw some mouse or gerbil bedding in with the feeder, and shake it up to scent it.
    Last edited by Avsha531; 07-10-2018 at 05:42 PM.
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