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  1. #1
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    My ball python wonít eat and is stressed

    I got my baby ball python a week ago from today. He is still very stressed, I have not handled him since the day I got him except to move him to grab his water bowl. He wonít eat I have tried on two different occasions and even left the f/t mice in there overnight. Now he is just climbing everything he can and sticking his head up to try to get out. The hot side sits at about 88, the cool side around 80. I have tried covering the tank, the humidity is fine I spray in there and he has a larger water bowl, the tank is only 20 gallon. I really donít know what to do. When I do handle him he doesnít ball up he just slithers around. He was fine for a couple days (at least I thought so) and he would hide behind his water bowl and against the glass because it was smaller than his hides. I do need to get smaller hides tomorrow but he was using them and now heís just trying to escape and I donít want him to be hungry because Iíve had him a week and he hasnít eaten. I got no information as to when he ate last. They never told me. Please help.

  2. #2
    Registered User MCKINLEYW's Avatar
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    If possible maybe put him in a smaller enclosure. 20 gal is big for a baby bp. let him settle for another week without trying to feed and then try. lots of tight hides is a necessity

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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran dakski's Avatar
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    Re: My ball python wonít eat and is stressed

    Katlyn,

    How old is he and how much does he weigh?

    The temps seem okay, but you say you need smaller hides? If he doesn't feel secure, that's a big reason he won't eat.

    They want snug hides. Also, you want identical hides on the hot and cool sides so he does not have to choose safety over thermoregulation. As MCKINLEYW said, if the tank is a 20G, you can put multiple, identical hides, throughout to make it feel snug.

    In the meantime, take some paper towels, and stuff them in the hides that are too big. This will allow him to crawl in them and feel more snug.

    He will be okay if he doesn't eat for another week+. He's a snake, not a mammal. Relax and take a deep breathe. In addition to leaving him alone, and having snug hides, DO NOT OFFER FOOD OFTEN! If he's not hungry or is stressed, this ADDS to his stress level.

    I would not offer food, leave him alone, etc. for at least 5 days. Then offer and he will probably eat.

    Also, was he eating F/T before? Do you know exactly what prey item he was eating and are you offering the same (i.e. weaned mouse)?

    Below I have instructions for properly defrosting a frozen prey item. Follow that to a "T" and that will help as well.

    Good luck, and feel free to ask more questions, or for clarification, as we are here to help.

    Please keep us posted and let us know when he eats.




    This is my step by step list on defrosting F/T rodents.

    Others may do it differently and that's fine. This how I do it and it works for me.


    STEPS FOR DEFROSTING F/T RODENTS/PREY

    1. Put prey item(s) into appropriate size plastic bag (1 for each). I use Quart size ziplock bags up to a medium rat. NOTE: Bags are optional. Some people just throw the prey in the water. I like the bags, but you have to squeeze the air out of them.

    2. Fill the container/storage box 3/4 of the way with room temp to slightly warm water. If you have a temp gun (which you should, so if you don't, get one), make sure the water is not hotter than 85-90F, or there about.

    3. Put F/T prey item(s) in water. Cover (optional) and leave for an hour +/-.

    4. After an hour, rotate/flip prey. If in plastic bags, they often will stay on whatever side you put them in on. So if mouse is on left side, turn to right side, etc.

    5. Leave for another hour +/- for a TOTAL of about 2 hours (up to medium sized rat - longer if bigger prey for when ROE is bigger and eating Large rats, for example).

    6. Check that prey is defrosted totally through. Squeeze at different sections of the preys body. Should be cool/room temp to touch, but be soft with no cold spots. If hard (except for bone), in abdomen, for example, or cold, put back in water until room temp and soft.

    7. Take prey out of the container/storage box and put aside. THEN FOLLOW STEPS 8-11 OR STEP 12

    8. Fill container with hot water from tap. If using temp gun, water temp should be 110-130F, not more.

    9. Drop prey item into water for 30 seconds +/-. If multiple prey items, do one at a time. You want each item hot when you offer.

    10. Remove (if hot water, with tongs).

    11. Dry as best as you can, and is quickly as you can, with paper towels. I dry with paper towels while I am walking from the bathroom where I defrost to the snake tanks. I kind of wrap the prey item up in them. It's ten feet, so by the time I get to the tanks, the prey is drier, but still warm.

    12. If not using hot water, use a hairdryer to heat rat so it entices snake

    13. Open tank and offer ASAP.
    Last edited by dakski; 11-08-2018 at 11:57 AM.

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  6. #4
    BPnet Senior Member Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: My ball python wonít eat and is stressed

    Quote Originally Posted by dakski View Post
    Katlyn,

    How old is he and how much does he weigh?

    The temps seem okay, but you say you need smaller hides? If he doesn't feel secure, that's a big reason he won't eat.

    They want snug hides. Also, you want identical hides on the hot and cool sides so he does not have to choose safety over thermoregulation. As MCKINLEYW said, if the tank is a 20G, you can put multiple, identical hides, throughout to make it feel snug.

    In the meantime, take some paper towels, and stuff them in the hides that are too big. This will allow him to crawl in them and feel more snug.

    He will be okay if he doesn't eat for another week+. He's a snake, not a mammal. Relax and take a deep breathe. In addition to leaving him alone, and having snug hides, DO NOT OFFER FOOD OFTEN! If he's not hungry or is stressed, this ADDS to his stress level.

    I would not offer food, leave him alone, etc. for at least 5 days. Then offer and he will probably eat.

    Also, was he eating F/T before? Do you know exactly what prey item he was eating and are you offering the same (i.e. weaned mouse)?

    Below I have instructions for properly defrosting a frozen prey item. Follow that to a "T" and that will help as well.

    Good luck, and feel free to ask more questions, or for clarification, as we are here to help.

    Please keep us posted and let us know when he eats.




    This is my step by step list on defrosting F/T rodents.

    Others may do it differently and that's fine. This how I do it and it works for me.


    STEPS FOR DEFROSTING F/T RODENTS/PREY

    1. Put prey item(s) into appropriate size plastic bag (1 for each). I use Quart size ziplock bags up to a medium rat. NOTE: Bags are optional. Some people just throw the prey in the water. I like the bags, but you have to squeeze the air out of them.

    2. Fill the container/storage box 3/4 of the way with room temp to slightly warm water. If you have a temp gun (which you should, so if you don't, get one), make sure the water is not hotter than 85-90F, or there about.

    3. Put F/T prey item(s) in water. Cover (optional) and leave for an hour +/-.

    4. After an hour, rotate/flip prey. If in plastic bags, they often will stay on whatever side you put them in on. So if mouse is on left side, turn to right side, etc.

    5. Leave for another hour +/- for a TOTAL of about 2 hours (up to medium sized rat - longer if bigger prey for when ROE is bigger and eating Large rats, for example).

    6. Check that prey is defrosted totally through. Squeeze at different sections of the preys body. Should be cool/room temp to touch, but be soft with no cold spots. If hard (except for bone), in abdomen, for example, or cold, put back in water until room temp and soft.

    7. Take prey out of the container/storage box and put aside. THEN FOLLOW STEPS 8-11 OR STEP 12

    8. Fill container with hot water from tap. If using temp gun, water temp should be 110-130F, not more.

    9. Drop prey item into water for 30 seconds +/-. If multiple prey items, do one at a time. You want each item hot when you offer.

    10. Remove (if hot water, with tongs).

    11. Dry as best as you can, and is quickly as you can, with paper towels. I dry with paper towels while I am walking from the bathroom where I defrost to the snake tanks. I kind of wrap the prey item up in them. It's ten feet, so by the time I get to the tanks, the prey is drier, but still warm.

    12. If not using hot water, use a hairdryer to heat rat so it entices snake

    13. Open tank and offer ASAP.
    ^What they said ^



    Incidentally when you do get to feeding again ( next week or whatever ) ...

    My tip is when it actually gets to the crucial feeding I wait until they are settled under a hide then heat the mouse / rat with a hairdryer and INSTANTLY dangle it in front of the hide entrance .. works virtually every time unless they are unsettled or in shed mode.

    If the snake shows any interest at all in the rodent then simply reheat and offer instantly again .. repeat as many times as it takes .


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro




  7. #5
    Telling it like it is! Deborah's Avatar
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    You tried to offer food twice in 1 week when you should have been waiting at least a week with no handling before offering food for the first time, so there is no surprise here.

    Take a step back and start over again, make sure your husbandry is on spot that will means downsize your enclosure (based on the animal's behavior), do not handle for a week once moved, than offer food.
    Last edited by Deborah; 11-08-2018 at 03:53 PM.

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