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  1. #1
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    How soon to offer food after arrival?

    Hi! Got my BP home last Friday morning. He was shipped so had a pretty extensive journey to get here. Breeder told me to offer him food maybe the next night. He was out that evening exploring a bit looking at me through the glass so I thought he might be hungry. Thing is: he’s been eating live, I offered him F/T to see if he’d take it. He was in his hide and went to strike towards it (not sure I’d strike was in defense or actually trying to get it) and my husband who was feeding think he might have bonked his nose against the hide. After that he pulled back in and had absolutely no interest in the prey. It could potentially have been too large of a rat for him (I went by what reptile store here told me for his 270 grams). We tried leaving rat in the cage for an hour and tried giving it in the morning again with no luck so threw it out. So now to the next question:

    how soon is good to re offer food to him? He hasn’t been out exploring at all from what I’ve seen after except from going between hot hide and cool hide although maybe his been out during the night. Not sure if I should wait until I see him out looking around more and seem hungry before. Thinking of either getting a smaller f/t maybe mouse or for this first time going with a live mouse. I really want to get him on f/t but for now just want to make sure that he eats.
    Any ideas?
    Last edited by EmiLee; 04-09-2019 at 12:06 PM.

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran gunkle's Avatar
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    Re: How soon to offer food after arrival?

    I would feed him what he is used to for to the first few feedings then try to switch over to F/T. It can take a bit of work to switch them over. Also wait a week between feeding attempts as offering too often can cause stress and make them not eat. A stressed ball python will starve itself. You really should have given him a week before trying the breeder gave you bad advice. Just make sure your husbandry is on point. Feel free to share your set up and temps so we can give any advice to help you be successful. Also no handling till he has a few meals in with you as that is stressful also.
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  3. #3
    Registered User WhompingWillow's Avatar
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    Re: How soon to offer food after arrival?

    A 270 gram snake can comfortably eat a rat pup or a weaned rat that's on the smaller side. An easy rule of thumb is the thickest part of the rodent should be no bigger than the thickest part of the snake.

    If you offered on Friday without luck, wait a week to offer again. Offering too frequently can be stressful for the animal. It's a good sign that he struck at the rat. It's up to you whether you'd like to continue offering live like he received at the breeder or if you want to try to switch to F/T right away. I personally have switched all of my BP's to F/T immediately with no trouble. Either way make sure the rat is an appropriate size and that your temps are where they should be. If doing F/T, the rat's head should be very warm before offering (either use a hair dryer once it's thawed or run the head under hot water and then dry off).
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  5. #4
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    Re: How soon to offer food after arrival?

    My setup: 20 gallon tank CHE on thermostat that keeps ambient temps around 78-80 degrees. Under tank heater on thermostat controller set on 92 degrees however temped it and come out to around 91 through the glass. I put styrofoam around three sides of the tank with a fourth side I add in the night to avoid any potential cool air coming in. I donít have a room to keep the temp at a constant 80 degrees at our house. So in the night time he has full privacy and its more like a tub. I also put aluminum foil over most of the netting top of the enclosure since I saw someone recommending it here with a wetted towel underneath to add some humidity. Seem to work well and so far havenít had an issue with humidity however itís been super wet outside these past few days and Iím sure that adds a lot of humidity to the air inside.

  6. #5
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    Re: How soon to offer food after arrival?

    Thanks for your response and advice. I heard a lot about using a hairdryer so if I decide to give him f/t Iíll definitely try that. Iíll offer him food this Friday and Saturday again. Heís a pretty chubby good looking boy at 2 months so I donít think heís starving...

  7. #6
    Registered User Red357's Avatar
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    Re: How soon to offer food after arrival?

    When I first brought my first ball home I waited an entire week to offer anything. I was told he was feeding on live rat pups so when it was time to eat (5 days later) I offered a rat pup. He took it immediately. No problem whatsoever. He's been great and never misses a meal. Always interested in dinner. Only problem for me is that I think he's used to the live rat. I don't know if I want to struggle and try FT. He's been eating great.

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