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  1. #1
    Registered User GiddyGoat's Avatar
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    Time to wean to rats, but encountering some problems.

    Recently weighed Dewey in and hit 679.5 grams, I checked the feeding table that I have and it recommends feeding 1 small rat as per his weight.

    However, I bought a rat for this week to try and he absolutely will not take it. I thawed it fine, offered with tongs, no strike after seeing it. Decided to lay it down after a while trying with tongs, he keeps going to it and seemingly smelling/looking at/toying with it, but he still will not take it.

    Does anybody have any suggestions on how to wean him on to rats? Should he even be eating small rats rn?

    Thanks bunches everybody.
    Dewey the Dank Snek
    He ain't scare of no things







  2. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    If your BP has been used to eating mice, bear in mind that rats & mice smell (& probably taste) quite different. Sounds like he's hungry but not yet convinced-
    several ways to help convince him: thaw it with a mouse & rub it with the mouse to impart some mouse scent onto it, or get some "used" mouse litter & rub the
    rat with that...either way, it should help. You can also feed a smaller mouse first & then follow it with a smaller-than-needed rat: not all snakes will accept 2 items
    at one sitting, but if they do, it's another way to get them to try the "new" kind of rodent. Just make sure that the 2 together aren't much bigger than the one item
    he'd have had for his meal. Many snakes are pumped up enough after eating one to eat them both, but it's not a guarantee, just another thing to try.

    Did you heat the rat just prior to offering? Many here find success using a blow-dryer, especially on the rodent's head (where your snake should target). BPs are
    snakes that especially seem to care if their f/t prey has lifelike warmth...they use heat sensing pits to identify prey.

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  4. #3
    Registered User GiddyGoat's Avatar
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    Re: Time to wean to rats, but encountering some problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    If your BP has been used to eating mice, bear in mind that rats & mice smell (& probably taste) quite different. Sounds like he's hungry but not yet convinced-
    several ways to help convince him: thaw it with a mouse & rub it with the mouse to impart some mouse scent onto it, or get some "used" mouse litter & rub the
    rat with that...either way, it should help. You can also feed a smaller mouse first & then follow it with a smaller-than-needed rat: not all snakes will accept 2 items
    at one sitting, but if they do, it's another way to get them to try the "new" kind of rodent. Just make sure that the 2 together aren't much bigger than the one item
    he'd have had for his meal. Many snakes are pumped up enough after eating one to eat them both, but it's not a guarantee, just another thing to try.

    Did you heat the rat just prior to offering? Many here find success using a blow-dryer, especially on the rodent's head (where your snake should target). BPs are
    snakes that especially seem to care if their f/t prey has lifelike warmth...they use heat sensing pits to identify prey.
    Yeah I always make sure the prey is giving off some heat before I feed but thereís no shame in trying the blow drier. Iíll take these into mind, thank you so much for the help!
    Dewey the Dank Snek
    He ain't scare of no things







  5. #4
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    If your snake seems a little interested but doesn't eat it, you can also try leaving it overnight...sometimes they do disappear. Some snakes just feed better
    in the dark & with privacy...& once it's thawed it's best to toss it anyway (don't re-freeze rodents) so what do you have to lose?

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  7. #5
    Registered User Jellybeans's Avatar
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    Re: Time to wean to rats, but encountering some problems.

    Wow, I've been feeding my BP rats for 5 months now and he's just 7 months old. Of course not adult rats.....but I didn't know you were supposed to feed mice until they grew to small rat size.
    Do a lot of owners do this?

    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk

  8. #6
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Time to wean to rats, but encountering some problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jellybeans View Post
    Wow, I've been feeding my BP rats for 5 months now and he's just 7 months old. Of course not adult rats.....but I didn't know you were supposed to feed mice until they grew to small rat size.
    Do a lot of owners do this?

    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk
    Personally I don't think it matters...feed whatever is the appropriate size that they take readily. It's convenient to switch to rats because eventually one mouse isn't
    a big enough meal for a bigger BP, & many snakes (BPs that is) won't take more than one item per meal & are notoriously fussy. I suspect that many BPs are started
    off on mice because the breeders don't want to grow them too fast while waiting to sell them.

  9. #7
    Registered User Jellybeans's Avatar
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    Re: Time to wean to rats, but encountering some problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Personally I don't think it matters...feed whatever is the appropriate size that they take readily. It's convenient to switch to rats because eventually one mouse isn't
    a big enough meal for a bigger BP, & many snakes (BPs that is) won't take more than one item per meal & are notoriously fussy. I suspect that many BPs are started
    off on mice because the breeders don't want to grow them too fast while waiting to sell them.
    I see....

    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk

  10. #8
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    Re: Time to wean to rats, but encountering some problems.

    Small rat should be fine at that size. As Bogertophis said, since he's used to mice it may take a while to switch. You can try thawing the rat in the same bag as a mouse or rubbing the rat in soiled mouse bedding if you have access. Sometimes they just need to get hungry enough. Don't worry if it takes a few weeks.
    BALL PYTHONS: 1.0 Pied/Clark, 1.0 Pastel Vanilla Super Stripe/Sunny, 0.1 Dragon Fly/Buffy, 0.1 Pastel Vanilla Yellow Belly/Cher, 0.1 BEL (Mojave Lesser)/Arya, 0.0.1 Normal/Norm, 0.1 Cinnamon Enchi/Peaches, 1.0 Cinnamon Calico/Yoshi, 0.1 Pewter Het Dreamsicle/Ariel
    BOAS: 0.1 Dumeril's/Memphis, 0.1 BCL/Artemis, 1.0 BCO/Grimm, 0.1 Suriname BCC/Rhubarb
    CORN SNAKES: 0.0.1/Mushu
    MORELIA: 0.1 Bredli/Zelda, 0.1 Granite IJ/Bridget, 0.1 Caramel Diamond Jungle/Pixie

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  12. #9
    Registered User Pengil's Avatar
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    Re: Time to wean to rats, but encountering some problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jellybeans View Post
    Wow, I've been feeding my BP rats for 5 months now and he's just 7 months old. Of course not adult rats.....but I didn't know you were supposed to feed mice until they grew to small rat size.
    Do a lot of owners do this?
    From what I've seen, most breeders on this forum start their babies on rats, feed rats throughout, and encourage new breeders to do the same, since it can be so hard to switch BPs over. Some breeders do, for whatever reason, feed their snakes mice though. Mine came to me eating large mice, and with life being what it was, I didn't get him switched over to rats until last fall. It just depends on the breeder, and the individual snake.

    OP, at that weight, I would say your snake is definitely fine to be eating small rats: The prey item should be about the width of the largest part of your snake, or a little larger. If you've been warming the rat, and your snake is showing interest, one of the best things you can do is just give it time. Keep the same routine as what he was on before, and continue to offer every week, or even every two weeks. Hunger usually wins in the end. Leaving the rat with him overnight is also fine.

    Rubbing a mouse on the rat, rubbing mouse or gerbil bedding on the rat, or storing the rat with a mouse are all good things to try also. You can also experiment with different thawing and warming techniques. For example, I thaw my rats in cold water for an hour or two in the same room he's in. I then submerge the rat in very warm (but not hot!) water, at increasing temperatures, for 3 rounds of 10 minutes a piece. I then hit the rat with the hair dryer right in front of his enclosure, with the door open, and offer when the rat is warm enough, and he looks ready to fire. I have to gently wiggle the rat for probably a minute or two before he strikes. He also seems to prefer his rats wet- go figure.
    1.0 Banana/Coral Glow Emperor Pin BP- Horatio
    1.0 Piebald Cat- Percival Henry
    1.0 Mouse- Gunther

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  14. #10
    Registered User WhompingWillow's Avatar
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    Re: Time to wean to rats, but encountering some problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jellybeans View Post
    Wow, I've been feeding my BP rats for 5 months now and he's just 7 months old. Of course not adult rats.....but I didn't know you were supposed to feed mice until they grew to small rat size.
    Do a lot of owners do this?

    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk
    I switch ours to rats as soon as possible. I'd rather do it with a young snake that is still hungry and growing than one who has decided it really has a taste for mice and is being stubborn.

    With that being said, the only thing that gives me pause is the potential difference between a small/weaned mouse and fuzzy rat. I think mice at that point are probably more nutritious? I have still switched to fuzzy rats, but my snakes seem to be on them for a while until they're ready for pups. Makes me wonder if I should keep snakes on mice until they're ready for rat pups... 🤔
    BALL PYTHONS: 1.0 Pied/Clark, 1.0 Pastel Vanilla Super Stripe/Sunny, 0.1 Dragon Fly/Buffy, 0.1 Pastel Vanilla Yellow Belly/Cher, 0.1 BEL (Mojave Lesser)/Arya, 0.0.1 Normal/Norm, 0.1 Cinnamon Enchi/Peaches, 1.0 Cinnamon Calico/Yoshi, 0.1 Pewter Het Dreamsicle/Ariel
    BOAS: 0.1 Dumeril's/Memphis, 0.1 BCL/Artemis, 1.0 BCO/Grimm, 0.1 Suriname BCC/Rhubarb
    CORN SNAKES: 0.0.1/Mushu
    MORELIA: 0.1 Bredli/Zelda, 0.1 Granite IJ/Bridget, 0.1 Caramel Diamond Jungle/Pixie

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