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  1. #1
    Registered User kthoms104's Avatar
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    BP Won't Eat - very nervous

    My 1 yr. old BP (male) hasn't taken food for 2+ months.

    After the first month, I decided to stop trying to feed him to give him a break. I waited one more month, but he still won't take food.

    Husbandry is all good to my knowledge, 90F hot side and 70% humidity on cool. I'm feeding frozen and make sure they're heated up before.

    I know he's probably just on a seasonal feeding strike but I'm starting to panic - he's getting somewhat tiny. Any advice would be very helpful

  2. #2
    Registered User kthoms104's Avatar
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    Re: BP Won't Eat - very nervous

    He'll be attentive to any mice for long enough that my arm will fall asleep and then just slither away.

    It's really frustrating because I've wasted upwards of $20 on food in the past few months. What am I doing wrong?

  3. #3
    Registered User Toad37's Avatar
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    Re: BP Won't Eat - very nervous

    Have you only tried mice?

  4. #4
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    How often are you trying to feed him? It adds stress to offer too frequently, so don't try to feed him more than once a week. You might even want to ignore
    him for 2 weeks, just to see if that perks up his interest.

    Are you trying to feed in the evening/night-time? Is he in his hide, & peeking out when you offer? (that's usually best, they like to ambush prey) If a BP is
    cruising the cage they won't usually want food, because they feel too exposed...they feel safer to grab prey when in their hide.

    After offering him the prey, have you tried just leaving it over-night, lights out & without hovering (watching) him? Some snakes prefer that privacy.

    You might want to try a different prey: if you're feeding him mice, try a rat-fuzzy. What size prey have you been offering him? Now & then it turns out the
    wrong size food is being offered, & that can also matter; his prey should be roughly equal to the size of his unfed-midbody.

  5. #5
    BPnet Veteran rufretic's Avatar
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    Don't panic, it's normal for ball pythons to go off feed for months at a time occasionally. Some of mine do this every year. Keep an eye on his weight, they can go for a few months without food with no problem but if he starts to lose weight then you may need to take new measures to get him feeding again. For now just try to offer every other week so you don't waste too much food and be patient, when he gets hungry enough he'll start eating again. If you do get to the point where he is losing weight, you may want to try live just to bring his interest back and usually once they eat once, you can switch back to f/t again and continue feeding as before.

  6. #6
    Registered User RedRabbit's Avatar
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    Re: BP Won't Eat - very nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    What size prey have you been offering him? Now & then it turns out the wrong size food is being offered, & that can also matter; his prey should be roughly equal to the size of his unfed-midbody.
    Definitely seconding this bit, which I learned the hard way. My two BPs have very different personalities. Ravus is the garbage bin, and will eat anything, anywhere, including while cruising around his tub. Ignis, on the other hand, is the one with the gourmet palate. Even if he is hungry and interested enough to strike and wrap, he has ultimately abandoned f/t rats in any of the following conditions:
    - not warm enough (I have to blast the blowdryer on his rats' faces for 5 seconds longer)
    - not fresh enough (the last of a f/t supply from 2 months ago)
    - any rat re-offered more than twice in the same 1-2hr sitting (see: "not fresh enough")
    - too soggy (a leak in the ziploc bag when I was thawing the rat in water)
    - pee smell on the rat
    - slightly too big
    - slightly too small.
    That last bit stumped me for a while, but apparently his royal highness deems both oversized AND undersized prey as "not worth the effort." It always feels like a hard-earned victory when I satisfy Iggy's fastidious meal specifications.
    1.0 - 2018 Cinnamon Enchi Ghost - Ignis ("Iggy")
    1.0 - 2018 Butter Mojave BEL - Ravus

  7. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to RedRabbit For This Useful Post:

    Bodie (05-13-2019),Bogertophis (05-13-2019),Monty's Python (05-16-2019)

  8. #7
    Registered User kthoms104's Avatar
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    Re: BP Won't Eat - very nervous

    I've tried rats once or twice, not his thing either.

  9. #8
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    If he was eating before, and nothing has changed since the last time he ate, he is just doing what bp do. Mine is also a year old and had not eaten for several months. I offer every 3 weeks and toss out the rat if he does not strike it in 10 seconds. Normally you will know immediately if it will eat once a strike happens in seconds. Leaving it overnight may work but I find that works for snakes that WANT to eat but too shy to eat, not those who don't want to eat at all. Mine is also active at night and barely lost weight.

    Wild bp binge eats and fasts for months. Many other species of reptiles do something similar, like leopard geckos refusing or eating less around this time of year or some colubrids refusing food during winter. Even bearded dragons have their days where they eat less than usual. Save your worries for when your snake loses too much weight. If you are unsure, post a pic of your snake and provide weight in grams.

    There are some tricks on getting it to eat but 2 months is nothing and it is best to let him be unless you must intervene.
    Last edited by Cheesenugget; 05-13-2019 at 11:14 PM.

  10. #9
    BPnet Veteran JRLongton's Avatar
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    Just wanted to add my encouragement. I have a 1+ year old male BP that just suddenly stopped eating and now hasn't taken food in a little over a month also. These things happen with BPs. I try not to let it get to me, but it does. I hate wasting rats.
    Last edited by JRLongton; 05-14-2019 at 09:49 AM.
    \m/

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  12. #10
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    Re: BP Won't Eat - very nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post

    After offering him the prey, have you tried just leaving it over-night, lights out & without hovering (watching) him? Some snakes prefer that privacy.

    And this advice is coming from the person who says thawing out in the air for 2 hours causes bacteria? And they don't eat carrion? But it's alright to leave it overnight???

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