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  1. #1
    Registered User KyRo's Avatar
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    Picky on size of mouse

    So I have a banana ball who is a very good eater. When we got him, he would never refuse a mouse hopper. He has since grown and we have tried the next size up of mouse. He has refused a few of them, even after 2 weeks. Now this isn't a huge deal, but he will take a hopper every 4 days since refusing the bigger size mouse. He ate a hopper on Friday after refusing a bigger mouse for 2 weeks, then ate another hopper tonight. Is he being picky because of the size or is this just a coincidence? I obviously would rather him eat a bigger size mouse, or a rat, but it seems like he prefers smaller prey.

    Second question. I just got another ball and she has been with me for about a week and a half. She is very small and has not eaten. The pet store said she has eaten F/T. I have attempted to feed her tonight and she is not the least bit interested. She seems very comfortable in her enclosure and mostly sticks to her warm hide all day. Belly heat set to 90 degrees, ambient temp at 79-81 consistently. For such a young snake, how long is okay that she does not eat? I wouldn't worry about my other ball because he has some weight to him and seems okay if he doesn't eat for a bit. She only weighs 72 grams.

    I'm not one to panic and I am nowhere near that, but I would like to get an early jump on this and just get some opinions.


    Thanks!
    Last edited by KyRo; 05-14-2019 at 11:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    The good eater: is being fed live or f/t? Big difference, if live, adult mice are far more dangerous in terms of fighting back. Hopefully you feed f/t- & some BPs
    can be very picky eaters... Are the larger mice from a different source? (maybe fed differently & so they smell different?)

    The new one: have you been handling? (if so, stop...eating is "job #1") Often it's best not to even offer food to a new snake for the first 2 weeks, though most
    of us are eager to verify that they do eat, & also to make them welcome. Don't offer too often...it adds stress...no more than once a week, & make sure you're
    following best practices (feed in evening, dim light, not too much motion if offered by tongs, *thawed correctly so it's not spoiled*, warmed so they can target
    correctly using their heat sensing pits, etc) *thawing* is best in cool water until soft thru-out (feel by hand), only then immerse in very warm water to bring it
    up to more lifelike warmth, & most ppl have good luck using a blow-dryer to warm especially the head, immediately before offering. IF you've been thawing in
    warm water, or by leaving it set out on the counter, understand that spoilage occurs that your snake can smell long before you do, & BPs are not carrion consumers.

    When offering prey by feeding tongs: a slight wiggle of prey, while moving past the snake, never towards it (that un-nerves shy snakes, as rodents do NOT volunteer
    to be dinner in the 'real world'). You want to prey to entice the snake to chase or pounce on it, & most BPs feel safer to do that when they are peeking out of their
    hide, & the prey appears to be cluelessly passing by.

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    KyRo (05-15-2019)

  4. #3
    Registered User KyRo's Avatar
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    Re: Picky on size of mouse

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    The good eater: is being fed live or f/t? Big difference, if live, adult mice are far more dangerous in terms of fighting back. Hopefully you feed f/t- & some BPs
    can be very picky eaters... Are the larger mice from a different source? (maybe fed differently & so they smell different?)

    The new one: have you been handling? (if so, stop...eating is "job #1") Often it's best not to even offer food to a new snake for the first 2 weeks, though most
    of us are eager to verify that they do eat, & also to make them welcome. Don't offer too often...it adds stress...no more than once a week, & make sure you're
    following best practices (feed in evening, dim light, not too much motion if offered by tongs, *thawed correctly so it's not spoiled*, warmed so they can target
    correctly using their heat sensing pits, etc) *thawing* is best in cool water until soft thru-out (feel by hand), only then immerse in very warm water to bring it
    up to more lifelike warmth, & most ppl have good luck using a blow-dryer to warm especially the head, immediately before offering. IF you've been thawing in
    warm water, or by leaving it set out on the counter, understand that spoilage occurs that your snake can smell long before you do, & BPs are not carrion consumers.

    When offering prey by feeding tongs: a slight wiggle of prey, while moving past the snake, never towards it (that un-nerves shy snakes, as rodents do NOT volunteer
    to be dinner in the 'real world'). You want to prey to entice the snake to chase or pounce on it, & most BPs feel safer to do that when they are peeking out of their
    hide, & the prey appears to be cluelessly passing by.
    Definitely only feeding f/t. They are coming from the same source, all thawed and heated the same way. It just seems like he immediately goes after the smaller prey.

    I haven't handled the new snake in about a week, so I will let her be for awhile and try again in a week or so. That will make it at least 3 weeks since she has eaten at least, so I was just a bit curious of how long a snake of her size can go without eating.

    Thanks for the information, I have always fed my older BP the same way as in thawing it out in warm water and then heating it a bit with a hair dryer. It has never failed for the older one, unless it was a bigger mouse which he has refused about 3-4 times. He has never refused a hopper, but they are too small for them to be what he is always eating.

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran rufretic's Avatar
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    Imo, the one that eats good will take the larger prey if you just give him a little more time and be more consistent, don't just give him the smaller prey if he refuses, let him go for another week after he refuses and try the larger prey again. When he gets hungry enough, he'll take it.

    The new one might just need more time to settle in, don't push her. Offer once a week and if she doesn't strike try leaving it over night. Because she is so small, if she doesn't take one after a few weeks, you may need to try live just to get her eating. It shouldn't be hard to switch her back to f/t after she's eating weekly consistently. I've done this with a few shy hatchlings and they've all switched back to f/t once they were eating weekly consistently.

    Good luck!

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    Lord Sorril (05-15-2019)

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