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Thread: Not eating ??

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    Not eating ??

    Ok so Iíve had this ball python for about a year now , itís never really eaten to often, every 2 or maybe 3 weeks since we got him , but it never looks unhealthy , itís nice and plump , no rigid spine went bent over or anything . Itís temperature is perfect , around 90 on hot , 79-80 and cold side , water , humidity , everything good . Nothing has been different at all in the enclosure ? But for some reason it hasnít been eating these passed 2 months or even a little longer , and Iím starting to get worried , Iím thinking because itís winter months ? But every week or two when I try to feed it again , it looks not interested at all or it strikes and never eats or just hisses at it . Very strange why it hasnít been eating , and itís been loosing a tiny bit of weight too , itís back is getting a tad right when bending over now , but not bad . I just need help please ..

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    Re: Not eating ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanball View Post
    Ok so Iíve had this ball python for about a year now , itís never really eaten to often, every 2 or maybe 3 weeks since we got him , but it never looks unhealthy , itís nice and plump , no rigid spine went bent over or anything . Itís temperature is perfect , around 90 on hot , 79-80 and cold side , water , humidity , everything good . Nothing has been different at all in the enclosure ? But for some reason it hasnít been eating these passed 2 months or even a little longer , and Iím starting to get worried , Iím thinking because itís winter months ? But every week or two when I try to feed it again , it looks not interested at all or it strikes and never eats or just hisses at it . Very strange why it hasnít been eating , and itís been loosing a tiny bit of weight too , itís back is getting a tad right when bending over now , but not bad . I just need help please ..
    Hello Ryan! When you say your humidity levels are good, what are they at? That's always a good thing to check. It may also be beneficial to post some photos of your snake and/or the enclosure for reference.

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    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Are you handling the snake at all? If so, how often?

    How old is the snake? How much does it weigh?

    What size prey are you offering? How are you heating the prey?

    What size enclosure is the snake in?
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    Re: Not eating ??

    Hello thanks for getting back ! I handle the snake about 3 times a week , and heís a year and a half old exactly , Iím offering it medium rats, but the smallest ones I can find in that size , the same circumference of the snakes belly, so not over feeding it or anything ,itís ewten that size 3 other times before it went off feeding, and I heated it by putting it in a bag and putting it in warm water till itís warm and defrosted . And the enclosure size is a 40 gallon tank. Not sure the exact weight..?

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    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Not eating ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanball View Post
    Hello thanks for getting back ! I handle the snake about 3 times a week , and he’s a year and a half old exactly , I’m offering it medium rats, but the smallest ones I can find in that size , the same circumference of the snakes belly, so not over feeding it or anything ,it’s ewten that size 3 other times before it went off feeding, and I heated it by putting it in a bag and putting it in warm water till it’s warm and defrosted . And the enclosure size is a 40 gallon tank. Not sure the exact weight..?
    Ok. You'll want to hold off on handling til he gets eating consistently.

    Medium rats are also too large. Most males never need anything larger than a small rat, definitely not at a year and a half old.
    Larger prey items often lead to refusals and food strikes.

    I have two adult males around 1,400 grams each. They eat a small rat every 14 days or so. They pretty much never refuse a meal. I've gotten to the point that I basically let them "tell" me they're ready to eat by reading their body language.

    Also, it's possible the prey isn't getting warm enough. Are you using a temp gun to check the prey? It might be worth it til you get the hang of feeding. You want the prey to be wround 100į.
    Last edited by Craiga 01453; 12-10-2019 at 03:38 PM.
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    Re: Not eating ??

    Ok, so it would be ok if the small rat isnít the size of the belly of the ball python ? Itís perfectly fine if itís smaller ? Cause the medium was same size . And Iím saying he because Iím thinking itís a he , I never got it sexed by someone who really knows how to do it ... if it was female would I do anything differently ? Iíll buy a small rat tonight and try on it .. havenít tried in about a week and a half .

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    Re: Not eating ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanball View Post
    Ok, so it would be ok if the small rat isn’t the size of the belly of the ball python ? It’s perfectly fine if it’s smaller ? Cause the medium was same size . And I’m saying he because I’m thinking it’s a he , I never got it sexed by someone who really knows how to do it ... if it was female would I do anything differently ? I’ll buy a small rat tonight and try on it .. haven’t tried in about a week and a half .
    Absolutely it's ok. That "rule of thumb" is a decent guideline, but many BPs in captivity are actually over fed and over weight.

    For the long term health of the animal smaller meals are better any way.

    Think of it like this...

    If the animal eats a small rat (say 75 grams for round numbers) every 10-14 days consistently that's roughly 2700 grams of food over 40 meals per year.

    That would be about 27 meals if feeding 100 gram mediums. So factor in all the refusals and food strikes and you're lucky if that snake eats 27 times that year.

    So long term, the animals fed less food, more reliably, will actually eat more over the course of a year. And their meals will be easier to digest which leads to better health.

    Please keep in mind I just made up rough numbers and it's not an exact science, but I think you can understand what I'm trying to say (sorry if my explanation is a bit confusing).

    Also, keep in mind, as adults they don't need food for growth, just to maintain their weight. So they don't need to eat as frequently as juveniles do.
    Last edited by Craiga 01453; 12-10-2019 at 04:20 PM.
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    Re: Not eating ??

    Alright thank you so much ,and your good it made sense . Iíll try on it tonight ! Because it always looks interested and it Head is out of his cave in an ďsĒ striking shape a lot , but when I try to feed it it never feeds now . If It doesnít work for this rat tonight should I wait another week and try again or try to get vet help or something in that sort ?

  10. #9
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Not eating ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanball View Post
    Alright thank you so much ,and your good it made sense . Iíll try on it tonight ! Because it always looks interested and it Head is out of his cave in an ďsĒ striking shape a lot , but when I try to feed it it never feeds now . If It doesnít work for this rat tonight should I wait another week and try again or try to get vet help or something in that sort ?
    No need for a vet. Snakes are much more resilient than people often give them credit for. If you start to see significant weight loss then it may be time for a vet, but I don't see a need for a vet visit now.

    When did you last offer? Offering too often can actually stress the snake and lead to further refusals.
    If it's been at least a week you can go ahead and offer tonight. But you'll want to wait at least a week between offerings.

    We'll get you there. Just be patient and try to avoid anything that may stress the snake. But don't sweat anything yet.
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    Re: Not eating ??

    Ok.. cause I was getting worried . And yeah itís been about 1-2 weeks now , so I will certainly try tonight with a smaller size , Iíl let you know what happens, thank you so much for your time .

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