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  1. #11
    BPnet Veteran Megz's Avatar
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    Re: Rat Escapes Ball Python Strike

    Quote Originally Posted by Megz View Post
    Thank you all for your help, suggestions, and feedback. After reading all the posts I will add a couple notes which might help further this along:

    1. When i got Roxy she was brought up on frozen/thawed rats. I fed her frozen/thawed rats up to small adult size but then she stoped eating them. No matter what I did or how i offered them she just wouldn't eat. After rea ding forums i had got her a live one to 'kick-start' her feeding again. She ate it and then went back to refusing to eat frozen/thawed rats. At that point i figured she had made the switch and since then i have fed her live. I would prefer frozen/thawed rats TRUST ME, both for her safety, my safety, lack of cruelty, and my own sanity lol .. but ever time i have offered (i offer her frozen/thawed here and there hoping she might revert), but she just refuses. I read that this 'switch-over' can be expected so if thats the case I suppose live or fresh killed becomes the only options. Has anyone else had any luck converting them back to frozen/thawed?

    2. I feed her medium adult rats none are ever wider than the widest part of her. I review they whenever i purchase to ensure they are not significantly larger than then prior. I understand the size dilemma and how the bigger the rat the harder it is on the BP, but i dont believe size is the issue on this one just because this one is the same if not marginally smaller than the others.

    3. The only time i interfere with the feeding process is if she misses the head as they will sink their teeth in and bite hard. I ensure not to interfere unless necessary which i know some of you might say it's never necessary to which i understand and see your point ... but i worry you know. This rat was really fighting her and she didn't have a good strike so i only went in to prevent the bite but this is not the first time i've done that and on the prior cases nothing bad has come about. <---- Don't get me wrong though I do understand how interfering could cause the issue experienced.

    4. I do check after every shed and I track her sheds as well. Her past shed went perfectly and the eye caps came off with ease so thats why the cloudiness concerned me, but that's also why i thought perhaps she's early on her next shed and they are beginning to lift maybe. Both eyes are moving and i had her 'look at me' so they work but one just seemed cloudier so maybe dust? Again i was a bit frantic so maybe it was nothing.

    5. I will definitely give her the time off that's a really good note. With regards to 'treating wounds,' any suggestions? She is scratched up (i.e. scratch marks and some lifted scales), but there is no blood so I'm not sure if there is anything to treat or how to treat it per se. Should i give her a batch type thing?


    Thank you all again for your wisdom and feedback it is all extremely helpful
    As it turns out she just shed last night. So the cloudiness and poor strikes makes sense per se, but she's 28days early and didn't display any of the typical signs. Could this be stress induced or can one expect earlier sheds like this from BP's? <--- She has been early before but like by a day or two, never like this
    Roxy
    (1/2 Lesser - 1/2 Normal)

  2. #12
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    There is no such thing being early or on time for a snake to shed. It's completely variable...all you can do is watch for the signs. Besides refusing food, clouding
    eyes & dull skin color, with practice you'll recognize that the way their skin folds look is different, & if you pick them up to look closely at the edges of their scutes
    (the ventral "tummy side" scales) you may notice these scales appear double-edged. You need to pay very close attention to this if you feed live rats, as your snake
    WILL get injured if you don't, & such injuries can prove disfiguring or even fatal. If you snake is not obviously looking for dinner, do not offer it.
    Many friends in low places...

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  4. #13
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    I've never understood the relationship between loving all animals enough to not hurt a rat, and being 100% ok feeding live. I can't imagine that being alive, terrified, bitten and slowly squeezed to death is better than quickly and painlessly being put down.

    I feed frozen,I've fed live. It just depends on what I need done. I always feel a little bad when the food is alive and kicking.

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  6. #14
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Rat Escapes Ball Python Strike

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy View Post
    I've never understood the relationship between loving all animals enough to not hurt a rat, and being 100% ok feeding live. I can't imagine that being alive, terrified, bitten and slowly squeezed to death is better than quickly and painlessly being put down.

    I feed frozen,I've fed live. It just depends on what I need done. I always feel a little bad when the food is alive and kicking.
    I agree...feeding live is a last resort & sometimes needed, but it's always better (kinder for rodents & safer for snakes) to change over as soon as possible.

    I've had wonderful pet rats long before I ever got into snakes. All the snakes I keep now only need mice to eat...even my large rat snakes can just eat a couple, instead
    of a rat. It's not that I hate mice btw...I raise my own rodents & always have, & there's a big intelligence difference between rats & mice. Rats are normally good parents,
    but mice, when they don't feel like raising their litter (even with plenty of food & not over-crowded) will chew up their babies something awful, often they leave them alive
    & suffering...so for that reason, I don't mind them being snake food.
    Many friends in low places...

  7. #15
    BPnet Veteran CALM Pythons's Avatar
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    Re: Rat Escapes Ball Python Strike

    Quote Originally Posted by Megz View Post
    Thank you all for your help, suggestions, and feedback. After reading all the posts I will add a couple notes which might help further this along:

    1. When i got Roxy she was brought up on frozen/thawed rats. I fed her frozen/thawed rats up to small adult size but then she stoped eating them. No matter what I did or how i offered them she just wouldn't eat. After rea ding forums i had got her a live one to 'kick-start' her feeding again. She ate it and then went back to refusing to eat frozen/thawed rats. At that point i figured she had made the switch and since then i have fed her live. I would prefer frozen/thawed rats TRUST ME, both for her safety, my safety, lack of cruelty, and my own sanity lol .. but ever time i have offered (i offer her frozen/thawed here and there hoping she might revert), but she just refuses. I read that this 'switch-over' can be expected so if thats the case I suppose live or fresh killed becomes the only options. Has anyone else had any luck converting them back to frozen/thawed?

    2. I feed her medium adult rats none are ever wider than the widest part of her. I review they whenever i purchase to ensure they are not significantly larger than then prior. I understand the size dilemma and how the bigger the rat the harder it is on the BP, but i dont believe size is the issue on this one just because this one is the same if not marginally smaller than the others.

    3. The only time i interfere with the feeding process is if she misses the head as they will sink their teeth in and bite hard. I ensure not to interfere unless necessary which i know some of you might say it's never necessary to which i understand and see your point ... but i worry you know. This rat was really fighting her and she didn't have a good strike so i only went in to prevent the bite but this is not the first time i've done that and on the prior cases nothing bad has come about. <---- Don't get me wrong though I do understand how interfering could cause the issue experienced.

    4. I do check after every shed and I track her sheds as well. Her past shed went perfectly and the eye caps came off with ease so thats why the cloudiness concerned me, but that's also why i thought perhaps she's early on her next shed and they are beginning to lift maybe. Both eyes are moving and i had her 'look at me' so they work but one just seemed cloudier so maybe dust? Again i was a bit frantic so maybe it was nothing.

    5. I will definitely give her the time off that's a really good note. With regards to 'treating wounds,' any suggestions? She is scratched up (i.e. scratch marks and some lifted scales), but there is no blood so I'm not sure if there is anything to treat or how to treat it per se. Should i give her a batch type thing?


    Thank you all again for your wisdom and feedback it is all extremely helpful
    Thats to large of a Rat to feed to a Ball Python live IMO. If I have to feed live to a adult Ball I feed several smalls. Adult Rats can do a lot of harm.
    The other problem I see is that when she refused a meal you tried to jump start her. My females over 1.5 yrs go off every year for 5-8 months like clock work. She didnt need to be jump started, she took it because it was more enticing. This is only my opinion. Ive had Balls and Large Constrictors for over 30 years. People get to worried when a healthy snake goes off feed.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Name: Christian
    0.1 Albino Ball (Sophie)
    0.1 Russo White Diamond (Grace)
    1.0 Hypo Burmese (Giacomo/AKA Jock)
    1.2 Razors Edge/Gotti & American Pit Bull
    ----------
    1.1 Albino/Normal Burmese (Mr & Mrs Snake)
    1.0 Albino Ball (Sully)

  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to CALM Pythons For This Useful Post:

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  9. #16
    Registered User B.P.'s 4me's Avatar
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    Re: Rat Escapes Ball Python Strike

    I have a couple of ball pythons that absolutely refuse anything other than live. I tried fasting them for several weeks, and then caved. They have NEVER missed a live meal since. I feed every 2nd week, and the rodent is always taken within 30 seconds (usually less) of my putting it in the bin.
    I had a 3rd youngster that was on live when I purchased her. The breeder advised me he'd never had luck trying to get her to eat f/t and after she refused a couple of feedings I accepted that was the case and just assumed I'd be feeding her live forever, with the other two.
    Three weeks ago, on feeding day, I thawed a rat which was refused by a snake in pre shed. On a whim, rather than waste it, I offered it to my "live only" girl as she was the only one accepting that size rodent. To my utter amazement, she grabbed it with no hesitation. Since then, she's had two additional f/t feedings and taken them the moment I offered.
    One thing I HAVE noticed that makes a difference, esp. to "fussy eaters", is the method of thawing. When I first got into ball pythons I was advised to thaw by warming the prey in warm water and then using a dryer to heat them up a bit. This does work if the snakes are eager feeders, but I find better results in thawing more gradually ..... under a 40 watt light bulb (in an enclosed space) for a couple of hours works well for smallish rats. Once they're completely thawed, I heat for a few moments with a hair dryer (particularly the head and shoulders) and then offer immediately (they cool down very quickly) It was this method that worked for my yearling live feeder, and I find that most of my snakes just have a better feeding response if I DON'T soak the rats first.
    I can honestly say that I've never had a live rat harm my snakes. There have been a couple over the years that weren't grabbed properly and did struggle a bit, but honestly, even that doesn't last longer than 20 - 30 seconds. I hate feeding live and for a long time didn't have snakes because I didn't want to. I refused to buy any snakes that were eating live, but eventually had to make a choice in passing up a snake I really liked, or be willing to feed live. I STILL hate it, but admit that I've often thought that snakes kill much more humanely and quickly than so many other predators.

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  11. #17
    BPnet Veteran Megz's Avatar
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    Re: Rat Escapes Ball Python Strike

    Quote Originally Posted by B.P.'s 4me View Post
    I have a couple of ball pythons that absolutely refuse anything other than live. I tried fasting them for several weeks, and then caved. They have NEVER missed a live meal since. I feed every 2nd week, and the rodent is always taken within 30 seconds (usually less) of my putting it in the bin.
    I had a 3rd youngster that was on live when I purchased her. The breeder advised me he'd never had luck trying to get her to eat f/t and after she refused a couple of feedings I accepted that was the case and just assumed I'd be feeding her live forever, with the other two.
    Three weeks ago, on feeding day, I thawed a rat which was refused by a snake in pre shed. On a whim, rather than waste it, I offered it to my "live only" girl as she was the only one accepting that size rodent. To my utter amazement, she grabbed it with no hesitation. Since then, she's had two additional f/t feedings and taken them the moment I offered.
    One thing I HAVE noticed that makes a difference, esp. to "fussy eaters", is the method of thawing. When I first got into ball pythons I was advised to thaw by warming the prey in warm water and then using a dryer to heat them up a bit. This does work if the snakes are eager feeders, but I find better results in thawing more gradually ..... under a 40 watt light bulb (in an enclosed space) for a couple of hours works well for smallish rats. Once they're completely thawed, I heat for a few moments with a hair dryer (particularly the head and shoulders) and then offer immediately (they cool down very quickly) It was this method that worked for my yearling live feeder, and I find that most of my snakes just have a better feeding response if I DON'T soak the rats first.
    I can honestly say that I've never had a live rat harm my snakes. There have been a couple over the years that weren't grabbed properly and did struggle a bit, but honestly, even that doesn't last longer than 20 - 30 seconds. I hate feeding live and for a long time didn't have snakes because I didn't want to. I refused to buy any snakes that were eating live, but eventually had to make a choice in passing up a snake I really liked, or be willing to feed live. I STILL hate it, but admit that I've often thought that snakes kill much more humanely and quickly than so many other predators.
    Thank you for this, it was very educating and very relatable. This was the first time i ever had a real issue when it came to feeding live so i do think it was due to the shedding, but it was enough to give me the scare to really give it another go to converting her back to f/t rats. I have tried converting her back before but I will definitely try your thawing method as I too always use to thaw in warm water so maybe that was the issue. Thank you again for your response
    Roxy
    (1/2 Lesser - 1/2 Normal)

  12. #18
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    It's not always easy to covert a BP to taking f/t prey, but it's really worth the effort for your pet's long-term health & freedom from injuries, and for the expensive
    vet bills you avoid. Snakes don't always respond that well to antibiotics, & medications are not risk-free either. I'm glad you're thinking about trying again to convert.
    And as CALM Pythons said, you really should avoid feeding the larger (adult) rats no matter what.
    Many friends in low places...

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  14. #19
    BPnet Veteran Megz's Avatar
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    Re: Rat Escapes Ball Python Strike

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    It's not always easy to covert a BP to taking f/t prey, but it's really worth the effort for your pet's long-term health & freedom from injuries, and for the expensive
    vet bills you avoid. Snakes don't always respond that well to antibiotics, & medications are not risk-free either. I'm glad you're thinking about trying again to convert.
    And as CALM Pythons said, you really should avoid feeding the larger (adult) rats no matter what.

    Will do! I will most definitely take all the notes you all mentioned. This has been very helpful and thank you for your input. It's almost been a week since the incident so the first thing i'm going to try is a f/t rat.
    Roxy
    (1/2 Lesser - 1/2 Normal)

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