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  1. #1
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    Exclamation First-time Owner Juvenile BP Feeding Difficulties

    Hello, I have been caring for a juvenile BP for about 3 weeks. Today marks the beginning of my 4th week. My BP, presumed male, was given to me on the same day he was fed. Having read a lot about BPs since then I may have been lucky that he didn't regurgitate his food during the 20 minute drive home where I held him with both hands in my lap. (I didn't realize that he would be without a temporary carrier when I got him) I had quite a few husbandry issues in the first week, by the end of that week he seemed to settle into a night/day routine. At 1 week I offered him a thawed and warmed fuzzie. He did not eat it.

    I tried again 3 days later. He did not eat it.

    He was hiding much more than usual and after examining him it was determined that he had either retained a shed or was in the middle of shedding. Slightly worrying, I made a humidity bath with a towel where he stayed for an hour and seperated from most of the skin including head. he returned to what I thought was comfortable snake behavior for week 2.

    Week 3 started and he seemed active at weird times and trying to escape. At night this was more likely but with more tongue flicking. I have attempted 3 more feedings with no luck. As I have watched him, he seems somewhat baggy and I am concerned that as a juevenile I may need to force feed him if this continues for another month. As I have read, BP ADULTS can go a while without food but juveniles likely are not so resilient.

    I was hoping to receive some guidance for getting him to eat and do some troubleshooting to make sure he is happy. I was also wondering how long it took for you to get your first BP to eat.

    Regarding what he was eating before my care, I believe he was held in the hand of the employee and force-fed(?) a live pinkie(?) with tongs on the day I got him. I will provide any more details requested.

  2. #2
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    Please stop trying to feed him and give him a week's break.

    Please do not force feed. Do not assist feed.

    Please provide temps, hot and cool sides, husbandry details, how many hides and how big are they, is it a tank and how big, pictures would be great. And are your heat sources controlled by a thermostat, and what type of thermometer do you use to measure temps.

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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Ok, first off, do NOT assist or force feed. It's an absolute last resort for hatchlings that haven't eaten at all.

    Second, pinkies and fuzzies are WAY TOO SMALL for a BP. BPs eat hoppers out of the egg for only 3-5 meals before moving up to small adult mice.

    Now, in order for us to help we'll need more info. The more you tell us, the better we can help you.

    - what type and size enclosure is the snake in?
    - how are you heating the enclosure?
    - ARE YOUR HEAT SOURCES REGULATED BY A THERMOSTAT?
    - what are your temps? How are you measuring temps?
    - do you have at least two properly sized, secure hides?
    - are you handling the snake at all?
    - is the enclosure in a high traffic area of the house?
    - how often are you offering food?

    Remember, be as thorough as you can so we can help you the best we can.
    Last edited by Craiga 01453; 09-09-2019 at 01:39 PM.
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  5. #4
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    At first glance you offer to often leading to more refusal, and you do not offer the proper size prey, I assume you are offering mice and fuzzies are not adequate for a BP not even one out of the egg.

    There is likely for going on.

    How big is your enclosure?
    How much does the snake weighs?
    What are your temps?
    How do you offer food?

    A snake that knows how to eat should not be assisted however you need to find out what will trigger him.
    How big are your hides?
    How often do you handle?
    Deborah Stewart

  6. #5
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    Re: First-time Owner Juvenile BP Feeding Difficulties

    The enclosure is a mesh topped 20 gallon glass box with aspen bedding. There is a hide on both sides of the tank and two water dishes, one he can fit in. Ambient air temp is 80⁰F. Cool side is 76⁰F. Warm side is 94⁰F. His hides may be a little big. I had closed up the back of the log for privacy. I have had to handle him more than I wanted to. Longest he has been without handling is 4 days. (I am very sorry)
    He is 59 grams or 2.1oz. Longest I have waited to offer food is a week. I offer him a warmed fuzzie with tongs at a distance. His enclosure is in the most low traffic area of the house. My heat sources have not been regulated by a thermostat. I have UTHs and a layer of heat carpet. While there are thermometers in the tank I prefer using the temp gun. Pics to follow.

  7. #6
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: First-time Owner Juvenile BP Feeding Difficulties

    Quote Originally Posted by HenloHiSB View Post
    The enclosure is a mesh topped 20 gallon glass box with aspen bedding. There is a hide on both sides of the tank and two water dishes, one he can fit in. Ambient air temp is 80⁰F. Cool side is 76⁰F. Warm side is 94⁰F. His hides may be a little big. I had closed up the back of the log for privacy. I have had to handle him more than I wanted to. Longest he has been without handling is 4 days. (I am very sorry)
    He is 59 grams or 2.1oz. Longest I have waited to offer food is a week. I offer him a warmed fuzzie with tongs at a distance. His enclosure is in the most low traffic area of the house. My heat sources have not been regulated by a thermostat. I have UTHs and a layer of heat carpet. While there are thermometers in the tank I prefer using the temp gun. Pics to follow.

    Ok, you definitely need to get those temps regulated. 94 is WAY too hot. You want to aim for 88-89.

    Please unplug your heat mats until they're regulated by thermostats. Google search snake burns if you need to. But those mats can spike to temps over 120 degrees causing horrible burns or even death to the snake.

    Get yourself some proper sized prey. Do not handle the snake.
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  8. #7
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: First-time Owner Juvenile BP Feeding Difficulties

    Quote Originally Posted by Craiga 01453 View Post
    Ok, you definitely need to get those temps regulated. 94 is WAY too hot. You want to aim for 88-89.

    Please unplug your heat mats until they're regulated by thermostats. Google search snake burns if you need to. But those mats can spike to temps over 120 degrees causing horrible burns or even death to the snake.

    Also, what is heat carpet? Never heard of it.

    Get yourself some proper sized prey. Do not handle the snake.
    ...life is beautiful...

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    Re: First-time Owner Juvenile BP Feeding Difficulties

    Heat carpet was supposed to be carpeting that purpose was to ensure the snake couldn't burn itself by resting on hot glass, I know it's for burrowing snakes typically but I put some down anyway.

  10. #9
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    Re: First-time Owner Juvenile BP Feeding Difficulties

    Quote Originally Posted by HenloHiSB View Post
    Heat carpet was supposed to be carpeting that purpose was to ensure the snake couldn't burn itself by resting on hot glass, I know it's for burrowing snakes typically but I put some down anyway.
    Heat carpet? What is heat carpet? can you provide a link or a photo?
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  11. #10
    Telling it like it is! Stewart_Reptiles's Avatar
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    Re: First-time Owner Juvenile BP Feeding Difficulties

    Quote Originally Posted by HenloHiSB View Post
    The enclosure is a mesh topped 20 gallon glass box with aspen bedding. There is a hide on both sides of the tank and two water dishes, one he can fit in. Ambient air temp is 80⁰F. Cool side is 76⁰F. Warm side is 94⁰F. His hides may be a little big. I had closed up the back of the log for privacy. I have had to handle him more than I wanted to. Longest he has been without handling is 4 days. (I am very sorry)
    He is 59 grams or 2.1oz. Longest I have waited to offer food is a week. I offer him a warmed fuzzie with tongs at a distance. His enclosure is in the most low traffic area of the house. My heat sources have not been regulated by a thermostat. I have UTHs and a layer of heat carpet. While there are thermometers in the tank I prefer using the temp gun. Pics to follow.
    You need to do this to T https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...-hatchling-101 and I mean a T, and do so ASAP you have very little time to reverse the situation.

    And of course you hest MUST be controlled.

    This is not a juvie but an animal that is bare the weight of an hatchling out of it's egg and your husbandry is not optimal for an animal that size.
    Last edited by Stewart_Reptiles; 09-09-2019 at 03:15 PM.
    Deborah Stewart

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