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  1. #1
    Registered User wonderwhitters's Avatar
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    Couple First Time Feeding Questions

    Good evening all!

    So we attempted to feed our BP for the first time tonight. He had numerous successful f/t feedings with the breeder. We waited a full 7 days from the time of his last meal & then attempted a rat fuzzy tonight. He's 107grams so far and it seemed like a very adequate size, and I believe similar in size to what he was eating at the breeders. Our attempt wasn't successful, and while I'm bummed out, I'm not angry or overly frustrated. I knew this could have potentially been something that happened.

    First question: I left the rat fuzzy under his warm side in his enclosure outside one of his hides. Has anyone ever been successful leaving the f/t in the enclosure and left your BP alone for him to find it? Or will that never work, and I need to just throw it out, and try again in a day or two? I tried the little dead rat dance with the feeding tongs for a really long while, and he sorta showed some interest, then seemed more nervous of it than anything else. I don't plan to leave it in there very long, as i know it will begin to collect bacteria, etc... just figured it was a last ditch effort for the night.

    Second question: While we are working out our feeding hiccups, how long can a juvenile BP go without food? He's a healthy weight currently and was eating wonderful for the breeder. I just do not wanna go too long between feedings and cause him any harm.

    Thanks for answering my questions. I'm sure somewhere on the forum people have asked these before, so if it's redundant, my apologies! I appreciate your time and advice! ♥
    Follow along on Poe's adventures on instagram: @poe.the.python

  2. #2
    Registered User Snakemom85's Avatar
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    Re: Couple First Time Feeding Questions

    How hot was the rat? Blow it with a blow dryer until it is 100 degrees then off it immediately. If he shows interest but doesn't stole at it within a few seconds you might have to heat it up again then offer. If he still doesn't strike get it really warm again and drop it in front of him ( not too close) sometimes they won't strike because of the tongs.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk

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  4. #3
    Registered User wonderwhitters's Avatar
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    Re: Couple First Time Feeding Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Snakemom85 View Post
    How hot was the rat? Blow it with a blow dryer until it is 100 degrees then off it immediately. If he shows interest but doesn't stole at it within a few seconds you might have to heat it up again then offer. If he still doesn't strike get it really warm again and drop it in front of him ( not too close) sometimes they won't strike because of the tongs.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk
    Starting to think maybe i didn't have it warm enough for him. I used hot water and put him in a bag and then held it under the CHE for a few prior. I'll try the blow dryer. Thank you!
    Follow along on Poe's adventures on instagram: @poe.the.python

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  6. #4
    Registered User Snakemom85's Avatar
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    Re: Couple First Time Feeding Questions

    Your welcome . Let us know if it works.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk

  7. #5
    Registered User wnateg's Avatar
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    I dont have any BP experience.

    But my suggestions are make sure you're heating it up correctly. I do:
    1) I put it from the freezer into a bowl (in a plastic bag or not) and run cold water over it for an hour
    2) switch to hot water for like 15 minutes
    3) blast it with a hairdryer for a few seconds

    And leaving it in the enclosure is not far fetched. You can leave it overnight. I have to do that with my scrub python, but surely someone with BP experience will know better if it works for them.

    Are you sure the breeder was feeding rats, and not mice?

    Also you say 7 days since his last meal. Is it his first meal with you? How long have you had him? He may require more time to get acclimated before he starts eating.
    Last edited by wnateg; 10-20-2019 at 10:13 PM.
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  9. #6
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Couple First Time Feeding Questions

    Some snakes don't care too much, but BP's like to have those heat pits excited. Having said that, many people use hot water to defrost and this, at least partially, cooks the rodent. Snakes are designed to and want to eat raw prey.

    For my boas and corn snakes, who don't have heat pits, they are fine if I offer prey at room temperature. My carpet python and ball python like them warmed. However, that means in the end, not during the defrosting process. Again, don't cook the prey.

    I also agree with Wnateg that you need to find out exactly what your BP was eating prior. If it was mice, stick with mice for now. If it was rats, then rats are fine and see below.




    This is my step by step list on defrosting F/T rodents.

    Others may do it differently and that's fine. This how I do it and it works for me.


    STEPS FOR DEFROSTING F/T RODENTS/PREY

    1. Put prey item(s) into appropriate size plastic bag . I use Quart size ziplock bags up to a medium rat. NOTE: Bags are optional. Some people just throw the prey in the water. I like the bags, but you have to squeeze the air out of them.

    2. Fill the container/storage box 3/4 of the way with room temp to slightly warm water. If you have a temp gun (which you should, so if you don't, get one), make sure the water is not hotter than 85-90F, or there about.

    3. Put F/T prey item(s) in water. Cover (optional) and leave for an hour +/-.

    4. After an hour, rotate/flip prey. If in plastic bags, they often will stay on whatever side you put them in on. So if mouse is on left side, turn to right side, etc.

    5. Leave for another hour +/- for a TOTAL of about 2 hours (up to medium sized rat - longer if bigger prey).

    6. Check that prey is defrosted totally through. Squeeze at different sections of the preys body. Should be cool/room temp to touch, but be soft with no cold spots. If hard (except for bone), in abdomen, for example, or cold, put back in water until room temp and soft.

    7. Take prey out of the container/storage box and put aside. THEN FOLLOW STEPS 8-11 OR STEP 12

    8. Fill container with hot water from tap. If using temp gun, water temp should be 110-130F, not more.

    9. Drop prey item into water for 30 seconds +/-. If multiple prey items, do one at a time. You want each item hot when you offer.

    10. Remove (if hot water, with tongs).

    11. Dry as best as you can, and is quickly as you can, with paper towels. I dry with paper towels while I am walking from the bathroom where I defrost to the snake tanks. I kind of wrap the prey item up in them. It's ten feet, so by the time I get to the tanks, the prey is drier, but still warm.

    12. If not using hot water, use a hairdryer to heat rat so it entices snake

    13. Open tank and offer ASAP.

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  11. #7
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    Heat it up an offer again. If no strikes just leave it near him. If it's still there in the a.m. throw it to the cat. BPs are great snakes, all my adults are drop feeders.

    Now, if your BP won't eat just wait another week. (An buy a rat snake) If the BP won't eat on week two, feed the rodent to the rat snake. It's good to have other snakes to feed missed meals.

    Good luck!

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  13. #8
    Registered User wonderwhitters's Avatar
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    Re: Couple First Time Feeding Questions

    Appreciate all the advice. So itís not unsafe to leave in cage and remove in the am?
    Follow along on Poe's adventures on instagram: @poe.the.python

  14. #9
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Couple First Time Feeding Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by wonderwhitters View Post
    Appreciate all the advice. So itís not unsafe to leave in cage and remove in the am?
    Assuming the rodent is properly stored/kept frozen, otherwise in good shape, and defrosted properly, I will leave up to 12 hours.

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  16. #10
    BPnet Veteran gunkle's Avatar
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    Re: Couple First Time Feeding Questions

    My smaller BP would only eat for the first 5 or 6 feeding with us if I left it in the enclosure over night. I'd get up in the morning and it would be gone. Wouldn't strike, would shy away from it when I did the zombie rat dance. Now he strikes and wraps every time. Just took a bit for him to get comfortable eating in front of us. I have to feed him every week and a half to two weeks. And a couple hours after dark like 10pm. My other BP I think would eat at noon in a crowd, she strikes sometimes while it's not quite in her enclosure yet. No issues after her settling in period.
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