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  1. #1
    BPnet Senior Member Sonny1318's Avatar
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    When do your male ball pythons start their winter fast?

    I was just curious about what month do you notice your male ball pythons start their winter fast? Mine usually start in late December, early January. Looking to hear from people who have boys that are at least 3 to 5 years old. They usually only take one to two over the next four months after January to late April early May. Around September/October, I notice they become eating machines. Iím in Chicago, itís definitely cold outside and they are striking like crazy. Looking forward to your replies. Peace
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  2. #2
    Registered User Quarks's Avatar
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    I think mine started a few weeks ago! First winter with him, and he's about 4.5 years old. Hadn't missed a meal since I got him adjusted to his new home in April, (was even over-feeding him ever so slightly in September because he was acting super hungry after his last shed) and then he stopped striking mid-October right around when the weather changed. I'm in Seattle and the weather doesn't get that cold, but we don't turn the heat on unless we get chilly so his ambient could have changed from low of 80 to low of 76ish. (I'm pretty sure my thermometers read a little high so I try to keep ambient close to 80 instead of 77.)

    Temps and humidity look perfect to me, the water is clean, plenty of privacy and clutter, and I check him for rot and ri every week... Something kinda odd with his eyes but I think it's something that will correct with the next shed. I'm going to do a deep clean of the cage this week to see if that makes any difference, but from what I can tell it looks like a winter seasonal strike.

    At what point should I take him to a vet? He's hardly lost any weight at all but after throwing away 3 weeks worth of rats it's starting to stress me out slightly. This is the first week I haven't offered. Don't want him to make a habit out of refusing...

  3. #3
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: When do your male ball pythons start their winter fast?

    Well this will blow a few minds !!

    I have a stunningly beautiful Male Pied Royal 2013 .. a decently sized lad at 1.6 Kg ..

    Now he started fasting July 2018 and only just started eating again ( voraciously) a couple of weeks ago !!


    15 months without eating and still looked fabulous , virtually the same weight .. heís always been just as active as well !!


    Crazy !

    I read that the record is 25 months or so ...


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  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran Aerries's Avatar
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    Re: When do your male ball pythons start their winter fast?

    Interestingly enough none, I have 4 males and none are fasting, all have eaten consistently the past two - three years, Ramsey did fast the first year for 6 months but everyoneís eating weekly or bi-weekly now.


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  7. #5
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    Re: When do your male ball pythons start their winter fast?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zincubus View Post
    Well this will blow a few minds !!
    I have a stunningly beautiful Male Pied Royal 2013 .. a decently sized lad at 1.6 Kg ..
    Now he started fasting July 2018 and only just started eating again ( voraciously) a couple of weeks ago !!
    15 months without eating and still looked fabulous , virtually the same weight .. he’s always been just as active as well !!
    Crazy !
    I read that the record is 25 months or so ...
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    I have a question. Did your snake show a change in behavior before it started eating again. I mean could you tell by how it acted that
    you knew it pretty much wasn't going to eat and could you tell when you were sure it was ready to eat?


    I am asking this because I kind of believe and others said they practice this (but never say how they know) in that they don't offer food
    after a refusal until they see their snake is hungry. (So what are the signs) You have a great opportunity to share your visual observations
    on that. And multi-snake owners please feel free to chime in your observations and or clues.

    I use to think when a snake was just inside the hide poised in the position it would eat. But I found that is not necessarily true. That
    can be a defensive position. But I now am thinking when a snake is part way out of the hide (4 or 5 inches) and stationed there like it is
    waiting for a grub hub delivery then that is the best sign. But that might not be true either so that is why I am asking. Can a person truly
    read a snakes body language?? If so what is the best body sign??

    But I also go by the correct number of days (pretty much) which is 9-10 days and then watch to see if she is positioned body part way out.
    Grub Hub positioned.

    But think how many feeders would be un-wasted if we All knew how to read our snakes hunger or lack there of properly. But maybe there
    is no sure proof sign.

    Would love to hear from folks on this topic.

    PS Last year my snake was too young to fast at all. So will have to see what happens this year.
    Last edited by ballpythonsrock2; 11-08-2019 at 12:58 PM.

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  9. #6
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    When do your male ball pythons start their winter fast?

    Well this fella as always seemed to be acting like all the other Royals Iíve had over the years - moving from the warm side to cool and back again when necessary BUT now you come to mention it about 5 weeks ago he did start patrolling the viv ... all times of the day as well ( so not just evenings) but he still refused when I offered ( every two weeks) .

    Now I got him started again by fluke really .. Iíd cut the heads of two chicks and fed the chicks to two other Royals and for some reason I decided to leave the two Ďchick headsí in a dish in the viv ... I was amazed that he took them and checked everywhere around the dish as I couldnít quite believe heíd eaten them ... he then ate 4 full chicks after that in a short space of time .

    Still seems odd that he ate two manky chick heads but refused mice / rats / hamsters / gerbils / guinea pigs / multimates and even chicks over the months .

    Next feed I will offer a chick and a XL Mouse with a lot of chick aroma spread all over it .. to try and kid him into eating a rodent


    Iím half tempted to superglue a chick head and two chick wings onto a mouse

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    Last edited by Zincubus; 11-08-2019 at 01:21 PM.




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  11. #7
    BPnet Senior Member Sonny1318's Avatar
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    Re: When do your male ball pythons start their winter fast?

    I should add that all mine are mousers, but thatís by my choice.
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