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  1. #1
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    African soft furred rats?

    Hi there!

    So I'm looking in to a more local source of feeders for my ball pythons, and I lucked out to find someone who lives right down the road from me. It turns out, she only has African soft furred rats.. I'm a bit hesitant because I've heard that ball pythons can often take to them SO well that they'll refuse normal rats after this. Is this true? And regardless of it is or not, are soft furred as nutritious as a regular rat? My female currently eats small/medium rats and my male takes smalls.. I'm just not sure about how to make up the size difference. Perhaps more frequent feedings?

    Any advice/thoughts are greatly appreciated
    Last edited by Mrr; 01-01-2020 at 04:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    I can't say as to whether or not they will get stuck on them as I have no personal experience, but I believe it was balls2u I was watching on youtube and I recall African soft furs being more nutritious and the ball pythons keeping their colour better. Don't take my word for it though! Someone who has far more knowledge will come along and let you know and clear anything up that I may have gotten wrong. There is one good thing about them though, they will never outgrow your ball python! And it is they natural food in the wild, among with a few other things I'm sure.

    Just wait for someone with experience to come along before you make any change. I'm still new to ball pythons lol

  3. #3
    Registered User Naginii's Avatar
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    Mine never have problems switching between mice and asf. I do tend to feed mostly asf though as its their natural prey. If you can breed your own or find a reliable source i would feed asf, no doubt about it.
    They never out grow ball pythons, a fully grown asf is plenty for a meal imo. They are certainly just as nutritious but I've heard rumors they may be more nutritious too. Nothing to ever confirm that though. I breed asf so feel free to shoot me a message any time.
    Last edited by Naginii; 01-01-2020 at 11:57 AM.

  4. #4
    Registered User Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: African soft furred rats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrr View Post
    I'm a bit hesitant because I've heard that ball pythons can often take to them SO well that they'll refuse normal rats after this. Is this true?
    No. Gerbils can definitely be a problem, ASF's not so much.

    I used ASFs to supplement my mice/rats and never had any unexpected refusals switching in between (I would cross-scent prey items if I suspected there was a hold-out). Hypothetically if you fed nothing but ASF's to a ball python for months of course it would be reluctant to change food sources, but, this is to be expected of any rodent food item.

    I bred ASF's for years before coming to the final conclusion that they are more trouble than they are worth--their proclivity for eating their own offspring makes Syrian hamsters look mild in comparison. My examination of their food consumption vs. viable edible weight production ratio (cannibalism excluded) showed them to be metabolically less efficient than either Norway rats or Domestic mice. Plus given their poor behavior: I would not recommend them as a reliable food source for a collection of any significant size.

    If this is all you have available in your area though--it might be worth consideration vs. buying bulk frozen.
    *.* TNTC

  5. #5
    Registered User Naginii's Avatar
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    Re: African soft furred rats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Sorril View Post

    I bred ASF's for years before coming to the final conclusion that they are more trouble than they are worth--their proclivity for eating their own offspring makes Syrian hamsters look mild in comparison. My examination of their food consumption vs. viable edible weight production ratio (cannibalism excluded) showed them to be metabolically less efficient than either Norway rats or Domestic mice. Plus given their poor behavior: I would not recommend them as a reliable food source for a collection of any significant size.

    If this is all you have available in your area though--it might be worth consideration vs. buying bulk frozen.
    I've actually had the exact opposite experience with them. Never had any babies eaten and they produce on a regular schedule for me. Mine don't even bite me at all either though. Huge liters each time, I at least consider them a great source for bulk breeding. I traveled to get breeding sets from two different areas and they both act the same for me. In the sense they produce a lot and don't eat babies that is.

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    Godzilla78 (01-01-2020)

  7. #6
    BPnet Veteran Godzilla78's Avatar
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    Re: African soft furred rats?

    No, I feed all ASFs now, and I feed them laboratory grade rat breeder food and they never eat their babies, they get plenty of protein. I heard ASFs may need higher protein ratios than Norway rats, or they will eat their babies. Dont know if its true.
    My friend had this problem and he switched to high protein food and they stopped the infanticide canabalism.

    They have very low odor, which is a major reason I breed them, and also they are the absolute perfect size prey for Royals.

    I can feed my snakes a Norway rat and they will take it also.


    Kaos Balls

  8. #7
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    Oh! It must have been gerbils that I was thinking of then ��

    If that's the case, then I'll likely start ordering ASF's then. I've read that the protein content in an ASF is higher than a standard rat, is this true?

    Also.. those of you who breed them, how to you euthanize? I've heard that CO2 chambers are the way to go, but my sister (a vet tech) says that it's actually incredibly painful for them to go this way. I'd like to find the most stress-free and painless way to do this, should I start breeding my own.

    Last question.. the same feeder source is also offering newborn rabbit kits to me for ball python meals. I've read conflicting information on this though so I'm not sure. Is this something that they can eat?
    Last edited by Mrr; 01-02-2020 at 04:31 PM.

  9. #8
    BPnet Senior Member AbsoluteApril's Avatar
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    Re: African soft furred rats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrr View Post
    Last question.. the same feeder source is also offering newborn rabbit kits to me for ball python meals. I've read conflicting information on this though so I'm not sure. Is this something that they can eat?
    I feed some of my bps rabbit kits, I have some that will take the rabbit kits, mice or rats without issue switching between. I have others that won't even sniff the rabbit. I'd say just less than 1/2 my bps will readily take the kits and the other half don't want to touch them. For the ones that do take them, I switch between the kits and rats here and there, depending on the size kit, they may or may not have much fur.
    I only feed the rabbits because I have a good affordable supplier and lots of other snakes that readily take rabbits of various sizes, so I'm not getting them specifically for the bps. Rabbits are a more lean meat, not fatty.
    ****
    For the Horde!

  10. #9
    BPnet Veteran CALM Pythons's Avatar
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    Re: African soft furred rats?

    Ive been breeding them and feeding them for years. They are the most nutritious for Ball feeders. Do not believe the nonsense about them getting stuck on them. I give and sell some to my local Snake hobbyists and when Im low we all feed whatever else is available. When people talk about this its more the fact they have a picky eater. Yes Balls can be picky, but they do not get stuck on ASFs. Also people feed their snakes way more than they would ever eat in their natural environment. This makes it easy for them to be picky. Every person Ive helped that had a problem feeder or a Mouser did as Ive told them and offered once a month until the Snake ate a rat... Some snakes took in about 2 months, some 4 and a Albino I gave to a friend took in 8 months. Those snakes were all at a slim but healthy weight already I want to add. Id never hold food from a emaciated or sick snake.
    So go ahead and get some Asfs. Its a plus you dont have to breed them because they take forever to grow. Im in the process of feeding all mine off as we speak. I wanted to use those for the first 3 years of their lives because of their nutritional value, now that they are older Im switching to ordering Frozen Norways... my females grew wonderfully on them and so did my baby Burm for 6 months. Im glad I had the opportunity to feed them. I think it paid off health wise even though It cost me so much breeding for only 2-3 snakes. Good Luck.


    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)

  11. #10
    BPnet Veteran Godzilla78's Avatar
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    Re: African soft furred rats?

    Definitely not addicted. I feed all ASFs usually, but was short this week and got 5 Norway rats for the big females and the snakes took them within 5 seconds.


    Kaos Balls

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    dr del (01-18-2020)

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