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Thread: So picky

  1. #1
    Registered User Kerimac's Avatar
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    So picky

    Grrrrrrrrrrrr....... Why do ball pythons have to be such finicky eaters! Stresses me out! My lil noram guy didn't eat for 3 weeks, then he ate and now, it's going on 3 more weeks. I have digital set ups, a thermostat, thermometer, humidistat, and a temp gun. His enclosure is at 45-65% humidity at all times. I have to mist heavily every day or 2 bc it is a glass enclosure. His hot side is 89-90 in his warm hide and his cool side is 75. I try to feed him at night in his own enclosure. I used to feed him in a seperate container but switched that a month ago. Just needed to vent. I waited up until 1030 tonight to feed him. I even told him There's starving snakes in Africa, as I was walking away.

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    Heads up guy, the struggle is real sometimes.

    45% can be a little low on the humidity, 50% minimum is recommended.
    Glass enclosures actually hold in humidity the best. If your humidity is dropping too fast, try covering any parts of the top that don't have lights or heat emitters on them to help hold in the humidity. A little extra spagnum moss that's been soaked can help as well.

    Just out of curiosity what routine are you using to feed your snake buddy? We finally got my rescue snake to eat after going to live feed and leaving it in a bag/box under her heat lamp to let it scent her tank for a few hours and waiting for her to come out and show interest before attempting to feed her, and even then it took over 45 minutes of holding the snake for her to get her to eat (she's a special case, but patience can be key).

    Wish you the best of luck, sometimes they just go on a hunger strike, so as long as he isn't losing weight or getting emaciated he should be fine. Just keep a look out for loose skin and signs of his spine sticking up through his back. They also get kind of triangle shaped with their spine at the top if they get too skinny. As long as you aren't seeing any of that I wouldn't worry TOO much

    Here's a picture of my rescue rose when she was at her worst for reference:

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  5. #3
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: So picky

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerimac View Post
    ...... Why do ball pythons have to be such finicky eaters! Stresses me out!...
    It's just who they are. There are many kinds of snakes that make great (docile) pets that are NOT finicky eaters, so the real question is, why do people keep CHOOSING ball pythons, knowing full well that they are finicky? It reminds me of a saying (sometimes credited to Albert Einstein but never proven): the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over again, but expecting different results... (-as I duck & run for cover!)
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-18-2020 at 12:28 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Registered User Kerimac's Avatar
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    Re: So picky

    So, I have plexiglass affixed to the top, only 2 inches on either side are open. He has damp moss in his hides as well as a seperate humidity box.

    @Bogertophis, I plan on keeping different types of snakes in the future. My daughter got us started on this and now I'm very interested in different kinds. She had her heart set on a BP, then my other daughter fell in love with our most recent one. I did lots of research on them and knew they were finicky eaters but understood they are quite docile and will just relax on you so I took the plunge and am now seeing the aggrivation in them being so finicky. I'd love to find some other snakes that are chill. I personally love corn snakes and garter snakes but they seem quite squirmy. Any input?

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  8. #5
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: So picky

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerimac View Post
    So, I have plexiglass affixed to the top, only 2 inches on either side are open. He has damp moss in his hides as well as a seperate humidity box.

    @Bogertophis, I plan on keeping different types of snakes in the future. My daughter got us started on this and now I'm very interested in different kinds. She had her heart set on a BP, then my other daughter fell in love with our most recent one. I did lots of research on them and knew they were finicky eaters but understood they are quite docile and will just relax on you so I took the plunge and am now seeing the aggrivation in them being so finicky. I'd love to find some other snakes that are chill. I personally love corn snakes and garter snakes but they seem quite squirmy. Any input?

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    That 2" open on either side doesn't sound like a lot, but it is. Compared to the plastic enclosures many are using, that's a LOT more air-flow. Those enclosures range from having a couple vents to having none at all, just whatever air sneaks in around the cracks in the doorway. Vents might be 2" round, or just a few holes drilled. And BPs need those higher temperatures that cause a lot of evaporation.

    As for chill snakes, I had a large BCI for many years that liked to snuggle around me & watch movies for 2 or 3 hours...& still didn't want to go back in her home. As far as rat snakes go, my favorites for docility are Trans Pecos rat snakes (Bogertophis subocularis) & Baird's rat snakes; corn snakes make good pets also, & Australian spotted pythons will sit with you a while too (assuming the one I have is typical). Keep in mind that some snakes (like corn snakes) prefer cooler temperatures, so if they don't want to sit still, it may be that we're over-heating them...whereas Trans Pecos & Baird's are both desert snakes, & BCI and Spotted pythons are heat-lovers too, so they don't seem to mind that we're about 98.6*. Some rosy boas are fairly chill too...I had one that used to snug around my neck while I did the dishes, & they're not big enough or strong enough to worry about...he held on just enough to stay put, never "too much".

    One thing I enjoy about many rat snakes is that when they're young, they can learn to eat while sitting in your hands...that's what I've been doing with my 3 young Florida rat snakes, & they're even polite about it too, lol*. (Corn snakes may do that also.) Good luck trying that with a BP. Years ago the first Trans Pecos I had would carefully take food from between my fingers, but if I put it on the palm of my hand, she wouldn't pick it up: it seemed that was because my scent surrounded the fuzzy & she didn't want to bite me, but when it protruded from my thumb & forefinger, she'd carefully accept it. Darn cute! Trans Pecos tend to move slow as adults when they're handled, & they aren't clingy (like my Spotted python, she can be a tight "wrapper" sometimes).
    *For now, anyway.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-18-2020 at 01:39 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    About garters, they're appealing to watch & all but not good at handling...yes, "squirmy" would be a good description. And they'll musk so you'll give up.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Registered User Kerimac's Avatar
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    Re: So picky

    I love that I found this forum just because of you! I definitely have some snakes to look at and research now! I am excited for the next few years of getting things ready for a collection. I am in my 40s and back in school full time to get my RN then my BSN and I have 5 semesters left. I told my little one that once I'm done and have more time and money to devote to our hobby, I will have a dedicated, climate controlled building built just for our reptile adventures. We also would like to have an ambelobe panther chameleon and she really wants a boa. I just have to do my research, as I don't want to try to house a snake any larger than 7-10 feet.

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  12. #8
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I'm glad you found this forum too... I only "recently" (2018) joined this forum myself, after another one faded away. I've had BPs in the past, but none currently-
    (I feel your pain, lol). And members here are keeping all kinds anyway. I thought of joining the corn snake forum but just don't have time to be on more than one, so
    here I am.

    As much as your climate-controlled building sounds awesome, I personally enjoy keeping various snakes that can co-exist with me as far as temperatures go,
    because I like to watch them, & they watch me back. I think snakes can get a lot more skittish when they don't see much of you. (Even when I had rattle-
    snakes for many years, they shared the same rooms I lived in.) I'm all about helping my snakes feel at peace around me, & it has always paid off when I've
    shared them for programs or "meet & greets" too. Snakes do best when they feel safe.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-18-2020 at 02:22 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    I'm far from an expert but I like to ask questions that come to mind so I can see the responses and learn as well. What are you feeding your BP, how are you feeding him, etc. Our first one was on live when we got him. I had a hard time getting him to go to F/T so I switched back to live, then did several fresh kills, and after that F/T. The first F/T I offered after the fresh kill took him about a minute to strike, after that he is taking them from the tongs within seconds of them being in front of him. Someone might find an error with your offerings or technique and guide you in the right direction.

    I haven't really experience a true feeding strike yet but I keep telling myself I won't stress over it when it happens as it is so common and typically no harm is done. We will see how well I handle it once it happens though.....

  14. #10
    Registered User Kerimac's Avatar
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    Re: So picky

    @Bogertophis....... I will just have to turn my bonus room into a sanctuary then

    @midwest...... He is on f/t rat pups. That is what he was on when I got him as well, so I didn't have to change him over. I use long tongs and shake it around a little. I thaw it in room temperature water then I heat it with hot water from the tap and I give the head a blast with the hair dryer and check the temp with my heat gun.

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