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  1. #1
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    Increasing Prey Size

    Anyone got any tips for getting a ball python to take bigger rats?

    One of my females weighs about 1500g. She will only take large weeners. Which are pretty small for her. She eats 2-3.

    I've tried her one size up to smalls and she will not take them. It would save me money if I could get her to eat one small v 3 weeners

    TIA

  2. #2
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    Re: Increasing Prey Size

    You could try to make the enclosure more secure by totally blacking out the enclosure during the day and night if thereís frequent activity in the room(day if she was located in the bedroom or something). If you have the sides blacked out already then perfect, just find a towel or some sort to cover the front as well. Just leave her completely alone like this at least a week before feeding, and only opening the enclosure to do your daily checks and spot cleaning.

    You could also feed her in the late evening when the time comes for feeding day. I typically feed my bp at about 10:30-11pm, because thatís the time where her heat lamp turns off and she pokes her head out of her hide waiting for food. If you already feed in the evening then thatís great.

    You could also heat up the rat to about 34-35 degrees and see if she might take it then. A warmer prey is easier to detect and might seem more appetizing as well since she might think itís alive and healthy. I thaw out my rat in a plastic bag, and in room temperature water. After itís thawed, I pour in new water so itís about 35-37 degrees. I let the rat sit in that water for about 5 min, and check the temp of the rat. Once itís about 35 degrees Iíll then give it to my snake to eat.

    Lastly, where you get your rats from makes a huge difference. I bought my first few rats from a smaller local store and she ate 2 out of the 6 I bought. Went and bought some from a larger, more well known store and she hasnít missed one of them. Are you buying them from the same supplier? It could be that maybe not as many people buy weaned rats so theirs could have been in the freezer for longer(just a possibility). You could try purchasing them from other stores or people and see what the results are. I would try everything mentioned above before doing this though, so that way you can rule everything out.

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    IrishBalls (06-17-2020)

  4. #3
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Increasing Prey Size

    Make sure you are defrosting properly - room temp water to defrost and for long enough to completely defrost the rat.

    THEN use a hairdryer or (what I use) hot tap water to warm the rat up for a minute or two. Remember, you want those heat pits going bonkers but do not want to cook the rat at all. That is a big turn off for snakes.

    Once warm, offer immediately, and hopefully your BP doesn't think too much about it.

    Also, offer at night, and as mentioned, make sure it's cozy in her tank, etc.

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    IrishBalls (06-17-2020)

  6. #4
    bcr229's Avatar
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    Since she's used to taking multiples, try feeding a very small wean rat and then a very small small rat, one that's right at the cutoff for small rat weight.

    Alternatively, just keep offering small rats and wait her out.

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    IrishBalls (06-17-2020)

  8. #5
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    Re: Increasing Prey Size

    Quote Originally Posted by Faith.luu View Post
    You could try to make the enclosure more secure by totally blacking out the enclosure during the day and night if thereís frequent activity in the room(day if she was located in the bedroom or something). If you have the sides blacked out already then perfect, just find a towel or some sort to cover the front as well. Just leave her completely alone like this at least a week before feeding, and only opening the enclosure to do your daily checks and spot cleaning.

    You could also feed her in the late evening when the time comes for feeding day. I typically feed my bp at about 10:30-11pm, because thatís the time where her heat lamp turns off and she pokes her head out of her hide waiting for food. If you already feed in the evening then thatís great.

    You could also heat up the rat to about 34-35 degrees and see if she might take it then. A warmer prey is easier to detect and might seem more appetizing as well since she might think itís alive and healthy. I thaw out my rat in a plastic bag, and in room temperature water. After itís thawed, I pour in new water so itís about 35-37 degrees. I let the rat sit in that water for about 5 min, and check the temp of the rat. Once itís about 35 degrees Iíll then give it to my snake to eat.

    Lastly, where you get your rats from makes a huge difference. I bought my first few rats from a smaller local store and she ate 2 out of the 6 I bought. Went and bought some from a larger, more well known store and she hasnít missed one of them. Are you buying them from the same supplier? It could be that maybe not as many people buy weaned rats so theirs could have been in the freezer for longer(just a possibility). You could try purchasing them from other stores or people and see what the results are. I would try everything mentioned above before doing this though, so that way you can rule everything out.

    Thanks for the in-depth reply.


    Her tub is completely blacked out at sides and I feed her and the room is pitch dark.

    Coincidentally I have actually ordered from two different sources and that didn't do the trick.


    I do heat to around the temp you recommend. I also dip head in really hot water just prior to offering.

    I should have also mentioned she won't strike she prefers to have the rat left in there. I then turn the light of and leave the room.

  9. #6
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    Yeah I will try the other suggestion yous guys mentioned. I'll also add in an extra hide with some crumpled up paper to make her feel more secure.

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