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  1. #11
    Registered User ApathyAngel's Avatar
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    Re: Is my BP overweight? Pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by dakski View Post
    As said, your tank is fine for now - especially given your current life circumstances.

    Secondly, if your are comfortable with your BP's weight and food size, I think that's fine. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

    However, I wanted to explain my rationale for smaller prey items. Just so you now where I am coming from.

    It sounds counterintuitive, but when I went to smaller prey items for Shayna, she actually gained weight. However, she likes to refuse prey when I offer larger food items and she fasts in winter. Feeding her small rats instead of medium, she eats regularly in the spring, summer, and fall.

    It's amazing how efficient snakes in general are, but especially "bigger" constrictors like pythons and boas. They can do a lot with very little in terms of prey size. Remember, 90% of our energy goes to maintaining our body heat. They don't have to worry about that. They are also very sedentary. They don't move much. Calorie burn is low on a BP.

    Also, in the wild, the rats BP's eat are smaller than medium rats we offer in captivity. African Soft Fur Rats are about the size of a small rat you would find Frozen or in a pet store.

    Finally, getting a BP to lose weight is difficult. Better to be feeding smaller meals than larger ones for life expectancy and health.

    Whatever you do, good luck with your BP and keep us posted.
    That's a good point, for some reason it didn't even occur to me to think about the size of prey she'd be eating in the wild.

    I'm reassured by the people saying she's chunky, but not obese, and now I know to ignore the guy who says I should be feeding her more. Maybe he assumed that she fasts and loses weight, so it's possible he thought that I should help her bulk up when she eats to keep her healthy when she refuses (though if she ever starts fasting, I would definitely get a scale and start monitoring her weight more closely. As of now, since she's not a breeder and doesn't fast, I just don't see it as a priority).

    I think I might tweak her schedule a tiny bit to help her slim down. I'd rather her be the perfect weight than be chunky. And when I've used all the medium rats I have, I might try and see how she does on small ones. I still have around 15 mediums left, and with things being tight, I don't want to throw them out if she isn't terribly overweight. I might just space her feedings out a little more, and maybe take her to the vet and let them weigh her once a month or so (they said they'd weigh her for free, but only after things open back up a little more).

    But yeah, that makes sense to feed her smaller ones (and tbh I'm not mad at the fact that smaller ones are cheaper). I'll keep that in mind when I run out of mediums, and see how she does on smalls.

    Thank you!

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    dakski (06-27-2020)

  3. #12
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    Re: Is my BP overweight? Pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by ApathyAngel View Post
    That's a good point, for some reason it didn't even occur to me to think about the size of prey she'd be eating in the wild.

    I'm reassured by the people saying she's chunky, but not obese, and now I know to ignore the guy who says I should be feeding her more. Maybe he assumed that she fasts and loses weight, so it's possible he thought that I should help her bulk up when she eats to keep her healthy when she refuses (though if she ever starts fasting, I would definitely get a scale and start monitoring her weight more closely. As of now, since she's not a breeder and doesn't fast, I just don't see it as a priority).

    I think I might tweak her schedule a tiny bit to help her slim down. I'd rather her be the perfect weight than be chunky. And when I've used all the medium rats I have, I might try and see how she does on small ones. I still have around 15 mediums left, and with things being tight, I don't want to throw them out if she isn't terribly overweight. I might just space her feedings out a little more, and maybe take her to the vet and let them weigh her once a month or so (they said they'd weigh her for free, but only after things open back up a little more).

    But yeah, that makes sense to feed her smaller ones (and tbh I'm not mad at the fact that smaller ones are cheaper). I'll keep that in mind when I run out of mediums, and see how she does on smalls.

    Thank you!
    Since nobody has posted this yet, I always find this very helpful as a guideline.



    /chris

    ---
    0.1 Catahoula Leopard Dog / Zooey
    ---
    1.0 Leopard Gecko / Leonard
    ---
    1.0 Normal Ball Python / Edward
    1.0 Banana Ball Python / Bartholomew
    1.0 Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball Python / Alfredo

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    ApathyAngel (06-28-2020)

  5. #13
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    Ball pythons' natural prey may be smaller, but they adults also tend to eat multiple prey in a sitting. But it's rather inconvenient to feed multiple prey items in captivity, and feeding a single larger prey item is fine.

    Rather than going smaller, feed less often. Adult males and non-breeding females can be fed an appropriately sized meal once a month, and not all for at least 3 months a year to replicate their natural dry season cycle, when they would naturally be off feed in the wild.

    This isn't just acceptable, but desirable. Most boas, pythons, and vipers undergo significant organ remodeling for approximately 2 weeks after a meal, regardless of prey size. During this time, their heart, liver, and lungs double in size and their intestines complete change in structure and they operate at a metabolic equivalent of a horse race at full sprint.

    The question of whether smaller meals more often, or larger meals less often has long been settled by scientific research for almost 15 years. It's sad that most of the hobby is still not up to date with the science.

    Here is some reference material, in multiple mediums in case you're not accustomed to reading scientific research papers (but it's always a good time to start).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY0mCXLrhUA
    At 33:20 or so, Dr. Warren Booth (University of Tulsa, Department of Biological Sciences) talks about the physiological changes from digestion, and what his feeding regimen is.

    Snake Digestion with Joshua Parker
    https://www.blogtalkradio.com/…/snak...-joshua…

    Corallus Radio Episode 15 w/ Vin Russo - Insular Boas and IBD
    https://www.blogtalkradio.com/…/epis...so--ins…

    Rapid changes in gene expression direct rapid shifts in intestinal form and function in the Burmese python after feeding:
    https://www.physiology.org/…/10.…/ph...ics.00131.2014

    Growth and stress response mechanisms underlying post-feeding regenerative organ growth in the Burmese python
    https://link.springer.com/article/10...864-017-3743-1

    Several papers from Stephen Secor found here:
    https://ssecor.people.ua.edu/publications.html
    Last edited by hhw; 06-28-2020 at 03:30 PM.
    ~40 Ball Pythons (mostly Freeway/Asphalt, Bongo, GHI, and Leopard combos)
    3.8.3 Green Tree Pythons (mostly TM/TW blueline, a few Highland/Wamena)
    1.2 Children's Pythons
    1.2 Cay Caulker Boas
    1.2 Black Fuli House Snakes
    1.0.4 Amazon Tree Boas (1x tiger, 3x halloween garden, 1x garden)

  6. #14
    Registered User ApathyAngel's Avatar
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    Re: Is my BP overweight? Pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by hhw View Post
    Ball pythons' natural prey may be smaller, but they adults also tend to eat multiple prey in a sitting. But it's rather inconvenient to feed multiple prey items in captivity, and feeding a single larger prey item is fine.

    Rather than going smaller, feed less often. Adult males and non-breeding females can be fed an appropriately sized meal once a month, and not all for at least 3 months a year to replicate their natural dry season cycle, when they would naturally be off feed in the wild.

    This isn't just acceptable, but desirable. Most boas, pythons, and vipers undergo significant organ remodeling for approximately 2 weeks after a meal, regardless of prey size. During this time, their heart, liver, and lungs double in size and their intestines complete change in structure and they operate at a metabolic equivalent of a horse race at full sprint.

    The question of whether smaller meals more often, or larger meals less often has long been settled by scientific research for almost 15 years. It's sad that most of the hobby is still not up to date with the science.

    Here is some reference material, in multiple mediums in case you're not accustomed to reading scientific research papers (but it's always a good time to start).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY0mCXLrhUA
    At 33:20 or so, Dr. Warren Booth (University of Tulsa, Department of Biological Sciences) talks about the physiological changes from digestion, and what his feeding regimen is.

    Snake Digestion with Joshua Parker
    https://www.blogtalkradio.com/…/snak...-joshua…

    Corallus Radio Episode 15 w/ Vin Russo - Insular Boas and IBD
    https://www.blogtalkradio.com/…/epis...so--ins…

    Rapid changes in gene expression direct rapid shifts in intestinal form and function in the Burmese python after feeding:
    https://www.physiology.org/…/10.…/ph...ics.00131.2014

    Growth and stress response mechanisms underlying post-feeding regenerative organ growth in the Burmese python
    https://link.springer.com/article/10...864-017-3743-1

    Several papers from Stephen Secor found here:
    https://ssecor.people.ua.edu/publications.html
    Hi! I read through the papers, (I generally don't see YouTube videos and podcasts as reputable sources) and actually don't see a correlation to feeding less often being desirable.

    In fact, in going through the papers in the last link, it appears to be the opposite, as far as cellular turnover, regeneration, and elasticity goes. They seem to state that it is specifically the extreme upregulation and downregulation in 30-day fasted pythons that takes a toll on the cells.

    Which would certainly imply that feeding them more often, preventing the cells from going dormant, would be more beneficial for the snake.

    However, I also recognize that my expertise is in psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Not genetics or biology. So maybe there's something I'm missing?

    I've also never heard of a wild ball python eating more than one rodent in a sitting. It's my understanding that they are ambush predators and, as far as I'm aware, that's not how ambush predation works. I'm having difficulty picturing a ball python in the wild attacking and killing a prey item, eating it, and then immediately eating a second prey item.

    Again, I'm in no way an expert on pythons or their biology, and I don't want to imply that I am. I'm simply asking for clarification.
    Last edited by ApathyAngel; 06-28-2020 at 05:13 PM.

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