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  1. #1
    Registered User ApathyAngel's Avatar
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    Feeding question for breeders

    So I'm hoping to be able to get another snake next year, as long as our financial situation allows for it (was planning on getting a new one for my 35th birthday, which is next year, but our current economic situation might make me have to postpone it), so I've been looking a lot into what I want and where I want to get it from.

    But there's something that I'm seeing in like 99% of cases, and don't understand, and it kind of worries me, to be honest.

    Because I'm reading that babies can be picky eaters. And this will only be my second baby. All my other snakes have either been rescues or purchased as adults (and my first baby was a retic, so not exactly a great comparison).

    But pretty much every breeder I see feeds live. And that is not remotely an option for me, nonnegotiable, I simply will not do it (my current girl, a rescue, has scars along her back from being fed live, and my friend's retic died after being injured by a live rabbit).

    I know that transitioning from live to F/T can often be a struggle, so I'm curious why all these breeders only feed live. What is the reasoning behind it?

    If I were to pay for a snake before its first feeding, could I request that the breeder feed it F/T until it's old enough to ship to me? How do breeders handle situations where customers who bought their snakes can't get the snake to eat F/T?

    If I buy a baby that has been fed live, is there a way for me to ensure that the snake I buy will be able to make the switch?

  2. #2
    Registered User Kerimac's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding question for breeders

    I searched morph market until I found a breeder feeding f/t. There are plenty that do. I personally wouldn't want to try to switch one over only because I haven't been a snake owner very long. My last one was on mice and I switched him to rats and he transitioned very well. As far as why some feed live, I'm really not sure. Dynasty Reptiles out of Fla and Chris Hardwick reptiles are 2 reputable breeders you could look for on Morph Market and see what they have. Any particular morph you are looking for? Also, are you set on a hat hling or would you consider a juvenile?

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  3. #3
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    You need to consider what it takes to deal with a large collection. If you have 100 snakes how long will it take to to feed every snake frozen? Then what do you do with the rejects? When you only have one or two snakes itís really not that big a deal. You can spend a few minutes enticing a snake to eat. Try doing that with a few hundred.

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  5. #4
    Telling it like it is! Stewart_Reptiles's Avatar
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    There are breeder selling animals already on F/T, as far as being a breeder and switching to F/T for a customer (or at least attempting) some will, I do animal on a 60 days payment plan however even than there is never any guarantee and to me unless the animal has ate 5 times consecutively on F/T it could just be a fluke.

    So it is best for you to find an animal already switched because a breeder will not hold an animal without a payment and than if the animal does not switched you either end up with something you do not want or lose your deposit if you do not want the animal.

    Breeders are not gonna hold on on a snake forever in hope it will switched and switching can take 1 week 6 months or even a 1 year.

    A ball python can be fed live without issue injuries happen with larger snakes and larger prey, if you feed a ball python live and respect the basic rules it can be done safely (been feeding over 50000 preys without issues.)

    Finally I will add this you are getting a snake that means you MUST be prepared to feed live if you need to, if you are absolutely against it I would suggest getting a lizard.
    Deborah Stewart

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  7. #5
    Registered User Moose84's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding question for breeders

    [QUOTE=ApathyAngel;2739078]So I'm hoping to be able to get another snake next year, as long as our financial situation allows for it (was planning on getting a new one for my 35th birthday, which is next year, but our current economic situation might make me have to postpone it), so I've been looking a lot into what I want and where I want to get it from.

    But there's something that I'm seeing in like 99% of cases, and don't understand, and it kind of worries me, to be hone

    What worries you about the animals eating live?


    Because I'm reading that babies can be picky eaters. And this will only be my second baby. All my other snakes have either been rescues or purchased as adults (and my first baby was a retic, so not exactly a great comparison).

    But pretty much every breeder I see feeds live. And that is not remotely an option for me, nonnegotiable, I simply will not do it (my current girl, a rescue, has scars along her back from being fed live, and my friend's retic died after being injured by a live rabbit).

    Why is this not an option for you? Just because one person was negligent while feeding live doesnít mean thatís always the case. Rarely happens to be honest.


    I know that transitioning from live to F/T can often be a struggle, so I'm curious why all these breeders only feed live. What is the reasoning behind it?

    Because the goal is to get them on food quickly so the animal thrives.

    If I were to pay for a snake before its first feeding, could I request that the breeder feed it F/T until it's old enough to ship to me? How do breeders handle situations where customers who bought their snakes can't get the snake to eat F/T

    I wonít sell a snake to someone who adamantly refuses to feed the animal live prey. Some will only eat live and that would be setting both you and the animal up for failure.


    If I buy a baby that has been fed live, is there a way for me to ensure that the snake I buy will be able to make the switch?[/QUOT

    no. Like deb said, donít buy anymore ball pythons if you are unwilling to meet the animals needs if it wonít take FT prey.

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  9. #6
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    Re: Feeding question for breeders

    Quote Originally Posted by ApathyAngel View Post
    So I'm hoping to be able to get another snake next year, as long as our financial situation allows for it (was planning on getting a new one for my 35th birthday, which is next year, but our current economic situation might make me have to postpone it), so I've been looking a lot into what I want and where I want to get it from.

    But there's something that I'm seeing in like 99% of cases, and don't understand, and it kind of worries me, to be honest.

    Because I'm reading that babies can be picky eaters. And this will only be my second baby. All my other snakes have either been rescues or purchased as adults (and my first baby was a retic, so not exactly a great comparison).

    But pretty much every breeder I see feeds live. And that is not remotely an option for me, nonnegotiable, I simply will not do it (my current girl, a rescue, has scars along her back from being fed live, and my friend's retic died after being injured by a live rabbit).

    I know that transitioning from live to F/T can often be a struggle, so I'm curious why all these breeders only feed live. What is the reasoning behind it?

    If I were to pay for a snake before its first feeding, could I request that the breeder feed it F/T until it's old enough to ship to me? How do breeders handle situations where customers who bought their snakes can't get the snake to eat F/T?

    If I buy a baby that has been fed live, is there a way for me to ensure that the snake I buy will be able to make the switch?
    I would be careful about the lines you draw in the sand when it comes to feeding bps. Even if you receive a baby that has been fed on f/t, it's possible it could refuse once in your home and at some point you will do anything to get it to eat, and the next step after the hairdryer/wiggling tricks is to feed live. As you mentioned, they're notoriously picky eaters and you don't want to let a hatchling hunger strike (especially if it's because of your feeding preference).

    I wouldn't let someone who clearly didn't feed live correctly sway your perception of it. It can and is frequently done responsibly by taking steps like weighing both the snake and its prey to make sure it's the correct size, always watching, feeding in the enclosure, etc. Time and patience should give you success in transitioning to f/t but I would be prepared to have to feed live with any bp you take on. All of ours eat live we've had no hiccups (over 12 years)!
    /chris

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  11. #7
    Registered User Kerimac's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding question for breeders

    I personally choose to feed f/t. If any of my snakes went on an extended feeding strike and I had to feed live, I would. I feel like this member would as well. I feel like he/she was just curious about why a lot of breeders feed live and with the sheer number they feed, it makes sense, however, a lot of breeders also still make time to feed f/t and I feel that it would be wise to look for a snake from a breeder that does so if this is your preference.

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  13. #8
    Registered User ApathyAngel's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding question for breeders

    @Kerimac

    Thanks for the info! I follow Chris on youtube and really like his videos, and I've heard good things about Dynasty, too.

    I've got a couple of different possibilities for morphs I'm looking at, but I won't be in a position to buy one for at least another 6 months, so nothing is set in stone. I wouldn't be opposed to a yearling/juvenile either. I was more just curious about the reasoning behind breeders feeding live.

    @AzJohn

    That's what I was thinking, but then wouldn't you then also need a large rat population, to ensure that you have a steady stream of the right sized babies? I had pet rats when I was a kid, and if I remember correctly (though it was awhile ago, so I may be wrong) they don't stay small for very long. And cleaning their cages felt like a full-time job.

    Granted, I've never owned more than 4 snakes at a time, so obviously having a large collection is a totally different thing, but wouldn't maintaining a large rat population be incredibly time-consuming? Wouldn't it be easier to just thaw a handful of them out in water and then just toss them in the baby bins?

    Or am I missing something? As I said, I'm not a breeder, and I know that keeping a large collection is completely different than owning a handful of pets, so I'm curious about that process and why it's easier to feed live.

    And to the other replies...

    I should stick with lizards? You won't sell to me?

    Gasp! How terrible! But then how will I ever get a ball python? There are so few breeders out there, whatever will I do?

    Calm down, Karen. I wasn't bashing how you run your business. I was asking why breeders do it that way, and if breeders will help transition to f/t when people buy their animals.

    Which I assumed were innocent questions. Silly me, apparently.

    I mean, defensive much?

    Whatever your reasons for feeding live, cool. It obviously works for your setup. You do you. I never once bashed feeding live, I only explained why I personally won't do it.

    I know it's safe most of the time. That's literally not the point of my post. The live vs f/t debate bores me. Literally everything that can possibly be said on both sides has already been said. I'm not looking to turn this into yet another iteration of that same tired argument.

    I don't have to feed live, so I won't. Simple as that.

    I've had ball pythons, jungle carpet pythons, and a retic, and never once had problems feeding them f/t or pre-killed. Never once had a food strike that lasted longer than 2 feedings (though to be fair, I've only owned a total of 4 ball pythons, which is a small sample size. And the youngest is my current one, who is around 6. The others were over 10 when I got them). Literally never once had a snake refuse f/t, regardless of what they were fed before I got them.

    Whatever your reasons for why that makes me a bad person, I promise you I do not care. F/t works for me, so it's what I do.

    I was asking breeders about it because I've heard babies can be pickier than adults, and since almost all of my experience is with adults, I want to make sure that when I get a baby, I know what I'm getting into and will be prepared for it.

    Yeah, silly me.

    I was also asking to get a better feel for etiquette, what is realistic to ask from a breeder, because (shocker) I'm not a breeder. I don't know how labor intensive the process is, and if it's realistic to prepay for a hatchling and ask the breeder to transition the baby I prepaid for to f/t until it's big enough to ship. I'm trying to get a feel for where that line is between respecting the breeder's time and protecting my own investment and my future pet.

    I know, I know. So incredibly silly of me.

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  15. #9
    bcr229's Avatar
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    I start mine on live and switch to f/t after three feedings. I also get them onto rats as soon as possible.

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  17. #10
    Registered User ApathyAngel's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding question for breeders

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerimac View Post
    I personally choose to feed f/t. If any of my snakes went on an extended feeding strike and I had to feed live, I would. I feel like this member would as well. I feel like he/she was just curious about why a lot of breeders feed live and with the sheer number they feed, it makes sense, however, a lot of breeders also still make time to feed f/t and I feel that it would be wise to look for a snake from a breeder that does so if this is your preference.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    Thank you. You're right, it was just curiosity and trying to understand more about the process (along with getting a feel for what is realistic to ask for from a breeder). Some people get so freaking defensive and emotional over the smallest things, apparently.

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