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  1. #1
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    aggressive when feeding

    I got my first ball python about 6 months ago and she (not really sure if a male or female, previous owners assumed female but who knows) has been a very good pet. I think she is close to a year old. She's always gentle and seems to always be ready to get out and be held. She has always been a good eater. We take her out of her enclosure and put her in a plastic tub for feedings. (I know this can be a controversial subject, but hang with me here). Here lately she seems to be more aggressive when it's feeding time. A few weeks ago she lunged out of the tub for the mouse, before we even got the mouse to the tub, which was no big deal, but this was unusual. Today when I fed her, she took the mouse as usual and after she had eaten it, I reached into the tub and kinda rubbed her a little, which I always do before taking her out of the tub and putting her back into her enclosure. She pulled her head back into a striking position. I know that I should have heeded her warning and given her a little more time, but I didn't and she bit me. I was surprised by 2 things. One that she bit me, and two, at how it didn't hurt at all. I just gave her a few more minutes then picked her up and put her back into her enclosure as usual. Is this normal behavior or is there something that I might be doing wrong? She seems to be healthy. She weighs around 350 grams and I am feeding her an adult mouse every 8 days. We weigh her regularly and she is gaining weight, has good sheds, etc. Could it be that she's still hungry and I need to increase her feedings? Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Everything sounds good, I'd recommend feeding he in her enclosure if she allows.


    If not just keep doing what you're doing.

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  4. #3
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: aggressive when feeding

    Iíve really no idea why people feed their snakes in a separate enclosure .. baffles me completely unless itís a baby Sand Boa and itís a trick to put them in a tiny countainer with a pinky ..


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  6. #4
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: aggressive when feeding

    First, feed in your snakes enclosure. This greatly reduces the stress on the animal and the likelihood you get bit.

    Secondly, at 350G, your snake should be starting to eat larger prey than mice.

    See below for size of prey recommendations, although as the snake gets older, you can spread out the duration of feeding.

    I would feed every two weeks as an adult and not feed medium rats until over 2,500G. Larger prey more frequently tends to lead to refusals with BP's. My girl, Shayna, is about 1,900G and eats a small rat every 2 weeks.

    Anyway, at your snakes age and size, you should be transitioning to smaller weaned rats by now. The sooner you get him/her on rats the better too. They can get set on a prey item, like mice, and as he/she grows, rats are better for you. 1 rat vs. 3 mice, etc.

    Good luck and keep us posted.


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  8. #5
    BPnet Senior Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    It's not aggression, it's feeding mode pure and simple. It's why you shouldn't be handling a snake around feeding time. Feed in the cage. Bites from a bp feel like absolutely nothing though, it's good you know that now because it can be helpful to not fear them later. It's more the surprise/startle than anything else. I've been tagged by a couple being stupid with my hand in the cage removing uneaten rats or ignoring clear signs of feeding mode and it feels like teeny pinpricks. You learn what not to do next time and that's best on a snake that can't hurt you.
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  10. #6
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: aggressive when feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by GoingPostal View Post
    It's not aggression, it's feeding mode pure and simple. It's why you shouldn't be handling a snake around feeding time. Feed in the cage. Bites from a bp feel like absolutely nothing though, it's good you know that now because it can be helpful to not fear them later. It's more the surprise/startle than anything else. I've been tagged by a couple being stupid with my hand in the cage removing uneaten rats or ignoring clear signs of feeding mode and it feels like teeny pinpricks. You learn what not to do next time and that's best on a snake that can't hurt you.
    Exactly... the bites are no worse than when you catch yourself on a Rose bush .. it actually hurts more when you smash your hand into the glass door trying to dodge the bite


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  12. #7
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    It takes longer for some, but snakes are patient & will teach us what not to do... (OP- feed your snake where it lives, not in another cage!)
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  14. #8
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Like everyone else said...
    Feed inside the enclosure!!!! There's literally ZERO benefit to feeding in a separate feeding container.

    In fact, it's been proven counterproductive. As you learned, it increases your chance of being tagged.

    It also increases the chance of the snake regurgitating it's meal.

    What you experienced was not aggression, it's a snake in feed mode. Very different. Feed in the enclosure and the problem solves itself. Granted a bite didn't hurt now, you'd rather avoid it especially once the snake gets bigger.
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