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  1. #1
    Registered User Caali's Avatar
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    Is his eating schedule fine?

    It has been a while since I‘ve posted on this forum. For context: I have a 3.5 year old male ball python. He has been with me since he was 4 months old. Anyway so I‘ve been talking to another ball python owner. Normally I‘m certain that my husbandry is fine but that guy kept telling me confidently that my ball python wasn‘t eating enough.
    That‘s the reason why I am asking on this forum.

    He eats middle sized rats (90g to 150g). I offer the food every 2 weeks. At most he eats every 2 weeks and at least every month. Normally he eats the first time I feed him, then two weeks later and after that he takes a month before eating again. This circle then repeats itself. So he eats week 2, week 4, week 8, week 10, week 12 and then week 16 and so on.
    He weighs about 1.3 kg (or 1.4/1.5 kg if he has eaten) and is about 45 inches (115 cm) long.

    Are his stats concerning?
    Last edited by Caali; 09-30-2020 at 05:55 AM. Reason: Grammar

  2. #2
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    Re: Is his eating schedule fine?

    Sounds good from my end. Keep doing what works.

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    Caali (09-30-2020)

  4. #3
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Is his eating schedule fine?

    I had the same issue with my girl, Shayna. Aside from her winter fast, she would refuse often when I was feeding medium rats, which is an okay size for her (she was about 1,700G).

    I switched to small rats every 2 weeks from mediums and I get almost no refusals except in shed. She has also grown (about 1,900G now) and is now a voracious eater, as opposed to what she normally was on medium rats. On mediums she would often just have me leave the F/T rat in the tank and if she felt like eating it, did. Now, with the smalls, I usually cannot get it down before she's on it.

    The reality is you aren't doing anything wrong. If your snake is healthy and maintaining weight, that's great. However, my opinion has changed on what's good for BP's, certainly mine, in terms of keeping them eating regularly (less stress on you) and smaller meals are easier to digest.

    It's also confusing because the popular BP feeding chart (see below) is misleading. I do not think BP's need medium rats, aside from recovering from or prepping for breeding, until 2,500G+. I also think a 2 week feeding schedule is fine for an adult.


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  6. #4
    bcr229's Avatar
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    Re: Is his eating schedule fine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caali View Post
    It has been a while since Ive posted on this forum. For context: I have a 3.5 year old male ball python. He has been with me since he was 4 months old. Anyway so Ive been talking to another ball python owner. Normally Im certain that my husbandry is fine but that guy kept telling me confidently that my ball python wasnt eating enough.
    Thats the reason why I am asking on this forum.

    He eats middle sized rats (90g to 150g). I offer the food every 2 weeks. At most he eats every 2 weeks and at least every month. Normally he eats the first time I feed him, then two weeks later and after that he takes a month before eating again. This circle then repeats itself. So he eats week 2, week 4, week 8, week 10, week 12 and then week 16 and so on.
    He weighs about 1.3 kg (or 1.4/1.5 kg if he has eaten) and is about 45 inches (115 cm) long.

    Are his stats concerning?
    As an FYI my males are on a three week feeding schedule for the same size rat. So, if they eat they don't see a rat again for three weeks. If they eat then then they wait another three weeks, otherwise I offer every week or so until they eat again. Also most also don't eat while in shed so I would wait to feed them until after that.

    The vast majority of snakes in captivity are overfed. Personally if your feeding schedule is working for your snake then I wouldn't change it.

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    Caali (10-01-2020),Craiga 01453 (09-30-2020),Sonny1318 (09-30-2020)

  8. #5
    BPnet Senior Member Sonny1318's Avatar
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    I was mostly a boa guy. So regular feeding wasn’t ever an issue. When I switched to balls only, I’ve kept mostly males, it was never easy, but never hard. What works for me is feeding around their schedule not mine. They are ravenous around Aug/Sept and eat every 5 to 6 days. One to two jumbo mice. Then not so much from January to May, I offer once a month and usually don’t get more then 1 to 2 taken during that time. Makes them very easy to care for, just fresh water every three days, and an occasional pee for almost a full third of the year. I notice this definitely works once they’re 4 to 5 years old. I remember my first clown going on a long 4 month hunger strike and then a similar pattern with another Black Pastel Pin. When they were younger one ate year round, one was fussy. After keeping around 11 different balls, I noticed a fasting pattern on most my boys. Peace, just my 2 cents. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Sonny1318; 09-30-2020 at 10:27 AM. Reason: Added
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  10. #6
    BPnet Senior Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    I'd probably err on the other side and say he should be on small rats over mediums but your feeding schedule is perfectly fine.
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  11. #7
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    Re: Is his eating schedule fine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny1318 View Post
    They are ravenous around Aug/Sept and eat every 5 to 6 days

    this is definitely true of my guy...he's always a pretty good eater, but this September was like nothing I've experienced.

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  13. #8
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    My adult males get a small rat every 10-14 days, usually closer to 14.
    I essentially let them dictate when they eat. I observe their behavior and if I see hunting behavior on consecutive nights I offer the following night. I never get refusals (year round!!) and they maintain healthy body structures.
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    Caali (10-01-2020)

  15. #9
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    Re: Is his eating schedule fine?

    I've been feeding my male BP every 7 days, a rat that was about 80-90g. He's about 1300g. But I felt that was too much too often, so i'm now cutting back to every 10 days a small rat that's about 65g. Part of the reason for 10 days vs 14 or something is that I have two baby corn snakes that feed every 5 days, so his feeding days will synch up with theirs. Makes it easier for me to manage. If it still seems like too much, i'll probably cut it down to every 15 days. I don't want my guy looking like a sausage, otherwise i'd just get a blood python.

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    Caali (10-01-2020)

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