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  1. #1
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    Stress or Hunger?

    Ok, so I have had my juvenile ball python for about 6 weeks now and he has eaten every week except for his 1st shed. About 2 days out from feeding day he becomes extremely active, both day and night cruising the enclosure and poking at the corners to escape. I think the prey size may be a bit small (just began feeding rat fuzzies a bit smaller than his widest part) and he is just getting hungry sooner than expected (he's been taking the food every 6 days).
    Weighs about 110 grams and is on the slimmer side (not unhealthy skinny but could use some more weight). If it is that he is hungry I am not too concerned and will try and find larger prey. After eating he stays in his hide next 2 days and isn't really out until 2 days prior to feeding, so pretty normal. I just want to double check my husbandry is correct and know for sure if I'm really worrying for no reason.

    28 qt tub
    65-70 humidity
    Hides on both end
    Paper towel substrate
    Hot side temps: 93-96 underneath substrate and about 89-92 on paper towel ( I press hand against slightly to make sure no air bubbles when reading with the IR gun)
    Cold side temp: 76-78 (considering buying 2nd UTH to bring it up few degrees)
    Ambient temp: about 79 during day and drops to coldest 76 at night

    Only other thing I can think of is that the UTH is too hot but I think it is fine, I was not too sure how hot it gets with just 1 layer of paper towel but when I press my hand on it for a while hottest reading I get is 92 and max temp it ever reaches underneath is 96 which is a bit hot but probably will not lead to a burn. Again, I amp pretty sure it's just due to hunger from a smaller prey size but want to double check everything.

    Let me know if this behavior is somewhat normal, if you think it's just hunger or anything else. Appreciate the help alot!

  2. #2
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    Re: Stress or Hunger?

    Thought I should add, I have kept handling to a minimum and he does not appear stressed while out of enclosure

  3. #3
    BPnet Senior Member Sonny1318's Avatar
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    Hot side temps of 90 to 93 degrees on a smaller, younger animal is far from optimal. I would feel safer at 85 to 86 degrees. And there’s every chance he could just hungry. To much heat can cause movement too. But I would personally review my temps if I was you. Peace
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    Re: Stress or Hunger?

    Appreciate it

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    The temps seem high to me as well. Temp with gun on the glass under the substrate. My experience is 90 on the hot side.

    The 28 qt tub is big for a small guy. If you can't bring that smaller, clutter it up some (or a lot).

    With all of that being said, all of the activity you describe sounds just fine. I actually was going to write for you not worry at all until I read the temps and tub info. Aim for 15% of his body weight for feeding size until 350 - 400 grams, then small rats forever (for most males).

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    Re: Stress or Hunger?

    Quote Originally Posted by XpensiveWino View Post
    The temps seem high to me as well. Temp with gun on the glass under the substrate. My experience is 90 on the hot side.

    The 28 qt tub is big for a small guy. If you can't bring that smaller, clutter it up some (or a lot).

    With all of that being said, all of the activity you describe sounds just fine. I actually was going to write for you not worry at all until I read the temps and tub info. Aim for 15% of his body weight for feeding size until 350 - 400 grams, then small rats forever (for most males).
    Got it, I'll lower the temps and monitor the reaction for a while. Yeah, I know the tub is a bit big but lots of clutter and mostly dark so I'm not too worried about that. Thank you for the help

  9. #7
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Stress or Hunger?

    I agree with lowering the temps a bit. I keep my hot spots between 86-90. The rat fuzzys are cool but he’ll be on rat pups pretty soon. You could offer larger meals from time to time if you want.
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