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  1. #1
    Registered User Mr.Mushu's Avatar
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    Question Ball Python taking+/coiling but not swallowing food?

    Hello,
    I've had my mojave BP for about just over a year now (I got him at 8 months) and have fallen in love with him. He's super docile and calm. I've never seen him stressed or anything but there's one thing about him that is kind of weird. Every since we got him he's always been a very picky eater. And what I mean by that is, he is very food motivated when it comes to feeding time and the catch... He can smell it before I open the terrarium lol. He will always get a good lock on the head with no hesitation, then coil and "suffocate" the thawed mouse. But after the first and sometimes second strike+coil, he seems to lose interest. He just lets it go and leaves it like it was never there. I've tried leaving it over night but he just moves around it without showing interest (I've tried live but he doesn't even notice them he just lets them be). This leads me to have to take it out of his terrarium, which is always a scary adventure since he's so food motivated and I reheat the rodent. After I reheat it for a second/third time, he takes it and swallows it with no problems. I was wondering if anyone has the same issue with their picky PB's and know any solutions that could help. Again he is never stressed out or anything (no hostility or shying away. He just camps out in his hides all day just to come out every so often to drink and swim.), he just seems to be majorly picky when it comes to his food.
    Any help would be appreciated, Thanks

  2. #2
    bcr229's Avatar
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    I have one like this. The solution was to offer a feeder every 2-3 weeks and make it on the smallish side. So he is on small rats about 50 grams rather than 80 grams.

    Once males become adults they don't need to eat every week or even every two weeks.

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  4. #3
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python taking+/coiling but not swallowing food?

    bcr229 nailed this one.

    My BP, Shayna, is 8 years old now and almost 2KG. For years she was a picky eater and often did what you are describing your BP doing. She would either flat out refuse, or leave the rat, or worse, pull it into her hide and let me find it later . I don't miss those smelly days (even the next day it can be yucky). I was feeding her medium rats and offering every other week. Half the time she ate she didn't even strike, and would just drag in her house and eat.

    At year 6, and about 1,650 to 1,700G, someone on here, either bcr229, Deborah, or both, recommended feeding small rats versus medium, but on the same schedule. WOW. What a difference. She strikes her prey most of the time before I can even get it halfway in the tank now and even if she doesn't, she eats very reliably, aside from (seemingly smaller in duration) winter fasts. She has also gained weight as she is eating regularly.

    Still a healthy and happy girl, but she's "filled out."

    One other thought is about how you are defrosting and offering the prey. Remember to defrost the food in room temp water and then warm up with hot water or a hair dryer before offering. You don't want to cook the prey. It's a small possibility that IF you are defrosting it too fast or too warm, or both, that your BP nails it but then realizes it's not raw and loses interest.

    If you use the same technique always and works sometimes and not others, it's almost assuredly just a prey size issue.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

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  6. #4
    Registered User Mr.Mushu's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python taking+/coiling but not swallowing food?

    Thank you! It looks like I will just have to keep trying different sixes and methods till I find the sweet spot.

  7. #5
    Registered User Mr.Mushu's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python taking+/coiling but not swallowing food?

    Thank you so much! I'm glad it it's not just my snake. I will take these into consideration next time! Looks like I just have to find the sweet spot with him.

  8. #6
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python taking+/coiling but not swallowing food?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Mushu View Post
    Hello,
    I've had my mojave BP for about just over a year now (I got him at 8 months) and have fallen in love with him. He's super docile and calm. I've never seen him stressed or anything but there's one thing about him that is kind of weird. Every since we got him he's always been a very picky eater. And what I mean by that is, he is very food motivated when it comes to feeding time and the catch... He can smell it before I open the terrarium lol. He will always get a good lock on the head with no hesitation, then coil and "suffocate" the thawed mouse. But after the first and sometimes second strike+coil, he seems to lose interest. He just lets it go and leaves it like it was never there. I've tried leaving it over night but he just moves around it without showing interest (I've tried live but he doesn't even notice them he just lets them be). This leads me to have to take it out of his terrarium, which is always a scary adventure since he's so food motivated and I reheat the rodent. After I reheat it for a second/third time, he takes it and swallows it with no problems. I was wondering if anyone has the same issue with their picky PB's and know any solutions that could help. Again he is never stressed out or anything (no hostility or shying away. He just camps out in his hides all day just to come out every so often to drink and swim.), he just seems to be majorly picky when it comes to his food.
    Any help would be appreciated, Thanks
    If they’re coiled but motionless - little trick is to try and pull the mouse/ rat away , pulling its tail with your tweezers .. it just makes them coil up even tighter and sometimes spurs them onto actually devouring.

    I’m also a great believer in the ‘hairdryer’ method .. followed carefully it rarely fails in my experience.

    I’ll send you details by PM




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro




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  10. #7
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    Re: Ball Python taking+/coiling but not swallowing food?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zincubus View Post
    If they’re coiled but motionless - little trick is to try and pull the mouse/ rat away , pulling its tail with your tweezers .. it just makes them coil up even tighter and sometimes spurs them onto actually devouring.

    I’m also a great believer in the ‘hairdryer’ method .. followed carefully it rarely fails in my experience.

    I’ll send you details by PM




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    I have one male that won’t eat unless I tug on the rat two or three times right after he strikes and constricts it. No idea why, but it has a 100% success rate with him.

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  12. #8
    Registered User Mr.Mushu's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python taking+/coiling but not swallowing food?

    Yeah I always give it a good few tugs to make him completely coil but never makes a difference. Thanks for the input

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  14. #9
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python taking+/coiling but not swallowing food?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zincubus View Post
    If they’re coiled but motionless - little trick is to try and pull the mouse/ rat away , pulling its tail with your tweezers .. it just makes them coil up even tighter and sometimes spurs them onto actually devouring...
    I'm a "tail-puller" from way back. Yes, it seems to get the snake to focus & respond with the aggression needed to get the job finished, as if they've actually made the kill. Their instincts are ingrained to take on live prey, & while feeding f/t is preferable for our pets, we have to remember that our snakes are designed to be "killers".
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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