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  1. #1
    Registered User BeansTheDerp's Avatar
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    Beans is being stubborn, or just picky.

    sooooo I need some help. for almost 3 weeks now Beans will not eat, we tried frozen thawed, then live. and he refused both, we even soaked the rat overnight to make sure it's thawed all the way, we also made sure it was at the right temperature, we also tried feeding him when he was active at night so that he would be trying to hunt! but he didn't eat. I'm getting worried and need some help with techniques to get him to start eating? I really appreciate any help as long as it's not negative. if I need correction feel free to do so but please don't be discouraging about it or negative. thank you for your time and efforts to help me! Beans I'm sure will also thank you.
    No matter who you are or what you do, you are beautiful and loved. and if you think everyone hates you, then don't you think God would've Thanos snapped you out of existence? have a good day! 💗

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  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran jmcrook's Avatar
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    Re: Beans is being stubborn, or just picky.

    Stop any handling/interaction/etc until it has eaten three times consecutively without issues at minimum. Like, leave the animal entirely alone. Period. Ensure that its temps, enclosure, hiding areas are dialed in: 90 warm spot, 80 cool spot, 50-60% humidity, little if any disturbance... I know youre excited about having a new pet, but the interaction has to stop until its feeding regularly. Basic BP 101.


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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    First, 3 weeks is no big deal as long as he is in good condition, so try not to stress a bunch.

    In one of your other threads I had mentioned a few suggestions. Not sure if you saw them or not or what the thread was called but it was:

    1. Don't keep trying to feed him every few days. Wait at least a week, maybe two before you try again. The key here is keeping stress low as he adjusts to his new home.
    2. Don't handle him till he is consistently eating. Same reason, keeping the stress low on him.
    3. The temps you had mentioned seemed a touch on the hot side. If you haven't corrected them yet and need more help understanding how to get a temperature gradient let me know and I can go into more detail. You want the coolest part of his enclosure in the high 70s so he has a place to cool down if he needs to.

    Other than that the big thing is patience. Some times they refuse food for a while, especially boys. He did accept at least one meal with you if I remember correctly? That one was frozen/thawed right? Was it just the one and then he went off of food?
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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  6. #4
    Registered User BeansTheDerp's Avatar
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    Re: Beans is being stubborn, or just picky.

    yes, I think the temperature right now is (on the hot side) 87 degrees right now, the cold side is at 71 and his water is 69 degrees. I'm forcing myself not to handle him as much to lower stress level and so far I think I'm doing well. thank you for your help.
    Last edited by BeansTheDerp; 02-17-2021 at 10:19 PM.
    No matter who you are or what you do, you are beautiful and loved. and if you think everyone hates you, then don't you think God would've Thanos snapped you out of existence? have a good day! 💗

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  8. #5
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    Okay great. I know it's super hard not to stress, but once you got all husbandry correct he will eat when he is ready
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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  10. #6
    Registered User BeansTheDerp's Avatar
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    Re: Beans is being stubborn, or just picky.

    the skin near the neck is a bit droopy and you can kinda see and feel his vertebrae, I hear that when it's like that then they are starving? or that they are sick or something? he is still like round, but not completely round. if you get what I mean, I'm horrible at explaining things.
    No matter who you are or what you do, you are beautiful and loved. and if you think everyone hates you, then don't you think God would've Thanos snapped you out of existence? have a good day! 💗

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  11. #7
    BPnet Veteran jmcrook's Avatar
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    Beans is being stubborn, or just picky.

    Cool side is low by like 10 which is incredibly significant and is likely contributing to the feeding strike. You also mentioned reduction of handling, it needs to cease entirely until the animal is feeding reliably without exception.


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    Last edited by jmcrook; 02-17-2021 at 10:39 PM.

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    First, I agree with all of the above answers. Second (in addition), Are you feeding the same kind of rodent that he was raised on? Mice & rats smell & taste different, & many BPs will only accept the one they like best. (This is not true of many other kinds of snakes, but it's fairly typical for BPs to show a preference.) Also: when your snake is fairly new to you, it's best to feed the same way as what was previously successful; that is to say, if he was raised on live, he's likely to want live, & if he was raised on f/t, then only offer f/t. BPs are pretty "opinionated" about their prey.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  15. #9
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Beans is being stubborn, or just picky.

    I agree with JM here.

    You need to get the cool side temps up.

    Hot side 87-89F

    Cool side 77-80F.

    Nowhere in a BP tank should it ever be below 75F. Also humidity should be around 50% when not in shed. Make sure you can maintain that with proper substrate, bigger water bowl, etc. if your heating elements are drying out your tank. Keep on eye on this as you raise temps.

    Gradient is important too. In other words, if the hot side is 88F, the middle can be 82-84F or so, and the cool side 77-80F. You BP needs to be able to choose what temp is best for them at any given time.

    If not gone over, make sure there are hides on the hot and the cool side. They should be identical.

    Further, for the people on the forum our number one priority is your animal's well being, not your feelings. People will sometimes be blunt, especially if we think you are doing something wrong. It's not because we hate you or are angry with you, it's because we want what's best for your animal. In this case, people are being blunt because, I think, they are worried about some of the things you are doing and that your BP hasn't eaten. It appears you are doing things to make the situation worse. If your BP is a young animal, time is critical.

    My advice:

    1. Correct temps and make sure their are hides on both side and matching.

    2. DO NOT HANDLE - AT ALL! Don't reduce handling. Stop handling until your BP has eaten 3 meals in a row. If you have to clean the tank, remove your BP and put him/her into a holding container while you clean. Then put him/her back. NO exceptions. His/her life is now dependent on you, and on you being disciplined now and NOT Handling. A healthy BP will live a long, long, time - 20+ years. You'll have a long time to enjoy Beans.

    3. Don't offer food too often. 1X a week max.

    4. What was he/she eating before? Stick with it. If it was F/T, fine. Feed that. If it was live, feed that. Also same size and prey. In other words, if he/she was eating adult mice, feed adult mice, don't try to switch to rats until he/she is eating regularly.

    You should not thaw a rat overnight. It takes a few hours tops in room temp water. Then you blast with a hairdryer or hot water quickly to warm up and entice the BP.

    See below for proper technique on defrosting and offering f/t food.

    Any questions, just ask, we are here to help.




    This is my step by step list on defrosting F/T rodents.

    Others may do it differently and that's fine. This how I do it and it works for me.


    STEPS FOR DEFROSTING F/T RODENTS/PREY

    1. Put prey item(s) into appropriate size plastic bag. I use Quart size ziplock bags up to a medium rat. NOTE: Bags are optional. Some people just throw the prey in the water. I like the bags, but you have to squeeze the air out of them.

    2. Fill the container/storage box 3/4 of the way with room temp to slightly warm water. If you have a temp gun (which you should, so if you don't, get one), make sure the water is not hotter than 85-90F, or there about.

    3. Put F/T prey item(s) in water. Cover (optional) and leave for an hour +/-.

    4. After an hour, rotate/flip prey. If in plastic bags, they often will stay on whatever side you put them in on. So if mouse is on left side, turn to right side, etc.

    5. Leave for another hour +/- for a TOTAL of about 2 hours (up to medium sized rat - longer if bigger prey).

    6. Check that prey is defrosted totally through. Squeeze at different sections of the preys body. Should be cool/room temp to touch, but be soft with no cold spots. If hard (except for bone), in abdomen, for example, or cold, put back in water until room temp and soft.

    7. Take prey out of the container/storage box and put aside. THEN FOLLOW STEPS 8-11 OR STEP 12

    8. Fill container with hot water from tap. If using temp gun, water temp should be 110-130F, not more.

    9. Drop prey item into water for 30 seconds +/-. If multiple prey items, do one at a time. You want each item hot when you offer.

    10. Remove (if hot water, with tongs).

    11. Dry as best as you can, and is quickly as you can, with paper towels. I dry with paper towels while I am walking from the bathroom where I defrost to the snake tanks. I kind of wrap the prey item up in them. It's ten feet, so by the time I get to the tanks, the prey is drier, but still warm.

    12. If not using hot water, use a hairdryer to heat rat so it entices snake

    13. Open tank and offer ASAP - with tongs - not your hand.

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  17. #10
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    Re: Beans is being stubborn, or just picky.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoopsTheBallPython View Post
    yes, I think the temperature right now is (on the hot side) 87 degrees right now, the cold side is at 71 and his water is 69 degrees. I'm forcing myself not to handle him as much to lower stress level and so far I think I'm doing well. thank you for your help.
    The cool side at 71* is nearly 10* too cold- you want about 78*-80* on the "cool side" for a BP. If the water bowl is actually 69*, that suggests his "cool side" is probably 69* too, & really IS 10* too low, btw. (The 2* difference in temps. might be just how you're taking the temps.- which makes me wonder if you've really got 87* on the warmest side, or if it's actually 85* & too cool as well???)

    Proper heat is super-important for BPs- cool temperatures tells a snake NOT to eat. And if your room is cool & you handle him, that can also make him refuse food, not just the stress of handling, but being subjected to a chilly room.

    And don't handle him at all (!) when you're having trouble feeding him. Sorry, "no fun" I know, but it matters. Eating is "job #1" for a snake. No handling until he has eaten 3 consecutive meals at normal intervals & without refusals (unless in shed, that doesn't count, it's a "normal" time for most snakes to refuse food).
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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