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  1. #1
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    Switching from live to frozen thawed food

    Just got my Ivory Ball Python from the expo this weekend. The breeder said he feeds all of his snakes live since he doesnít have the time to thaw and wiggle mice all day. From what Iíve researched it seems like this is the holy grail of achievements for ball python owners is to switch from live to frozen thawed. I see there are tons of tricks and tips to achieve this. I did offer food last night to him but he didnít take it. He was deep inside his log and I couldnít even see if he was interested or not. I didnít want to disturb him since heís probably stressed due to moving into a new enclosure. My question is... how long did it take you guys to switch? Should I just offer food every week and just wait it out? How long is too long without food?

  2. #2
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    Re: Switching from live to frozen thawed food

    I am not a pro at this but for just a recommendation, you should try the plastic bag thing where you thaw the food in a bag to keep the scent.

  3. #3
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    Re: Switching from live to frozen thawed food

    Yep! Thatís what I tried to do yesterday. Is yours on frozen thawed?

  4. #4
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    Re: Switching from live to frozen thawed food

    Quote Originally Posted by Bweiser18 View Post
    Just got my Ivory Ball Python from the expo this weekend. The breeder said he feeds all of his snakes live since he doesnít have the time to thaw and wiggle mice all day. From what Iíve researched it seems like this is the holy grail of achievements for ball python owners is to switch from live to frozen thawed. I see there are tons of tricks and tips to achieve this. I did offer food last night to him but he didnít take it. He was deep inside his log and I couldnít even see if he was interested or not. I didnít want to disturb him since heís probably stressed due to moving into a new enclosure. My question is... how long did it take you guys to switch? Should I just offer food every week and just wait it out? How long is too long without food?
    Some suggestions:

    -You "just got" this snake- it was too soon to offer food. New homes are scary & confusing for a snake- they need time (at least a week or 2) to "settle in" (relax enough to eat).

    -What kind of hides are you using? You said "his log" so IF -?- you're using those "half-log" tree bark tunnels, you need to provide real hides like these so your snake feels safe enough to eat:

    https://www.reptilebasics.com/medium-hide-box (similar hides available from beanfarm.com & others too, or you can even make them yourself) But keep in mind only one doorway, not too big, & the overall size not too much bigger than your snake when he's curled up; they don't like to feel like predators might sneak up on them. If you didn't feel safe, you wouldn't feel like eating either. It may look great for our homes, but BPs don't like high ceilings.

    -no way to tell you how long it will take to switch- partly because snakes all have their own personality, but also because we aren't the same either. The better you are at reading your snake, the more success you're likely to have. Understand that BPs are ambush predators- so look for the signs he's ready to eat, & maybe wait a day or a couple days, before offering. Signs like peeking out of his hide at night- they don't like to feed out in the open (other predators get them too, while they're distracted by eating!) so they're unlikely to eat if roaming their cage. Make sure the temps are good too- too cool won't help. Keep light in the room & any "commotion" (movement by you or others) to an absolute minimum.

    -how you offer f/t food is important. Make sure to thaw properly so it's not spoiled (snakes can smell that), & never approach the snake with the food- make it appear the prey just happens to be cluelessly passing by where the snake is hiding. Use feeding tongs & try not to be clumsy, lol.

    -for a snake like a BP that uses heat-sensing pits to find prey- preparing the f/t prey is key. Thaw completely (slow way is in refrigerator, fast way is in cool water), once it's thawed (soft all the way thru-feel with your fingers!) only then warm it up so it's lifelike. Many immerse for a few minutes in hot (NOT boiling) water, & many also use a blow-dryer to heat especially the rodent's head right before offering. Remember to move the rodent with subtle wiggling motion to look alive, but not threatening.

    -IF your snake doesn't eat, don't try again for another week at least. Trying too often just stresses them further & makes your success less likely.

    - BE PATIENT!
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    ballpythonluvr (05-07-2021),Hugsplox (05-06-2021)

  6. #5
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    Re: Switching from live to frozen thawed food

    I would suggest trying all the aboves suggestions first. That's all sound and detailed advice.

    I am no expert. (new to ball pythons but not snakes) but I would suggest, If after some time, that does not work, try a different pray item, ASF/multies or mice, and maybe consider smaller.

    How big is your snake?. If its a live feeder I avoid hatchlings, because you have a lot more time with older snakes before a fast harms them. Harming them is the last thing we want.

    Also its worth checking with the breeder about what housing its used to and what substrate, matching it can help settle it in faster.

    To respond to the time question. For me at least it varies, Sometimes its really fast, others it takes ages.

    Just an opinion based on my limited experience with ball pythons.
    Last edited by Ascended; 05-07-2021 at 08:13 PM.

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    Bogertophis (05-07-2021)

  8. #6
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    Re: Switching from live to frozen thawed food

    Iím a strong believer in the hairdryer method ..... all my snakes over the years have thrived on thawed frozen rodents and Iíve never had to go to LIVE feeding ..something thatís not allowed in the uk anyways

    Iíll send the Op a detailed breakdown of the method .


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro




  9. #7
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    Re: Switching from live to frozen thawed food

    Honestly I canít say for sure how big the snake is but the breeder said heís around 4 months old. To me... Heís got some decent size on him. Looks really healthy

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