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  1. #1
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    Feeding accident

    Hello all,

    I'll cut right to it.

    I've got this breeding female who is always as food aggressive as can be. I don't mind getting bit but I open her rack with a hook since she genuinely just flies out as soon as the rack opens enough for her to fit through if she even remotely smells rat in the room.

    An hour or so ago, when I was about to feed her and had opened the rack, she attempted to strike at the water dripping off the rat when it was still suspended above her. Needless to say, she missed.

    Or at least missed the rat. She slammed herself straight into her ceramic water bowl, full force, head first. She then squirmed around, spinning on her back, as if she was dying. Scared the living hell out of me. She stopped squirming after some seconds, had her head suspended, jaw half open and was audibly breathing rapid short breaths.

    After 5 minutes or so of being perfectly still like that with me watching her, worried as can be, she opened her mouth to reset her jaw and seemingly started slowly looking around for food again like the pig she is. She still looked very confused and slow. I actually offered the rat again just to see if she would take it and to my surprise she did, albeit not in her usual violent manner. At least that helped to calm my nerves and show that she is, hopefully, alright and will recover fine.

    Just felt that I should share this with at least someone, she damn near gave me a heart attack.

    Has anyone had something similar to this happen? Should I still be worried? In the future I plan to remove her water bowl before I start thawing any rats, just in case. Can't imagine anything else I can do about it.

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  3. #2
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    Well it sounds like she'll be okay & I'm glad- her reaction was not unlike you or I having a similar accident that knocks the wind out of us & probably hurts- it's startling for sure, both to her & to anyone watching the trauma. It's best to try to prevent all such collisions, obviously, but now & then, stuff like this happens- it can be hard to predict, except with those that always respond with similar violence. It reminds me of the large & always-hungry powerhouse female BCI that I had for many years. It was hard to open her enclosure & get the rat (on tongs) IN quickly enough.
    And at least once I had trouble getting my TONGS back!

    With future meals, be careful when you reach in for her water bowl- sometimes I swear that snakes are psychic about when we're planning to feed, so she might "settle" for your hand?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  5. #3
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding accident

    Better to have a hungry BP than not.

    I wouldn't remove her water bowl. I try not to mess with BP before feeding. They can get shy. Also, she might be in food mode for a while, but shouldn't be without her bowl for drinking or humidity, IMO.

    This was probably a freak thing and I would work on getting the rat in faster . Also, I dry my rats before offering. I do use warm water to warm up the prey to get the pythons interested, but dry it before offering.

    Shayna, BP, when ready, will nail her rat, but usually I end up putting down warmed up next to her hide and she comes out and nails it when I leave.

    As Bogertophis alluded too, my Boas aren't as shy. I use the door to their PVC enclosure as a shield or go to the door they aren't at (my 6X2' Boaphiles have 2 acrylic doors). I also sometimes use the hook to open the door in case they strike out. However, I have them read pretty well at this point and luckily haven't had any food bites.

    Some people get nervous about the strike but I find it's better to get the rat in front of them quick with the tongs - especially with boas and carpet python. They want the food and they want it NOW! They will strike wildly if not offered quickly and right in front of them - I don't knock them with it or anything - not the BP for sure, but the Boas I get it real close so they don't miss.

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