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  1. #1
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    My girl refused her meal

    I'm not worried yet since it's only been one meal but just frustrated since my boy eats so well. My girl is 248 grams and she refused her meal. We got her suddenly so we only had food that was too small for her, big enough for my boy just not for her, so for a while we were feeding her 2 prey items. Just until the old was used up. She did good with that until Christmas. She was fed her usual but she only ate 1 and that was fine. I know we were getting lucky with her eating 2. Then the next feeding she only ate one again. So this feeding I got her the biggest prey item which happened to be a mouse and I tried feeding that to her. She struck 4 times and never got it. We'd been trying for a while too so we decided to stop and we just left it overnight. She still didn't eat it overnight.

    I'm hoping this is just her starting to shed since last month around this time she was in blue but it's just frustrating lol.

    Remi, my boy snake, eats anything you put in front of him. He even tries to go after my boyfriend's hand if the prey isn't warm enough for him to see. He's never bitten him just Remi's head follows his hand sometimes and we know it's a feeding response so usually we just warm the food more or make ourselves less visible. But our girl is such a pain to get eating properly. Between the not wanting meals, she's also really slow at striking like usual takes us a half hour of zombie dance routine before she strikes. I definitely know every snake is different and I'm definitely willing to work with her but sometimes it's like why can't you be more like the other one. Love both of them all the same though. And she's a good girl as far as handling now so I can't complain much. Just a little frustrated on the eating side. Sorry for the random ranting in here.

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  2. #2
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: My girl refused her meal

    Quote Originally Posted by Neko_snake View Post
    Between the not wanting meals, she's also really slow at striking like usual takes us a half hour of zombie dance routine before she strikes.
    I think, and you said as much, that it's a little early to worry too much about a refusal. Especially considering you're doing multiple prey items it doesn't surprise me that she's starting to give you a little trouble. Just be patient with her, it's winter time and typically my snakes slow down eating this time of year as well. As far as the time it's taking her to strike, have you guys tried just drop feeding? Sometimes my BP does better when I just lay a feeder on top of his hide and let him get it when he's ready. It's also possible that because of the time it's taking her to strike that the feeder is just cooling off enough that she's losing interest in it.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: My girl refused her meal

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugsplox View Post
    I think, and you said as much, that it's a little early to worry too much about a refusal. Especially considering you're doing multiple prey items it doesn't surprise me that she's starting to give you a little trouble. Just be patient with her, it's winter time and typically my snakes slow down eating this time of year as well. As far as the time it's taking her to strike, have you guys tried just drop feeding? Sometimes my BP does better when I just lay a feeder on top of his hide and let him get it when he's ready. It's also possible that because of the time it's taking her to strike that the feeder is just cooling off enough that she's losing interest in it.
    We've tried dropping feeding. Typically she'll strike at one and take the other drop fed. But she stopped eating the dropped fed ones. That's why I went with the biggest prey we had so as long as she eats one she'd have most of her meal. I'm pretty sure the prey is cooling because she struck but missed during this last feeding. And you're definitely right with the season might have affected it. We did just get a big snowfall the day before her refusal so the temps in the house might be cooler than she's experienced before.

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  5. #4
    Registered User Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    I only have one BP (a male normal I've had for 12 years), so there may be differences in care that I'm unaware of, but: for all the other species I keep, I figure out the schedule and prey size that the snake prefers, and provide that.

    Some of my rosy boas, for example, do best on smaller meals once a week; others on larger meals once a week, and others get small meals infrequently lest they get fat. Rosy neos of the same age are even different -- some eat once a week, some every two or three weeks. I consult their feeding cards before thawing prey so I know who is probably going to be hungry today and who not.

    I have a mountain kingsnake that only will eat pink or peach fuzzy mice, but she takes six at a meal once a week. If I offer the 'proper size' prey, she refuses every single time.

    Scheduled meal times are a mammalian thing -- we burn calories just watching paint dry, and so need regular refuelings. If we don't get regular food, we burn fat, and if there's no fat to burn we use up other tissue to keep the fires burning. Ectotherms aren't like that. They don't burn calories making body heat, and so don't necessarily need regular refueling.

    That's not to say that food shouldn't be offered as needed, of course, but if the snake is indicating that it doesn't want to eat, then offering it food might just be an exercise in frustration for all involved. Snakes will tell you when they're hungry. My BP adopts a hunting pose under a cork half round. My rosy boas cruise the tub and pop their heads out when I pull the tub out. Mountain kings are harder to read, but when they're consistently chilling under a hide, they're not likely hungry.

    Unless it is sick, or there are enclosure deficiencies, the snake knows best.

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  7. #5
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: My girl refused her meal

    Well my pain in the butt just proved she only wants to be drop fed. She ate her rat pup, which I thankfully found one prey item that was correct for her, but she ate it completely drop fed. We put it in a bowl in between her two hides which she's dug a highway between the two and left her overnight. At least this method cuts the time trying to feed her but it comes with anxiety of waiting to see if she ate in the morning. Not a big deal but it's there. It's a trade off lol. Less stress for her, more stress for me. We'll figure it out eventually. Should I go back to trying to handle her or do you guys think I should wait until she's constantly eating again?

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  8. #6
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I agree with you, "drop-feeding" is so underwhelming... I'd probably wait for her to be consistently eating- she might be trying to tell you to back off (ie. that she's feeling stressed due to the handling), the only way she can. Each snake has their own personality quirks, just as we do.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  9. #7
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: My girl refused her meal

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I agree with you, "drop-feeding" is so underwhelming... I'd probably wait for her to be consistently eating- she might be trying to tell you to back off (ie. that she's feeling stressed due to the handling), the only way she can. Each snake has their own personality quirks, just as we do.
    Makes sense and that's exactly what I was thinking so even when I eventually get to handling her again they will probably be shorter/less sessions. At least until she's comfortable/constantly eating. Gives me more time to play with my knucklehead, Remi who loves being out. He's always exploring and doing nice tongue flicks. Love their different personalities. Just wish she was more comfortable/confident but it is a big scary world for a little snake so I'm not blaming her for being terrified. I just got spoiled with Remi's personality lol. We also had a big party, not really big people wise just loud and scary noises/vibrations from the music, so I wonder if that's part of what freaked her out to regress this much.

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  11. #8
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Yes, I'd say the party likely had a lot to do with it. Snakes are so tuned into vibrations, it's amazing. One of my rat snakes was uncharacteristically hiding the other day (she's normally out on her driftwood when not in shed) after I'd had to restrain her to medicate a very minor mouth 'ding', which she vigorously fought. I knew she was upset with me, staying in her hide, but when I removed the top of her tank the next night (for feeding time) out came her little face, eagerly expecting my "room service"- so much for her pouting. But my point is, she was very tuned in to just those little vibrations. So a lot of activity probably has your snake thinking "is the sky falling?" This should pass in a few days, hopefully- but do take your time with her anyway- she's just more sensitive & shy.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  12. #9
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: My girl refused her meal

    Exactly. She's what most would probably call the typical BP. The shy and scared ambush predator that they are as babies. Little by little we'll show her the world isn't as scary as she thinks. I know it'll take a while but I also know she's worth the effort. Just the progress I've seen in her in the past couple months has been amazing. This is just another little hiccup in her life.

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  14. #10
    BPnet Royalty Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: My girl refused her meal

    I have a huge Pied Royal Python that will only eat if I give the thawed rat a good , hot blast with a hairdryer then leave it ‘warm’ in its feeding bowl .. lights off at night


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