Vote for BP.Net for the 2013 Forum of the Year! Click here for more info.

» Site Navigation

» Home
 > FAQ

» Online Users: 291

1 members and 290 guests
Most users ever online was 6,337, 01-24-2020 at 04:30 AM.

» Today's Birthdays

None

» Stats

Members: 73,584
Threads: 247,566
Posts: 2,561,897
Top Poster: JLC (31,651)
Welcome to our newest member, ballpython1223
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-01-2022
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Juvenile Blood Python feeding issues

    In early November I bought a juvenile Blood Python from a relatively well-known breeder on Morphmarket. The python arrived safe, sound, and in good health on November 4th.

    The breeder indicated that the python had eaten five meals. Two live mice to get him started and then he was switched to f/t small adult mice, which seems size appropriate.


    The snake is housed in a 16 qt tub. 83F hotspot, cool side around 78F. Humidity depends on the day but is generally around 70%. Sometimes a bit higher, sometimes a bit lower. I'm using coconut husk bedding. Multiple hides, water bowl, a piece of butcher paper covering everything inside the enclosure for added measure and 3 sides of the tub are covered.


    After 7 days I tried feeding the snake and he refused to eat. He showed absolutely no interest in the f/t adult mouse. I waited another 7 days and tried again. This time he ate, but only when the f/t mouse was dropped in the enclosure and he was left alone with it.


    Since the snake ate, I figured it was time to start handling sessions so I handled him a few times over the next week.


    The next feeding day he seemed absolutely uninterested in food again. I thought that it might be because of the handling sessions so I ceased handling him and waited another week.


    This Tuesday was two weeks from the last time he successfully ate and again he didn't feed. He seems afraid of the mouse if I tong feed and didn't take it when left in the tub overnight.


    I realize that two weeks isn't that long to go without food but I'd really like to get this guy eating on a consistent basis. I have a Borneo short tail that I bought in June and he'll eat anything at any time. I also have a hognose that rarely misses a meal, despite the fact that they are notorious for going on hunger strikes.


    Any suggestions?


    Since he has successfully eaten for me in the past should I just wait it out with the mindset that he'll eat again when he's hungry enough?


    Should I try putting him in an even smaller enclosure? A 16qt tub seems appropriate, but it's possible he needs something smaller to feel secure enough to eat?


    Appreciate any help or ideas you might be able to give.

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Homebody's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-19-2019
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    900
    Thanks
    3,319
    Thanked 1,159 Times in 650 Posts
    Images: 22

    Re: Juvenile Blood Python feeding issues

    He's a young snake in a new place. I'd leave him alone until he settles in. A pic of your blood and his enclosure would help us identify issues you may not be seeing. This link will instruct you on how to post: https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...-Post-Pictures.
    1.0 Normal Ball Python (2019 - 2021)
    1.0 Normal Children's Python (2022 - present)

  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Homebody For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (12-01-2022),GoingPostal (12-02-2022),Malum Argenteum (12-01-2022)

  4. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    18,700
    Thanks
    25,851
    Thanked 17,625 Times in 10,679 Posts
    For most any new snake (any age & any species), waiting until they've fed AT LEAST 3 times for you at regular intervals (unless in shed, then refusal is normal) is the recommended allowance before any handling. Snakes are essentially wild animals that rely on their instincts for survival, even when captive bred- & in the wild, anything that picks them up is normally a predator about to eat them. Try to imagine how you'd feel in your snake's place- would you feel like eating if a scary giant started picking you up? Hmm, maybe not...

    I have no experience with this species, but many years with many others, & I've learned that giving new snakes time to feel safe is what they need. That's not to say there's no improvements needed for your set-up or other techniques either- this is just a quick suggestion from what you've shared.

    Try not to keep making changes, unless absolutely necessary. Instead of switching to a smaller home right now, it would likely be better to offer hides & substrate that feel more secure where he is currently, than moving him again, which would only unsettle him further. In the wild they need to learn their way around (where to hide for safety both from predators & from temperature extremes) so every time their home is changed, it's unsettling to them.

    Also, when you first get a new snake, try to duplicate what was working for the breeder or source he came from- for that, you have to ask & press them for information, not just about what they're eating & how they're being fed, but the size & type of enclosure they were kept in. The more you find out, the better.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 12-01-2022 at 06:26 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    GoingPostal (12-02-2022),Homebody (12-01-2022),Malum Argenteum (12-01-2022)

  6. #4
    BPnet Senior Member GoingPostal's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-09-2009
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    1,326
    Thanks
    3,749
    Thanked 1,625 Times in 707 Posts
    Live would be the easiest suggestion but you should be fine waiting it out a bit before going there if you don't want to buy a mouse. As advised in the future don't handle new arrivals until they are feeding well, baby short tails can be pretty easily stressed like any baby snake because we are utterly terrifying to them. You'll have decades to handle once the snake is settled in, there's no rush.

    2.0 Python brongersmai
    1.1 Python breitensteini
    1.0 Python curtus
    1.0.1 Python regius
    1.0 Acrantophis dumerili
    1.0 Boa constrictor
    0.1 Heterodon nasiscus nasiscus
    0.0.1 Pantherophis guttatus

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to GoingPostal For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (12-02-2022),Malum Argenteum (01-19-2023)

  8. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-01-2022
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    It's been a while but I wanted to give people an update on this.

    The snake kept refusing f/t prey so I eventually broke down and started to feed him live. He has absolutely no issues eating live prey.

    However, despite eating f/t for the breeder and eating it once for me, he doesn't seem interested in f/t at all. In fact, he will actively hide from a f/t prey item if it's on tongs and if I drop feed f/t and leave it overnight he'll move to the opposite end of the tub to avoid it.

    Obviously, this isn't ideal, because I don't really want to have to feed live if I don't have to so if anyone has any tips or tricks to get him to switch over again, please let me know what they are.

  9. #6
    BPnet Veteran Homebody's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-19-2019
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    900
    Thanks
    3,319
    Thanked 1,159 Times in 650 Posts
    Images: 22

    Re: Juvenile Blood Python feeding issues

    Quote Originally Posted by meverhart View Post
    ...if anyone has any tips or tricks to get him to switch over again, please let me know what they are.
    I'm in the process of switching my Children's python to Reptilinks. One of the techniques that Reptilinks suggests is called "priming the pump." The way it works is you feed the snake a smaller version of its usual meal. Then, you follow with the food you're switching to. It works because the snake is always hungrier after it eats than it was before.
    Last edited by Homebody; 01-19-2023 at 07:57 AM.
    1.0 Normal Ball Python (2019 - 2021)
    1.0 Normal Children's Python (2022 - present)

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Homebody For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (01-19-2023)

  11. #7
    Registered User Malum Argenteum's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-17-2021
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    264
    Thanks
    399
    Thanked 578 Times in 223 Posts
    Images: 3

    Re: Juvenile Blood Python feeding issues

    Quote Originally Posted by meverhart View Post
    Obviously, this isn't ideal, because I don't really want to have to feed live if I don't have to so if anyone has any tips or tricks to get him to switch over again, please let me know what they are.
    My blood python experience is limited (two raised from hatchlings, then bred and those hatchlings started and sold), and they were super easy feeders but I'll mention things that have worked for other species.

    I don't see that you've mentioned offering rats. I had two rainbow boa neos that did well on FT mice for a while, and then they tapered off with interest in eating. Offering FT rats was a hit. That's going to be the best prey item long term, too.

    One thing I recommend to people who purchase any animals from me is to replicate the enclosure size and style and bedding and so on that I use exactly, until the animal gets settled in their care; it reduces the number of variables in the transition. How exactly was the snake kept at the breeder?

    Sometimes a snake turns its nose up at prey items that simply don't smell (or look? or? I don't know what's going through their heads) like it is used to being offered. Sometimes simply getting frozen prey items from a different source can do the trick.

    When I switch snakes from live to FT, I often offer prekilled after they're doing well on live. That way the smell is the same, it is only the motion of the prey that is different. Another option on this same topic is to wash the thawed prey item (this works very well with colubrids; I've not tried it with any boas/pythons) -- warm tap water and plain Dawn dish soap, then rinse thoroughly, then pat dry with a paper towel.

    Similar to what Homebody mentioned, I've had some success offering a live and a prekilled together at the same time (I work with smaller snakes, so putting both prey items in a bowl and letting the snake choose which or in what order to eat them works for me). I'll do that for a couple feedings, then offer only the prekilled prey.

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Malum Argenteum For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (01-19-2023),Homebody (01-19-2023)

  13. #8
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    18,700
    Thanks
    25,851
    Thanked 17,625 Times in 10,679 Posts

    Re: Juvenile Blood Python feeding issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    I'm in the process of switching my Children's python to Reptilinks. One of the techniques that Reptilinks suggests is called "priming the pump." The way it works is you feed the snake a smaller version of its usual meal. Then, you follow with the food you're switching to. It works because the snake is always hungrier after it eats than it was before.
    Or as I call it, serving a small live 'appetizer' & then offering the pre-killed food you're switching to. As noted, most all snakes are "pumped up" once they've wrangled their appetizer, & 2 items are not a problem as long as their total isn't bigger (or much bigger) than their usual prey. Just until they get the idea that what you want them to eat is really edible.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Homebody (01-19-2023)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.1