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  1. #1
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    Feeding time frames

    Hey all, I have a 2 and half year old BP that has refused to eat for about 35 days (tried 4 times). Each time he would be interested but eventually go back to his hide every time, even after leaving him alone with it in a dark room. He's never been the picky type and has never gone this long without a meal. Last time I went to feed him (yesterday) I found him going into blue, so i won't been able to feed him for an even longer time now (he's never eaten during a shed)

    I know adult BPs can go a while without adverse affects from not eating, but I was wondering if this is an issue with one that is nearly an adult?

    Other than not eating, he is acting normally and everything husbandry wise is good, and is a healthy weight. Maybe just a phase he's going through? I'm hopeful that he'll be extra hungry after the shed and eat, even if it is a yucky frozen-thawed rat lol. Thanks in advanced for any help

  2. #2
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    Actually, this is rather typical- I wouldn't worry about it. Bear in mind that snakes can "feel" a shed coming before we can see the visible signs of it. Refusing food in shed is normal.

    When a snake refuses food, it only stresses the snake (& you) to keep offering- so don't offer more than once a week, & after a couple refusals, don't offer for 2 weeks at a time.

    Since he's always been eating for you, it's not likely to be the way you're offering food- but this behavior (fasting) is pretty typical for many adult BPs. They don't usually do this (fasting) when they're young & growing rapidly, but yours is past that now- he's growing up. And depending on where in the world you live, it's also winter- that puts many snakes off eating.

    It's also possible that he's actually over-fed- that can also make a snake refuse food- but without photos, we cannot say if that's the case or not.

    What does your snake weigh? And what exactly are you feeding him? (size & type of rodents, & how often he used to eat?)

    Many BP-keepers find that feeding adult male BPs nothing larger than a small rat results in a BP that eats consistently, whereas feeding them anything larger results in the snake fasting for periods of time- meaning they know when to quit, even if their owners don't. Might that be the situation with yours?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  4. #3
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    Re: Feeding time frames

    Wow thank you, that makes a lot more sense! I never considered it being related to winter. Heres a recent pic of him below (i would snap one now but yk..). I don't have the proper means of weighing him unfortunately but he's definitely not chubby and he is very active

    I feed him small rats, typically every 2 and a half weeks, I have been extending this time though considering he's basically fully grown. Do you think I should try feeding again right after he sheds or wait a little while? Ty again for the info

    Edit: btw, I am not necessarily worried about the amount of time it's been, more that he was so staunchly refusing it because he's never been the picky type.
    Last edited by coryo; 01-15-2023 at 01:42 PM.

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran Snagrio's Avatar
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    My BP is around the same age as yours. He only gets fed a small rat per month and is in perfect shape, they really don't need (and honestly shouldn't as the majority of BPs in captivity are overweight) to be fed on a bi-weekly basis by that age as most of their growing is done and these animals are experts at making the most of their meals.

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  7. #5
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    This might help? https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...-Post-Pictures

    Now I'm curious to see his body weight- as feeding "every 2 1/2 weeks" is a bit long- most BPs are fed weekly to every 10 days, depending on age, gender, & breeding status, but that's not saying your snake isn't just fine on this "schedule".

    After a snake sheds, don't jump right in with food- but wait a day or a couple days- they'll likely be acting very "interested" unless there's something else going on (like feeling the effects of winter).

    ****And speaking of winter- what are the temperatures in his home? That can make a WORLD of difference as to whether or not a snake eats. When they feel a chill in the air, & especially when the days get shorter (in winter), many take their cue to quit eating so they don't get "stuck" with food in their digestive tract that they cannot digest- that rotting food can actually kill a snake, so "natural selection" tends to weed out those snakes whose instincts don't tell them to quit eating at the right time when the seasons turned cold. See?****

    You mention your snake is restless yet refusing food- if his home is not warm enough for him to digest, that could be causing him to refuse food. Double check his temperatures & fix them first, for at least a week (if this is the problem?) & before offering food again.

    Are his heat sources on a thermostat? Do you live in a colder climate? Sometimes you need to insulate a snake's home, &/or add a heat source to raise the temperature for the season. (But still staying within safety guidelines, of course.)
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Feeding time frames

    Thanks for the info! Its not terribly cold where I live (rainy lately though) but my house does not have central heating so he relies on his tank's heating. The cool side is currently at 81 degrees and the warm side is 84, the hot spot at about 87 (where he has been sleeping the most lately). The humidity is hovering around 70%.

  10. #7
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    Re: Feeding time frames

    Quote Originally Posted by coryo View Post
    Thanks for the info! Its not terribly cold where I live (rainy lately though) but my house does not have central heating so he relies on his tank's heating. The cool side is currently at 81 degrees and the warm side is 84, the hot spot at about 87 (where he has been sleeping the most lately). The humidity is hovering around 70%.
    The temperatures in his home sound fine- at the moment- but you use the word "currently" so it begs the question, do they change at night? (Some people allow temperatures to drop at night- & you did say your place doesn't have central heating.) Snakes don't understand human needs, only their own, so if temperatures are ever allowed to drop (fluctuate), they take the cue to stop eating for what they instinctively perceive as the oncoming winter. If your home isn't on thermostat control, it's more important than ever that the heat sources for your snake are properly adjusted -and for safety (!) they need to be thermostat controlled- are they? If not, that could explain your snake refusing food. A snake won't eat if they cannot rely on having enough warmth to digest.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  11. #8
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    Another little possible reason for things...given the age of your guy....
    It is about breeding season in the northern hemisphere. Males can get pretty worked up this time of year. Food isn't the first thing on their mind. Lol.

    Also agree with the advice above. =)

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