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  1. #1
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    Female retic feeding question during colder months (not eating)

    Hi,
    My 2019 female retic hasn’t been eating since the beginning of November. She was on white bunnies, but then I got her colored bunnies and she refused them after a few tries. Recently, I got her rats again which she use to love and I got her Guinea pigs since most snakes seem to always like those. She rejected both of them on 2 separate attempts. She has never been breed before and she is my only retic, only one other juvenile male ball python near by. I’m guessing it’s because it’s winter and she’s at breeding age. Also, she is a picky eater, took her forever to switch her to bunnies, from rats, so not sure if that can be the reason for not eating the last 3 months. How long does this usually last, if it’s because she’s going off feed? Thanks a lot!

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    There are many general reasons why snakes can be picky eaters. Some of these are:

    -Enclosure isn't warm enough. Double check all temperatures provided against what is standard care for these. (I don't keep them. Be patient for answers, some others here do.)

    -Snake feels insecure because they're kept in a high traffic area, or don't have enough hides, or your home is very noisy (snakes feel vibrations from bass notes very well).

    -Health reasons- might help to get her stool checked by a qualified (experienced) herp vet for parasites. This may help you find one: https://arav.site-ym.com/search/custom.asp?id=3661

    -If you're feeding frozen-thawed, maybe it's time to review the best way to do that- ways that don't promote the prey spoiling before it's offered to the snake.

    -Excessive handling by owners- some snakes don't mind so much, but others do, so if you've been handling this snake, quit- then wait a while & offer a meal again. Stress ruins many appetites.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  4. #3
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    Re: Female retic feeding question during colder months (not eating)

    Thanks for the detailed response! Sorry, I should’ve worded my post better. I feed frozen and have had her for 3 yrs, no prob with eating. I just meant it took her a while to get her to switch over to bunnies from rats about 12 months ago. If she’s one of those retics that does refuse food during breeding season, do you know how long that usually lasts and after how many months should I start worrying? But thanks again for the useful info above! I definitely follow everything you mentioned, including very little handling during these last 3 months, but I haven’t taken her to my herp vet for this situation.

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    Again, as I said before, I don't keep these so I don't know how long this issue typically lasts- stay tuned & hopefully more will answer that have experience w/ these.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  8. #5
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    in the wild, i believe the retic breeding season is Sept-Nov - so total time would be 3 months tho i know a herpetologist in Singapore that works with them heavily in the wild and can confirm for sure tomorrow

    with this being said it definitely seems like a mystery - if it is stress related perhaps you could consider offering an additional hide or extra foliage décor - if she is being picky because of the prey item itself and you’ve already tried a variety of rodents what you could also try is quails or some other bird type prey - if it is indeed because of breeding season and it’s already been 3 months, perhaps she’ll snap out of it soon - if all of these fail and it keeps refusing food then perhaps take them to the vet for a check up

    the only thing else i can possibly think of is prey presentation - if you always present it using tongs and putting it up to their face maybe try just leaving something in front of their den - i had to do this initially with my African rock python (after a couple months of that they’re now slamming mice like nobody’s business so perhaps you could do this)

    at any rate, hope you get this sorted soon my friend! will post tomorrow about the exact breeding season times if i’m wrong
    Last edited by YungRasputin; 01-23-2023 at 06:41 AM.
    het for nothing but groovy

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    Registered User YungRasputin's Avatar
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    update: talked to me pal and they said the above was correct and that their wild breeding season tends to be at the end of the year like O. hannahs/Kings
    Last edited by YungRasputin; 01-24-2023 at 09:09 AM.
    het for nothing but groovy

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    Re: Female retic feeding question during colder months (not eating)

    Thanks a lot for your info and also getting that info from your buddy! For your info above, I’ve tried tongs and it worked once, but most times, she will try to get away, so I always drop feed now and leave the room, which always worked until this food strike or whatever it is. I never tried quail, but I always had the option, but I guess I just heard people saying that the poop is messy, so I avoided using bird feeders. If your friend said that breeding season ends in November, and mine started to not eat in November, does that mean this prob has nothing to do with wanting to breed? I’m definitely not panicking, just trying to figure out why she’s not eating and I got good info from you and the other person above. I’ve had green anacondas so I’m use to picky eaters. But that’s pretty cool that you have a rock python. How old is yours?

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  14. #8
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    Re: Female retic feeding question during colder months (not eating)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jxjaxj View Post
    Thanks a lot for your info and also getting that info from your buddy! For your info above, I’ve tried tongs and it worked once, but most times, she will try to get away, so I always drop feed now and leave the room, which always worked until this food strike or whatever it is. I never tried quail, but I always had the option, but I guess I just heard people saying that the poop is messy, so I avoided using bird feeders. If your friend said that breeding season ends in November, and mine started to not eat in November, does that mean this prob has nothing to do with wanting to breed? I’m definitely not panicking, just trying to figure out why she’s not eating and I got good info from you and the other person above. I’ve had green anacondas so I’m use to picky eaters.
    imo not necessarily because the aforementioned breeding season is specific to the wild - they live in a tropical-jungle climate comparative to the simulated tropical-jungle climate within our enclosures in the states so it could be, hypothetically true, that a drop in your local temperature, could slightly altered the terrarium “climate” which then prompted the snake to assume it was said season - i am still learning about snake breeding and my studies are moreso about burms, scrubs, Afrocks, etc - but from what i know, i reckon this could, in theory, be a possibility

    but now that you say this re: prey presentation perhaps she has grown bored and needs a fight? cuz feeding my scrub python (which i would argue are a v comparable species to retics - intelligence/behavior wise) is always an event and “the struggle” is part of his routine - so it makes me wonder this because i have always assumed that “the struggle” is part of my scrub’s personality because he is so clever - retics are also v clever so perhaps there is a want for more, intellectually stimulating and physically challenging, hunting?

    But that’s pretty cool that you have a rock python. How old is yours?
    he’s just crossing over into juvenile territory and is about 5 months or so - he’s just a giant BP that hisses instead of balling up tbh lol
    Last edited by YungRasputin; 01-24-2023 at 01:40 PM.
    het for nothing but groovy

  15. #9
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    ^my scrub python will be 2 years old in a couple months so probs a better comparison all around to your retic i think
    het for nothing but groovy

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