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  1. #1
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    When to start feeding new BP?

    Hi all! I am new to everything and received my ball in the mail last tuesday (so almost 6 days) and he had eaten 5 days prior. He is 2 MO old. I know to leave him alone for 1-2 weeks but I wanted to check to see when I should start trying to offer him food? He doesnít come out at all and he just shed/pooped 2 days ago so iím sure heís still adjusting. Will he come out more when heís hungry? I just want to make sure I donít do anything wrong haha!

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    Congrats on your new little one!
    You can try to offer food in another two days.
    BPs are more of an ambush hunter so unless they're settled in, a lot of times they hide away until prey is close enough to strike. If tomorrow you see a little snoot peeking out of the hide box, that's a good sign they're ready to eat soon. Typically they'll dart out of the hide and grab the meal, coiling it up in the hidebox, so be careful poking around the entrance!

    You're going to want to offer as close to what the breeder did for the first couple of meals just so that the prey seems familiar. After they settle in and start growing you can size up or attempt any other changes, but the first couple of meals are important.

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    Re: When to start feeding new BP?

    Quote Originally Posted by isp206 View Post
    I know to leave him alone for 1-2 weeks ...
    We usually advise keepers to wait wait for 3 feedings before any handling. Handling can put a young BP off food. That's why you want to make sure that it's feeding regularly before you start.
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    Re: When to start feeding new BP?

    Thank you so much! I will try to offer him some tomorrow. Should I offer it even if he isnít showing his snoot? Last time I checked he was completely burrowed underneath one of his hides.
    I set up a camera in front of his tank to detect motion and he didnít move all night and all day which has me concerned.

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    Re: When to start feeding new BP?

    Quote Originally Posted by isp206 View Post
    Thank you so much! I will try to offer him some tomorrow. Should I offer it even if he isn’t showing his snoot? Last time I checked he was completely burrowed underneath one of his hides.
    I set up a camera in front of his tank to detect motion and he didn’t move all night and all day which has me concerned.
    There's usually a reason for what our snakes are doing. While hiding is pretty normal for BPs, especially new ones, this is a good time to make sure he has the right temperatures, because a snake's metabolism (& hunger) totally depends on them being warm enough to get hungry & then to digest what they eat.

    I'm wondering if he's burrowing because he's seeking more warmth, or because he just feels more secure that way. Your new BP should have at least 2 hides (one cool side & one warm side), & for best results, they should not be too much bigger than your snake, when he's scrunched up inside- snakes feel more secure that way. It's hard to keep buying hides when your snake outgrows them, & what you can do is just wad up some paper towels -or use other substrate- to make a hide that's too big feel more cozy for your snake. (Hides should also have only one doorway, one that's not too "open", & snakes like low "ceilings" too.)

    Are you using UTH (under tank heat) or other type? And where he's burrowing, is that the warm hide or the cool one? Are all heating devices controlled by a thermostat? What is the temperature where he's been hiding? (You should have checked that before he moved in, for obvious reasons- to avoid disturbing him now. Keep in mind that while it's nice to know the ambient air temperature above or below heat sources, if you're using UTH you absolutely need to move the substrate away to check the surface temperature underneath, where snakes will touch sooner or later when they burrow & push the substrate around. You want to make sure it's not over 90* or your snake can sustain thermal burns, because they often don't realize they're injured & move away soon enough.) What are the warmest & coolest temperatures in his home? For some snakes (like BPs), even if part of their home is warm (like under a hide), if the rest of their home is too cool (like 70*) they may hesitate to eat. I'm hoping that's NOT why yours is burrowing right now.

    As far as feeding a snake that's not peeking out of their hide, it's probably worth trying (assuming his home isn't too cool, & that it's a sufficient time since the previous meal). I've been known to leave a pre-killed rodent just near the doorway of their hide at night, before turning out the lights. I usually fan some of the scent into the hide also. One thing about BPs though, is they want their dinner WARM- & if you offer it warm enough, that alone will help spread the aroma to where your snake is hiding. Keep in mind that some snakes won't grab prey that isn't slightly wiggling, as if alive, while others won't grab anything that's moving because it's "scary"- they may have been raised on f/t (frozen thawed). It helps SO much to know what your snake prefers- find out from the source exactly what & how he was fed, & do likewise. If yours likes a little movement in their prey, use long feeding tongs & DO NOT move the prey directly towards the snake- make it look like the prey is cluelessly just walking past where the snake is hiding- this is how it would happen in the wild. Rodents don't volunteer to be dinner, & BPs are ambush-predators, not active hunters.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 09-27-2023 at 03:21 PM.
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    Re: When to start feeding new BP?


    Thank you so much for your response!
    Here is my info:
    I am using an UTH mat and a heat projector bulb both connected to thermostats on the warm side. The UTH is on the outside of the tank on the glass while the probe is on the inside glued to the glass.
    The warmest ambient is 88 and the coolest is 74
    The UTH glass spot is 86ish
    84 in warm hide
    74 in cool hide with 70-80% humidity


    He’s burrowing on the warm side. I just checked and he’s back in the warm hide itself so no longer burrowing in substrate.


    The thing I am struggling with is humidity regulation, I mist everything at least 2-3x a day. The cool side with no lamp stays at least 69% while the warm side can sometimes drop down to 50 which I try to fix immediately. I try to keep both at least 60.
    I have a 20g glass tank with a mesh top lid and I use a mixture of fine coconut fiber and cypress mulch. I keep a plastic sheet over the mesh on the cool side right until it gets to the lamp. I try to keep a damp towel on the edge of the mesh on the warm side as well, I’m just not sure how to block the humidity in around the lamp.
    Last edited by isp206; 09-27-2023 at 06:32 PM.

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    Re: When to start feeding new BP?

    Some pics of your set up will help us advise you. This thread will show you how to post them: https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...-Post-Pictures.
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    Re: When to start feeding new BP?

    https://imgur.com/a/FR1L8pH

    Here are the photos!

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    Re: When to start feeding new BP?

    Quote Originally Posted by isp206 View Post

    Thank you so much for your response!
    Here is my info:
    I am using an UTH mat and a heat projector bulb both connected to thermostats on the warm side. The UTH is on the outside of the tank on the glass while the probe is on the inside glued to the glass.
    The warmest ambient is 88 and the coolest is 74
    The UTH glass spot is 86ish
    84 in warm hide
    74 in cool hide with 70-80% humidity


    He’s burrowing on the warm side. I just checked and he’s back in the warm hide itself so no longer burrowing in substrate.


    The thing I am struggling with is humidity regulation, I mist everything at least 2-3x a day. The cool side with no lamp stays at least 69% while the warm side can sometimes drop down to 50 which I try to fix immediately. I try to keep both at least 60.
    I have a 20g glass tank with a mesh top lid and I use a mixture of fine coconut fiber and cypress mulch. I keep a plastic sheet over the mesh on the cool side right until it gets to the lamp. I try to keep a damp towel on the edge of the mesh on the warm side as well, I’m just not sure how to block the humidity in around the lamp.
    Suggestions:
    Only measure the inside temperatures with a temp. gun- For SAFETY, take that probe OUT- it belongs directly UNDER the glass, sandwiched between the UTH & glass. Reason? Your snake WILL dislodge that probe- because they use everything they can to hang onto (no hands ) & when the probe gets pulled free it's going to overheat that UTH- it will no longer be reading over the UTH, so the UTH will be going full blast trying to bring the temperature up until you discover it...which may be too late to prevent disaster. Overheated UTH can burn or cause neurological harm to your snake, or it could short out & cause a fire- you don't want either one.

    The temps. sound good, but for humidity do not mist...it's not effective & stresses your snake (going from too much to too little). Instead, add some moisture (now & then as needed) to the mulch, provide a humid hide (if you want & if there's room) and most of all, cover that screen top as much as possible with aluminum foil*. (Leave only small gaps.) The heavy duty foil will hold up better- just cut out a circle where the lamp goes; you don't want meltable plastic near a hot lamp- foil is much safer (it also doesn't off-gas like warm plastic does). LOSE the moist towel, it's not helping- air goes right thru it, & humidity along with it. 70-80% humidity is only acceptable for when he's in shed- otherwise it's too high -you only need about 55-60% all the rest of the time, & don't worry about some fluctuation between the warm & cool side. *If you want something sturdier than aluminum foil, some have plexi-glass cut to fit, or you could use sheet metal. Various materials will work (block all air flow) but you want to use something that's not too heavy- for convenience. But for now, foil is easiest & safest & cheapest- it will do the job. (not saying it's the prettiest)

    Overall, you're doing quite well- you've just about got this, okay? We know it's a challenge.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 09-28-2023 at 09:33 AM.
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