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  1. #11
    Registered User spiralout_keepgoing's Avatar
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    Re: Another new dad worry post; first BP

    Aha, gotcha both. That makes sense. I was only concerned about how long it's been, since it'll be nearly three weeks since she last ate if all goes afford to plan. And I believe that's correct yes, she was in a rack from what the breeders messages show.

    That all makes sense to me. As far as temp dispersement with her UTH, yeah the gradient is good as mentioned. High 80s to 90 (it'll be more precise in a day or two with the new thermostat). I feel a lot better about that end of things.

    Small hide measurements looked good to me from what I'm seeing. They are just slightly bigger than the black plastic tupperware you see in the photo.

    As for food, she was being fed mice but not sure about eyes open or closed. The one I tried with was closed.

    Truth be told, I want to move her to frozen thawed but may end up doing live for this first feeding. I'm not feeling super confident about switching her while also getting her cozy for her first meal with me.

    Idk though I'm torn.

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  3. #12
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    Re: Another new dad worry post; first BP

    Quote Originally Posted by spiralout_keepgoing View Post
    Aha, gotcha both. That makes sense. I was only concerned about how long it's been, since it'll be nearly three weeks since she last ate if all goes afford to plan. And I believe that's correct yes, she was in a rack from what the breeders messages show.

    That all makes sense to me. As far as temp dispersement with her UTH, yeah the gradient is good as mentioned. High 80s to 90 (it'll be more precise in a day or two with the new thermostat). I feel a lot better about that end of things.

    Small hide measurements looked good to me from what I'm seeing. They are just slightly bigger than the black plastic tupperware you see in the photo.

    As for food, she was being fed mice but not sure about eyes open or closed. The one I tried with was closed.

    Truth be told, I want to move her to frozen thawed but may end up doing live for this first feeding. I'm not feeling super confident about switching her while also getting her cozy for her first meal with me.

    Idk though I'm torn.
    I'm very much in favor of feeding f/t or fresh/killed (ie. dead prey) for safety (sooner or later, snakes get injured, sometimes badly, when rodents squirm & twist enough to get in a bite) but I've bred & raised many snakes, & I usually feed live to start off, just to make sure their instincts kick in properly. After several meals, they generalize better- they recognize the scent & they're hungry & used to eating in their new home, so they're more determined to eat. I would NOT try to switch to f/t prey yet- for best results, you want to feed your snake food that it recognizes for a few feedings- she's already stressed enough with a new home. Time to "settle in" (time for the snake to feel safe in new surroundings) is more important than you might think.

    There is NO danger feeding live rodents (mice or rats) as long as their eyes are closed- they do not fight back at all. But, "fuzzy mice" as they're called, are too small to be a real meal- at least if you're only feeding one. (The equivalent to a hopper would be at least 4 or 5 fuzzies. Btw, I've also raised rodents for decades to supply all my snakes.) What was the breeder feeding her?

    When it comes to feeding f/t, the trick with BPs is that the dead rodent MUST be warm enough- & rodents have a high metabolism. So once you thaw* a frozen rodent in cool water (*check to make sure it's thawed by feeling the rodent mid-body by hand- it should all be soft, not frozen), then you want to soak them for about 5 minutes in very warm (not hot) water to warm them up, then blot off the water on a paper towel. They do cool off fast, so either offer immediately, or what many have the best results with is using a blow dryer- especially on the rodent's head to really heat them up right before offering. (No fancy hairstyling needed. ) Obviously, you only want to do this when you can see first that your snake is 'looking for prey'.

    If you don't have feeding tongs, you need them- otherwise your nice warm hand has a bigger heat signature than the little mouse you're waving around...guess which one your BP will likely chomp on? I prefer large (12") tweezers, but you can also use blunt-ended BBQ kitchen tongs to feed snakes too. Just don't get in their way, haha.

    Now what I'd do with this snake to feed: if she's taking live fuzzy mice, I wouldn't try to feed her from the tongs. I also don't like to leave young rodents crawling around in a snake's home, because they sometimes get lost in the substrate, or the snake gets a mouthful of substrate instead of the rodent when they try to catch it.

    A good trick with BPs (it helps them feel braver, like they have the "upper hand") is to put the live fuzzy(s) in a shallow flat bottomed bowl that's deep enough so they can't escape (about 2.5 - 3") and heavy enough so the snake leaning on the side won't tip the bowl. In this way, the snake can see, study, & strike the fuzzy in their own good time, in the dark of night (you don't have to stay up) & they feel safely out of reach of their prey too- snakes aren't always as brave or confident as you might think. They have to learn, just like all youngsters, & they get better quickly with practice.

    BTW, that's a beautiful BP you've got there.

    And- I almost forgot- Snakes get much easier to figure out when you've kept them for a while- they're not like other pets, plus, they can have their own personality quirks too.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 02-27-2024 at 06:11 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  5. #13
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    Re: Another new dad worry post; first BP

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I'm very much in favor of feeding f/t or fresh/killed (ie. dead prey) for safety (sooner or later, snakes get injured, sometimes badly, when rodents squirm & twist enough to get in a bite) but I've bred & raised many snakes, & I usually feed live to start off, just to make sure their instincts kick in properly. After several meals, they generalize better- they recognize the scent & they're hungry & used to eating in their new home, so they're more determined to eat. I would NOT try to switch to f/t prey yet- for best results, you want to feed your snake food that it recognizes for a few feedings- she's already stressed enough with a new home. Time to "settle in" (time for the snake to feel safe in new surroundings) is more important than you might think.

    There is NO danger feeding live rodents (mice or rats) as long as their eyes are closed- they do not fight back at all. But, "fuzzy mice" as they're called, are too small to be a real meal- at least if you're only feeding one. (The equivalent to a hopper would be at least 4 or 5 fuzzies. Btw, I've also raised rodents for decades to supply all my snakes.) What was the breeder feeding her?

    When it comes to feeding f/t, the trick with BPs is that the dead rodent MUST be warm enough- & rodents have a high metabolism. So once you thaw* a frozen rodent in cool water (*check to make sure it's thawed by feeling the rodent mid-body by hand- it should all be soft, not frozen), then you want to soak them for about 5 minutes in very warm (not hot) water to warm them up, then blot off the water on a paper towel. They do cool off fast, so either offer immediately, or what many have the best results with is using a blow dryer- especially on the rodent's head to really heat them up right before offering. (No fancy hairstyling needed. ) Obviously, you only want to do this when you can see first that your snake is 'looking for prey'.

    If you don't have feeding tongs, you need them- otherwise your nice warm hand has a bigger heat signature than the little mouse you're waving around...guess which one your BP will likely chomp on? I prefer large (12") tweezers, but you can also use blunt-ended BBQ kitchen tongs to feed snakes too. Just don't get in their way, haha.

    Now what I'd do with this snake to feed: if she's taking live fuzzy mice, I wouldn't try to feed her from the tongs. I also don't like to leave young rodents crawling around in a snake's home, because they sometimes get lost in the substrate, or the snake gets a mouthful of substrate instead of the rodent when they try to catch it.

    A good trick with BPs (it helps them feel braver, like they have the "upper hand") is to put the live fuzzy(s) in a shallow flat bottomed bowl that's deep enough so they can't escape (about 2.5 - 3") and heavy enough so the snake leaning on the side won't tip the bowl. In this way, the snake can see, study, & strike the fuzzy in their own good time, in the dark of night (you don't have to stay up) & they feel safely out of reach of their prey too- snakes aren't always as brave or confident as you might think. They have to learn, just like all youngsters, & they get better quickly with practice.

    BTW, that's a beautiful BP you've got there.

    And- I almost forgot- Snakes get much easier to figure out when you've kept them for a while- they're not like other pets, plus, they can have their own personality quirks too.
    Why thank you! I'm glad to join the community and get myself educated! Considering I want this girl to live a long and happy life alongside me, I'm really glad I reached out and started my research.

    Noted on all the feedings notes. Yeah I think starting her on live for her first couple of meals is a wise choice, given everything is so new here for her. I do have 12" tweezers, I bought two specifically for this exact purpose.

    I don't know exactly what she was fed, but I do know I had brought home a fuzzy. I'll be looking to get something a bit more substantial hopefully early next week then. For now, I'm just gonna keep her on paper towels for now (still within the first 30 days anyway, and thankfully no mites or other crawlers) so the substrate element shouldn't be an issue.

    And again, thank you. This eases SO MUCH of my anxiety about all of this. I've only ever kept a corn snake back in my 20s and I didn't exactly do a good job for the lil guy, so it hits a little extra hard when I think I'm messing things up for her.

    But with all this info, she's gonna be one happy snake in due time.

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  7. #14
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    We were all new to snake-keeping at one time or another. I wish there'd been a forum like this when I first got into snakes, & we're just here to help make it easier, if we can.

    BTW, I'm glad you're keeping her on paper towels for a while, to make sure there's no mites.

    As far as finding live prey that's more substantial than a fuzzy mouse, the sizes basically go from pinky (way too small- first food for corn snakes), to fuzzy (slight hair, still nursing, eyes closed) to hoppers (eyes open, weaned or nearly so, eating solid food & very active) to adult mice. It would be really nice to know if your snake has taken hoppers before- if you can call or text the breeder, I would certainly ask.

    If not, you'll have to decide if you want to risk offering a hopper, or try a "crawler" rat? That's like a fuzzy, eyes closed & harmless, but much bigger than mouse fuzzy, & about as filling "meal-wise" as a hopper mouse. The "risk" is not from the crawler rat itself, but from the fact that rats & mice smell & taste very different to snakes- some snakes like one or the other, but not both. BPs especially tend to be fussy eaters but yours may not be? Some snakes will happily take either one, but some snakes will fixate & only want rats from then on- no way to know. Yours might even show fear & refuse a baby rat. Yes, really. No way to know until you try. The other thing is that rats with eyes open are far more formidable to snakes than mice are, so you really need to be committed to getting your BP on f/t or p/k prey. Rats are much smarter, bigger & bite harder- larger rats can kill snakes that aren't good at dealing with them. (Rats also make great pets, whereas mice really don't.)

    I don't know what area you live in, but also think about making sure you have a steady supply of whatever live prey you're using- some places, people can't get them at all, or it's very hard (or expensive). That's a huge advantage to f/t prey- having a supply in your freezer- instead of dealing with a local pet store if they don't have a lot of business with live feeders; you need the right size for your snake & suppliers can be very sporadic. That's a big reason I got into breeding my own rodents- then ended up supplying others, including pet stores. But I had many snakes- you don't want to raise rodents for one or 2 snakes, trust me.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 02-27-2024 at 07:24 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  9. #15
    Registered User spiralout_keepgoing's Avatar
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    Re: Another new dad worry post; first BP

    Thankfully I live in a good spot it seems like, western Washington seems to have plenty of good options.

    So, an update as I attempt to not to over think things - The hides I ordered finally shipped, but won't be here until next Thursday (the 7th). I was hoping it'd be sooner given that my thermostat from the same site arrived within two days of shipping, meaning I was also hoping to feed her by this weekend or by Monday at the latest.

    Now it looks like if I wait, I won't be feeding her until next weekend. It sounds like that isn't a huge difference but it has me anxious, because I also hope she isn't losing weight in this time.

    So my two options are either wait for those hides, or use the left over black plastic tupperware I still have, and this time don't cut them shorter but instead just put proper sized entrances and filled them some kind of filler to make them more snug.

    To note, she has taken to the improper black hide shown in the previous picture pretty well for now, though I definitely understand how the big opening would make her feel less secure in the long run.

  10. #16
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I think you can 'make-shift' the hide situation for now & go ahead & feed if you want, though waiting would not likely be any big deal either- snakes in the wild usually eat FAR less than we feed our pets.

    You can modify what you have, or maybe add something in front of & over that "open" hide to afford more privacy, or cut some cardboard boxes to be better hides for the time being, though it might take more time for her to really feel comfortable in them anyway.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  12. #17
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    Re: Another new dad worry post; first BP

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I think you can 'make-shift' the hide situation for now & go ahead & feed if you want, though waiting would not likely be any big deal either- snakes in the wild usually eat FAR less than we feed our pets.

    You can modify what you have, or maybe add something in front of & over that "open" hide to afford more privacy, or cut some cardboard boxes to be better hides for the time being, though it might take more time for her to really feel comfortable in them anyway.
    That's a fair point. I'm going to sit on it this morning and afternoon and see how I feel later instead of making any specific choice for now. I think I've just internalized the 7-10 day schedule to the point where I feel like I'm doing something wrong if I wait any longer, so it's a good test to let some anxiety go haha. I do have plenty of foliage I could fasten along the sides and top of the current make shift hide.

    By the way, I heard back from the breeder and she said Ophelia (what I named her) was eating medium sized adult mice. I guess I'm kind of surprised, I assumed with her size she could only take hopper size. Snakes are wild

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  14. #18
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    Re: Another new dad worry post; first BP

    Quote Originally Posted by spiralout_keepgoing View Post
    That's a fair point. I'm going to sit on it this morning and afternoon and see how I feel later instead of making any specific choice for now. I think I've just internalized the 7-10 day schedule to the point where I feel like I'm doing something wrong if I wait any longer, so it's a good test to let some anxiety go haha. I do have plenty of foliage I could fasten along the sides and top of the current make shift hide.

    By the way, I heard back from the breeder and she said Ophelia (what I named her) was eating medium sized adult mice. I guess I'm kind of surprised, I assumed with her size she could only take hopper size. Snakes are wild
    That's great that you found out for sure what she was fed previously. As I said before, it's best to offer a new snake the same (or roughly the same) as what they ate before. I would tend to go with "slightly smaller than previously fed", in this case a hopper- ie. just weaned- mice- only because a new snake is a little less confident in a new home.

    I wouldn't make major changes right now (in her home), but just some privacy tweaks if possible. I wouldn't droop any foliage over the front of that "hide" though, assuming your snake will be in there waiting to grab the prey, since the foliage could get in the way & cause an epic fail.

    Like the name Ophelia, btw- The more you know about snakes, the more fascinating they become. And "addicting"- so next time, get all the info before you bring home a new snake- it just makes it easier to help them adjust. Don't feel bad though, we've all blown it in our excitement of the moment.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  16. #19
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    Re: Another new dad worry post; first BP

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    That's great that you found out for sure what she was fed previously. As I said before, it's best to offer a new snake the same (or roughly the same) as what they ate before. I would tend to go with "slightly smaller than previously fed", in this case a hopper- ie. just weaned- mice- only because a new snake is a little less confident in a new home.

    I wouldn't make major changes right now (in her home), but just some privacy tweaks if possible. I wouldn't droop any foliage over the front of that "hide" though, assuming your snake will be in there waiting to grab the prey, since the foliage could get in the way & cause an epic fail.

    Like the name Ophelia, btw- The more you know about snakes, the more fascinating they become. And "addicting"- so next time, get all the info before you bring home a new snake- it just makes it easier to help them adjust. Don't feel bad though, we've all blown it in our excitement of the moment.
    For sure, and noted

    That's the funny thing, I genuinely thought I was ready by the time I got her. But I kept running into little things that turned out I wasn't quite as prepared as I thought I was. Oh well, can't change that fact now. It's not unlike me to learn things best by doing them, but of course you gotta be careful with that way of doing things when it involves another creatures life.

    I do appreciate the advice, it's been very useful.

  17. #20
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    When looking at potential new occupants of my home (be they reptile or otherwise), I usually take with me a list of questions I need answers to, & before committing to or leaving with the creature in question, I make sure I have them all answered satisfactorily. I don't trust my memory either, under such circumstances-
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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