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Thread: Won't eat?

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    Won't eat?

    I have 2 males. Used both to breed. The one is back on food and had several meals. The other still will not eat. Gave him a soak. Clean new cage. Tried smaller rats to get him started and still nothing. Can anyone help? Sounds crazy. Heard a car ride might help. Please help.

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    Often food refusal has to do with husbandry...& you've shared no details so it's hard to help you. We hate to assume...

    It's possible this snake is not healthy. You said he was "used to breed"...do you own the female or was he loaned out? Exposure can happen anywhere, & maybe he's sick?

    I can recall member & BP-breeder (Deborah Stewart) had said that a half-hour car ride could help. That makes no sense to me personally, but I'm not a BP-breeder so maybe try it?
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    My male. My female. Same enclosure. Was told to change the bedding clean enclosure and give him a soak in warm soapy water to get the smell of the female off. Still nothing. The other male went back on feed after a short break.

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    Off the top, I'd say housing them together is likely the problem- (Is that what you meant? That they're housed together? Sometimes a few more words can really help.)

    But enclosures with wrong temperatures, wrong humidity, lack of security (hides etc.) & issues with the food are all contenders.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-20-2024 at 01:23 PM.
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    Housed in his own enclosure . He has hides in hot and cool side. Never had a problem eating till he went off feed this year.

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    Re: Won't eat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshı977 View Post
    Housed in his own enclosure . He has hides in hot and cool side. Never had a problem eating till he went off feed this year.
    So what you meant to say was "equal enclosures"...I'm glad. How's his body weight? Has he lost any from this long fast? When did he last eat?
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-20-2024 at 07:26 PM.
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    Re: Won't eat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshı977 View Post
    I have 2 males. Used both to breed. The one is back on food and had several meals. The other still will not eat. Gave him a soak. Clean new cage. Tried smaller rats to get him started and still nothing. Can anyone help? Sounds crazy. Heard a car ride might help. Please help.
    The car ride part is humor correct? If not, that won't help and potentially cause stress.

    Going "off" food is completely normal for the species and it is usually the first thing people worry about. IF, and I say IF you have your husband dialed in and there are no signs of illness, there is nothing wrong with a Royal that doesn't eat.

    6 months to a year is not unheard of.

    The care sheet here and the multitude of sources that discuss this particular species all mention the fact these critters will go off food. People tend to relate feeding snakes to feeding other pet types. It is unfortunate because many reptiles have evolved over several million years to go extremely long periods without food. Most people feed dogs too much food so if you can imagine that mindset and relate it to a reptile you can see why refusal makes you think you are doing something wrong.

    Feeding is an interaction between the keeper and the animal and it is human nature to care about your pet. Problems arise when reptiles designed to fast are fed constantly. That may not be what is going on since you didn't mention how often you offer food, or how long the snake has not eaten. 90% of the time the snake, especially this species will resume eating on its own schedule.

    Having studied this and seeing it in almost every species I've kept tells me that you have nothing to worry about. You are causing your own stress by assuming a snake of this type needs to be on a "schedule".

    How long has this refusal lasted? Were there any traumatic issues during the breeding?

    Is the animal kept in a dark room or high traffic area?

    Again, unless there are signs of illness, I would ride it out.

    Our Royal goes off food almost every year for 7 months sometimes longer. When she is ready, she shows interest, and a lot of it. It took some time to learn this animal and I know what to expect.

    We've had refusals from almost every python here. A retic, 2 coastal carpets and the royal. 1 carpet and the royal have been the ones to fast the longest.

    The only ones that haven't gone extended periods here are the boa constrictor and the Bredli and I manage them to prevent over feeding.

    More information would help.

    The simple answer is either there is nothing wrong, or you need to see a specialist.

    My thought is the second part would be glaringly obvious.

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    Re: Won't eat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gio View Post
    The car ride part is humor correct? If not, that won't help and potentially cause stress.
    No, serious- I can remember Deborah Stewart (Stewart Reptiles & former mod here) posting that- she bred plenty of BPs. I agree with you, Gio, it's not something I'd do either. It makes no sense?

    And to whom it may concern- since we're not supposed to post advertising links to businesses here (only in the proper forum for "sale-trade-adoption-or wanted") fyi- it appears she no longer does this, but she did successfully for a long time.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-21-2024 at 03:18 PM.
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    Re: Won't eat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    No, serious- I can remember Deborah Stewart (Stewart Reptiles & former mod here) posting that- she bred plenty of BPs. I agree with you, Gio, it's not something I'd do either. It makes no sense?

    And to whom it may concern- since we're not supposed to post advertising links to businesses here (only in the proper forum for "sale-trade-adoption-or wanted") fyi- it appears she no longer does this, but she did successfully for a long time.
    That would have to be a multiple BP double blind study to confirm anything concrete.


    If there was a case or even a few that linked a car rides to resumed feeding in BP's that were refusing food and restarted because of those rides would be something rare and incredible. I think the example given may have been related to a few animals and perhaps just luck. Car rides are not a desired option to induce a feeding response.

    The species refuses food and eats when it is ready.

    An established royal not eating is very much the norm.

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    Re: Won't eat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gio View Post
    That would have to be a multiple BP double blind study to confirm anything concrete.


    If there was a case or even a few that linked a car rides to resumed feeding in BP's that were refusing food and restarted because of those rides would be something rare and incredible. I think the example given may have been related to a few animals and perhaps just luck. Car rides are not a desired option to induce a feeding response.

    The species refuses food and eats when it is ready.

    An established royal not eating is very much the norm.
    I'm sure it was anecdotal evidence, not an actual study, & I don't recall the explanation either, if there even was one? I thought it was crazy then & I still do. But things happen by coincidence & are then attributed as if the result of. Much more likely to have the opposite effect if you ask me- ie. more likely to put a snake off eating.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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