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Thread: Won't eat?

  1. #11
    BPnet Veteran Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    I think that a change in feeding habits of any snake of any species warrants a closer look*. As mentioned, enclosure parameters, enclosure design, issues with the prey items themselves, may be less than ideal -- and checking the specifics of those against other keepers' practices can lead to useful suggestions for improvement or alterations.

    Details about the snake itself -- weights, behavior, any other symptoms -- can help troubleshoot, too.

    Running the exact timelines (age of snake, when you got him, when he was used for breeding, how long ago that was, what were the prey items and dates historically and during the breeding period up to the present, etc) past other keepers might help someone to notice some connection. If the snake is 60 years old, that's a clue. If he was fed XL rats twice a week up until recently, that's a clue. If he was always a tricky feeder, that's a clue. And so on.

    *Importantly with ball pythons (and a couple other snake species -- hognose are like this too), sometimes a lengthy fast isn't a change in habits but rather is what we'd expect. Males not eating in some connection with breeding (the act, the presence of females, the time of year) is normal and doesn't necessarily mark a change. The first time a keeper experiences this sort of fasting, it may look like a change in feeding habits but this is only because the keeper hasn't yet figured out the habits of the snake/species (this can take a handful of years to see the patterns). Figuring out whether the fasting is something interesting from a husbandry or health POV can be a challenge at first, but isn't likely to be possible without a good amount of detailed information about both history and current care.

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    Won't eat?

    Well if all else has failed .. it’s time to try the all conquering “hairdryer method” of feeding

    :::



    My method is to thaw the mouse/rat near the snake viv during the day , then feed in the evening (wait until it’s dark / dim light )

    So wait until the snake is well settled under a hide , open the glass door , using tongs give the mouse a good blast with a hairdryer ( plugged in near the viv ) then immediately dangle the mouse in front of the hide entrance .

    If there’s no strike simply reheat with the hairdryer and again dangle it instantly whilst it’s still warm ... in the odd case you may have to repeat the process 5 or 6 times but in my experience it rarely fails .. .

    Follow the method closely and it works 90%+ of the time I’d say - the other 10% of the time I’d put down to the snakes being in shed mode or breeding mode or stressed and simply not interested in food .


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by MichPlat; 05-27-2024 at 01:03 PM.

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