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  1. #1
    Registered User EthanMG's Avatar
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    Feeding help asap

    I have a three year old male ball python who never missed a meal for his whole life until about October of last year. Since then he has not eaten, and I have tried many different things such as the hairdryer method. I have been offering once a month as well. He always really interested and then hes about to strike and then randomly he just retracts and recoils and hides. So, I came up with the idea to wait until the night that hes active moving around his enclosure and then get a rat and thaw out the same night to feed him while hes looking for food. Is this possible? I have a sitting in a warm water filled bowl and changing it out, but the rat is not thawing out. Is it possible to thaw out an hour ish? Will the inside still be frozen and I cant tell? Any help would be appreciated!


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  2. #2
    BPnet Senior Member Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding help asap

    There are a lot of factors:

    1. When did he start eating frozen thawed?
    2. Did something change in October? Did you upgrade the enclosure or move the snake to a new home?
    3. How much does he weigh?
    4. Have you tried a different batch of rats?

    8 months is about where I would expect a full-size male to go off a hunger-strike (assuming no environmental conditions are out of alignment).
    A lot of my adult male bps are just starting to come out of breeding mode and are eating again-however, mine usually stop around February and resume in June.

    If his feeding schedule was consistent and he has not eaten since October: I would not rush thaw a rodent in the off-chance he might take one tonight. Feed him one that is frozen in the center and he might develop an immediate aversion.
    *.* TNTC

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  4. #3
    Registered User EthanMG's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding help asap

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Sorril View Post
    There are a lot of factors:

    1. When did he start eating frozen thawed?
    2. Did something change in October? Did you upgrade the enclosure or move the snake to a new home?
    3. How much does he weigh?
    4. Have you tried a different batch of rats?

    8 months is about where I would expect a full-size male to go off a hunger-strike (assuming no environmental conditions are out of alignment).
    A lot of my adult male bps are just starting to come out of breeding mode and are eating again-however, mine usually stop around February and resume in June.

    If his feeding schedule was consistent and he has not eaten since October: I would not rush thaw a rodent in the off-chance he might take one tonight. Feed him one that is frozen in the center and he might develop an immediate aversion.
    Okay thank you for the quick response! I did weigh him, and he is losing a little bit of weight but not very much. Over the 7ish months its been about 200 grams (1660>1445g). That makes sense that it is not a good idea to have the rats still be partially frozen and scare him from eating, but what I am wondering is there a way to be sure that the inside is not frozen at all?


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  5. #4
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    You have to feel it by hand to make sure it's no longer frozen- it needs to feel soft inside. Rats take a long time to thaw- they thaw fastest directly in water, & you have to change the water multiple times when it gets too icy cold. But don't thaw in hot water (because the outside gets warm enough to spoil while the inside is still frozen); thaw in cool water until it's soft throughout, & only then warm it in very warm water before offering.

    You can't really rush thawing rats- & snakes are likely to regurgitate a meal that's partially frozen. Regurgitation is risky, snakes can aspirate & die from it, so avoid causing regurges.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  6. #5
    Registered User EthanMG's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding help asap

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    You have to feel it by hand to make sure it's no longer frozen- it needs to feel soft inside. Rats take a long time to thaw- they thaw fastest directly in water, & you have to change the water multiple times when it gets too icy cold. But don't thaw in hot water (because the outside gets warm enough to spoil while the inside is still frozen); thaw in cool water until it's soft throughout, & only then warm it in very warm water before offering.

    You can't really rush thawing rats- & snakes are likely to regurgitate a meal that's partially frozen. Regurgitation is risky, snakes can aspirate & die from it, so avoid causing regurges.
    Okay thank you for the help. I thawed it in warm water and its definitely thawed now. Im putting it in hot now to heat before I present it to him. Only problem is hes back in his hide after these 2 hours


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  7. #6
    Registered User EthanMG's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding help asap


    SUCCESS! So far at least haha well see if he eats it. Man that feels good after 7-8 months.


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  9. #7
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    Re: Feeding help asap

    Quote Originally Posted by EthanMG View Post
    Only problem is hes back in his hide after these 2 hours
    Ball pythons tend to be ambush hunters by nature so that's okay! Most of mine are in their hides when I go to feed them, they're just waiting the the door with the snoot peeking out. And it looks like you finally had that success with it too!
    I'm glad you got him to take a meal. My oldest boy pulled a long hunger strike like that on me a couple of times. It's frustrating, but can just happen during the breeding season.

    A final thought on things though. It's hard to tell from the photo, but how is his body condition? Another factor to things is they will sometimes go off food when they start getting too heavy. How often was he eating before? An adult male usually doesn't need a meal each week unless you're giving very small prey. Obesity is fairly common in males especially. Keeping them on the lean side tends to keep them eating more regularly I feel.

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  11. #8
    Registered User EthanMG's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding help asap

    Quote Originally Posted by Armiyana View Post
    Ball pythons tend to be ambush hunters by nature so that's okay! Most of mine are in their hides when I go to feed them, they're just waiting the the door with the snoot peeking out. And it looks like you finally had that success with it too!
    I'm glad you got him to take a meal. My oldest boy pulled a long hunger strike like that on me a couple of times. It's frustrating, but can just happen during the breeding season.

    A final thought on things though. It's hard to tell from the photo, but how is his body condition? Another factor to things is they will sometimes go off food when they start getting too heavy. How often was he eating before? An adult male usually doesn't need a meal each week unless you're giving very small prey. Obesity is fairly common in males especially. Keeping them on the lean side tends to keep them eating more regularly I feel.
    Thanks for the response . He is healthy weight I think at least. Before he went off food he was eating once every 3 weeks to a month. A rat that weighs 12% of his body weight


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  12. #9
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    Okay good! Hopefully he'll just settle back into a similar pattern after this. That sounds like an okay size and schedule.

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