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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Ginevive's Avatar
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    Considering ASFs.. have any advice?

    I am thinking of getting some ASFs. My friend has decided to keep her store open after all, and has about 5.5 of these in. I was on my way to work and thus did not buy them yet.
    So how are they to have? I love the fact that they do not get very huge, and the adults were just the size of rat that I feed my adult BPs.
    How are yours on litter sizes? My friend said that hers are pretty nippy, especially a female with babies. I do not care, as they would be bred for snake feed, not as pets.
    Any info or experience that you've had with them would be appreciated!
    -Jen. Back in the hobby after a hiatus!
    Ball pythons:
    0.1 normal; 1.1 albino. 1.0 pied; 0.1 het pied; 1.0 banana.

  2. #2
    Registered User BallNation's Avatar
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    Re: Considering ASFs.. have any advice?

    Run away fast J/K

    I would be very carefull with 5.5 Why you ask? I started with 1.3 last Jan. and by x-mas i had over 90. They are not the end all be all some make them out to be. All my guys ate them like gang busters to start out but by June had to go back to rats as my crew would not even look at them for some reason.

    Good Points
    1- Litter size 12-16 a pop
    2- No smell none
    3- Size as adults
    4- Easy to care for

    Bad Points
    1- They bite
    2- Litter size you can get run over very fast
    3- If your home is cold they will drop like flys
    4- Waste of food


    I know I'm missing alot but you get the point.

  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran monk90222's Avatar
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    Re: Considering ASFs.. have any advice?

    I have about 20 ASF's...I have not bred them yet as they are still growing to breeding size....

    I have to say, I keep them 1.3 or 1.4 in 10 gallon fish tanks...I go 2 weeks between cleanings and there is no smell..none....my problem is that they chew through water bottles all the time...I put 2x4 blocks in there and that slowed it down...
    If I were you I would pick up the 1.5.....

  4. #4
    BPnet Veteran slartibartfast's Avatar
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    Re: Considering ASFs.. have any advice?

    I'll vouch for the no odor thing.

    Also, I have mine in plastic tubs....and wheels. They run the wheels like crazy, but the tubs are still intact a month out.
    ~Jess
    Balls: 2.10 normal, 1.0 pastel, 2.2 het albino, 1.0 50% het pied, 1.2 poss. axanthic, 1.0 pinstripe, 1.0 black pastel,
    Misc. snakes: 1.1 blood python, 1.0 Tarahumara Mountain kingsnake, 0.1 RTB
    0.0.1 Red-eyed casque-headed skink
    1.2 dogs (Lab, Catahoula, Papillon-X), 6.1 cats, 1.0 foster dog
    6.4.8 ASFs
    1.0 Very Patient Boyfriend

  5. #5
    BPnet Veteran monk90222's Avatar
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    Re: Considering ASFs.. have any advice?

    I am actually moving to a rack system in the near future...I don't think they can chew through a brass sipper!

  6. #6
    BPnet Veteran frankykeno's Avatar
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    Re: Considering ASFs.. have any advice?

    Jen we have our original colony of ASF's in a large 30 gallon glass tank. We have a second trio we are just starting out in a smaller tank but they also have a 30 gallon for when they start producing litters. We keep only one mature male in with 2 females. This seems to produce a nice number of offspring that we can feed off quickly enough to avoid being overrun with ASF's.

    Due to issues of possible prey imprinting we feed the ASF's only to certain snakes and will be starting any hatchlings we produce and intend to sell or trade on regular rats.

    I do like the ASF's for their ability to get some of our snakes on a healthy eating pattern (especially the WC/LTC adults we have). I like that they don't smell and they produce consistently. I don't like that they tend to be nippy and you do have to watch them closely for that. They are also awful bottle chewers so I've gone to glass bottles for them. I haven't tried a wheel yet, so I may try that.

    All in all, I'd say I enjoy my regular rats more but I completely appreciate the role ASF's have in our feeding program and am glad Mike talked me into trying them.
    ~~Joanna~~


  7. #7
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    Re: Considering ASFs.. have any advice?

    I have a water-bottle chewer in one of my tanks.

    I solved the problem by putting the bottom 1/2" of a crystal-lite container over the exposed top end of the bottle. The container is a little larger than would be perfect, but gets the job done.

    I have no solution for the biting, but I think they're right to bite the person that feeds them to snakes.

  8. #8
    BPnet Veteran Rapture's Avatar
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    Re: Considering ASFs.. have any advice?

    I've had my trio for several weeks now and haven't had any problems. I pick them up by hand from their tails and transfer them into another container without incident. I've heard it is best to keep colonies permanent and avoid introducing different animals as much as possible. Instead of rotating males or females, just leave them all together and let them do their thing to avoid aggression toward one another. I have mine in a glass aquarium and use a glass water bottle and everything is working out fine. I would love to have them in a rack one day as long as they would not chew out of the tub. I've also heard it is a good idea to make sure they have some wood scraps to chew on. I would also pick up the 1.5 if I were you... they are really cute little rodents and I am happy I got them.
    -Diana

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  9. #9
    BPnet Veteran Ginevive's Avatar
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    Re: Considering ASFs.. have any advice?

    Wow.. being overrun would be a good thing at this point for me! Since my snake collection has grown, I cannot breed enough rats, and my friend (oddly, the woman who's selling the rats at her store) always pesters me in a friendly way to sell her some feeders. I usually end up buying from her though.. her breeder/seller is hard to get ahold of I guess.
    So.. I was thinking of getting some established (one male, harem setup) so that once I have hungry BP hatchlings this year, I will have a lot of food for them. My rat colony was near-repleted this year from hatchlings' needs for baby rats. Now, I increased the amount of normal rat females that I am raising now.. but I still fear being tapped-out. Worst case scenario; I could euth and freeze them if they overpopulate. I am thinking that Friday I will swing down to the store and pick up 1.3. I have a 30g-long tank just waiting.
    -Jen. Back in the hobby after a hiatus!
    Ball pythons:
    0.1 normal; 1.1 albino. 1.0 pied; 0.1 het pied; 1.0 banana.

  10. #10
    BPnet Veteran frankykeno's Avatar
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    Re: Considering ASFs.. have any advice?

    Diana, from everything I've read and my own experience it does seem best to leave the colony as it stands as far as the breeding group. We did try to introduce a female into our original 1:2 group. The male wasn't too bad to her but literally within seconds the two adult female ASF's very aggressively went after her, drawing blood and it seems they would have killed her had we not got her out of there quickly. Neither of our females has young litters with them, they just seemed to refuse to accept a new female into their established group.
    ~~Joanna~~


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