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ball python feeding question

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by jesters22, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. jesters22

    jesters22 Arachnosquire

    i always feed my python live either small rats, or mice. but i switched this time to a prekilled frozen small rat, about the same size as the normal ones i feed. and roughly the same time frame in between feeding. but this time the snake did not want any part of the rat.

    my question is should i just discard the rat? re freeze it? keep it in the fridge and try tomorow? stick to live?

    i left it in the box i feed in for about 45 min or so.

    any help?
  2. jesters22

    jesters22 Arachnosquire

    now that i think of it, i wonder if the rat was not room temp yet? it didnt seem cold, but i could be wrong it was frozen around 4pm, and i tried to feed it at 7ish. it sat in my car unfortunately for the hours after purchased. *windows down*.. mayb ill try again later tonight.
  3. I have had to do the same numerous times with various snakes that people fed live rats/mice to. What always worked well for me was taunt feeding.

    First you wanna heat up your f/t mouse/rat because of their heat sensory pits are a major way for these guys to acknowledge warm blooded prey items. Your average rats body temp is around 38-39C or 100-102F. Ok so now, how I do this is I get 2 small ziploc or whatever containers and put the feeder into one then hot tap water in the other. Place the container with the rat so that it "floats" on top of the hot water container. Leave it sit for a bit until the water cools add a little more hot water flip the feeder over and sit for a few more minutes til it is warm to the touch and completely unfrozen. Just ensure you dont cook the feeder or submerge it in the water, I have noticed some snakes dont like wet food!

    Then I use 18" feedeing tweezers, but you can use whatever works for you to keep your hand a safe distance. Now you have to get the snakes attention by moving the prey item around whatever you feed them in to semi-mimic a rat running around the cage. Now when you have his attention continue moving the feeder in front of the snake til he assumes the strike position and grabs it. this may startle you at first.

    Another way to do it is to do everything mentioned before just cut a small slit on the head of the prey item. this is called braining, and as horrible as it seems it works with problem feeders. I usually have to do this with hatchlings quite a bit, until they get used to eating by them selves.

    Feeding live rats/mice to caged animals may be detrimental to their health. Especially small to jumbo rats, which will kill a snake, believe it or not, in a small enclosed space. Anyone with alot of time in the hobby has seen themselves or heard about snakes being either bitten or killed by mice/rats. I have personally seen this a few times with some of my collection. You turn around for a minute and wham! Snake is pounced on by a rat and dies. Or in the case of ball pythons I have heard about, they become too scared to eat mice/rats after a bite and will not eat again and eventually starve themselves to death. I only feed F/T and have alot of exotics and haven't much of an issue with it so far. Venomous are the only ones I feed live to, and I watch them like a hawk til bitten.
  4. jesters22

    jesters22 Arachnosquire

    well normaly my snake will grab the rat/mouse b4 it even lands on the ground of the feeder box. but after the last time the rat screamed for a while, i dont rele like hearing that. so i tried frozen. the rat after it thaw'd out started to bleed from the mouth/nose area and so their was blood that the snake could smell.

    i just tried putting the snake in with the rat again. but nothin.

    ill try the warming method in a little bit.