Ball python issues

T-chick

Arachnosquire
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Feb 11, 2007
Messages
70
I have a sweet young ball who is about 13-14 inches long. I have a UTH under half the tank ( she shares with my broad headed skink), aspen bedding, a close hide that is also her water bowl, another hide by the heated side.
A long piece of cork for her to climb on (waiting to get a nice piece of wood)
A humidity gauge, a heat thermomator....
I have yet to get her to eat...
Now I just rehoused her from a 5 gallon to a 10 last night.. before she had the hot side, branch, close hide/water bowl.
I also use a clamp light with a full spectrum bulb over all three of my reptiles.
I prefer to feed dead and finding live pinky or fuzzy mice in the area is hard.
I could get a hopper...
Any ideas?

Carol
 

ErikH

Arachnoangel
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Mar 8, 2006
Messages
841
I am assuming your temps and humidity are correct? (78-84F cool side, approximately 90-93F warm). It may be the change to the bigger tank that is putting it off the food. Take four or five sheets of newpaper and crumple them up into loose balls, and put them in the tank so the snake can get around and feel like it isn't being watched. This seems to work to get them to eat again.
 

Mushroom Spore

Arachnoemperor
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Oct 14, 2005
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Only two things come to mind. First, how big are these mice and how big is she? I would think pinkies or fuzzies would have to be too small, my boy was on hoppers when I got him, and even those were probably too little. You should be feeding prey that's 1-1.5x the girth of the fattest part of the snake. HOWEVER this is for a snake that's already round and healthy. If yours hasn't been eating...is the body still round, or is the backbone prominent? If the latter, you should estimate how big a mouse size would fit her if she was round, and try that.

The other thing is this: where did you get this snake? Pet store or private breeder? How reputable a breeder?

Yes, rehousing a ball will usually put them off food, but you said she hasn't eaten at ALL since you got her?
 

T-chick

Arachnosquire
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I gave her a week in the new tank, I have had her nearly a month now. She was out and seemed hungry last night. I opened the tank up and she had gone back under her waterbowl/hide. I had thawed the fuzzy, and even rubbed it on one of my Degu (rodent related to chinchillas). She was fairly fat when I got her, last night she was much thinner, no I couldn't quite see her back bone.
I don't think she recognizes the dead mouse as prey.
I picked her up and gently opened her mouth, got the head of the fuzzy in her mouth and then set her down in her tank. She ate it.. it was barely IN her mouth, she could have released it. But she ate it.
I really Really REALLY did not want to have to do that. It is stressful to them.
I am hoping that in a few days I can try the other F/T fuzzy and she will eat it.
I purchased her the day after she came in from a california dealer with her clutch mates.
I will see how she does with the F/T fuzzy and then see if she will do a stunned hopper.
Carol
 

Bear Foot Inc

Arachnobaron
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Nov 8, 2006
Messages
408
I gave her a week in the new tank, I have had her nearly a month now. She was out and seemed hungry last night. I opened the tank up and she had gone back under her waterbowl/hide. I had thawed the fuzzy, and even rubbed it on one of my Degu (rodent related to chinchillas). She was fairly fat when I got her, last night she was much thinner, no I couldn't quite see her back bone.
I don't think she recognizes the dead mouse as prey.
I picked her up and gently opened her mouth, got the head of the fuzzy in her mouth and then set her down in her tank. She ate it.. it was barely IN her mouth, she could have released it. But she ate it.
I really Really REALLY did not want to have to do that. It is stressful to them.
I am hoping that in a few days I can try the other F/T fuzzy and she will eat it.
I purchased her the day after she came in from a california dealer with her clutch mates.
I will see how she does with the F/T fuzzy and then see if she will do a stunned hopper.
Carol

Lots of baby ball pythons need that "help" its not force feeding just getting them to recognize the food. Has alwais worked for me. Also a baby ball should be able to eat small adult mice. That is what i suggest feeding it, gives them the food they need compared to having to feed like 6 pinky's.
Sounds like you have a good setup there!

~Samuel
 

AnthrpicDecadnc

Arachnosquire
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May 22, 2007
Messages
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i was JUST having the same problem earlier today with my recently acquired ball. What you can do is put the mouse in a ziplock bag and immerse it in hot water. since the pythons primary mode of hunting food is through it's heat-sensing pits, it wont see the mouse (this is not always the case, every snake is different). well, that will warm up the mouse. then, when you're about to feed the python, put her in a box. a beer box works very well. Add the warmed up dead mouse, and put a pizza box over the top of the beer box. use something heavy to anchor it. i used an intake manifold :D. i let the snake sit for 15 minutes and checked on her. she had the dead mouse in her coil and i rejoiced. i hope this works. good luck!
 

GailC

Arachnoprince
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Sep 19, 2005
Messages
1,406
Yeah, they need really, really warm F/T. I use a blow drier to heat up my balls food.
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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Oct 20, 2006
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I also recently got a hatchling ball python... he wouldnt eat live fuzzy mice, wouldnt look at a really warm small adult f/t mouse... finally after two weeks he got hungry and ate a live mouse. If you're still having trouble maybe try live until the little guy is fattened up a bit, and then try experimenting with f/t. And I agree with the baggie in hot water technique, thats what I use for all the frozen food for my other snakes. Also try holding onto the mouses tail and wiggling a bit to get their attention. Sometimes all they need is that movement to entice them to strike.
 

AnthrpicDecadnc

Arachnosquire
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May 22, 2007
Messages
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I also recently got a hatchling ball python... he wouldnt eat live fuzzy mice, wouldnt look at a really warm small adult f/t mouse... finally after two weeks he got hungry and ate a live mouse. If you're still having trouble maybe try live until the little guy is fattened up a bit, and then try experimenting with f/t. And I agree with the baggie in hot water technique, thats what I use for all the frozen food for my other snakes. Also try holding onto the mouses tail and wiggling a bit to get their attention. Sometimes all they need is that movement to entice them to strike.
you would just have to be careful really, as live prey can inflict serious amounts of damage on a hatchling. Good luck with your ball, they are certainly a charming species of snake.
 

T-chick

Arachnosquire
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Feb 11, 2007
Messages
70
I have kept herps off an on for a number of years. and know the problems that live feeding can do. I prefer pre killed or frozen/thawed.
I did offer her in the second week a jumper mousling that I had just killed.
It was still warm, just killed a few seconds before trying to get her to eat it.
I am going to try another today.
My rat snake just molted so I know he is hungry, so if she doesn't eat it.. he will.
Carol
 

AnthrpicDecadnc

Arachnosquire
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Joined
May 22, 2007
Messages
80
I have kept herps off an on for a number of years. and know the problems that live feeding can do. I prefer pre killed or frozen/thawed.
I did offer her in the second week a jumper mousling that I had just killed.
It was still warm, just killed a few seconds before trying to get her to eat it.
I am going to try another today.
My rat snake just molted so I know he is hungry, so if she doesn't eat it.. he will.
Carol
well good luck with that. try rubbing the food on various creatures. i rubbed the thawed mouse on my leopard gecko, i dunno if that actually helped...
 

T-chick

Arachnosquire
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Feb 11, 2007
Messages
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She had no interest in a live hopper. I then stunned it.. no luck.. I then killed it.. no luck...
I left it alone with her.. she moved to the opposite side of the tank...
I then fed it to my other snake, after an hour or so.
 

ballpython2

Arachnoprince
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Feb 28, 2007
Messages
1,671
I have a sweet young ball who is about 13-14 inches long. I have a UTH under half the tank ( she shares with my broad headed skink), aspen bedding, a close hide that is also her water bowl, another hide by the heated side.
A long piece of cork for her to climb on (waiting to get a nice piece of wood)
A humidity gauge, a heat thermomator....
I have yet to get her to eat...
Now I just rehoused her from a 5 gallon to a 10 last night.. before she had the hot side, branch, close hide/water bowl.
I also use a clamp light with a full spectrum bulb over all three of my reptiles.
I prefer to feed dead and finding live pinky or fuzzy mice in the area is hard.
I could get a hopper...
Any ideas?

Carol
You dont really need all this stuff.... You can house your ball pythong in a good size bin made from rubbermaid or just any bin at all. on the bottom of one side you can use a UTH. inside for the substrate you should use paper towels or newspaper. This will keep the humidity and heat inside of it. and your ball will eat every time you want to feed it if its hungry. Also make sure inside the enclosure it has a water bowl and two hides. one hide will be directly over the UTH and the other won't be. This is so it can pick the tempetures it wants to be at for that current time. Actually if you live in the US some sizes in ball pythons can take really small adult mice.
 

jr47

Arachnobaron
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Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
597
some of mine would turn down food for long periods. i usually just left them alone till thet decided they wanted it. they will seldom starve.
one other suggestion. i had a bp that would only eat white mice or rats.it was injured when young by a rat. previous owner tried to feed it a rat when it was less than a foot. lost most of its tail and one eye. my kids named it one eyed willie of all things. :eek: if it had black on it other than maybe just avery little bit she wouldnt touch them. i seen an article once that suggested that they will take their first prey and from then on they relate the color of that prey with food and anything else is refused.
i know some people agree with that, some dont. im also well aware that they are color blind but they still can tell a black or black and white mouse from a white one.
 
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