Question about aspen snake bedding

Scolopendra55

Arachnoprince
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I just got my first snake today (juv ball python :D) and I have a question about her substrate. I'm using ZooMed "Aspen Snake Bedding" and I just noticed she had a piece in her mouth and I had to go in and take it out. I was just wondering if this is suitable substrate and this is just a freak accident,this is after all supposedly the #1 prefered snake bedding by the pro's and it has a pic of a ball python right on the front (as if that means anything :rolleyes:) or if I should use an entirely different substrate entirely.
 

Mushroom Spore

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Aspen is pretty widely recommended, even among experienced hobbyists (which are generally a better source of info than any pet store or advertising {D ). I've been using it for a year myself with nothing but good things to say about it.

I'm not sure how your snake would have gotten a piece in her mouth, I've never heard of a snake just randomly eating substrate. Do you feed in the enclosure (which should never be done when using loose substrate)? Was it IN her mouth or just loosely caught at the edge or something? That's just odd, I wonder how it happened. :?
 

Scolopendra55

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It was completely in her mouth. I know not to feed her in her cage so it wasn't because of that (I havn't even fed her yet as I only got her yesterday). If you havn't had any problems I'll keep the substrate and just keep an eye on her.

One more question: The guy at the petstore said that they wont eat F/T mice and that she will only take live. Is this true? Because I have a neighbor with a freezer full of mice and it would be nice If I could just buy some from him.
 

GailC

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Most all snakes can be taught to take F/T, all you can do is try. I have a corn who only wanted live but I kept slitting her F/T mice and now she takes them with no problem.

Balls can be a bit more difficult to switch over but it can be done.
 

C_Strike

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Tell me about the probs with balls! lol,
They are a pain depending on individuals..mine will make one strike at it, if she fails or the prey stops moving too quick she will loose interest..we cant feed live here either. though i do have a time justifying the life of something with intelligence for the sake of a pet.
Crix no probs, tris an intelligence factor
 

Mushroom Spore

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It was completely in her mouth. I know not to feed her in her cage so it wasn't because of that (I havn't even fed her yet as I only got her yesterday). If you havn't had any problems I'll keep the substrate and just keep an eye on her.
Yeah, she may just be prone to doing something dumb that we don't know about. Maybe she tried to yawn and burrow at the same time or something. {D They do love substrate that they can dig in, though, so I wouldn't take her off it until it becomes necessary for her health.

The guy at the petstore was either ignorant or wanted you to become a regular buyer of their live mice. Balls CAN be picky shits, whether learning to take pre-killed prey or when they're big enough to go from mice to rats, but with time and patience and plenty of research, *most* of them can learn. If yours is used to live prey, I'd buy a long pair of tongs, take one of those thawed mice in about a week or so, and wiggle it in the feeding box. You never know what might happen, though it might take a while. :)
 

AviculariaLover

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Oct 20, 2006
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When I purchased my ball python she had been feeding on live young rats, so I started feeding her live mice. It was fun to watch, until one day I was in a rush and left a mouse in the tank with her (I know, big no-no). A short while later the mouse was nowhere to be seen, the snake was coiled up in her hide, I figured business was over as usual. However, teh mouse was buried in the shavings. The next morning I found a snake with some very very big nasty wounds. She has since healed up nicely but scars can still be seen. And other times I would hold the mouse by the tail above her till she struck at it. THis was fine until one day the mouse bit her right on the nose! And other times even in the feed box, under my supervision, the mouse could move quickly to defend itself, and if the snake isnt in the mood, it means trouble unless you're really quick. I then killed the mice directly beforehand, which she took eagerly. After a few weeks of that, I started her on f/t, and she's had very few problems since then. Occaisonal pickiness, but not for quite a while now. She's nearly up to full grown rats, and is quite a fat happy snake.

So a good way to get onto f/t is to try freshly killed first, that is, if you have the guts to do it. Dont get worried if the snake is finicky, the biggest thing is don't stress it out by too many repeated attempts. The times my snake has put off feeding, I could link to specific stresses. Be patient, it won't hurt the snake to go a while without food. And perhaps you'll find yourself lucky with a cooperative ball python :}
 

HerpCenter

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Jan 27, 2007
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Hello,

It has been my experience that switching snakes accustomed to live prey to F/T is a 2 step process. I have found it easier to get them to ytake a fresh killed rodent following being fed live regularly. A frsh killed rodent will still be warm to the touch and twitching. This alone draws the attention and triggers a strike response. After a few weeks of feeding f/k, I then went on and used my hemostats and started running the twitch game using well thawed f/t rodents. This worked great for me and my ball pythons.
 
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