Way too much argueing!!!
I just wanted to add a few points of enlightenment...
I have 20 years experience with snakes, including ball pythons and I have bred that species a few times also.
I have also had the pleasure of visiting David Smith's collection more than a few times and can vouch completely for his keeping expertise!
Now, I won't name names - I simply have more class than that. There are way too many newbies typing up a lot of crap.
It is way too easy to get caught up in one of these rant threads on the internet. It's the very reason I generally stopped making posts a couple of years ago. The arguements get singled out and then everyone gangs up on a few individuals mostly because they don't understand enough to read between the lines on the internet.
In this case it seems (as usual) it's the more experienced keepers getting lamb-basted by the newer keepers! The statements made by David and Vanan regarding ball python husbandry are accurate. Most of the statements depend on the condition of the animal in question - if an adult ball python is being kept properly (and not being cycled for breeding) an appropriately sized meal every month or so is not unreasonable! You people need to learn more - I'd be listening to Scotty more if I were you! He said (to refresh your memories) "There's an awfully lot of grossly over fed captive snakes (and other herps) out there, maybe someone will learn something here."
Now, I digress. I will return to my normal absence from the internet, and let you guys get back to your senseless arguements. I just hope when all the dust settles you learn to listen to those with more experience than yourselves - that's how we all learn!
Hello, this is Lori Dunn - Steve's better (or worse) half. I am a reptile keeper at the Toronto Zoo with 12 years experience. We keep Python regius in the area I work in. Working with a wide variety of animals, you need to be very aware of their metabolic and nutritional requirements. It is far too easy for captive animals to become overweight - and i have seen my fair share of this and the subsequent death of the animals as well. Most animals in captive environment do much better in the long run if kept slightly hungry. It mimics their natural condition in the wild - as I'm sure you are all aware, most wild animals ARE on the hungry side. Reptiles especially, are not equipped physiologically to metabolize fat. Especially when they are overfed rodents that are in turn fed a high fat diet ( mouse chow, dog chow etc.) Wild rodents feed on seeds and vegetation that is much lower in fat content and so not much fat is passed on to the snake devouring it. Kids, please read up on your reptile husbandry. Overfeeding snakes is the kiss of death for that animal. Maybe not immediately, but in time. Our ball pythons also get fed only once a month, sometimes they go longer. They are healthy snakes and we have been reproductively successful with them as well.