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Old 07-16-18, 12:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Baby Male KSB feeding questions

Hi everyone, I am a new snake owner and about 2 and 1/2 weeks ago I received my first snake in the mail! He is a baby male KSB about 8 in. long. One week after he arrived and settled into his habitat I decided to offer him a f/t pinkie for he first time and he ate it without any issue. One week later I decided to try again, without luck. I offered another tonight also unsuccessfully and now I decided to ask for some advice. Iím currently placing him in a separate container to offer him food and I do so by wiggling the mouse next to him and I have tried tapping his mouth with it. The last 2 times I offered him food he seems very afraid of it and tries to quickly back away from it. I tried braining it but still he seemed scared of the mouse. I know sand boss may not eat during a shed but he shows no signs of entering his shed cycle. Any recommendations for what I can try next? I would like to avoid using live mice if possible. I would also like to know how long I should wait to try feeding him again after an unsuccessful attempt.

Some info about my setup:
-I am keeping him in a 20 gallon tank with 2 inches of aspen substrate with a UTH kept at ~94 degrees on the hot side and a cool side ranging from 84(day)-75(night)
-For his feeding container Iíve been using an old cooking pot I no longer use with paper towels lining the inside so he doesnít get cold
-Last week I moved him from my room upstairs to the downstairs of my house because it was getting too hot up there, however the first time I offered food it was upstairs and he ate it. Is it possible he is stressed downstairs because it is noisier down here and wonít eat?

Any recommendations would be much appreciated, thanks so much!
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Old 07-17-18, 12:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Male KSB feeding questions

Snakes will sometimes take breaks from eating; this is especially apparent near the winter. With that said, it will be a matter of a few weeks or so before he continues eating as long as there isn't anything wrong with him. If you see anything that's not right with him, take him to the vet.
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Old 07-17-18, 07:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Male KSB feeding questions

When I had a sand boa he ate once a week when he was young, once every two weeks as he approached his adult size, and maybe once a month once he hit adulthood. Boas have remarkably slow metabolisms.

Can you post a picture of your snake next to a size reference, like a quarter? That'd help determine if his age/maturity is at play in his refusal to eat.

One common way of getting sand boas to eat is the paper bag trick. Essentially, place the snake and it's food in a paper bag and place the paper bag in his regular cage. You can use any opaque container, a cool whip tub with holes poked in it, etc.

Otherwise, you can try soaking the pinky in low sodium chicken broth before feeding. That often works.

There are a handful of other things to try, but those are an easy place to start.
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Old 07-17-18, 10:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Male KSB feeding questions

Thanks for the replies I’ll post a picture tomorrow to give you a reference. I’m gonna give him a week before I try again. My main concern with the paper bag method is that he will panic and it will only stress him out more, but I’ll definitely give it a try if he won’t accept food next week.
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Old 07-18-18, 09:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Male KSB feeding questions

Update: So I tried to feed him again last night because I’ve set Tuesdays as his feeding day and something strange happened. I tried my usual approach of dangling he mouse in front of him with tweezers with no success so then I moved onto an approach kind of like the bag method. I placed him inside a Tupperware within his terrarium with holes drilled in the lid and left him overnight with a brained mouse. When I woke up and checked on him I saw that the mouse had been ripped in half! The legs and hindquarters we’re nowhere to be found (he ate them I guess) but the head and upper libs were still there! Has anyone heard of a snake doing this it seems very strange to me but I am glad he at least ate something.
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Old 07-18-18, 03:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Male KSB feeding questions

When the feeder rips apart like that it could mean that the prey item was too warm. How are you thawing your feeders? I'd also suggest feeding the snake in it's enclosure. It's less stressful for the snake and you have less of a chance of getting tagged or the snake regurgitating. If he doesn't strike the prey when you offer try leaving it in overnight. I usually just give them a few hours and if they don't eat it goes to another snake and I try them again on the next feeding day. Keep offering food every 7-10 days until he starts eating consistently. If he refuses twice on that schedule try offering every 2 weeks. He'll get with the program eventually. Definitely no need to try live at this point.
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Old 07-18-18, 06:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Baby Male KSB feeding questions

I warmed up the mouse in warm water for about 15 minutes and then offered it to him he didn’t eat it a first though so I left it with him in a Tupperware in his enclosure overnight and that’s when he tore it up.
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