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Old 03-18-17, 09:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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refuses food for the 5th month

I own a 4 year old 4 foot long ball python. She has eaten live under strict supervision all her live. She usually eats one small rat every 2 weeks. Every late winter she takes a 2 month brake from eating. This year she stopped eating as usual but never started eating again. She drinks water but refuses live rats, live mice or frozen rats and mice. I took her to the vet but was told that she was healthy. she is starting to look skinny and I'm getting worried
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Old 03-20-17, 08:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: refuses food for the 5th month

Sounds like it's time to switch from ground beef to sirloin, i.e. from Rattus norvegicus to Mastomys natalensis. Get back to her natural prey, the species that her ancestors have been eating for the last ~70,000,000 years.

It's only been for <70 years now that we have subjected Ball Pythons (the CBB, specifically those outside the African continent) to a foreign prey item.

Last edited by Macropodus; 03-20-17 at 08:45 PM.. Reason: .
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Old 03-20-17, 09:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: refuses food for the 5th month

ASFs might just do the trick.
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Old 03-20-17, 10:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: refuses food for the 5th month

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macropodus View Post
Sounds like it's time to switch from ground beef to sirloin, i.e. from Rattus norvegicus to Mastomys natalensis. Get back to her natural prey, the species that her ancestors have been eating for the last ~70,000,000 years.

It's only been for <70 years now that we have subjected Ball Pythons (the CBB, specifically those outside the African continent) to a foreign prey item.
The gerboa is a more accurate natural prey item for ball pythons

ASF will be fine though as its like Crack to them.

Side note, we only began captive breeding of ball pythons in the 80s. Long story but it took a long time to figure them out....they took years to acclimate enough to produce viable young and breed.
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Old 03-21-17, 02:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: refuses food for the 5th month

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The gerboa is a more accurate natural prey item for ball pythons

ASF will be fine though as its like Crack to them.

Side note, we only began captive breeding of ball pythons in the 80s. Long story but it took a long time to figure them out....they took years to acclimate enough to produce viable young and breed.
Googled gerboa, came up jerboa, and not a lot on them. They look strange, all ears & legs. Don't seem to be domesticated.

Thanks for the historical note re CB in 80s. I stand corrected, "It's only been for <40 years now that we have subjected Ball Pythons (the CBB, specifically those outside the African continent) to a foreign prey item."

I'd wager that at least part of the problem with acclimation had to do with the offering of common rats instead of ASFs. Even today WC aren't keen on it.
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Old 03-21-17, 08:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: refuses food for the 5th month

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Originally Posted by Macropodus View Post
Googled gerboa, came up jerboa, and not a lot on them. They look strange, all ears & legs. Don't seem to be domesticated.

Thanks for the historical note re CB in 80s. I stand corrected, "It's only been for <40 years now that we have subjected Ball Pythons (the CBB, specifically those outside the African continent) to a foreign prey item."

I'd wager that at least part of the problem with acclimation had to do with the offering of common rats instead of ASFs. Even today WC aren't keen on it.
Yeah I thought I might have messed up the spelling. Meh. Thanks for the correction.

From what I understand the animals eat just fine and grow/shed/act normal. For whatever reason wild caughts would just take a few years to want to breed in a captive environment. It could be the prey item so you might be on to something.

What I do know is this was happening even 10 years ago when wild caught adult females were still being bought up like crazy. It was just easier to find baby females and raise them up because it took about the same time to get them ready to breed.

Lastly, I know Roy Stockwell was one of the first to captive breed them. He made a homemade rain chamber, it was rather large, to simulate the wet season they go through in Africa. No body really cared to get them to breed any way in captivity originally because they were so cheap to import and were rather drab looking.
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Old 03-21-17, 11:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: refuses food for the 5th month

For what it's worth I've got 5 snakes and my Ball python is the only one that will not eat them.

Absolutely hates them, and I think it's because of the lack of musky odor that regular rats have.
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