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Old 05-07-19, 11:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Jungle Carpet Python: Transitioning From Live To Frozen/Thawed

Hello everyone, new guy here. I looked through the posts to see if there was anything the same as what I'm talking about here but couldn't find anything readily available. This is a bit of a long post so I hope I don't bore anyone:

I have a 10-month old female Jungle Carpet Python who I love more than life named Medusa. I got her when she was about half a year old from a very reputable breeder who continues to help me through what has been a difficult time getting her to start feeding on frozen/thawed.

When I first got her on 1/29/2019, she did indeed eat 3 F/T pinkies but since then she's only been interested in live. She had a perfect shed mid-March but then a bit of a flaky shed on 4/17 because I wasn't keeping her enclosure humid enough. (This has since been rectified.) Since this shed, she has not eaten because I really want to get her feeding on F/T. I closely monitor her every feeding but feeding live is just too problematic and dangerous. There haven't been any real problems but I don't want to wait until something happens.

She's only about 1.75' long so I've been feeding her in a blue plastic bin about 15"L x 11"W x 6"H. She has fed fine on live hoppers in there many times but all she seems to do with F/T hoppers is what I call "dumb striking" by which mean strikes seemingly not intended to kill but rather to back away the offending party, in this case the F/T hopper.

Actually, she will occasionally strike and begin to constrict the F/T hopper but then she immediately lets go. It's like she can tell the mouse is dead so she immediately loses interest. I've had 2 Royal Pythons and 1 Jungle Carpet before and all 3 of them ate F/T without problem so I do have some experience doing this.

I've tried 2 approaches with thawing the hoppers: the one with the mouse in a Ziploc in warm water and the other very gradually defrosting with a heat lamp. I'm very careful not to burn the mouse with either technique. The guy that I learned the heat-lamp technique from (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSX79DpN2b8) did the defrosting in the same room as the snakes and his pythons were clamoring to get out and feed. I did the same thing but Medusa remained unaroused.

I've heard of a 3rd technique where you just keep presenting the snake with F/T prey and eventually she'll get so hungry that she'll feed, but this seems a bit dangerous to me. Does this work or will the snake just starve herself to death?

The breeder who sold this gorgeous lady to me says that I need to try feeding her in her enclosure but I've heard over and over again from other snake experts that this is the last thing you want to do. They say she'll get used to a foreign entity in her enclosure and the next time I reach my hand in there, she'll bite. Obviously, I'm not concerned about a bite from a juvenile python but when she gets to be an adult, I'm sure she'll have no problem drawing some considerable blood.

Last thing -- and again I apologize for how long this is but I wanted to be detailed so as to head off any questions from the start -- she has a fairly sizeable glass enclosure: 3'L x 1.5'W x 3'H. And she never goes in her little black plastic hide, which is 9"L x 6"W x 3"H at the bottom of the enclosure. She's always up coiled around one of the many branches that reach up to the very top. Hence, she's quite the arboreal little serpent.

I think that's finally about it. Sorry this was so long, but like I said, I didn't want to make readers feel like they needed more details from me. I'm sure there's something I'm forgetting as it is, but I wanted to write down everything I knew. As previously stated, I had a Jungle Carpet before her and she was healthy for about 4 years but then got sick after I had to transition her to a smaller enclosure mid-move. I think I kept her area too humid and she got a mouth infection which spread. My vet insists her death wasn't my fault but I feel sure that it was.

She died 11 months ago and I still cry about it. Hence, as you can imagine, I've promised myself I absolutely cannot let anything happen to this new little girl I've got. She -- along with my German Shepherd puppy -- is my life.

To futher illustrate the situation, here's a video of the last feeding I attempted 2 nights ago on 5/5/2019. I'm sorry it's not very clear but what she does there is constrict and then immediately release: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KQ...oe3TzDNqLZkYoz
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