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Old 08-21-18, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New Ball Python owner in Missouri

Hi everyone!

I just got a ball python at a reptile show on Sunday. It's a male blue eyed leucistic... there were several morphs in the exact name that I can't remember, but I know there's several paths a breeder can take to get a blue eyed lucy. Mine is pure white with silver eyes and red vertical pupils. Anyway, he's a male, still very small, and I named him Charles after Charles Xavier from the X-Men. He's super curious and seems to genuinely enjoy people and handling. I know you're supposed to wait a few days before handling a new ball python, but yesterday (the day after I got him) he was happy to wrap himself around my hand and just hang out for a half hour until I put him back, and he was more hesitant to go back in his enclosure than he was to be handled.

For his enclosure, I didn't do what a lot of new reptile keepers do... I did not opt for a glass aquarium. I want him to feel secure, not like he's on display. He is in a plastic tote with holes drilled in the sides for air. I actually think the tote might be a little too tall. Is that a thing? He has the floor space he needs, but the vertical space is a bit open. Anyway, he has a heat mat, a thermostat, a half-log hide, a water bowl, and paper towel substrate for now. Eventually I might go with actual substrate and maybe a bioactive set up, but for now, since I just dropped 3 hundy on the snake, I'm using a "no frills" enclosure.

I haven't fed him yet, but according to the breeder, tomorrow is his routine feeding day. He's only been fed a couple of times, so far, though. The breeder said Charles was eating live rat pups, and showed me one. I want to try feeding frozen, though, but unfortunately the pet stores don't carry frozen rat pups... the smallest rat is a "small rat" and I think that might be too big. Should I just feed mice for now? I hear that switching over from live to frozen can be a hassle with ball pythons, sometimes, but for some reason, I don't know why, I get this feeling that Charles is going to be a great eater.

I also have a blazing blizzard leopard gecko named Ghost. I've had Ghost for about a month, and he was just a hatchling when I got him. He loves crickets and horned worms, and turns his nose up at mealworms. He also loves his 20 gallon long enclosure, and enjoys exploring it, but when I enter the room freezes in place, and then slowly hides. He's a little (okay, a lot) skiddish with being picked up, and when I'm holding him he's always looking for an escape route.

I also have some amphibians, particularly african dwarf frogs, and an axolotl.

I also have a bunch of fish.

I have a dog too.

I have a small YouTube channel as well, but I didn't sign up on this forum to promote that. I'm more interested in learning more about how to care for my bleach noodle. I don't know what the rules are regarding promoting a YouTube channel on this forum, so if someone is interested in checking it out, I guess send me a private message?

I'm a very active member on some fish keeping forums, and I do know a lot about fish keeping, and axolotls. If anyone wants to pick my brain on those topics, I'm more than happy to offer my experience and advice. But regarding snakes, and reptiles in general, I'm a total noob, and I am here to learn.

Here's a picture of Charles, just because.
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Old 08-22-18, 02:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: New Ball Python owner in Missouri

He's a great looking snake! If he's already eating rats I wouldn't change it. He'll eventually be big enough that mice won't be big enough and you don't want to have to switch him back to rats. I'm trying to switch my BP, Nagini, from mice to rats right now and she's being *really* stubborn about it. Rats are also more nutritious than mice. I'd also stick with live rat pinks for the first couple feedings until he settles in. It'll probably be easier to find a supplier for live pinks; independent pet stores or reptile specialty stores are your best bet. Pinks and fuzzies have no claws or teeth and their eyes aren't open so live ones can't hurt your snake.

If you really want to go frozen right away, you can mail order them. Their shipping is higher, but I like ordering from Layne Labs because they offer smaller packages than any place else I've seen. For example, for my BRB, I ordered a 10 pack of small fuzzies and a 10 pack of large fuzzies as well as weaned and small rats for my BP.

You can also find frozen rodents at reptile shows and save the shipping that way.
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Old 08-24-18, 01:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: New Ball Python owner in Missouri

Thanks for the reply phenyx.

I did feed Charles on Wednesday night, a frozen large mouse, and he took it and ate it. He was unsure about it at first, but after I dangled it in front of him for a few minutes he decided he was hungry enough to take it. I do feel like the mouse was just slightly too small, though, so next week I will try a rat.

Thanks for the suggestion on ordering pinky rats online. I hadn't considered that. I will look into that for next week's meal. I do have a frozen small rat, but it's not a pup, and I was concerned it might be too big. I also have 2 more large mice left that I guess are gonna go to waste.

It's been 2 days since feeding. So tonight I should be able to handle him again. I want to get a weight and length on him.

Also, just out of curiosity, how long does it take for a snake to go poo after it eats? I mean, I'm not concerned that he hasn't pooped yet, I don't think something is wrong or anything, I'm just curious how long it takes.
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