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Old 03-02-15, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Advice to get new ball python to eat?

I just got my ball python 2 weeks ago as of today, and she still has no interest in eating. The last time she ate was Fevruary 10th. She doesn't seem to have an interest in food. I put a frozen mouse in her enclosure (thawed) and tried wiggling it around for about 10 minutes and she ignored it and kept trying to crawl out of the tank. Its nose was even bleeding, and the blood didn't seem to get her attention anymore. I decided to cover the tank and see if maybe she is just shy.
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Old 03-03-15, 12:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

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Old 03-03-15, 03:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

welcome to the forum,

I'm helping someone else with this exact question on another forum..
the first questions i have for you are

-how old is the snake
-what is the weight
-did the seller give you the feeding history
-dteails on your set up would help<temps,size of cage,humidity, hides

sooo many info is needed to help you out..

this time a year many balls just stop eating because of the breeding season.
but could also be, just not hungry or parameters are off ??

if it's a baby and the breeder did it right, the snake should have goten a good 5-7 solid meals before being sold.
if not then that's another story and angle we need to look at to help you out..
if it's an adult, it could go months before feeding and still be in perfect health..

just in case you dodn't know, the prey needs to be warm, not just thawed out at room temp.
put the rat in a ziplock bag and then thaw it out in hot/warm water, the prey needs to show heat so the snake reacts to it. if it grabs it, keep hold of it with the thongs and pretend the rat wnats to escape, this gets them excited even more..

hope this helps you to start with
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Old 03-03-15, 05:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

Clean the cage completley early the day you plan on feeding, wait a few hours then try feeding. Seriously try it. And to keep your spirits high ive had balls go nearly a year without eating and loose very little weight; sometimes they just don't eat. That's a ball python for you.
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Old 03-03-15, 10:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

She is 3 months old, 150 grams. I have her in a 10 gallon tank, the temperature on the warm side is 85 degrees. The humidity is at 60-65%. She has a hide, and I also have a few plants in the tank to keep it more crowded. The breeder has never had an issue with feeding her, but she was raised on live, so I think that probably has quite a bit to do with it. When I got her, she was also kept in a rubbermaid container with nothing in it except paper towels on the bottom and a water bowl. Also, I do thaw the mice out in hot water, and I make sure they feel warm before I take them out. The first time I tried feeding her she showed a lot of interest and even striked, but let go. Ever since she cringes away from the mice.
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Old 03-03-15, 11:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

Also, the room she was kept in at the breeders house felt to be about 80 degrees. She kept all of her snakes in this room. So I don't feel like temperature should be an issue, unless she just isn't used to having a warm and cool side in an enclosure. Or having any of the stuff she has now for that matter lol.
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Old 03-04-15, 10:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

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Originally Posted by MetalBurrito View Post
Also, the room she was kept in at the breeders house felt to be about 80 degrees. She kept all of her snakes in this room. So I don't feel like temperature should be an issue, unless she just isn't used to having a warm and cool side in an enclosure. Or having any of the stuff she has now for that matter lol.
It "felt" 80 degrees? Can you detail that a little more? Did you get an exact temperature reading or you just are guessing based on how you felt? Did the breeder tell you if they have an additional hot spot as well?

I know many people who run heat tape to heat up the hot side to about 90 degrees and yet the room is really warm as well due to the heat tape running. It does not indicate that it's only 80 degrees.

My guess is your snake needs a live prey item. You should attempt that first before switching.

One of the best methods to stubborn feeders is about consistency. So offer the same prey item the same way and only once every 5 days.
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Old 03-04-15, 05:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

Personally, I have found feeding around 11pm, with the room very dark works well. I have a red 100W bulb hung up outside the tank that I turn on from time to time in the winter when ambient temps are low in the room, and also at night to avoid "light blinding" the snake and disturbing him if I need to go in there for something after dark.

I turn the light away from the tank, just enough so I can see inside the tank but doesn't cause any direct light into the snake's eyes.. That same light is used to heat up the thawed rat for about 20 minutes in the same room right on top of the screen lid to the tank. I think maybe the smell gets him in the mood.

Sometimes he eats, sometimes not...he is full grown though and healthy so when he goes a couple months without eating (seems to be winter time) I don't sweat it.

I always wiggle it all around in front of him, but sometimes I have to stop after a few minutes, put rat back under heat lamp and try again 10 minutes later. I do this 4 or 5 times if he's stubborn, sometimes not until an hour later will he strike and eat. If after messing around for an hour he still won't eat, I give up and wait another week with a new rat.
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Old 03-04-15, 01:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

alot of good tips have been mentioned here already...
I , like Aaron would like for you to ask the breeder more about the set up..
feels like 80 ??? not good enough, they probably have heat tape under the tubs..

i keep a heater and humidifier in my room to have a constant 50% Hum and 78-80 deg

the abiant air in the cage at 85 is ok but you need a hot spot of 90-92 with a heat mat under the tank, and two hides is better , one one the hot side and one on the cold side..

if it was eating live , switching them can sometimes be tricky and you may have to use patience and stretch the feeding times so it gets hungry and decides to eat..

what you could try, is simply get the rat nice and hot, if the snake doesn't strike and stays in the hide,simply set the rat in front of the opening and leave it there all night.. sometimes this works.
if not then live may be what you need to do for a while until it switches over.. some are easy, others are a long time going..
i still have one baby who only takes live, managed to get him to take a f/t a few weeks ago, but has refused since ??? little #@#@#@# i will stretch him some more before caving in and getting him a live prey

and yes to the fact that the change of enviroment, temps and all that can make her nervous while she adapts to her new home... if she shows no interest after trying for 15 mins, stop and try another day... trying for too long will stress it even more.. best to just leave the rat there and not stress the snake with it..
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Old 03-04-15, 03:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

I'm not sure if she had heat tape. She had some containers stacked on top of one another, and she picked several up to show me and I didn't see anything, but if it is clear I may have missed it. She also ended up giving me the container she was kept in, and there is no heat tape on it. She didn't mention anything about any either? And when I say felt like 80, this room was slightly warmer than the rest of her home. The heat emitter is making the tank 85, and i have a heating pad in one spot so it is a bit warmer. I'm not sure of the exact temp, I will check in a bit. But I will try some of the other stuff! I tried feeding her Monday, and I was thinking trying again Friday. Would Saturday or Sunday be better?
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Old 03-06-15, 01:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

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Originally Posted by MetalBurrito View Post
I'm not sure if she had heat tape. She had some containers stacked on top of one another, and she picked several up to show me and I didn't see anything, but if it is clear I may have missed it. She also ended up giving me the container she was kept in, and there is no heat tape on it. She didn't mention anything about any either? And when I say felt like 80, this room was slightly warmer than the rest of her home. The heat emitter is making the tank 85, and i have a heating pad in one spot so it is a bit warmer. I'm not sure of the exact temp, I will check in a bit. But I will try some of the other stuff! I tried feeding her Monday, and I was thinking trying again Friday. Would Saturday or Sunday be better?
You need to dial into your actual temperatures. Don't forget our bodies are at 96 degrees all the time. How would you honestly know what 80 degrees or 85 degrees felt like?
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Old 03-07-15, 05:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

Im talking about the temperatures at the breeders home. I know the temps in my tank. The warm side as a whole fluctuates between 82 and 85 depending on time of day, and i checked the temp of the corner with the heating pad and that corner seems to fluctuate (based on time of day) between 88 and 91. Although I noticed my snake tends to hang out in the middle of the tank in between the warm and cool side.
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Old 03-07-15, 09:20 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

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Im talking about the temperatures at the breeders home. I know the temps in my tank. The warm side as a whole fluctuates between 82 and 85 depending on time of day, and i checked the temp of the corner with the heating pad and that corner seems to fluctuate (based on time of day) between 88 and 91. Although I noticed my snake tends to hang out in the middle of the tank in between the warm and cool side.
When I hear that a ball python isn't eating it's usually due to husbandry somewhere. Double check everything. Proper hides, temps and humidity. All of it plays a factor in a ball python eating. Double check your readings with a different instrument as yours may just be not working correctly.
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Old 03-08-15, 07:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

Well she is new and she was raised on live. I'm trying to feed her frozen (that is thawed and warmed obviously) and I think that is basically the reason why. I just want some tips and tricks to actually get her to eat. I have 2 different thermometers, and one hydrometer. Both read the same things. I have a few plants, a log, the hide, and a water bowl that she is able to fit her whole body in to soak. She actually doesn't even seem to like the hide. I've seen her in it maybe 3 times since I got her. She seems to prefer the open, oddly enough. But that may be because that is what she is used to. The enclosure she was kept in before was lined with paper towels, had a water bowl, and nothing else. The breeder said she had "an insane feeding response" and never had any issues with feeding her. But, like I said, she was fed live. I'm trying to get her to eat frozen.
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Old 03-09-15, 10:05 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Advice to get new ball python to eat?

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Originally Posted by MetalBurrito View Post
Well she is new and she was raised on live. I'm trying to feed her frozen (that is thawed and warmed obviously) and I think that is basically the reason why. I just want some tips and tricks to actually get her to eat. I have 2 different thermometers, and one hydrometer. Both read the same things. I have a few plants, a log, the hide, and a water bowl that she is able to fit her whole body in to soak. She actually doesn't even seem to like the hide. I've seen her in it maybe 3 times since I got her. She seems to prefer the open, oddly enough. But that may be because that is what she is used to. The enclosure she was kept in before was lined with paper towels, had a water bowl, and nothing else. The breeder said she had "an insane feeding response" and never had any issues with feeding her. But, like I said, she was fed live. I'm trying to get her to eat frozen.

I've given you advice on getting the snake to eat. So have others. You refuse to take our advice believing it solely to be the live vs. frozen issue. It may be. However, you aren't doing yourself or the snake any favours by not double checking husbandry and excluding those issues first.

As an example to strengthen my point, you mention a hide. As it has been suggested the snake should have 2 SNUG and TIGHT fitting hides. One on the cool end and one on the hot end. She probably doesn't feel secure in the hide so isn't using them.

Another example is that you don't seem to know your exact temperatures so you need to know them too. Maybe it's just too cold. Double check them with a different instrument as it may be faulty. It does happen.

Last, I've given you advice on getting the snake to eat. Here is my exact quote if you bothered to read entire posts.

"My guess is your snake needs a live prey item. You should attempt that first before switching.

One of the best methods to stubborn feeders is about consistency. So offer the same prey item the same way and only once every 5 days. "

The last part is key to any animal. Be it eating live or frozen. Apparently you missed it and looking for some simple "trick". In my experience, I do not need "tricks" and neither do my customers who listen to my advice.
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