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Old 07-25-17, 10:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Feeding guidelines. Hatchling to adulthood

OK so I have two baby ball python to male and female I thought they were Mojave but I was told they were normal anyway they're both 21 inches and weigh about 75 g each I am going to feed them an adult mouse which is about 25 g each once every 7 to 10 days After six months when they should both be close to 30 inches maybe less and they grow another hundred to 150 g I can give them an adult now so every 5 to 7 days After about a year from now when they both were pushing 3 feet and weigh house over almost 1000 g make any adult mice mean I don't rat I mean small rats I'm sorry LOL I'm speaking into my phone So basically I feed 1/3 of their body weight every two weeks which right now turns out to 25 g every two weeks for sure be about hopper mouse a week and then it goes to 1/4 after six months than 1/5 after year one seventh after 2 years and a half and maybe 1/7.5after two and around 1/10 every 2 weeks after 3 years. Almost full grown. So let's say a 3 year old 4 ft female weigh 4000 g 1:10every 2 eeeks adulthudd andnon. So 400 every 2 weeks equal to a Large Rat every 2 weeks. I made this gorilla. Works with all how and python.

Also moved my female and male baby ball play signs into a 55 gallon tank with Aspen bedding a bunch of hides and a bunch of branches and a water supply I have the timer for 14 hours late and 10 hours dark it a day and the temperatures and Ambien is get as low as 75 at night and are high 70s to low 80s during the day with the hot of 95/ 100 at all times for basking from the heat pad under. So this does that sound like a good set up and were the reasons why you can't house a male and female together as they grow up as long as the case is big enough and they can still bring to us into three years correct. Really appreciate the way each person breeds to tell me how you condition nearest next to breathe in hell everything works how are you going to get all working methods
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Old 07-26-17, 12:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding guidelines. Hatchling to adulthood

33.33% of their weight is way too much food. The general consensus is 10-15% (I feel that's a bit much but it seems to work). I would plan on rat pinks or fuzzies for your bps.

Power feeding will drastically reduce your snakes' lifespans (and make for very poor breeders), so I would not implement your feeding plan if you want long-lived animals. Imo a 4,000 gram ball should be getting at most a medium rat, but the chances of you getting such a large bp is very slim. Most ball pythons can thrive quite happily on a small rat every 1-2 weeks.

Drop your hot spot down to 88-92F, but ambients seem ok.
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Old 07-26-17, 07:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding guidelines. Hatchling to adulthood

Yes...i'll echo the above post...that's a bit large of a food item. I'd vouch for using mouse hoppers or rat fuzzies. Also, a 4000 gram ball python is NOT that common, most are around the 1500-3000 gram mark and even the largest of ball pythons wouldn't require larger than a medium rat ever. I would drop that hot spot temp as mentioned, and if there's a way to keep ambient up in the high 70's or low 80's at all times it may be beneficial.

This species is not a social species. There is no good reason or excuse to house them together. Keep them separate until you have plans to breed them...and keep in mind that normal ball pythons are hard to even give away in most areas if breeding is in your future plans.
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Old 07-27-17, 03:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding guidelines. Hatchling to adulthood

First of all, I appreciate your enthusiasm.

Second of all, these are live animals. Putting them on a regimented schedule doesn't always work. They will partly dictate everything to you. With that said, you're starting out pretty well. I'd lower the size of meal to about 20% body weight right now. (At 10% a 7 gram anything isn't going to fill them and foster proper growth).

If you intend to breed them do not house them together. Very often snakes that are housed together don't breed.


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Originally Posted by bigsnakegirl785 View Post
33.33% of their weight is way too much food. The general consensus is 10-15% (I feel that's a bit much but it seems to work). I would plan on rat pinks or fuzzies for your bps.

Power feeding will drastically reduce your snakes' lifespans (and make for very poor breeders), so I would not implement your feeding plan if you want long-lived animals. Imo a 4,000 gram ball should be getting at most a medium rat, but the chances of you getting such a large bp is very slim. Most ball pythons can thrive quite happily on a small rat every 1-2 weeks.

Drop your hot spot down to 88-92F, but ambients seem ok.
First off, what are you talking about? 10 - 15% if a bit too much? 5% is more adequate to you for a baby snake?
BSG you need to understand the life these animals live in the wild. They are small animals and prey to most things out there. The reason they are opportunistic feeders is not solely because they don't know when the next meal is it's also because they need substantial growth in the first two years.
Baby snakes in general have fantastic growth rates in the first year because they need to be able to defend themselves and sustain themselves with lesser food. An adult snake can better handle a year of starvation vs. a 200 gram animal.

We can't starve them because they are in captivity. We need to feed them adequately. It's why we feed them one meal a week or so instead of every 2 days.

Most ball pythons can "thrive" on a small rat every 2 weeks? Again you're out of your realm here. Ball pythons, especially breeding ones, need more substantial meals than that to produce viable eggs and not endanger their health.

My breeder males eat a small rat once a week once they can eat that size. My females get a medium a week. I've had snakes in my collection of both sexes that are no less than 15 - 18 years old (wild caught adults) who regularly produce eggs and have no ill effects. Not only my collection, but many other breeders who I consider close friends have the same age of animals. We can't all be doing it wrong with literally 10's of thousands of animals at this point.
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Old 07-27-17, 04:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding guidelines. Hatchling to adulthood

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Originally Posted by Aaron_S View Post
First of all, I appreciate your enthusiasm.

Second of all, these are live animals. Putting them on a regimented schedule doesn't always work. They will partly dictate everything to you. With that said, you're starting out pretty well. I'd lower the size of meal to about 20% body weight right now. (At 10% a 7 gram anything isn't going to fill them and foster proper growth).

If you intend to breed them do not house them together. Very often snakes that are housed together don't breed.




First off, what are you talking about? 10 - 15% if a bit too much? 5% is more adequate to you for a baby snake?
BSG you need to understand the life these animals live in the wild. They are small animals and prey to most things out there. The reason they are opportunistic feeders is not solely because they don't know when the next meal is it's also because they need substantial growth in the first two years.
Baby snakes in general have fantastic growth rates in the first year because they need to be able to defend themselves and sustain themselves with lesser food. An adult snake can better handle a year of starvation vs. a 200 gram animal.

We can't starve them because they are in captivity. We need to feed them adequately. It's why we feed them one meal a week or so instead of every 2 days.

Most ball pythons can "thrive" on a small rat every 2 weeks? Again you're out of your realm here. Ball pythons, especially breeding ones, need more substantial meals than that to produce viable eggs and not endanger their health.

My breeder males eat a small rat once a week once they can eat that size. My females get a medium a week. I've had snakes in my collection of both sexes that are no less than 15 - 18 years old (wild caught adults) who regularly produce eggs and have no ill effects. Not only my collection, but many other breeders who I consider close friends have the same age of animals. We can't all be doing it wrong with literally 10's of thousands of animals at this point.
An even better post.
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Old 07-27-17, 04:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding guidelines. Hatchling to adulthood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron_S View Post
First off, what are you talking about? 10 - 15% if a bit too much? 5% is more adequate to you for a baby snake?
BSG you need to understand the life these animals live in the wild. They are small animals and prey to most things out there. The reason they are opportunistic feeders is not solely because they don't know when the next meal is it's also because they need substantial growth in the first two years.
Baby snakes in general have fantastic growth rates in the first year because they need to be able to defend themselves and sustain themselves with lesser food. An adult snake can better handle a year of starvation vs. a 200 gram animal.

We can't starve them because they are in captivity. We need to feed them adequately. It's why we feed them one meal a week or so instead of every 2 days.

Most ball pythons can "thrive" on a small rat every 2 weeks? Again you're out of your realm here. Ball pythons, especially breeding ones, need more substantial meals than that to produce viable eggs and not endanger their health.

My breeder males eat a small rat once a week once they can eat that size. My females get a medium a week. I've had snakes in my collection of both sexes that are no less than 15 - 18 years old (wild caught adults) who regularly produce eggs and have no ill effects. Not only my collection, but many other breeders who I consider close friends have the same age of animals. We can't all be doing it wrong with literally 10's of thousands of animals at this point.
No, 8-10% is probably more than adequate. They don't have to be 1,000 grams at a year old, a slow grown snake is healthier than one growing too fast. I don't personally believe any species has to be adult size by 2 years old, including ball pythons. Plenty of species stay tiny for a lot longer than that (granted I am more versed in boas and they can stay 3' or under for 4+ years in the wild).

I seriously doubt getting something barely under 10% of their weight, especially weekly, is anywhere near starving them. Colubrids with metabolisms several times higher than a baby ball python don't even need 10-15%, maybe 6-7% if they're a growing baby or a gravid female. So I find it hard to believe a slow-metabolism snake like a ball python, even a baby, requires that much food on a regular basis. It's a tried and true method so I'm not combatting it too much, but it's more than I'd feed my own bps.

I have seen breeders feed their breeding females small rats every 2 weeks, and get viable clutches with little to no difference in body tone to the female. Fattening them up right before becoming gravid does more harm than keeping them lean. (Gravid females are at an especially high risk for fatty liver disease.)

Granted, my bp isn't very big, but he went from 1,245 grams to just over 1,400 grams eating a single small rat every 2 weeks. If a small rat every 2 weeks was starving him, he would not have been able to gain his weight back after a fasting period (plus another odd 20-40 grams on top of his original healthy weight). Bps over 2,000 grams I might offer a medium every other feeding (or two), but I wouldn't make it a staple for one under 3,000 grams. They require a lot less food than you would think.

As far as the breeding, that would be different stroke for different folks. They don't require copious amounts of food when breeding, despite popular belief, a (healthy) gravid female doesn't use a significant amount of energy beyond what she would normally use, especially if she's eating throughout the gestation period.
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Old 07-27-17, 04:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding guidelines. Hatchling to adulthood

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Originally Posted by bigsnakegirl785 View Post
No, 8-10% is probably more than adequate. They don't have to be 1,000 grams at a year old, a slow grown snake is healthier than one growing too fast. I don't personally believe any species has to be adult size by 2 years old, including ball pythons. Plenty of species stay tiny for a lot longer than that (granted I am more versed in boas and they can stay 3' or under for 4+ years in the wild).
Oh so 10 - 15% is more than you like but 8 - 10 is "more than adequate". Well which is it?

I never said it had to be an adult size. Just larger than 500 grams at 2 years old. They are predators after all and they need to handle themselves against other predators trying to eat them. A large enough rodent would handle them at that size.

Which boa locale? Why were that small? Shortage of food? Too much competition for prey items? Were they on an island? Do you have a study where people watched babies from birth to 4+ years in the wild?

Quote:
I seriously doubt getting something barely under 10% of their weight, especially weekly, is anywhere near starving them. Colubrids with metabolisms several times higher than a baby ball python don't even need 10-15%, maybe 6-7% if they're a growing baby or a gravid female. So I find it hard to believe a slow-metabolism snake like a ball python, even a baby, requires that much food on a regular basis. It's a tried and true method so I'm not combatting it too much, but it's more than I'd feed my own bps.
barely under 10%? You do know a 6% meal is 40% less intake than the 10% size right? You don't think it is because it's only 4 numbers smaller but it's a drastic difference.

We aren't talking colubrids here. Also, I've known many colubrid keepers to feed multiple items a week due to the higher metabolism.

I don't know why you combat it at all. Evidence, piles of it, are in your face. I guess you can keep starving your animals.

Quote:
I have seen breeders feed their breeding females small rats every 2 weeks, and get viable clutches with little to no difference in body tone to the female. Fattening them up right before becoming gravid does more harm than keeping them lean. (Gravid females are at an especially high risk for fatty liver disease.)
How have you seen these breeders? Are they friends or FB people posting pics of their animals? Do you visit their homes and carefully watch their animals? How old are the animals? Have they successfully bred for 10 years?

I do not fatten my females up right before breeding. I simply feed them every week a meal about 10 - 15% of their body weight which equates to a medium rat. They stay healthy and are not overweight as you seem to think. Neither do my friends who I visit and have even fed their animals myself.

Would you care to show me a study on gravid females and fatty liver disease?

Quote:
Granted, my bp isn't very big, but he went from 1,245 grams to just over 1,400 grams eating a single small rat every 2 weeks. If a small rat every 2 weeks was starving him, he would not have been able to gain his weight back after a fasting period (plus another odd 20-40 grams on top of his original healthy weight). Bps over 2,000 grams I might offer a medium every other feeding (or two), but I wouldn't make it a staple for one under 3,000 grams. They require a lot less food than you would think.
Yup. I've had 1500 gram males grow off a single small rat weekly. They just happen to be bigger snakes. Just as I've seen 4000 gram females grow to that size off medium rats. Individual snakes. You suggest however that all, except the massive ones, can thrive off a small rat. I guess it depends on your definition of "thrive".

Quote:
As far as the breeding, that would be different stroke for different folks. They don't require copious amounts of food when breeding, despite popular belief, a (healthy) gravid female doesn't use a significant amount of energy beyond what she would normally use, especially if she's eating throughout the gestation period.
Again, do you have a study to prove your facts? Have you bred snakes let alone ball pythons before? Do you know what a female looks like after laying eggs? Some look like they haven't done anything while others may have consumed 50% of their weight in developing and laying eggs. (Reason I am not sure as they are relatively same size but different results).

I feed them both the same afterwards. Next feeding day after removing the eggs they receive a medium rat. Then they continue that schedule until I notice a shed cycle (i never offer during a shed cycle) and until they stop eating next breeding season.

I do suggest you not really comment on breeding if you haven't done so. Or at the very least preface everything you say with "I've only read this from someone who's done it..."
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Old 07-27-17, 04:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding guidelines. Hatchling to adulthood

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No, 8-10% is probably more than adequate. They don't have to be 1,000 grams at a year old, a slow grown snake is healthier than one growing too fast. I don't personally believe any species has to be adult size by 2 years old, including ball pythons. Plenty of species stay tiny for a lot longer than that (granted I am more versed in boas and they can stay 3' or under for 4+ years in the wild).

I seriously doubt getting something barely under 10% of their weight, especially weekly, is anywhere near starving them. Colubrids with metabolisms several times higher than a baby ball python don't even need 10-15%, maybe 6-7% if they're a growing baby or a gravid female. So I find it hard to believe a slow-metabolism snake like a ball python, even a baby, requires that much food on a regular basis. It's a tried and true method so I'm not combatting it too much, but it's more than I'd feed my own bps.

I have seen breeders feed their breeding females small rats every 2 weeks, and get viable clutches with little to no difference in body tone to the female. Fattening them up right before becoming gravid does more harm than keeping them lean. (Gravid females are at an especially high risk for fatty liver disease.)

Granted, my bp isn't very big, but he went from 1,245 grams to just over 1,400 grams eating a single small rat every 2 weeks. If a small rat every 2 weeks was starving him, he would not have been able to gain his weight back after a fasting period (plus another odd 20-40 grams on top of his original healthy weight). Bps over 2,000 grams I might offer a medium every other feeding (or two), but I wouldn't make it a staple for one under 3,000 grams. They require a lot less food than you would think.

As far as the breeding, that would be different stroke for different folks. They don't require copious amounts of food when breeding, despite popular belief, a (healthy) gravid female doesn't use a significant amount of energy beyond what she would normally use, especially if she's eating throughout the gestation period.
If you fed most pituophis as described, you'd have a lot of snakes with protruding spines. I'd go so far as to call your suggestion on colubrids eating 6-7% body weight and that being enough "ridiculous". Feeding regimens for boas as well as your opinion on feeding does not apply to all species, sorry. Your experience with one ball python doesn't refute the experience and opinion of everyone else, most more experienced. Also, ball pythons never need to even see pinkies, be it mice or rats, and to mention otherwise is ill-advised and honestly something I missed of yours in my previous reply.
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Old 07-27-17, 05:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding guidelines. Hatchling to adulthood

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Oh so 10 - 15% is more than you like but 8 - 10 is "more than adequate". Well which is it?

I never said it had to be an adult size. Just larger than 500 grams at 2 years old. They are predators after all and they need to handle themselves against other predators trying to eat them. A large enough rodent would handle them at that size.

Which boa locale? Why were that small? Shortage of food? Too much competition for prey items? Were they on an island? Do you have a study where people watched babies from birth to 4+ years in the wild?



barely under 10%? You do know a 6% meal is 40% less intake than the 10% size right? You don't think it is because it's only 4 numbers smaller but it's a drastic difference.

We aren't talking colubrids here. Also, I've known many colubrid keepers to feed multiple items a week due to the higher metabolism.

I don't know why you combat it at all. Evidence, piles of it, are in your face. I guess you can keep starving your animals.



How have you seen these breeders? Are they friends or FB people posting pics of their animals? Do you visit their homes and carefully watch their animals? How old are the animals? Have they successfully bred for 10 years?

I do not fatten my females up right before breeding. I simply feed them every week a meal about 10 - 15% of their body weight which equates to a medium rat. They stay healthy and are not overweight as you seem to think. Neither do my friends who I visit and have even fed their animals myself.

Would you care to show me a study on gravid females and fatty liver disease?



Yup. I've had 1500 gram males grow off a single small rat weekly. They just happen to be bigger snakes. Just as I've seen 4000 gram females grow to that size off medium rats. Individual snakes. You suggest however that all, except the massive ones, can thrive off a small rat. I guess it depends on your definition of "thrive".



Again, do you have a study to prove your facts? Have you bred snakes let alone ball pythons before? Do you know what a female looks like after laying eggs? Some look like they haven't done anything while others may have consumed 50% of their weight in developing and laying eggs. (Reason I am not sure as they are relatively same size but different results).

I feed them both the same afterwards. Next feeding day after removing the eggs they receive a medium rat. Then they continue that schedule until I notice a shed cycle (i never offer during a shed cycle) and until they stop eating next breeding season.

I do suggest you not really comment on breeding if you haven't done so. Or at the very least preface everything you say with "I've only read this from someone who's done it..."
Exactly what I said. 8-10% is adequate, but since 10-15% is so widely used I'm not going to say not to do that if someone insists on using it. 10-15% isn't a lifelong feeding regimen anyways, generally I see it advised to stop either when the snake is 500-800 grams, or whenever it is eating small rats. In general I do not see keepers/breeders advising to use that method into adulthood. I do see the odd person that does, however.

Any Boa constrictor locale/species (the ones generally referred to as "red tails"), and dwarfs will stay smaller for even longer. Even in captivity, eating as much as they do, my 2 year olds are in the 3'-4' range.

This is an interesting thread discussing the common 10-15% rule. There's also this snake, which died quite young being fed not much more than the average amount - though the extra meals here and there are probably to blame. I have other links, but they're either really well buried in my bookmarks or they're gone.

I am aware of the difference between 6% and 10%, I'm not that bad at math. Still don't believe that a bp requires regular meals of 10-15%, especially if it's an adult.

Yes, and they don't require it. I feed my garters single rat pinks or mouse pinks/fuzzies, which are in the 5.5-7% range every 2 weeks. I used to go up to 14% of their weight weekly, but once they stopped growing all they did was become obese. Reducing their prey size and feeding half as often has not had much of an effect on their body tone despite my efforts to slim them out, and certainly hasn't reduced them to "skeletons."

I don't have stories, but I have links of breeders losing gravid females to fatty liver disease, and upon a necropsy finding the eggs in the middle of being reabsorbed or otherwise unviable. I also have photos of a gravid boa female that died from fatty liver disease if you'd like me to post them. I can try to Google the FB link as well if that's preferred, I have posted them in threads here before.

There was a link to a gravid viperid that I used to have...not sure if I never saved it or it no longer exists, but the female died soon after becoming gravid. The cause was fatty liver disease.

Fatty Liver Disease - EverythingReptile.org

I did exactly as you said I should. I said I have seen breeders feed small rats every 2 weeks and produce viable clutches. I have also seen studies to back up the metabolic claims I made. There is of course an elevated use of energy stores, but not to the degree most people seem to assume (meaning not enough to triple or quadruple nutrient intake - this has often lead to dead females from my observation).

This study mentions that early development in viviparous snakes does not result in significant metabolic changes, but does occur later once the eggs begin developing into babies. If you were to allow a bp to maternally incubate, I am sure you would notice similar levels, but the actual egg production would not create as great of a metabolic demand. Especially when given access to elevated ambient temperatures for incubation.

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If you fed most pituophis as described, you'd have a lot of snakes with protruding spines. I'd go so far as to call your suggestion on colubrids eating 6-7% body weight and that being enough "ridiculous". Feeding regimens for boas as well as your opinion on feeding does not apply to all species, sorry. Your experience with one ball python doesn't refute the experience and opinion of everyone else, most more experienced. Also, ball pythons never need to even see pinkies, be it mice or rats, and to mention otherwise is ill-advised and honestly something I missed of yours in my previous reply.
The pink was going off of the 10-15% rule, I did say pinks or fuzzies. A rat pink is a decent bit bigger (though roughly equal in weight - rat pinks are heavier on the heavier end of the spectrum than a hopper) than the mouse hoppers you yourself advised.

I feed my garters similar to that, and unless pituophis have a higher metabolism than a garter I don't believe that to be true.
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Old 07-27-17, 07:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding guidelines. Hatchling to adulthood

Aaron said it best. And I'm sorry I think I may have said this wrong and confused many. An adult nous for. A 75 gram ball python is not much. Adult mice weigh about 20 grams. So it's a third of its body weight about. But I have done research and produced a a very well researched and thought out feeding amount and regimen for most pythons and boss. And I base it by every 2 weeks. Not weekly. That's where I am being misunderstood.

Example. I have a 75 gram baby ball pythons. So from birth to 6 months he gets a third every 2 weeks. So maybe a hopper a week. Or an adult mouse every week if you want to give a little extra. Turns out to be little more than a third every 2 weeks. They are babies and the first year is crucial. Certainly not too much food. Then

6-1 year 1/4 every 2 weeks. Now I'm new to ball pythons, mostly deal with the big guys. But I'm guessing my ball python will be about 250 grams? In 6 months. Maybe not but just using example. In fact let's say 300 grams. So 1/4 every 2 weeks is 75 grams every 2 weeks. So a small rat every 2 weeks. Or maybe a weakling rat a week. Now I don't have access so anything smaller then a small rat so for now I need to stick t adult mice until they reach this size.

1-3 years. Now after about a year my female probably be about 500-700 grams and 3ft. So now it's 1/5 every 2 weeks. So 100 grams every 2 weeks. Small rat a aweek. Or medium every 2. However you need to tweak the formula to fit you best. Anyway slowly by year 3-5. When a snake is FULL grown. So let's say female ball pythons is 4 ft in 3 years. Full grown. 3000 grams. Just a number I don't know the George as much as most of you. Now any boa or python should receive about twice its body weight a year in captivity. Read "what's wrong with my snake" gives a lot of my hypothesis credit to that book. But anyway it's backed up by lots of facts that an adult python weighing 3000 grams and 4ft. Full grown ball python. Twice its weight a year. Comes down to about 10% every 2 weeekds. So large rat every 2 weeks. Maybe a jumbo once every 3? Or still feed weekly with mediums. And of course all this would have to be adjusted if you were breeding and the meals would have to be higher per feeding of course to get females ready for the breeding season and for the fasting while they go through ovulation and egg laying in the specially if they are incubating the eggs themselves.

So basically from birth until adulthood what should happen from 3 to 5 years you adjust accordingly starting from 1/3 as a baby and get up to one $10,000 every two weeks and you adjust it as you go each snake is different but once you get to adulthood temperature sent of its body weight every two weeks is acceptable which would be 5% of his bodyweight weekly if you want to look it like that. And of course if your snake is more active it could be more than that so maybe I go 5 to 8% or 10 to 13 to 14% if you really want to get down to the mathematics of it that's pretty much how it works and I've had many successful and groan reticulated and Burmese python's and I have had for ground ball pythons in the past and I found that works accordingly and all snakes are healthy and never under overweight and they're also not left hungry. Are used to feed my 13ft 70 pound reticulated python A 15 to 20 pound Flemish giant rabbit every month and I was perfectly fine and he was perfectly content he has never around around looking for food is very great way and everything was perfect and if you think about it like you guys said if a ball python as an adult is between 1500 to 3000 g then you see that temper cent of that every two weeks is approximately what most of you should be or already are feeding.

So sorry for the long post but I hope many of you can gain some insight by reading this and I hope this helps by putting it out there it's just something I thought up over the many years I have owned pythons in Bower for the long post but I hope many of you can gain some insight by reading this and I hope this helps by putting it out there it's just something I thought up over the many years I have owned pythons and boas.

So also I'm going to throw in another random note sorry about my spelling and punctuation but I am trying to speak into my phone as I type this and also I was wondering do you guys think it will be OK that ambient temperatures can drop as low as 75 at night when the timer goes off and the lights go off although they're under 10 keypad that Reese has about 95 is always on and then during the day the ambient temperatures are in the low 80s. I'm going to wait till Wednesday to feed both of them again and I'm going to do large mice with both of them which are about 20 g the mail seem to get it down fine I'm I only feed every 10 days if I do a large mouse but that will very quickly change because that will do a lot of their growing in the first year if I see it as a problem then I will reduce it to Harper mice weekly and style but I want to get them on small ratchet soon as possible in the small rats in my pet store about 1 i'm going to wait till Wednesday to feed both of them again and I'm going to do large mice with both of them which are about 20 g the mail seem to get it down fine I'm I only feed every 10 days if I do a large mouse but that will very quickly change because that will do a lot of their growing in the first year if I see it as a problem then I will reduce it to hopper mice weekly and style but I want to get them on small ratchet soon as possible in the small rats in my pet store about 75 g so I still have to wait until these babies are at least 250 to 300 g before I give them to one
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Old 07-28-17, 09:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding guidelines. Hatchling to adulthood

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Originally Posted by bigsnakegirl785 View Post


I feed my garters similar to that, and unless pituophis have a higher metabolism than a garter I don't believe that to be true.
Garters and pituophis are not the same...it's like comparing boas to ball pythons, for instance...show me a 7' garter that can completely digest and pass a jumbo rats in 3 or 4 days, can you? Of course not. I'd also argue that digesting fish, worms, or decapitated rodent parts would be vastly different in comparison to digesting a whole rodent...not to mention that a much larger very active snake would require more energy to maintain normal bodily function and would therefore require greater intake. Do you think I would go onto a forum and advise everyone to feed garters a whole rodent diet because I know people who do so with success and because I keep multiple other species that a whole rodent diet is successful with, so I would then assume it to be appropriate? Absolutely not...even though I have kept a few of them in the past, it's something I still wouldn't do. What I am getting at is that you're taking an idea that applies to certain species that is essentially great, but then taking it to your own extreme and advising it for everything and making assumptions about species you have never had or ones that you have had very little real experience with. This is something you do that you simply cannot deny. I'm all for advice, tweaking things and improving husbandry and feeding techniques, but when someone passes on advice in regards to something they've never had, never kept, or something they have no experience with and it's based on assumption and googling, I have issues with that, as do most. Reading and taking in information is great and it's clear that you enjoy learning and sharing ideas and are passionate in doing so, but perhaps if knowledge hasn't been applied hands on, things shouldn't be as black and white as you make them to be or as outrightly suggested as you've come to suggest? Things on paper can manifest themselves completely different in the real world. Also, although fatty liver disease, something you bring up a lot, is a real issue with some species and it definitely can and does happen especially with overfeeding, it's very often a scapegoat for other issues and some veterans don't believe it to ever occur, or at least be a valid cause of death (which I happen to not agree with, by the way) and there are arguably other factors besides food intake that can cause it.

Mouse hoppers or rat pups for hatchling balls, rat fuzzies for runts. No pinkies needed. Ever. I guess clarity was needed.

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Old 07-28-17, 02:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding guidelines. Hatchling to adulthood

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Originally Posted by bigsnakegirl785 View Post
Exactly what I said. 8-10% is adequate, but since 10-15% is so widely used I'm not going to say not to do that if someone insists on using it. 10-15% isn't a lifelong feeding regimen anyways, generally I see it advised to stop either when the snake is 500-800 grams, or whenever it is eating small rats. In general I do not see keepers/breeders advising to use that method into adulthood. I do see the odd person that does, however.

Any Boa constrictor locale/species (the ones generally referred to as "red tails"), and dwarfs will stay smaller for even longer. Even in captivity, eating as much as they do, my 2 year olds are in the 3'-4' range.

This is an interesting thread discussing the common 10-15% rule. There's also this snake, which died quite young being fed not much more than the average amount - though the extra meals here and there are probably to blame. I have other links, but they're either really well buried in my bookmarks or they're gone.

I am aware of the difference between 6% and 10%, I'm not that bad at math. Still don't believe that a bp requires regular meals of 10-15%, especially if it's an adult.

Yes, and they don't require it. I feed my garters single rat pinks or mouse pinks/fuzzies, which are in the 5.5-7% range every 2 weeks. I used to go up to 14% of their weight weekly, but once they stopped growing all they did was become obese. Reducing their prey size and feeding half as often has not had much of an effect on their body tone despite my efforts to slim them out, and certainly hasn't reduced them to "skeletons."

I don't have stories, but I have links of breeders losing gravid females to fatty liver disease, and upon a necropsy finding the eggs in the middle of being reabsorbed or otherwise unviable. I also have photos of a gravid boa female that died from fatty liver disease if you'd like me to post them. I can try to Google the FB link as well if that's preferred, I have posted them in threads here before.

There was a link to a gravid viperid that I used to have...not sure if I never saved it or it no longer exists, but the female died soon after becoming gravid. The cause was fatty liver disease.

Fatty Liver Disease - EverythingReptile.org

I did exactly as you said I should. I said I have seen breeders feed small rats every 2 weeks and produce viable clutches. I have also seen studies to back up the metabolic claims I made. There is of course an elevated use of energy stores, but not to the degree most people seem to assume (meaning not enough to triple or quadruple nutrient intake - this has often lead to dead females from my observation).

This study mentions that early development in viviparous snakes does not result in significant metabolic changes, but does occur later once the eggs begin developing into babies. If you were to allow a bp to maternally incubate, I am sure you would notice similar levels, but the actual egg production would not create as great of a metabolic demand. Especially when given access to elevated ambient temperatures for incubation.



The pink was going off of the 10-15% rule, I did say pinks or fuzzies. A rat pink is a decent bit bigger (though roughly equal in weight - rat pinks are heavier on the heavier end of the spectrum than a hopper) than the mouse hoppers you yourself advised.

I feed my garters similar to that, and unless pituophis have a higher metabolism than a garter I don't believe that to be true.
I appreciate all the links and will read through them all more thoroughly when I have some more time and will respond appropriately as you have done.

My first few thoughts are. Sure you get gravid animals die to fatty liver disease,it'll happen. There's how many thousands of snakes giving birth annually that aren't affected on the same feeding schedule. On top of that I can say "cancer kills gravid females. Here's 3 that died from cancer. It's caused by using aspen because my snakes that weren't on aspen didn't die." We aren't looking for other causes of death so we only sum up the one thing we DO notice.

There's no real correlation in my opinion YET of fatty liver and gravid females. A snake can reabsorb for a number of reasons so I don't know if it's solely due to fatty liver.

However, you never did answer the question of how old are the breeder females eating small rats every 2 weeks and consistently getting clutches? How many females have they done this with? With the thousands of ball pythons in captivity a few outliers aren't enough to build a solid case around. It's enough for future study and questions but until those questions become answered with fact it's tough.
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