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Old 11-18-18, 02:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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3 year old BP only 490 Grams?

Hello, I am a beginner and rescued a Ball Python a few months back. I was told that it is a female and is 3 years old and weighed only 490 grams. Something is not right here. The BP originally belonged to a lady who bought it for her son as a pet, but opt to sell it after her son didn't want to take care of it anymore. The lady said that she fed the BP live jumbo mice every 2-3 weeks. Does this BP just seem to be extremely small for a 3 year old? I plan on bumping up the feeding schedule for my BP to every 5 days with a jumbo mice. The reason I'm choosing every 5 day is because my BP is in its stage where it cannot eat a small rat yet (because my local pet store's "small" rats are extremely huge for some reason), and won't eat more than one jumbo mice per setting (my local pet stores "Jumbo Mice" are more like "Mediums"). My BP has is currently at 510 grams. What should a 3 year old female BP weigh and has the underfeeding stunted her growth?

**Bonus! Here's a video of her feeding! Excuse the other mice I'm a beginner and should have fed them one at a time to avoid regurgitation. R.I.P. Mickey Mouse.

https://youtu.be/bQ1bJwCYIdw

Last edited by JustAnotherOne1; 11-18-18 at 02:54 PM..
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Old 11-19-18, 06:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 3 year old BP only 490 Grams?

Ball pythons should eat rats that are 10% of their body weight. Your ball python can easily eat a 51 gram rat, even if it looks too large. For reference, ball pythons can swallow anything that is the same diameter as the widest part of their body.

A three year old female ball python should be between 1200 and 1800 grams. I don't believe that your snake will be permanently stunted. With a proper diet it'll reach adult size, though it probably won't set any records.
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Old 11-20-18, 12:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 3 year old BP only 490 Grams?

For comparison, my BP, Nagini is just about a year old and when I weighed her a few days ago she came in at 587 grams. She gets fed small f/t rats that are 9-12% of her body weight every 9-10 days. Have you looked into frozen rats at your local pet store? Live mice and rats can do a lot of damage to your snake so it would be a good idea to switch your snake to frozen/thawed rats as soon as you can.
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Old 11-20-18, 11:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 3 year old BP only 490 Grams?

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Originally Posted by phenyx View Post
For comparison, my BP, Nagini is just about a year old and when I weighed her a few days ago she came in at 587 grams. She gets fed small f/t rats that are 9-12% of her body weight every 9-10 days. Have you looked into frozen rats at your local pet store? Live mice and rats can do a lot of damage to your snake so it would be a good idea to switch your snake to frozen/thawed rats as soon as you can.
I've decided to just grab a bunch of mice from my local pet store and start breeding them as feeders and raise them until they're nice and fat. Fancy Mice seem to work the best because they are more docile than their feeder mice counterparts for some reason. I've decided to just do live and if it poses a problem pre-kill. I just hate the whole thawing out the mice and trying to play with the BP to get her to eat and if it doesn't then your out like $3. I don't believe in refreezing after thawing for obvious reasons.
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Old 11-25-18, 05:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 3 year old BP only 490 Grams?

There is no weight or size a snake "should" be at any given age. They all grow at their own rates. I've seen even bps fed 10-15% of their weight every 5-7 days end up only 200-250 grams or so at a year old. If a snake grows slow, it will grow slow even if you pump food into it. Each individual hatches out at different sizes, too. I've seen miniscule 13 gram hatchlings, though 30-70+ grams seems to be the more common hatchling size. Hatching size will put them behind or ahead as well.

Considering you haven't raised it, I would really caution against worrying about how big it is, and focus on feeding it now. Feed an appropriately-sized rat every 7-10 days if it will take it. I do not recommend feeding snakes eating rodents more often than 7 days, even if the meal is small. A single rat will also lend to growth and weight gain moreso than a bunch of fat mice, and an adult could take a dozen mice in one sitting, so there's no use in continuing with mice if you can get it on rats.
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