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Old 01-20-21, 02:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Feeding advice

I just had two quick questions, and would appreciate some general advice. Noel, my ball python that had such a turbulent beginning, is growing like a weed, and doing great! He's still on one f/t adult mouse a week (since the only local reptile breeder in my tiny town only sells live, and most pet stores' smallest rats are a bit bigger than he can handle right now).
Way back in the beginning I started moving him to a different container for feeding on the grasping hope that he'd associate it with food and make later food changes easier. I wasn't really expecting him to, but he absolutely has, and will poke his head out any time I open the cabinet where I keep his container. That leads me to my first question: is his strict schedule of one mouse on Thursdays what he should always stick to? Several times lately he's starting becoming restless and testy a few days before Thursday, and would excited when I opened the terrarium, so I think he gets hungry. The mice seem just on the edge of what he can swallow, and he's pretty bulgy afterward, so I don't even know if I could move him up a size. Should I feed him whenever he seems hungry, or make him wait? Question two: every time I get him out to feed him (or handle him at all), I have to lift his hide to find him, which seems to spook him. He doesn't stay nervous at all when I'm handling him, but I always feel invasive and scary knocking his little world all to pieces to catch him. Is that just what I have to do? Isn't that stressful for him? I'm not sure how else I'd get him, because he usually only starts meandering around around 12 or 1 AM, and I try to feed him right after dark. Not pressing problems, but advice would be great!
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Old 06-16-21, 11:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding advice

I don't know how old he is or what he weighs, but I feed all mine under 600g every 5 days. Once they hit 600g, I move them to every 7, unless they're still actively cruising for food before the 7 days are up.
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Old 06-17-21, 05:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding advice

A good feeding schedule is once every 5 days for young snakes, every 7 days for sub adult snakes, and every 14 days for adults. A couple days early or late won't make a difference.

You should feed your snake in its cage. Ball pythons have a habit of refusing food as adults for a variety of reasons. Feeding the snake in its cage will cut back on the number of reasons it could decide to skip meals.

I don't handle my snakes on feeding days. When they smell food they expect food and my hands/arms aren't good. On any other day (after giving them a day or two to digest) I pick up my snakes with relative impunity. There are snappy ball pythons but I think I'd just about have to slap mine in the face to get bitten on a non feeding day.
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Old 06-17-21, 06:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Feeding advice

I guess it's a matter of preference. I never feed in the racks, I always remove to neutral tubs for feeding. It's worked for me for a lot of years, and no fasts except for breeding season, and an occasional skip if in shed.
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