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  1. #1
    Og_
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    Elite Member Og_'s Avatar
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    Winter Fasting

    Ok, This is the first winter my ball is going through as an ADULT. Last year I had some problems with feeding but she never went more than about a month between meals.
    Now, It has been about 2 months since she has eaten.
    When should I become worried about the loss of appetite?

    My carpet is still taking meals but is still immature.






  2. #2
    Elite Member Dragoness's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Fasting

    Mine hits 3 and 4 months on a fast on a regular basis - as long as her weight is fine, and she's acting normal, there isn't a good reason to worry.

    If you do want to worry, you can sometimes convince them to eat if you offer up a gerbil.

    BTW, record for a ball python in captivity NOT eating is 22 months.
    My name is Jen.

    "Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar."

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  3. #3
    Elite Member nicole's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Fasting

    I would await the gerbil, they can ge to the point where that is all they want to eat if offered. I have seen some of the ones in here go a couple months. I really do not stress it too much anymore. I just watch and make sure everything else is normal and of course the husbandry has not changed or anything.
    I have sucker tattood on my forehead.

  4. #4
    Administrator Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Fasting

    Mine go from November to March or April! Fasting to them is not a big deal. I will offer food about once a month and if refused then someone else gets the feeder!
    I would also advise against the gerbil.
    BPs have been known to imprint on gerbils and not accept anything else! Pretty expensive feeder! Just have faith and wait it out.
    Come spring they will be back to eating!
    Merlin,
    What's Life Without A Little Magic!

  5. #5
    Og_
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    Re: Winter Fasting

    ok now you have me curious. What's so special about gerbils that they like them so much? Do Ball Python's have taste buds?

  6. #6
    Elite Member Dragoness's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Fasting

    good question. I don't know about the taste bud thing, and for that matter, I'm not even sure if gerbils live in the same geological region exactly as Balls. I know they are both African. well. some species of gerbils are African.

    Though I haven't had a problem with it, I would not be surprised if Balls would imprint on certain types of food. I know some get picky just about the color of their mouse/rat. Again, I'm glad mine are not picky eaters, for the most part. As long as they get fed, they don't care what color or species it is. They only seem to show preference for live...
    My name is Jen.

    "Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar."

    -Bradley Miller-

  7. #7
    Elite Member leslielenee's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Fasting

    Quote Originally Posted by Og_ View Post
    ok now you have me curious. What's so special about gerbils that they like them so much?
    The gerbils are closer to the type of food Ball Python's eat in the wild than rats or mice are. Probably why imprinting is so quickly achieved. They are called jerboa or something weird like that.
    Pleased to make your acquaintance.

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  8. #8
    Elite Member Dragoness's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Fasting

    Gerbils and jerboas are closely related (Gerbil actually means "little jerboa"). Jerboas have longer hind legs, almost like a hare, but still have a long gerbil tail.
    My name is Jen.

    "Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar."

    -Bradley Miller-

  9. #9
    Administrator Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Fasting

    Gerbils are native to Asia. Jerboas are the animals in Africa and they are very similar to the commercially available Mongolian Gerbil. Jerboas are a staple of the wild Ball Python so that may be what makes them so attractive to the snakes. All I know is that I have heard several people that had the problem with the snake deciding that gerbils were the only acceptable meal!
    Merlin,
    What's Life Without A Little Magic!

  10. #10
    Elite Member wgnelson's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Fasting

    What is the turnover ratio of gerbils vs rats or mice in breeding? ie: the # in the litter, survivability, how much space is needed to successfully breed? If gerbils are as fast a breeder as rabbits or rats, then go for the breeding, and defray the costs.
    Have a great day, and a better tomorrow.
    Semper fi

    "It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb, because it is dumb to his dull perceptions." ~ Mark Twain

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