This Disappears When Logged In

Correct Feeder Size And Schedule

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by blair, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. blair

    blair Well-Known Member

    Can anyone advise on our feeding schedule for our ball python. We've had her just over a year and she wasn't very old when we got her. She is approx 2ft long and I'll include a pic. When she was little we fed hoppers once a week. Now we are using adult mice every 3-4 weeks. I have to think that since she is still growing, and a little fatter right before the tail than I read is healthy, then we are doing it right. Is there's point we move to pregnant mice or even rats? And is there a point when feeding needs to be more frequent. We are very lucky she has never refused a meal and usually strikes within seconds. I'm a fan of using live but any bigger feeders and I'd be worried about them nipping her. She does good on f/t already which is a plus

    image.jpg
     
  2. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    First off, I would get her on rats as soon as possible. Your not far from the point where she will need multiple mice to satisfy her, and that can get expensive compared to the cost of one proper sized rat. Plus, whatever you are feeding should leave a noticeable lump, and at her size I'd be surprised if any mouse could do that.
    The next thing is the feeding schedule. Just as an example, my breeding females get fed weekly, males usually every two weeks unless they are underweight from breeding activity, then they get fed weekly. Babies get fed every 4 or 5 days depending on a number of factors, until they hit 350-500 grams, when they are moved back to a 7 day schedule. Assuming your not breeding, you'd be fine feeding her every two weeks.
    One last thing, I noticed in the pic that she's had a bad shed recently. What is the humidity in her cage and how are you measuring it?
     
  3. blair

    blair Well-Known Member

    humidity reading at 50% but i am using a cheap pet store hygrometer. i have a digital (still cheap but imo more accurate walmart device) that i will test her enclosure with this weekend. the last two sheds have been bad. her eyes look like cracked glass which makes me think there is more than one layer. i read a few people using a couple different things to put on the eyes to help, will have to look for what. i want to say something like baby oil which surprised me.

    she is in a 55gal tank with screen lid. i have about 80% of the lid covered with cardboard.
     
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The crinkle in the eyes you are describing is a sign of insufficient humidity.
     
    Mass likes this.
  5. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Sorry it took me so long to get back, had a rough weekend. I would replace the cardboard with plastic, even a section cut out of a garbage bag will be fine. The cardboard isn't as effective with helping to control humidity, though it could be placed over the plastic to help hold heat in the cage a bit better. Walmart has a decent cheap digital thermometer/hygrometer for around 12 bucks that will work better than the petstore cheapos, and don't be afraid to cover even more of the screen if you need to. I usually tell people to cover the entire screen, then open it back up a bit at a time until they get the humidity down to where it needs to be. Also I would recommend that you not mess with her eyes at all right now. If you he humidity gets corrected, any retained eyecaps should come off with the next shed.
     
  6. blair

    blair Well-Known Member

    the 2nd hygrometer i put in her cage registers 44%. lets argue that it's off by 5%-10%. It's still not quite humid enough in there. I will fashion some plastic to replace the cardboard this evening and take a closer look at substrate, i think we have shredded aspen in there which might be soaking up moisture but i think that bedding was okay. busy weekend for us too, we built and sold 3 iguana enclosures this weekend, built a tortoise table and another terrarium.

    I gave her (i don't know if it's really a she) a small rat instead of a mouse this weekend and she immediately took it. She seemed to strain swallowing and it took her about 10 minutes but now that i think about it that's what it took her as a juvenile to eat a small mouse. i was slightly concerned with the stretching of the neck when swallowing, you couldn't even see her colors anymore until completely swallowed. it left a nice size lump for the first few hours, haven't really seem much of her since but the rat couldn't have been much bigger than the biggest part of her body
     
  7. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    That actually sounds about right. It may have been just a little large for it, but I doubt it. You should also see an increase in it's growth with the larger and more frequent feedings.
    As for the humidity, I would try and get the reading up to about 55 most of the time, and bump it up to 65-70% when you notice it going blue. And aspen is fine, but doesn't seem to hold moisture well for me. I prefer ground coconut husk, commonly sold as eco-earth or whatever. Does a great job holding humidity for me. Lately I have been mixing about a 50/50 mix of that and pet grade cypress mulch, and liking that a bit better. Great thing about either substrate, when they get a bit dry, you can just pour some water into them and get your humidity back.
     
  8. blair

    blair Well-Known Member

    what a difference plastic on the top made. i soaked it last night...a little too much and it jumped to 85% and was still 60% when i woke up this morning. will be nice to get it to 1-2 light mistings a day i will adjust my spraying to see if i can get it to hold around 55%

    i like the coir or ecoearth stuff. it isn't too expensive and have been experimenting with mixing sand in it for borrowing needs elsewhere. it actually packs pretty well but i suppose some of that could be the moisture needed to expand dry bricks

    i will keep an eye on her eye sheds and if they don't come off on her next shed maybe will inquire about other options.

    thank you all for the good feedback
     
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Even when they are not in shed the eyes can crinkle. It isn't necessarily retained caps. Just give a good misting and it should go away.
     

Share This Page