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How do you tell if the snake is still hungry?

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by replover, Apr 20, 2006.

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  1. replover

    replover Elite Member

    Ok as you know I fed my ball yesterday night, and it went into its hide curled up all night and today, digesting. The mice was slightly smaller than the girth of the snake. I had offered one slightly bigger and one slightly smaller and it chose the smaller one.

    Now, this afternoon, the snake all of a sudden came out again even during daylight, and it is crawling around, very active already! It is slithering its tongue and looking around like mad. Does this mean it didn't eat enough? I know I probably shouldn't feed it again now, but should I feed it two mice instead of one next time around?
     
  2. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Just make sure it has enough fresh water every day and wait about 5-7 days before feeding again. Even if he is still a bit hungry its better to wait a good 5 days before feeding again.
    You can try feeding two mice next time. I find that if he takes one and then you offer him the next one just after he's finished swallowing the first, he might snap up the other one as well. If you wait too long or let the other get too cold, he might not take it. (I warm mine up with a hairdryer before feeding).
     
  3. replover

    replover Elite Member

    Hi. I don't know how to "offer" the mice. I have tried to put it in front of its nose with a pair of tongs and that just scared the crap out of the snake. All I could do was leave the dead mice in the enclosure and then leave and two hours later its gone. Can I just leave two mice there?
     
  4. Manhirwen

    Manhirwen Elite Member

    if you make it "twitch" slightly the snake should be more enticed to eat it. At least, that's what I have to do with my ball python.
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    It may be that the rodent wasn't large enough and its still hungry. If the rodent is less than the girth of the snake at the widest part next time try it with either a bit bigger one or with two.

    Most likely though its just the snake exploring and looking for a way out of the enclosure. Typical snake behavior. They do this a lot! And its almost a constant thing whether they are hungry or not. Thats why we stress that if there is a way out of the enclosure the snake WILL find it.

    When you try to feed with the tongs don't approach the snake with the mouse "head on", bring it up slowly, slightly to the side and keep it a couple of inches away from the snake and let the snake come to the mouse. If you take it and immediately bring it straight into the snake's face it is like the mouse is attacking the snake instead of the other way around The snake may feel intimidated and try to flee rather than feed. As the snake gets used to your feeding routine just placing it into the feeding container will trigger a feeding response it will key on the prey a lot quicker. Watch your hands at this point. Their eyesight is not the greatest and in their mind,.. warm and moving,... equals food!:eek:
     
  6. replover

    replover Elite Member

    Alright Merlin, so lets say it was still hungry. How would I get it to eat two? I can't get any mice that's bigger than that that's not way too big.

    Also, I don't see how I can feed it with tongs. When I put it in the feeding box, with the lid off, I tried to feed it with tongs, but spent 99% of the time stopping the snake from getting out of the box! I had to end up putting the mouse in there, closing the lid, leaving it in the dark for a while, to get it to eat the darn thing. Obviously I can't use tongs with the lid closed. How can I accomplish this?
     
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    If the snake wil take one in the closed box and the mice are too small it will take two in the box.
    Perhaps you should look into getting a larger/taller box.
    As the snake gets used to you and the feeding regimen it will settle down and realize the box is where the food is.
    I actually feed mine on a towel in the middle of the living room floor!
    But they are very socialized.
    But I started at the same place you are at now. Again,...patience.
     
  8. replover

    replover Elite Member

    How big should the box be then? My snake is about 16 inches.
     
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Tall enough so that the snake can't immediately climb out.
     
  10. replover

    replover Elite Member

    Does it matter the horizontal size and depth? I don't mean ridiculous big/small, but does it need room to stretch out in a big box to want to eat? Or will a big box make it not find the mouse as easily and smaller is better?
     
  11. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    I provide my boa with enough room to stretch out fully, I dont worry about having a feeding box high cause she never tries to get out, shes too distracted with eating :)
     
  12. Lyn'sSteve

    Lyn'sSteve Elite Member

    Replover,

    With all the snakes that we have, they all have different eating habits. We do not use tongs, just dangle the mouse/rat in front of the snake. Now the california king gets spooked and will not eat if the mouse accidently touches his face. The rat snake attacks that rat as fast as you put it in there and is always ready for a second. The balls sometimes will strike and eat, other times will just try to climb out of the feeding bin. When that happens, we will toss in the rat and cover the bin and most of the time they will eat, but then again sometimes they are not interested.
    So i guess it depends on the snake and the mood that its in. But dont you worry, when it's hungry it will eat. I do not see why you couldn't put two in there at once. If it wants it, it will eat!

    Steve
     
  13. replover

    replover Elite Member

    Ok thanks. I just wasn't sure if snakes would eat two mice at once because of their unusual digestive and eating habits.

    After your balls eat, how long do they sort of hide away before becoming active again?
     
  14. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    2-3 days is the normal period, It also depends on how big the meal is too I guess :)
     
  15. replover

    replover Elite Member

    Mine just slept for like 16 hours and then started climbing and running around again! Guess the mouse was too small! It wouldn't eat the bigger one though. I'm gonna try to feed it two small ones this next time.
     
  16. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Did the mouse you fed him leave a buldge? If not then definatley try feeding him 2 :D let us know how it goes!! Feeding pics would be nice too :rolleyes:
     
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    LOL! My pythons feed one evening and the next evening they are out cruising the tank again.
    And they are eating small RATS!
     
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