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Feeding Issues

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by Ohiosinger07, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. Ohiosinger07

    Ohiosinger07 Member

    I'm a new BP owner and I'm having issues getting my snake to eat. The first time, he took the mouse, but then my dumbbell husband moved and scared him. He dropped the mouse and it was over. It was still there the next morning. Tonight, he took the mouse and even started eating it, but then spit it out after halfway eating it.

    Also, I'm at a loss as to how to feed him without risking scaring him. He's in a screen top aqua, so putting the screen back in place scares him, but I can't leave it off overnight. It seems like he's fine until I try to leave the room, enter the room, turn off a light (the one that allows me to determine where the snakes head is, but barely gices off light), or put the lid back in place, it scares him.

    He's thin and I am really tired of wasting mice. We're already at 3 he wasted. And now I'm exhausted because I sat up waiting for him to eat for over 2 hours for him to throw it up.
     
  2. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    How long have you had him? Are you feeding live or frozen thawed? Also how old is he and what size mouse are you giving him?
     
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    A few questions.
    How long have you had the snake and how are you housing it ...enclosure...temperatures etc.
    And what are you using to measure the temps.
    How often are you trying to feed? And what size feeder?
    Are you thoroughly warming the food?
    Can you post pictures of the snake and the enclosure.
    Are you handling it?
    Let's see if we can get you track.
     
  4. Ohiosinger07

    Ohiosinger07 Member

    He hatched 8/16/16 and we've had him since 6/11/17. He is a little skinny and was when we got him. He's on medium mice. He was raised on fresh killed and we're trying to transition him to frozen since it's difficult to get live where we live.
     
  5. Ohiosinger07

    Ohiosinger07 Member

    His temps are good, usually between 85-91 on the hot side, 78-81 on the cool side, he's got 2 hides and a tree. Ihave 2 thermometers (digital) measuring the temps and the humidity meter is at the center of the tank (we are having some humidity control issues which we're working on...we're holding at around 30%). I thaw his mice in warm water and then wrapping in a hot, wet towel before feeding. We're limiting handling due to the feeding issues. He's in my office, which is not used much, though I have been using it a lot this past weekend.

    He likes to soak in his water bowl and he rarely uses his hides. I'll have to get on my phone to post a picture, but i will post them later.
     
  6. Ohiosinger07

    Ohiosinger07 Member

    So this is essentially his current set up. The difference is that the box is not there anymore and it's replaced with an actual hide. I just haven't taken an updated picture.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Ohiosinger07

    Ohiosinger07 Member

    for the record, the mouse is still in the plastic when we warm it, so the fur stays as dry as possible.
     
  8. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    You got him on the eleventh this month and have tried feeding him 3 times? So that could be part of the issue. You want him to relax for at least a week before you attempt feeding him, and then if he refuses wait at least another week before trying again. What might be happening is he is getting too stressed and can't fully calm down before the next feeding. If this continues he might get into the habit of refusing.
    Wait a week, and put him in a Tupperware container with holes in it INSIDE his enclosure. Fill this with damp sphagnum moss or something that would make a humid box. Put tape on the lid or use an opaque lid so he doesn't feel like people are looking at him. Get the mouse nice and warm and try feeding him in there, if he doesn't take it immediately put the mouse in there with him overnight and close the lid. If that doesn't work try scenting your mouse with tuna fish juice.
    What size is the mouse???
     
  9. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    And a fairly small Tupperware container, smaller than the snakes length. Also if you have a smaller enclosure to put him in until he gets a little bigger that would probably help as well, he might feel insecure with such a large space.
     
  10. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Ok, a couple of things. First, not sure how often your actually attempting, but it definetly should not be more than once a week. More often wil just cause stress. You could even wait 2 weeks, it honestly doesn't look that skinny to me, and it take months for a healthy BP to lose enough weight to be an issue. Second, you can safely refreeze a rodent one time so long as it hasnt been left out more than a couple hours. I actually sometimes just use deep refridgeration if i know I can use it within a week, but to each their own. Another thing, make sure the prey is warm enough. It should feel quite warm in your hand, if not mine will often refuse.
     
  11. Ohiosinger07

    Ohiosinger07 Member

    We have only tried feeding him twice, technically. Our first attempt failed massively as we didn't entire him with it, just left it in his other hide. He never even saw it. We'll wait a bit. I'll weigh him when I can and measure him.
     
  12. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, you will never be able to stabilise either the temps or humidity ranges with the screen top, you need to cover is as completely as possible (kitchen foil will work temporarily). It shouldn`t make any difference whether the mouse fur is dry or wet.
    Instead of moving the snake to a smaller enclosure I would recommend you add more hiding places (cover).
     
  13. Ohiosinger07

    Ohiosinger07 Member

    I just wanted to clarify since some of the forums read mentioned making sure the mouse didn't get too wet. We are trying to figure out the lid issues...they don't make glass tops for that kind of aquarium due to the size, so we're working on getting something.
     
  14. EctoJoJo

    EctoJoJo Well-Known Member

    A piece of plywood with with holes and screen for the heat / light sources works. There is a how to on the articles sections with a good write up on it.
     
    murrindindi likes this.
  15. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    eQUOTE="Ohiosinger07, post: 539498, member: 29110"]I just wanted to clarify since some of the forums read mentioned making sure the mouse didn't get too wet. We are trying to figure out the lid issues...they don't make glass tops for that kind of aquarium due to the size, so we're working on getting something.[/QUOTE]

    As I mentioned, kitchen foil will work quite well temporarily, you need to cover the top as completely as possible asap, that will give you a "self contained" environment, you will obviously need to recheck the temps, etc... It`s very possible the snake is soaking because the humidity`s too low (30% ) once the top`s covered you can adjust and stabilise it much more easily.
    If the mouse is warmed up before feeding, I would expect the snake would take it with the fur wet or dry?
    Sometimes some people make up new "rules" in order to sound more experienced, when often they really aren`t (that`s not directed at anyone specifically, either here or elsewhere)! ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  16. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    As I mentioned, kitchen foil will work quite well temporarily, you need to cover the top as completely as possible asap, that will give you a "self contained" environment, you will obviously need to recheck the temps, etc...
    @ 30% the humidity is too low, once the top`s covered you can adjust it much more easily.
    If the mouse is warmed up before feeding, I would expect the snake would take it with the fur wet or dry?
    Sometimes some people make up new "rules" in order to sound more experienced, when often they really aren`t (that`s not directed at anyone specifically, either here or elsewhere)! ;)[/QUOTE]
    If the fur is wet, that washes out some of the natural mouse scent, and I have noted with some of my snakes a preference for dry mice, although not all. But definitely a few of them take the dry unwashed ones much more readily.
     
  17. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    If the fur is wet, that washes out some of the natural mouse scent, and I have noted with some of my snakes a preference for dry mice, although not all. But definitely a few of them take the dry unwashed ones much more readily.[/QUOTE]

    I believe you, sometimes some snakes can behave awkwardly just to spite the keeper (not directed at any snake in particular).... ;)
     
    AmityReptiles likes this.
  18. Ohiosinger07

    Ohiosinger07 Member

    We do have foil over the top...it's not in the picture because that's the first one we took the day we brought him home.
     
  19. Ohiosinger07

    Ohiosinger07 Member

    We're using medium mice.
     
  20. Ohiosinger07

    Ohiosinger07 Member

    I believe you, sometimes some snakes can behave awkwardly just to spite the keeper (not directed at any snake in particular).... ;)[/QUOTE]

    this is the first time i've had these kinds of problems getting one to eat...when i was working with the zoo snakes, they always ate their dinner, but they were once a month eaters, full grown, and a little on the pudgy side (if snakes can be described as "pudgy")
     

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