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Feeding Trouble

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by Sarah's Snake, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Sarah's Snake

    Sarah's Snake New Member

    I adopted a ball python from a college-bound friend almost a year ago, she is close to three years old and over 4ft long. I have been feeding her live smallish-to-medium rats every two weeks or so since I got her, and until recently she was very quick to strike at them and successfully eat them. Maybe about six weeks ago, I put her in the tub with a rat that seemed unusually active, and she did not immediately go for him. She pulled her head back multiple times, and I separated them, afraid that the rat would bite her. She eventually ate that rat, but only after I skipped a day feeding him so that he was very lethargic. She exhibited the same shy behavior with the next rat, and has not eaten in a little over three weeks now. I have tried to feed her every five or six days.

    Is it okay that she hasn't eaten in that amount of time? I am concerned that she wants to eat the rat, but is afraid it now. When I leave them together, she seems to be interested, but never quite sets up to strike at the rat, instead just sort of moving aimlessly around the bottom of the tub and startling every time the rat goes close to her head. Any suggestions for a way to get her interested in going for the rat again?
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Ok first,... quit worrying. In terms of the snake, 3 weeks without food is nothing. They are prone to go off feed in the fall and not eat again till spring. Mine would stop feeding in November and not feed again till March or April. It's just the way that they are. Don't even try to feed for a couple of weeks and see what happens.
    What are the conditions in the cage?
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Another thought. Is it possible the snake is getting ready to shed?
  4. annaj328

    annaj328 Elite Member

    I second everything Merlin said. My ball that I had only ate half the year also. When she is eating again I would strongly recommend switching to frozen thawed rats. You are right to be afraid that the rat will bite the snake. I successfully transitioned my girl by scenting the thawed rat with gerbil bedding I got from the petstore. They look at you funny when you ask for soiled gerbil bedding but it works.
    Karma Momma and murrindindi like this.
  5. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Double check all your cage parameters to make sure nothing has changed, hotspot temps, and ambient temps and humidity on the cool end. If everything is still good, then either it may be going into a shed cyc!e as was mentioned, or it is just being a ball Python. I had one that didn't eat for 8 months, and it lost very little weight. Like, a couple hundred grams on a 1400g snake.
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, you are putting the snake at great risk of a serious injury by offering live rodent prey, not to mention causing unnecessary suffering to the rats, it`s very rare that healthy snakes refuse f/t or f/k if they`re hungry enough..

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