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Switching an IJ Carpet to Rats

Discussion in 'Carpet/Diamond Pythons' started by Kernel, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Kernel

    Kernel Elite Member

    I have a question for all you carpet python keepers. I have been trying to switch my 4 foot IJ carpet python over to rats with no success. She's currently eating 3-4 jumbo mice and that's getting to costly. I have tried rubbing a mouse on rat and she grabbed it, but she spit it back out. I have tried that several times and the same thing happens. I have tried starving her for up to 2 months, but that didn't work either. Do you guys have any idea how I can get her to switch?
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Try taking the rat and washing it with a little dish soap, then rub the mouse on it. Or maybe even keep the feeder in the fridge, wrapped up in mouse bedding.
    Something else you might try is to feed a single mouse, a bit smaller meal than usual, and as the mouse is being swallowed lead the rat in behind it with a pair of tongs.
    Or you could try tying the rat to the mouse with a short length of cotton string. Once they start swallowing it becomes pretty automatic.
  3. Kernel

    Kernel Elite Member

    I'll have to try all that. The dish soap or cotton string won't hurt her?
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    LOL! You don't need to use THAT much soap. Just a drop to help break down the body oils on the feeder.

    Thats why I specified cotton.
    A bit of cotton string will just digest. It would be no different that the feeder you have having plant fibers in its stomach from things it has eaten.
  5. Kernel

    Kernel Elite Member

    OK, just checking, I'm really cautious when it comes to my reptiles. I'll let you know how it goes over the next few weeks.
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I`d just like to ask if the rats are significantly larger than the mice you`ve been feeding?
  7. Kernel

    Kernel Elite Member

    About twice the size.
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I would start out with something a little closer in size to the size you have been successfully feeding.
  9. JohnC

    JohnC Elite Member

    One way is to skin a mouse and put the skin over a smaller size rat. The carpet will take this.
    Although the mouse smell dominates, the rat smell is introduced in a small way.
    Then reduce the area of mouse skin over the rat and finally use a rat with mouse scent on it.
    To do this, wash the rat with a bit of detergent in the water, rinse it, dry it and then rub a mouse over the body.
    Then you can then feed a rat as it comes.
    I have seen this work a couple of times.
  10. justor

    justor Elite Member

    What is the easiest way to skin a mouse? Should it be thawed out first?

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