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Worried About My Python

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by pyke, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Glass tanks do not hold heat very well, so you can insulate it a little by adding foam or wood panels to the sides (or even blankets or towels) just tape them in place, and it will help your tank hold the heat better. Increasing the size or wattage of your heaters will also help warm it up, or relocating the tank to a warmer part of the house, if that is an option.

    Screen tops also let heat and humidity rise straight out of the tank - so covering as much of the screen as you can with something will help to seal it up a little.
  2. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    Today i went with a gut feeling that Sam was comfterble in his new surounding and he was hungry so i went to the pet store with a photo of him looking for a pinkie to feed him. when feeding a snake you have the choice to feed him either alive or dead i picked alive to see if i could handel it, so yea i went to get a pinkie they said they have none that are alive they are all frozen so i said no never mind, i showed the snake guy a photo of Sam and he said he should be able to take a small adult mouse so thats what i tried.
    now i tell you what i was right about him being hungry! i laid sam in the tub and got the mouse out put it in the tub too sam watched it for about 30 seconds and then attacked, when he attacked it was so fast and so sudden it scared the **** out of me so i was unable to get a pic but heres pics of him feeding :)


    I also went out and bought a new infered light today the 50 watt one wasnt getting the home hot enough

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  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    That is indeed about the right size to be feeding him for now. The basic guideline is the preys body should be about the size of the snakes body at the widest point.
    I would however strongly advise that you get the snake on feeding FT prey. It will make things much simpler and safer. Keep in mind that you will not be feeding mice for very long and will need to move up to RATS!
    And rodents have some serious teeth that can injure or even kill your snake.
  4. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    in general, a snake can manage prey items that are as thick in the middle as the snake is at the thickest point on his body.

    Once you have the chance, you will want to convert your snake to frozen rodents for a number of reasons, safety of the snake being chief concern. An adult rodent can kill a ball python, given the opportunity.

    Also, using frozen means no smelly feeders in your house, (and no having to feed them if your snake wasn't hungry) and often you can order bulk supplies for a fraction of the price pet stores charge!

    Frozen rodents also cannot transmit diseases or parasites to your snake. Live ones can.

    Converting can be tricky, but there are tons of tricks to get a snake to eat it. If you find you're having difficulties, we'd be happy to share out tips!
  5. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    i have read that you have to force it into their mouth... i will never do thati have heard of pythons refusing to eat frozen prey too :(
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    You read wrong. There are a number of tricks to get them to convert. Forcing a food item into a snake's mouth is VERY stressful and is a last ditch effort to save a snake that is starving to death.
  7. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    Why is everyone set on frozen food?
    the vet i been talking to and the one who told me to feed my snake tells me he HIGHLY suggest that i stay away from frozen food, as well as every pet store i been to say the same thing. i understand about it harming my snake but wouldnt the snake know what to do sense they are wild pets and still have wild instant to attack?
  8. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    oh and i got the tank up to a steady 91 degrees and he cold side steady at 75
  9. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Everyone has given you the reasons you should NOT feed live prey to captive snakes, especially the rodents which have VERY sharp teeth, also, you are keeping the predator and prey in a very small space, even more risk to the snake, as the rodent cannot escape and will defend itself, it only takes one bite from the prey to cause a serious injury, it`s not "cool" to watch this, and most of us think its cruel to BOTH animals, the ONLY time its acceptable is if you have a "difficult" feeder, which can happen now and again, but even with these animals, it`s possible to convert to f/t or fresh killed in time.... Do you want to risk the health/life of the snake? I would get advice from another vet if I were you! YOU are responsible for EVERYTHING that happens while the animals are in your care, if you know there are big risks, don`t take them... Good luck!
  10. parishkl

    parishkl Active Member

    I just got a ball python and she took frozen fuzzy mice with no problem. I didn't even have to tempt her with them - I just laid them in her tank after thawing and she gulped them up.

    I honestly suggest you go with frozen. It is much more humane for the rodents (why have them crushed and suffocated if they don't have to be? It's not "awesome" or "thrilling" to watch something suffer) and feeding frozen/thawed is much safer for your snake.

    I would seriously distrust any vet that gave this advice...what were his reasons for discouraging frozen/thawed feeders?
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The pet shops I can understand, they want to sell you your feeders and many of them do not deal with frozen.
    On the other hand I would have serious doubts regarding the qualifications of any vet who would make such a statement! Every zoological facility I have ever visited uses frozen food! As well as the professional breeders!

    For that matter I would wager that the meat that you and your family eat came frozen!

    FT feeders are not only more humane for the feeder, since they are euthanized with a gas that makes them just go to sleep, it also eliminates any danger of the snake, or even YOU for that matter, being bitten by the intended dinner. They are also lacking in parasites that could be transferred to the snake.
    If you understand about it harming the snake why would you NOT want to do what is necessary to prevent it from happening. In the wild snakes DIE due to being overpowered by their intended prey. And even if they aren't killled they may sustain serious injuries requiring vet treatment. A rodent in the clutches of a snake is fighting for its life and it will do any thing it can to try to escape.
  12. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I work at a zoo, and I can tell you firsthand, not a single animal at our facility gets live vertebrate prey - not the snakes, not the eagles, not the leopards!

    The ONLY live prey we feed is insects!

    While a snake in captivity is still a wild animal, it has been removed from the wild - and lacks options it might have in the wild, such as moving away. In a tank, tub or bin, the snake is essentially trapped with it's rodent prey. And rodents are a lot smarter than most people give them credit for! A mouse or rat that feels threatened WILL try to fight for their lives, and they, like any animal, know how to make a quick kill. It won't waste time chewing on coils, unless that is all it can reach. Given an option, a rodent will go straight for the head/face/neck, and all it takes is one good bite to injure/scar/maim/kill your snake. My former vet (before I moved across the country) used to keep a pickled collection of snakes killed by rodents as a very graphic example of WHY frozen was the best option.

    I too am interested in what reasons your vet would advocate the feeding live prey?

    (Maybe he was only trying to assure another visit and bill from you? lol.)

    And just because a snake has an instinct to attack does not mean it is hungry, or WILL attack. BP are known to fast for months at a time. Half of ours won't even strike when I "pester" them with the food (usually in an attempt to get them to eat when they have not been eating well). That means, I shove a (FT) rat in their face, and repeatedly poke them with it, hoping to at least get a defensive response (which is sometimes followed by eating, but not always). Half the time, they just shy away, which leads me to believe the snake would not even defend itself.... Just because it is a predator, does not mean it will attack a rodent, simply because that's how the food chain works. They are not always hungry, and you have no way of knowing until the rat is in front of the snake.

    Most, (if not all) snakes can be converted to eating frozen prey - much of it is a matter of tricking them into thinking it's still alive, and after that, they usually seem to catch on pretty quick, and start eating normally. All of my snakes, even though they have been eating FT for years, still attack and constrict their (already dead) prey.

    If that doesn't convince you, do a google image search for snakes injured by rodents. I don't think you want your snake to end up looking like those examples.
  13. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    here is a pic of my little kingsnake who escaped her vision cage by squeezing herself between the sliding glass doors, she being a snake, went after my breeder rat and new pups,please keep in mind that we do NOT feed live, all of our feeders are humanely euthanized prior to feeding. I was very fortunate that she survived,with countless vet bills,antibiotcs and months of healing she is doing well, but she will have horrible scars as a reminder.

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  14. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    reasonw hy he said feed live prey is because the snake much rathers it the orignal way and what not i dunno, i guess i will have to try to switch
  15. parishkl

    parishkl Active Member

    I don't think snake thought processes are that complicated. If the snake is getting food, the snake doesn't care.

    And hey, if it's good enough for the most prestigious python breeders in the world, I think it's fair to give frozen/thawed a shot (for the sake of the animals...)
  16. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The snake really won't care. Food is food.
  17. Orca

    Orca Elite Member

  18. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    and if you convert him, you can order bulk rodents and keep yourself supplied for much cheaper. I feed 8 snakes, and they take prey items from rat pups up to small rabbits. I can order a 9 month supply for these guys for $150 (that price includes shipping!). I was paying about $25/week to feed them all live from the pet store (added up to about $975 for about 9 months of food!)

    $975... or $150 which would you choose?

    Many of us LOVE Feeder Rodents - Reptile Food, Birds of Prey, Aquatic, Feed Carnivores If you're feeding just one snake, you might need to combine an order with a friend (or be prepared to buy him 2 years worth of food!)
  19. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    OKay thanks for the help.
    i just hope he dont miss and get my hand while feeding the dead ones lol
  20. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    Also can anyone tell from looking at my pics of the mouse i fed im what kind it was? im looking online and i see Hoppers and weanlings, then large adult. i know my snake is still only young from you guys telling me, witch all in all hes gonna keep growing. how fast do they grow and if i was to lets say get 10 of the hoppers what happens if they become to small for him by the time they are gone?
    also will i ever be able to feed him small chicks?

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