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    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
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    #1

    Mar 2, 2009, 09:32 AM
    Ball Python won't eat :(
    Reggie won't eat.

    He's 3.5 years old and has always eaten a live rat every other week. It's been 5-6 weeks now since he's eaten.

    He normally eats in his aquarium home. I've tried to put him in a separate container with the rat but all he does is buddy up to the rat.

    I've had to euthanize 3 rats now over the past 3 weeks.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks! :)
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #2

    Mar 2, 2009, 03:23 PM

    Hi Rick,

    I'm not really familiar with snakes, never had one.

    I did some research though and this is what I found;

    In the wild, the diet consists mostly of small mammals, such as African soft-furred rats, shrews and striped mice. Younger individuals have also been known to feed on birds. Captives usually do well on domestic rats and mice, either live, pre-killed, or frozen-thawed.[4] The size of the prey item should be equivalent to or slightly larger than the width of the largest part of their body. This python is known for being a picky eater and may not eat for months. While this is not odd, care should be taken to watch that the snake does not experience significant weight loss

    Is he eating the rats that you euthanize? Maybe try feeding mice for a while. No rabbits though, or I'll have to come get you. ;)

    I hope this helps a bit. I'll do some more research and talk to my cousin who does have a snake and has had them most of his life.
    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
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    #3

    Mar 3, 2009, 03:38 AM

    The euthanized rats are discarded. He only eats live ones. I did try smaller rats than normal.

    I've tried a few things I found on the internet such as:

    Feeding in a separate container
    Frozen (but thawed first) rats
    Hydrating him real good first...

    Thanks, though. I'll keep hunting! :)
    Silverfoxkit's Avatar
    Silverfoxkit Posts: 798, Reputation: 264
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    #4

    Mar 3, 2009, 09:37 PM

    Is there any chance that he was bitten by one of the rats? I've dealt with several snakes before that refused to eat after a particularly nasty mouse/rat took a good nip at them.
    simoneaugie's Avatar
    simoneaugie Posts: 2,490, Reputation: 438
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    #5

    Mar 3, 2009, 09:43 PM

    My Boa went through a similar hunger strike. I left the rat in with her. When the rat had babies, in the snake terarrium, all rats were removed to a cage just for them. My snake finally began to eat again after about three months. Of course, by then, buying rats was not an issue. Keeping the rats clean and not pet-like was. Why did you kill the rats?
    Silverfoxkit's Avatar
    Silverfoxkit Posts: 798, Reputation: 264
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    #6

    Mar 3, 2009, 09:46 PM

    You will want to be careful about leaving rodents in the cage too long. I knew someone who left a rat in his snakes cage over the weekend and he came back to find a half-eaten snake.
    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
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    #7

    Mar 4, 2009, 05:08 AM

    If I leave the rat with Reggie for more than 20 minutes, then the two become buddies :(

    I suppose Reggie may have been bitten or scratched by one of them in the past...

    Still trying. I figure when he gets hungry enough, he'll eat :)
    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
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    #8

    Mar 4, 2009, 09:42 AM

    Quote Originally Posted by altenweg
    A snake and a rat buddies. LMAO! I can picture it.
    Somewhere I've got a picture. If I can find it I'll post it: Reggie curled up in his usual way - with his food nestled in the middle. :)

    Maybe I could get it on Ripley's believe it or not!
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #9

    Mar 4, 2009, 09:55 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by RickJ View Post
    Somewhere I've got a picture. If I can find it I'll post it: Reggie curled up in his usual way - with his food nestled in the middle. :)

    Maybe I could get it on Ripley's believe it or not!
    Maybe you're just buying really social rats. :p

    I'd love to see a picture, that's too funny. Poor Reggie, maybe he's just doesn't
    Have the heart to eat something he's befriended, I know that's how I'd feel. ;)

    My cousin used to feed his snake hamsters and he'd let his 5 year old daughter play with them and name them before feeding time. Poor kid. Finally he switched to mice and bought her a pet hamster, but she's never really gotten over the idea the hamsters are snake food.
    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
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    #10

    Mar 9, 2009, 11:53 AM

    Think I'm going to have to take Reggie to the snake doctor :(

    Here's a pic of him and his new found friend.
    Attached Images
     
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #11

    Mar 9, 2009, 10:19 PM

    Rick, is it sad that I think the rat is adorable? I guess that doesn't help you much. ;)

    Here's what you do. Take Reggie to the vet, get him a clean bill of health, buy a cage for the rat name him Squishy and then start feeding Reggie mice. That sounds good. :)

    Let us know how it goes. I wish I could be more help, snakes are not my specialty. Now, if you have bunny problems ask, but not if you're feeding those bunny's to Reggie. :eek:
    h_leann_b's Avatar
    h_leann_b Posts: 247, Reputation: 35
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    #12

    Mar 17, 2009, 01:41 PM

    First of all, Reggie is adorable. Is he human friendly?

    Has there been any change in environment or temp? If everything is the same, I would just wait it out for a while. He looks healthy. I would take him in if he starts to look bad or is losing a lot of weight.
    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
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    #13

    Mar 18, 2009, 03:39 AM

    He is super friendly. No environment changes.

    I took him to our local reptile expert - who assured me he's not sick... and he told me that his age of 3.5 years is in line with this sort of behavior - that sometimes they may go up to 6 months without eating.

    ... so he was in agreement that when reggie is hungry, he'll eat. I'll keep trying fresh food every 10 days or so :)
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #14

    Mar 18, 2009, 05:57 PM

    So, um, what happened to the cute rat?

    Is it wrong that I want to keep the rat as a pet? I'd name him Oscar, he looks like an Oscar. They're supposed to be really smart.

    Just a thought. ;)
    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
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    #15

    Mar 19, 2009, 03:23 AM

    I sent the rat to heaven... in a humane way of course.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #16

    Mar 19, 2009, 12:36 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by RickJ View Post
    I sent the rat to heaven...in a humane way of course.
    Ahhhh! You could have sent him to Alty heaven, I would have taken him. Oh well, what's one less rat? ;)
    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
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    #17

    Mar 20, 2009, 03:52 AM

    Haha, the first time it happened, I just let the rat go back in the woods line... and ticked off a neighbor or two who did not like seeing the thing running around! :)
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #18

    Mar 20, 2009, 01:17 PM

    Can't say as I blame them, much. ;)

    I guess Oscar the rat is in a better place. Besides, he was food anyway.

    How's Reggie doing?
    templelane's Avatar
    templelane Posts: 1,177, Reputation: 227
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    #19

    Mar 20, 2009, 01:34 PM

    I'd ditch the snake and keep the rats!

    But that's pretty much what happened with me and my boyfriend anyway. (The snake is safe at his parents home).

    Rats are great fun as pets.

    On the snake side my boyfriends one is ancient (13 years) and he goes through phases of not eating, usually before shedding. We keep thinking he is goining to pop his clogs, but nope he keeps on going...

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