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    Jan 1, 2011, 03:54 AM
    Ball python won't eat
    I noticed today that my husband's ball python who's only 7 months old will not eat. I've tried feeding him, but he's just turning to skin and bones... Literally... I'm scared that there's something wrong.. I've tried once a week to feed him and he just won't eat. His conditions are good, has a hiding spot on one end of the aquarium, and heat on one end of the aquarium set to pet store standards... What do I do.. I don't want him to die...
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,801, Reputation: 2674

    Jan 1, 2011, 04:03 AM

    Here is information from on feeding ball snakes. One meal will last some time apparently.

    Ball pythons can be fed exclusively mice or small to medium sized rats (as appropriate for the size of the snake), and only need to be fed every week or two. Young snakes should be fed fuzzy mice every 5-7 days, older snakes should be fed increasingly larger prey and can go a little longer (i.e. 10 - 14 days). Use pre-killed prey as live mice can injure a snake - dangling the prey in front of the snake with forceps usually gets the snake interested.

    Moving the snake out of its cage into a separate enclosure for feeding is a good idea and will help in the taming process. The snake will associate eating with the other enclosure, and is less likely to confuse your hand for prey when you put your hand into the cage. This will make it easier to reach into the cage to get the ball python out for handling.

    Even captive bred ball pythons sometimes refuse to eat, fasting for a couple of months. As long as body weight and condition are maintained, this is not problematic. If your snake stops eating, carefully examine the husbandry, handling, health, and environment of the snake to make sure stress isn't the culprit. Consult a knowledgeable vet or experienced keeper for help if the fast is prolonged or causing weight loss. If necessary, some tricks to entice a python to eat include dipping the prey in chicken broth, trying different colors of mice, exposing the brain of the prey before feeding it, feeding at night, covering the cage with towels after offering a mouse. You may even want to try feeding a hamster or gerbil, although this may make your snake more likely to refuse mice if it develops a preference for hamsters and gerbils
    mickeyswift's Avatar
    mickeyswift Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jan 1, 2011, 01:14 PM
    Hes obviously not happy with something. What sort of food are you feeding him? Try taking him to the vet, maybe they can help. Sorry I can't help more but I need more information like his diet, how big his living quarters are. Etc etc Is he too hot? Can he escape the heat comfortably if he wants and vise versa?
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    theredbaron Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 10, 2011, 12:05 PM
    I personally have eight ball pythons, some babies, some adults. I have never had one of the smaller ones have eating problems, but with the adults, I've got some picky eaters. Typically they won't let themselves starve, but if something is genuinely wrong, they will.
    -First make sure that he has clean water, and if need be, set his belly in the cool water to let him know it's there (their eyesight isn't the best)
    -Second, if they are cold, they tend to hibernate. Make sure that your heating pad hasn't malfunctioned (also, don't use heat lights, they NEVER need lights, just heat)
    -Third, make sure that they have a comfortable hiding place ON THAT HEATING PAD.
    Also, for picky eaters I always use live food, for him you are probably giving him adult mice, which are not really eaven a threat of injuring your snake (it's really only the large rats that will nibble on your snake and that's only in cases of starvation)
    I have also had situations where my snake would only attack the prey in the dark, so try this: Remove the water dish and hide space from the terrarium, place the LIVE mouse in there, close it, turn off the lights and leave it alone for 20 minutes. Go back and check on him and if he hasn't eaten, give him his stuff back, take the mouse out and try again the next night...
    Hope that helps!
    binhtdo's Avatar
    binhtdo Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Mar 6, 2012, 05:09 AM
    Ball Pythons won't eat for 2 reasons, not hungry or not happy... Feed in a separate enclosure in a dim quiet place. Place a bowl of water with your snake when feeding it. Give it a live but not too big mice, the movement and the smell attracts snakes. Try dipping the mouse in water, it hydrates the snake and it goes down easier. Check your snakes for parasites, or hard lumps near the tail(may be constipated). An uncomfortable or itchy snake will not eat either. Hope this helps.

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