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How can I get my ball python to eat??

How can I get my ball python to eat?? Topic: Benefit just in case set
June 26, 2019 / By Alick
Question: Hello! So I have a young ball python, it is my first snake, but I have done lots of research and have some knowledge about them. First things first: the enclosure. It's between 88-90 degrees F on the 'hot' side, 74-77 F on the 'cooler' side, with a humidity between 55-60 with the hygrometer on the hot side. I have 2 thermometers in there and check the temp and humidity often. We just got her about a week ago, so I'm sure she is still just adjusting to her new home, but she hasn't eaten in about 2 weeks, despite 2 attempts to feed her with hopper mice (defrosted, pre killed). How can I get her to eat? anyone have any suggestions/advice for me as a new snake owner?? Or comments on the setup I have going? I hope I have everything right! thanks for you help everyone!
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Best Answers: How can I get my ball python to eat??

Tansy Tansy | 1 day ago
Congrats!......Ball pythons make great snakes, but what a lot of people don't realize (or mention in care sheets) is that they can be downright finicky eaters. Just stick to a schedule, offer a mouse every 6-8 for a baby or juvenile. Constantly shoving food in its face will stress it out more than it will be benefit from it. It will eat when it's ready. It isn't uncommon for ball pythons to go weeks on end without eating for no apparent explanation. Some breeders "cool" their snakes as an induced brumation period and their pythons can go 3-4 months without eating....and this happens every year. I honestly wouldn't start to worry unless severe anorexia sets in, in which case you should collect a stool sample and take it to a vet. Setup sounds good........nice temps, perfect humidity....just give it time Good Luck!
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Tansy Originally Answered: I have a ball python?
Sounds like she is cold. how big is the cage what kind of cage is it (aquarium, plastic bin, etc..) HOW are you measuring the heat? Do you have hides? ok, for a 4ft bp, I've found they feed better and thrive (not just live or survive) better in a smaller cage, so a 2.5-3ft cage (I had a 5ft male, yes 5ft male, in a 3ft cage, and he started eating again after 9 months when I put him in there!) Now go to wal-mart, yes, you can get a under bed storage bin and turn it into a bp wonderland, the opaque one's work great because ball pythons are naturally shy snakes. drill about 5-8 holes in the long side, about 3-4 on the short side, put some of those black metal clips around the edges (those binder looking things you can find in stationary/school paper stuff) and use those to make sure the cage stays securely shut. Go over to the paint section, close to there you should find the indoor/outdoor thermometers. Get one with a probe. go to the lighting section, get a lamp dimmer. When you get home plug in lamp dimmer, plug in heat pad to lamp dimmer, turn it down about 25%, put heat pad UNDER the cage (outside of it). Put probe INSIDE cage, over heat pad. watch temperature. Do NOT let it get over 95 degree's. add newspapers (best because it's easy to clean, usually free, and actually holds moisture pretty good), water bowl, any decoration/climbing branches, and hides (remember put one hide directly over the heat pag). Add snake. She can't burrow because there really isn't anything to burrow under. She may climb under the newspapers though. Both of mine loved to do that. By the way, what kind of bedding are you using? ANY kind of softwood is bad (pine/cedar) it can cause respirtory infections. If you want a wood bedding the best kind to use is aspen SHAVINGS (not the kind that look like big chunks, the kind I'm talking about looks a bit like splinters, but are REALLY soft) or almost any kind of HARDWOOD shavings.

Riley Riley
Sounds pretty good. I would make it a bit warmer on the warm side, it has to be at least 75 degrees or a ball python cannot properly digest its food. The humidity is fine at that level when shedding, somewhere between 60 and 65, however if you keep it that high all the time you are risking upper respiratory infection. Also, when you feed, make sure the hopper is warm! Obviously it has to be thoroughly defrosted, but put it in a plastic baggie and run hot water over it for 4 or 5 minutes. Ball pythons will not eat if the food is not warm, as they won't recognize it as food. If she does not take the food, make sure you wait at least 5 days before offering food again, a stressed snake won't eat and trying to feed a snake that won't eat will stress them further.) Also, it takes about two weeks for a snake to adjust to a new environment. I wait this long before even attempting to feed a new snake. You should also wait at least 2 weeks if not longer before handling her.
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Mirabel Mirabel
It seems like you're doing a great job so far. Your ball may be still adjusting. When you feed it make sure you take it out of its enclosure and feed it in an entirely separate enclosure, a box just big enough for it to move around in. You don't want to feed it inside of its enclosure because it will eventually associate your hand going into the cage with its food. People may tell you to attempt force feeding your snake however I don't think you should. You can bring your snake to a local pet store (that sells reptiles) and they may be able to help you with that. If it doesn't eat immediately its nothing to worry about just yet. Is it drinking? You don't want it to become dehydrated. Its eyes will sink in and then it will die.
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Lillie Lillie
when u plan 2 feed her put her into a separate cardboard box, (pref with a lid) leave her somewhere dark and quiet with the mouse for a while as snakes dont like an audience when hey eat. also you could try (although its not nice) piercing the head of the mouse slighty to allow blood flow which will entice the snake. snakes can go 4 a while without food so i wouldnt panic 2 much, ask a vet 4 help after 4 weeks,
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Kaelee Kaelee
sounds like you are doing it right. just keep offering food once a week and she should eventually eat. since your snake is young if she doesn't eat for 2 months she should probably go to the vet at that time. in the meantime don't worry about it and don't offer her food more than once a week any more than that and you will stress her out. also don't handle her before she eats. good luck.
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Kaelee Originally Answered: Crested gecko or ball python?
Since you expressed more interest in the ball python in your post, you would probably be more entertained by the ball python than the gecko. Nevertheless, because people before my have already posted a lot about ball pythons, I'll be the crested gecko's advocate, because I love all 3 of mine. Crested geckos are easy to care for, and once you pay for the animal itself, their care is very cheap. They thrive on a substrate of paper towels, as any loose substrate can cause impaction. They also thrive on Crested Gecko Diet (CGD), a meal replacement powder, and do not require live insects, making feeding as easy as mixing the powder and water into a bowl and putting it into the cage, then replacing it every two days or so. They need misting once or twice daily, but this is a minor chore. In terms of handling, crested geckos are awesome. At first, they may leap around and act nervous, but after a few times they will become accustomed to it and calm down. My cresties like to sit on my chest or in my hand while I watch movies. :) Crested geckos are also interesting to watch while they are inside their cage, especially if you have multiple. Female crested geckos can be housed communally in a 29 Gallon or larger tank, and they will often "chatter" to each other and hang out together. This is more than can be said of ball pythons, as they cannot be housed communally without a good deal of risk, and often they can hide throughout the day and night. Furthermore, while ball pythons come in many color morphs, these are very expensive, while even the more expensive crested geckos will only run anywhere from $250-$400 for a juvenile. The baby geckos are surprisingly easy to care for and do not require much space or any special heat, light, etc. Definitely consider geckos - they are funny and interesting little companions!

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