Ball Python won't eat rats..

Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby Taryn7 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:17 pm

Hi guys..

Need some tips please..
I got my ball python in May last year.. He was a hatchling and weighed 66g.
He has been an AMAZING eater, he was eating mice and then I started feeding him multi mammary mice (BIG MISTAKE). I struggle to get hold of them now and he is far too big for regular mice (not sure he'd eat them anyway). He now weighs 888g..
My problem is he will NOT eat rats.. He just refuses. I thought the mediums were maybe too big for him and putting him off so I tried small rats.. Nothing. Not interested. I got hold of some m mammaries again and he ate with no problems so I know he is just not interested in rats.
I have upped the temp in his viv, tried different colour rats, tried giving one to him in the tub where I feed him, and I have tried giving one to him in his viv.
Tried live, pre killed, thawed.. This snake will not eat rats.
Anyone have any tips on how to "trick" him into eating a rat? I know that they can go for a long time without eating but its bothering me because I know he loves to eat! He hasn't eaten in for 6 weeks now. Still looks great though.

Thanks alot
User avatar
Taryn7
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: JHB

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby Neurotoxic » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:46 am

As you most likely know, balls are one of the most tricky when it comes to feeding habbits. Have you tried scenting the rats with one of the mice he is used to eating? Try this and let us know.
User avatar
Neurotoxic
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:04 pm
Location: Fourways

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby Bundu Boy » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:43 pm

Neurotoxic wrote:As you most likely know, balls are one of the most tricky when it comes to feeding habbits. Have you tried scenting the rats with one of the mice he is used to eating? Try this and let us know.


Right there.

You also may want to try putting one of your mm mice in there and then a rat pup straight after while he is still hungry, or perhaps try a small rat straight after the mm mouse.

Will he take normal mice?

Don't worry if he has not eaten for 6 weeks. I had a ball python that did not eat for 9 months and she was ok, even though she is still a very fussy eater.

Only once he starts to lose quite a bit of weight should you be concerned. If you are determined to get him onto rats then do as we have suggested above, but stick with it for a few months. Try feeding rats once per week, if he does not take then wait a week and try again. Don't put a mm mouse in in between cause that could train to be patient to wait for what he really likes.

If that does not work then you have to resign yourself to feeding multiple mice to him, just be sure to get the biggest you can find and feed him 3 - 4 at a sitting.

That my 2c worth
User avatar
Bundu Boy
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:42 pm
Location: Sundowner

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby Bushviper » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:58 pm

Knock off a multimammate and rub this all over a young rat. If you use a mm male it will be even better to get the scent transfered. Freeze the mouse and re-use it a few times. If he is eating dead food then you can knock off both of them and leave them in a small plastic bag for an hour or so and roll them between your hands (whilst still inside the bag) to warm them up before offering him the rat.
It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Those who are afraid to ask are ashamed of learning.
User avatar
Bushviper
Founder Member
 
Posts: 17358
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:02 am
Location: Pretoria

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby ryanvinnroyal » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:07 pm

You can also try putting a few live rat pinks into a small tub with old mouse sawdust. Make a small in the tub and leave it, they dont hassle the snake and when night time comes the smell should have been all over the cage already. Maybe you get a response from that.
User avatar
ryanvinnroyal
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:30 pm
Location: Switzerland

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby John Rees » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:32 pm

I have a Ball Python which exclusively eats mice only. This is primarily because my kids have pet rats so the rat option is just not on. However I did try her with a fairly larger dead (frozen) rat once and although she went for it she just couldn't figure out what to do with it once she had 'constricted' it. So it ended up a waste. I have had her for over 2 years now and she seems to be doing quite ok. She is a fair size now (approx. 800mm) and I feed her 3 live mice (largest I can get at the time) every 10 days to 2 weeks. That keeps her hungry enough to make feeding a breeze as she wastes no time in taking them one after the other. So I would not worry too much if she only eats mice.

Here is the most recent photo of her with my son (10yrs old). Gives an idea of her size.
Image
John Rees
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:42 pm
Location: Pietermaritzburg

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby munnik » Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:29 pm

My father has a Ball that won't eat unless the rat is warm. This he accomplishes with a hairdryer after which he places the rat in the cage. The feed response is quite aggressive.
User avatar
munnik
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:37 am
Location: Brackenfell, Cape Town

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby Taryn7 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:12 pm

Thank you for your replies, all the advise is great!

As you most likely know, balls are one of the most tricky when it comes to feeding habbits. Have you tried scenting the rats with one of the mice he is used to eating? Try this and let us know.


I have been meaning to do this but can't seem to get hold of any mm mice.. I will try again this weekend.

Bundu Boy - I haven't tried normal mice recently - but since he used to take them - maybe he will again

Bushviper - when you say "knock off" do you mean just so that its dead or must there be blood to rub on the rat? I like the idea of freezing and re using - makes alot of sense.

John Reese - nice ball and very cute kid :) My male is probably very close to that size.

Thanks again for all the advice - I am going to try this weekend and hopefully something will work.
User avatar
Taryn7
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: JHB

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby Bushviper » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:43 am

The smell is not transfered by blood so knocking it off would be best using CO2 and if you can do both (or more) in one bag the smell of sweat and urine at the time of death is the best possible way to transfer the smell.

If it works and you freeze the mm mouse then dont let it defrost completely as re-freezing will taint it. You could also kill one mm mouse and 4 rats which would make it easier to transfer the smell to 4 rats in one session. They can then be frozen and defrosted IN A PLASTIC BAG to retain their smell. Just take out the rat and warm him up without washing the smell off.

Keep us posted as to how well this works.
It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Those who are afraid to ask are ashamed of learning.
User avatar
Bushviper
Founder Member
 
Posts: 17358
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:02 am
Location: Pretoria

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby Taryn7 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:37 pm

Thanks.. I am going to give it my best shot this weekend..

Only problem - he will only eat live prey..
He ate frozen/thawed a few weeks ago for the first time ever.
I had 2 frozen MM and I defrosted them and warmed them up but he was not interested. I decided to leave them in his viv overnight. One was TINY and the other was an okay size.. Next morning the the tiny one was gone.. Go figure. Thats the last time he ate.

Will definitely let you know if he eats this weekend
User avatar
Taryn7
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: JHB

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby Bundu Boy » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:17 am

Good Luck!
User avatar
Bundu Boy
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:42 pm
Location: Sundowner

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby Taryn7 » Sun May 03, 2009 9:25 pm

Well unfortunately I didn't get hold of any mm this weekend.. I had to work.. And then today we went to SOS..
I did however try the scenting with a regular mouse.. And he was not interested.
I did speak to the guys with all the ball morphs today at the show..
By the way to those of you that went - did you see that massive ball! I held him - he was amazing.
Anyway - the guy said I must just try offering him rat pups. I must do it a few times and if he eats them he should move easily to bigger rats.
So if this doesn't work, I'll have to try the mm/scenting thing. Something has to work!
User avatar
Taryn7
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: JHB

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby Bundu Boy » Mon May 04, 2009 8:33 am

and work it shall! just persevere!
User avatar
Bundu Boy
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:42 pm
Location: Sundowner

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby Bundu Boy » Mon May 04, 2009 8:38 am

I was at the show as well and held that big ball, he's actually not that big, Con said he weighed in at about 1.8kg or so and was 8yrs old, females can get as big as 4-5kg, I'd love to see one of those girls!
User avatar
Bundu Boy
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:42 pm
Location: Sundowner

Re: Ball Python won't eat rats..

Postby Taryn7 » Mon May 04, 2009 9:17 am

Bundu Boy wrote:I was at the show as well and held that big ball, he's actually not that big, Con said he weighed in at about 1.8kg or so and was 8yrs old, females can get as big as 4-5kg, I'd love to see one of those girls!


He told us it weighed over 3 kg..
I would love a 5kg ball :D
User avatar
Taryn7
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: JHB

Next

Return to Ball pythons (Python regius)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron