If I had a dollar for every time I got a call or an email starting with my ball python won’t eat I could have retired by now. It is the time of year when incubators are emptying out and baby racks are filling up and with every purchase of a brand new baby ball python comes another new reptile keeper who mistakenly thinks that a baby ball python will eat a frozen pinky mouse. Going through the same story over and over again seems to be pointless and even though we have a trouble shooting page on the site I thought that it would be a good idea to go through the list and shed some light on reasons why your ball python won’t eat for some of the uninitiated members of the group out.
Feeding Baby Ball Pythons
When it comes to feeding baby ball pythons the set up and temperatures are as important as the food item being offered. Almost all of our baby snakes are kept in plastic boxes on heated racks in a temperature and light controlled room so the shipping and new set up can be quite a shock to a baby ball python. The best set up that I can recommend is a small terrarium with a small heat pad, a hide box, a medium water bowl and aspen bedding. These five items are essential to having the best shot at keeping your snakes healthy and happy. Once this has been achieved then we can tackle the question of what to feed the snake.
My Ball Python Won’t Eat Frozen Pinkies.
Most baby ball pythons sold in the world are between eighty and a hundred grams in weight and 14-16 inches in length. For some unknown reason new reptile owners think that a pinky mouse is the proper sized prey item for this python. Although I have seen some breeders feed jumbo mice to their new born baby balls and seen plenty of them eat this size of a meal, it is my recommendation that you start with a hopper or small mouse as the first meal offered. This can be live or frozen and as more and more stores and keepers move towards feeding frozen thawed only then we will focus on that aspect alone. It is important to note that if you are feeding live you should always have food for the rodent and access to water in the cage and never leave the prey item with the snake for more than fifteen minutes. Things can go terribly wrong in a very short time period and once scarred, a baby snake can stay that way for its entire life.
How Do I Get My Snake to Eat Frozen Thawed
One of the hurdles of feeding a newborn baby python frozen thawed rodents is getting a feeding response from them when the food item is not moving or warm. Since frozen rodents cannot be microwaved due to a nasty exploding situation we recommend warm water or a heating pad as the proper method of achieving higher than ambient room temperatures. Once warm and dry the food item can be presented to the baby snake with feeding tongs to simulate movement but this can at times scare away a shy baby snake. Another method of offering food is leaving it in the entry way to their hide spot at dusk so that they will have to crawl over it on their way in and out of the hide spot and will hopefully decide to eat it. If this doesn’t do the job then you can bag the snake in a small brown paper lunch bag with the food item for ten to fifteen minutes and normally this method works. If the first time isn’t successful then try again in two-day intervals and you should have success.
Trouble Shooting Your Baby Ball Python Habitat
With the proper ball python habitat and the correct meal size almost all baby ball pythons will feed eventually. Getting the right temperature and humidity is also essential in having your snake digest its food, defecate and shed properly. Most other situations can also be corrected with a little bit of research and some help from people who have been doing this for a few years. We have started a ball python care section in our website for proper housing, feeding, breeding and other situations you might run into when keeping ball pythons. Hopefully this post has shed some light on the issues of my ball python won’t eat and provided you with a solution. As always if you do not find the answers to your questions feel free to contact us at xyzreptiles.com.
are your ball pythons captive bred
Hi Micah, yes they are all captive bred.