Advice why my BPs are refusing meals?

So I’ve got a few BPs, 3 juveniles and 2 adults. I’ve bought all of them off MorphMarket and had all of them shipped to me. The 3 babies/juveniles have never refused a meal since I’ve gotten them except my banana, he’s refused one meal the whole time I’ve had him and that’s it. However the 2 adults I got back in September and neither of them will eat and I’ve been offering them meals of all sizes, I’ve tried f/t, live, ASFs, I’ve tried moving them to a different environment temporarily to see if that helps and still nothing. I know they can just go off food for pretty much any reason for weeks and weeks at a time, but they just act like they’re scared of the food they literally run away and hide when I try to feed them. I was trying to breed them but I don’t want to now because I don’t feel it’d be healthy for the female to lay eggs and lose that much weight from it if she hasn’t eaten in over 2 months. idk what else to try to get them to eat. I figure they will get hungry and want to eat eventually but idk why they both went off food at the same time and how to try to help them get back to eating normally. Just looking for some advice or reasons you guys think they might be refusing so many meals. Thank you in advance for any feedback :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi, have you checked how the sellers were keeping the snakes?
Type of enclosure, size of enclosure, substrate, how they were fed etc.
That helped me with the adults I got.
The adults i bought did seem to take longer to adapt to a new environment for me too.

Yea I asked them all that when I bought them and been trying to keep everything the same except the only thing that’s changed is they were in a rack system and I have them in tanks because I don’t have a rack system and can’t really afford one atm but I’d like to get one before too long

First thought is do you have enough cover to compensate for the more open environment.
But pictures of the enclosure would help.

I can take pics when I get back home and post them on here but I have made hides big enough for them out of cardboard boxes for now because I do plan on taking them out of the tanks and putting them in a rack soon but I also turned a 55 gal tote into a makeshift enclosure just for trying to put them in a different environment than the tanks and it’s solid gray so they can feel hidden. It’s got a coconut husk mix for substrate, a heating pad with thermostat, and thermo/hygrometers to make sure the climates correct but still nothing. The juveniles we’re kept in racks before I got them too and they do fine, but I suppose they weren’t in one near as long as these 2 adults either so that could have something to do with that

Tanks should work ok with enough cover. Don’t rush to a rack system if you don’t want that.
Are they glass tanks ?
Also The more info, the more people can help. if not myself.

They are glass tanks, the adults are in 40 gal tanks and the babies are in 20 gal atm. I want to get a rack system just because it takes up less space, I got 5 tanks set up in that room and that tote I was talking about and they pretty much fill the room. I plan on getting more BPs in the future so it’d help but until then I want to cover at least 3 sides of the tanks with something to try to block out light and stuff. Also, I could probably make bigger hides because I made the hides big enough for them to coil up in but that’s really about it so maybe they’re too small. I should be home before long and I can put pics on here

Either warmth or security. Hard for a tank to compete with a tub for thermal efficiency. Cover most of the top of the tank (if they’re screen tops) with craft foam board, wood, plexiglas, etc. make sure they don’t get too hot or that the material you use doesn’t contact the heat source.

I keep that room temp around 80-85 during the day and the hotspot at an average of 95 and I keep the humidity around 55 so I think it might be on the security side of things but the humidity is what Ive noticed is harder to maintain in the tank with a screen top but hopefully I will be able to get or build a rack system soon and not have to mess with it so much

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Do they all have appropriately sized hides? What are temps in the enclosures?

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Security then. It’s not humidity. We average 15% where I live and there are a hundred snakes in the other room ready to smash a rat lol.

The secret to navigating low humidity is fresh water several times a week. Internal hydration IMO is more important than external humidity when it comes to BPs shedding. They drink more readily of fresh water so I change it at least twice a week. If I miss it, I get a rough shed.

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The hides are big enough for them to coil up in and a little extra room and the temps in the enclosures are the same as the room temp around 80-85 except on the hotspot which is around 95

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I try to change their water every other day and try to keep the external humidity around 55 but I think I’m gonna black out at least 3 sides of the tanks and see if that helps them feel more secure until I get a rack and tubs

I have a space in my yard designed to take my snakes outside (Search Snake Circle to see photos). I’ve noticed that arial predation is a big concern for them so I would black out the top and maybe sides too.

Temps wise: If the snakes aren’t temp gunning over 78* surface temp on their skin, they probably aren’t going to eat unless they’re happy with every single other variable in their habitat.


I’ll probably black out the top too along with three sides and I got a temp gun I use to make sure their actual temps are good so I’m hoping it’s just security thing and I can get it taken care of I’ll post updates once I do that and see how they do

Temp guns don’t work exactly like people think so to get the most accurate result hold it about 2” from the surface and make sure the batteries are fresh.

The laser is just a visual guide and has nothing to do with temp measurement. The unit calculates the temperature you see based on the temperature delta between the lenses and the surface it’s measuring. The greater the distance the more the ambient temperature delta can affect the accuracy of the reading.


I try to get it as close as I can without actually touching them or the surface I’m measuring the temp of but I appreciate it I’ll definitely be sure to do that and do it a couple times to make sure I’m getting the right reading and I do appreciate everyone on here trying to help me figure this out cuz I’ve been kinda worried about it like I said I know they just go off food for a while for really any reason but it’s been since the end of September so I’m starting to worry a bit. They both still look and act healthy and haven’t really lost much weight from it but I still worry about them

You’re about 6-8 months from needing to spend any time thinking about it.

It’s not a huge feat for a ball python to stay off food for 12-18 months with no real health concerns. I’ve had it happen with adults that I brought in more than once. I have a G-Stripe female that just started eating consistently for me after taking only a handful of meals in the last 3 years. Their metabolism and our patience have nothing in common :sweat_smile:


That makes me feel a lot better like I know they can go a long time without eating but I wasn’t sure exactly how long but still I know they lose weight when they lay eggs and I was trying to breed them and I didn’t know if it’d be healthy for her to lay eggs without eating she’s weighing in at just under 2500 gs like shes a big girl but still I didn’t know if it’d be healthy for her or if she’d be fine

If you’re fairly new to ball pythons and these snakes are new snakes you’ve just bought, I would absolutely not reccomend trying to breed this year. Take a step back and work on your husbandry and gaining experience with the animals as hunger strikes are just one of the many obstacles you’re going to have to learn to navigate. Set yourself up for sucess by taking one step at a time; breeding should not be a priority right now when you’re still working on the basics.