So i have 2 hatchlings from last year tjat still have not eaten on their own, however the others are doing just fine. Now im kind of asking myself the question… how long do i keep assist feeding… they dont sem to be willing to thrive. I would like to say that i have done this before with great success but this time i fel like i am just extending life.

So my question is quite simple. In your opinion, how long do you keep going?


Also nothe that the assist feeding have oucured aproxemetly 30 to 40 dags apart

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I’ve been asking myself that question. I have two non-feeder corn snakes from last year that I’ve syringe-fed with egg for months, hoping to get them big enough to want to eat rodent. The male has never eaten anything on his own, and the female ate half an anole-scented pink months ago, but nothing after. Until a week ago. Still no luck with the male, but the female decided to start eating dark fuzzies at nine months old.

It’s been kind of a stubborn experiment for me. When I used to produce more hatchlings, non-feeders were culled.

“You must do what you feel is right, of course.”
-Obi-Wan K.


Welcome to the community, first of all.

Can I ask, have you tried all the other usual tips & tricks before going to assist feeding? What kind of species are we talking about?

For me, I’ve found that assist feeding on a regular feeding schedule for a few weeks until they’re up to a good weight and then pulling food and waiting them out usually does the trick. At some point they get hungry enough that they’ll take a meal.


Yes i feel like i have tried all methods that i know/ have avalable. i have been a keeper for 10+ year’s so id like to feel i have some meat om my bones so to speak. And as of the species it is ball pythons and am flully comfortable with all the “feeding issues” that come with some of them so i do not feel that i went to assist feeding prematurely. They are at this point 7 months.


So you assist every week for a couple of weeks?


Yep, I get them to a solid weight where you can safely wait out their stubbornness. I am unsure if anyone uses this strategy for BPs, but it has worked with every corn snake I’ve ever had a problem with.

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I bet there are but im my own experiens 1-3 times and they usualy get the drift.
I have been reluctant to assist more than i feel i need to but maby that migt be something to try.


It’s obviously not a strategy for everyone, especially depending on individual opinion on assist feeding and what is a bridge too far, but it is something to consider if nothing else works and you are moving to last ditch efforts. I personally don’t give up unless it’s obvious something is wrong with the animal, but I’m very much aware that’s not an option for all breeders/keepers out there.

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My personal (and possibly controversial) take is that with so many ball pythons on the market, we should only be puttng animals out there that are exceptional, not just genetically, but also healthwise and easy keepers. For the same reason I wouldn’t breed an animal that wasn’t a good eater or failed to grow well, I wouldn’t feel comfortable selling an snake that had that many issues eating. I will assist for 3-5 meals, and if they can’t/won’t on their own despite solid husbandry, I think euthanasia should be considered.

I had one from my most recent clutch that took forever getting started. She wouldn’t eat no matter what I did, and I was getting seriously concerned. Eventually she did take 2 assist fed meals, and took the 3rd meal on her own with me being hands off. I’m keeping a close eye on her and I think now she will hopefully eat and thrive on her own, but if she doesn’t, she’s not leaving here. This is not the type of animal I want to be known for selling, and I don’t think a snake that has to be perpetually assist fed in order to survive should be kept alive.


I apritiate your input!


7 months is a long time.
My last fussy baby took 3.5 months. What finally did the trick was switching her to Aspen bedding instead of paper towels and she eventually took a mouse hopper on her own. Which was surprising because she was a very small hatchling at 27g out of the egg.

I feel like at this point nature should take over. Maybe try a change in bedding type or feeder. But I wouldn’t keep assisting much longer.

Good luck with the little ones. I hope they turn around and get started for you.