Ball python hatchling won't eat

Ok so the one and only hatchling that survived out of a clutch of five won’t feed. The baby only weighs about 48 grams. It hatched June 12 and has already shed, I offered it a live pinky mouse Monday and it wouldn’t take it. Should I wait until next week and offer it another prey item or should I assist feed?

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You aren’t giving it something it sees as a valid prey item offering it a pinky. You need to offer it a larger meal. If you post a picture with a reference of it’s size we can tell you exactly what size to start with.

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So I should move it up to a fuzzy? I thought the pinky looked a bit small but I didn’t want to scare it.

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I would start with a hopper mouse

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I would also try a larger prey item. I almost always have better luck initially getting hatchlings eating with larger prey items.

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I start all baby balls on hopper mice

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Hoppers are usually the easiest as Travis mentioned. They always seem to feed better on prey with fur.

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And hoppers are more active. It catches the hatchlings attention

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Ok I’ll try that in the next few days.

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it might also help to know how you have it set up.

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Oh ok, it’s in a 6 quart tub on cypress mulch. Its warm side temps are 88-90 (has belly heat) and the cool side is 80 or so. Its humidity is at 55 to 60.

Well I just tried to feed it a hopper mouse and it won’t feed. I left it in there for a few hours but it didn’t matter. I don’t know what to do and the baby only weighs 50 grams

my go-to for trouble eaters is to take a live fuzzy mouse that does not have any teeth and leave it in the container overnight.

other questions worth asking: does the container have any hides? what time of day are you offering food?

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Yeah one on the warm side and I offered at night.

This shouldn’t be an overly large concern for you right now. I hatched out a baby at 19 grams, and so far have had to assist feed 4 pinkies, and he’s put on 10 grams since.

If you offer the hatchling a meal on Monday, and turn around and try again on Wednesday/Thursday you aren’t giving it enough time to just ‘not stress’. Try every 5 days, assist if it doesn’t take it on the 4th meal, and then make a change to your tub. Change something every 4th attempt. It’ll catch on, or nature will take it’s course.

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Hmm ok I’ll try that

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I recommend you keep the below thread bookmarked :wink:

New owner with non feeding hatchling, troubleshooting 101

#informational

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You can also try out blacking out the entire tub they are in. This had worked for me with hatchlings more than anything, a week in complete darkness without messing with them for absolutely any reason.

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