Ball python picky eater

Do you breed? That’s my whole goal is to breed, I read a post somewhere saying if your breeding feed them every X amount of days so I was just going off that. With that being said I definitely don’t want to power feed I’m in this for the long haul so it doesn’t bother me if it takes a few years for them to get to weight. Another question, when I try feeding him again and he doesn’t take should I just hold off for a few weeks and try again? I know they can go months without eating but I don’t want him to drop weight extremely fast and be so slim you can see the skeleton.


I would try a smaller prey item every 7 to 10 days. As far as weight goes, he is not going to lose a ton of weight all of a sudden so don’t worry too much. You can weigh him every few weeks just to be safe. But he will eventually eat again for you, on his terms, so try not to stress………. :blush:


This is not 100%. Some that breed do feed more often just to get them to weight faster so they can breed them. Not all breeders do this.

Yes. Trying on a regular basis can stress it, or get in into a routine and delay eating even longer.
To brake this, hold off for 2 weeks. If not eating, hold off for a month. Then keep it at a month until it starts again.

This is a good idea. Going smaller is a way to see if it will take it and you can increase the size as it keeps eating. Something small is better then nothing. But… Keep it on the 2 week pattern at this point. By smaller I mean, if feeding a 80g rat, go down to one just finished weening size. So fur and walking, but not running around and jumping. The snake won’t have much work to do to get it and won’t be scared off.

One thing you can try (but I think it is to soon to do it) will be to give it soakes in an “reptile electrolyte soak”. I do this and it seems to help. I do this on week 2 after not accepting a meal, months later. Soak every other day for 30 min, after the last soak try feeding a very small meal the following day. (on week 2, soak day 1, skip day 2, soak day 3, skip day 4, soak day 5, then feed day 6) you might have to do this several times but the soaking will help it. Better then doing nothing. I did this after a year of not eating. But mine was over 1000g. And had lost about 1/2 it’s weight.

Slow weight loss is expected, fast could mean health issue and why it won’t eat. Then see a vet if it is fast loss.

Also… Leave it be… No handling it during this time. Let it relax and not get stressed out even more. (I know, easy to say hard to do). But is it a must do step.

Edit on mine weight loss
I just looked it up. It went from 1026g to 772g in a year. That is about 21g loss a month


A couple other thoughts:
Have you double checked that the temps in his enclosure haven’t changed? I’ve found that making sure the ambient/cool side stays at 78-80F is just as important as the hot spot; which I aim for ~88F.
Another thing that I’ve had throw off the feeding of youngsters is noise/vibration; specifically my window air conditioner running that’s on the same wall as a rack the animal was housed in.


Yep @sonjakreptiles! Excellent points! The least little thing that changes in the husbandry can throw off the eating habits of a ball python!

That’s why imho they don’t make great beginner snakes…….


I forgot to mention this is only really valid after you’ve already heated it up, if it’s just mostly thawed, but not heated up then you can refreeze it but if you’ve already warmed it and tried to feed it, it’s not good that’s what I heard


Great point! Yes I constantly check temps and make sure nothing changes in the husbandry side of things. I’m just going to wait a little longer, maybe bump his hot side up just a hair and see if that helps.


Fingers crossed :crossed_fingers: for success @sinisterpythons! Keep us updated! :blush:


Kinda late, been having a lot going on but he is eating perfectly now!
Great Success Win GIF