Adult bull snake I got from a friend who couldn’t get him to eat. The snake seems intimated by mice, first tried frozen thawed but he ignored them, then tried live mice but if the mouse moved the snake would drop it and back off, then tried live pinkies same thing, I finally have gotten him to eat frozen thawed pinkies by moving it around then holding it still. But if my hand shakes it just gives up. Any tips?
Note my friend got him when the previous owner, his uncle, passed so I can’t get any info on his previous care.
Have you tried leaving a prekilled mouse in with him over night?
Yes after he seem scared of the mouse, I killed it and put it back over night but he ignored it. It seems he needs it to move until he tries to bite then it needs to be still. Also it’s not a strike but slowly moving towards it and opening his mouth to take it
Does it have any visible scars on its body or head? It may have been attacked by a unsupervised rat or mouse. This can cause them to shy away from too much movement in the prey item. Also you said it’s an adult, maybe try a small rat instead. Sometimes snakes get used to the smell of only a certain type of prey and it could have just eaten rats it’s whole life so the mouse smell is weird to it. Try a live pup/small rat size see what happens.
He does have a pink spot between the nostrils, but no other visible marks, will try small/ baby rats to see if that’s his preferred food
Pink spot is probably a nose rub, gophers/pines/bulls rub their faces a lot when they’re stressed out.
You can also try feeding it a chicken chick if you can find one. Sometimes they’ll eat pieces tilapia fillets too.
Provide a nice sized hide box ,use a storage bin or similar with a lid and add access via a hole cut in the center of the top / lid.
Do not use a clear /opaque bin , black is preferably , the trick here is to provide a secure feeling space.
Once your Bull is in this dark hide area offer food via the hole you cut into the lid , many times this will promote a feeding response. Main point here is to move well away from the cage and do not bother the snake for several hours.
hope this helps and good luck
Just to update, the rat 100% did the trick took frozen thawed no problem
Glad to hear! Enjoy your snake! I had several bull and a pair of northern pines and they are extremely cool to interact with in captivity!