Feeding In Enclosure?

Hey all,

So I’ve read such conflicting things and although my baby is new and we won’t try feeding for another couple of days I just want to know the best practices.

I’ve read that feeding snakes in their home enclosure is bad as it makes them more aggressive and may cause the snake to bite randomly.

I’ve also read that you should not handle the same for 48ish hours after a meal…but if he’s not eating in his home enclosure then I would have to move him from feeding tank to home tank…how does that work?

Do I need extra equipment for his feeding tank with this method? How do I keep temp/humidity up in feeding take to leave him for 48 hours?

Thanks for all the advice!


This isn’t correct.

This is a good practice.

I personally recommend feeding inside there enclosure.

Ball python babies are sensitive to changes taking them in and out to feed is probably going to make them feel less secure and create a higher stress level.

The best thing you can do for a new hatchling ball python is leave it alone for a minute and allow them to acclimate to there new surroundings.


Shaun covered it but it bears repeating: It is a myth that snakes become aggressive if you feed them in their enclosure.

Some snakes become very Pavlovian and will associate opening the enclosure = food but it is easy to break that habit by using something like a paper towel roll or snake hook to gently touch the snake and break its mind from the “food??” mentality


Thank you for your time!

I will definitely let him acclimate before feeding.

This was more for like “when I do eventually feed him” question.

If you recommend feeding in tank, I will do that.


Thank you!

I appreciate the advice for breaking the mentality.

I just really want a sweet boy (and I know you don’t always get to choose that) but I want to do everything on my part to help him become a loving noodle and not a danger noodle. Haha.


I’ll even say this is bares repeating again! I have two extremely food motivated snakes, and when I reach into their enclosure they’re out of food mode, and chill. It is the site of the rat, the smell of the rat, that makes them go crazy.


I only ever feed inside of my snakes’ enclosures… not only does it prevent regurges, but it allows for easier feeding when you have multiple to feed like me. One of my girls LOVES food, but I have set up specific feed time rituals vs getting her out for handling. I keep in a rack, so keep in mind this might be different for you since it seems from your posts you are keeping him in a tank.

I pull tubs open about 1/4 of the way so my snakes can smell the rats warming up and they’re usually already at the front of their tubs so I grab their now thawed and warmed food with tongs and offer, which so far I’ve only ever had 2 refusals in my time keeping balls. As TH mentioned, getting something to bump them out of food mode can be helpful if you have a particually excitable eater.

While 48 hours after feeding is pretty standard, I think it’s important to watch your snake’s body language since some may take a bit longer to feel comfortable with handling - one of my boys I leave for 3 days since he’s pretty grumpy after day 2. You are only wishing for the best and I can see you care a lot about this little baby! Best of luck with him and hopefully he get along great with you.


@theycallmenyssa I know you accepted the above advice, but this is for other non member readers.

I agree with all the above, All my snakes (regardless of type) over decades were fed well in their enclosures.
I let them smell the food defrosting over time so they know its feeding day.
They only get excited at those times.
also I heat my food.
My ball pythons get excited with the smell of the food building up as they defrost.
They use the combination of scent, jiggling movements and heat image to strike.

So My ball pythons are conditioned to know what is food and never see my hand as food.
(I used gloves with other types of snakes that are more nervous to teach them that my hand is not edible)
I have only been bitten by very young hatchlings that are not fully conditioned yet or wild caught back in the day. (and only two or three times over decades)
Disturbing them by moving to a feeding tub I don’t recommend.

One caveat though. This only worked for me with vivs with glass sliding doors or tubs in a rack with out lids so you can slide it out a bit quietly. .
I think if you use tubs with lids, you then have to remove the tub, and make noise removing the lid.
That’s extra disturbance that can stress the animal a bit, change their environment too much. although I guess they can get conditioned to that too, I feel it would distract a little from feeding.


I feed all of my snakes inside their tubs and for most of my snakes they can tell if food is going in or not but I do have some that are very aggressive towards eating that will strike at anything but that comes down to getting to know your animals and figuring out when and how to let them know your not food to get them out of eating mode lol. Everyone’s got different ways of doing things but after some bites from ball pythons and a Retic ( mostly my fault) I started learning lol


I agree with all the advice provided.

We feed all our snakes in their enclosure, whether it’s tub or Viv as it’s too risky to take them out. Feeding is strictly after dark and they are aware of this, even our baby snakes quickly learnt the routine.


Any advice on how to break a hisser? I bought a snake off here are couple of years ago that had been kept only in a breeding rack his whole life, but I put Naim in a tall clear see through bin in my room with a wooden branch to climb up and several hides plus I like to take him out to handle him, but he’s very hissy, as if he might strike, although he has never done so.

He’s likely stressed. Is there a lot of cover? Could he easily get from one side to the other without being seen?

Do you possibly have a pic of the enclosure?

Some snakes are natural hissers, body language can usually help determine if it’s because it’s feeling threatened or if it’s just because it’s comfy and cant be bothered to move

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It is a matter of long-term conditioning. Your best bet in that regard is to look up Lori Torrini on YouTube. She has hours and hours of videos discussion behavioural conditioning with snakes