Good Afternoon everyone and How are you? I’ll start by saying that I am a new keeper of Ball Pythons, in fact, they are my first reptile. My wife and I both purchased our girls back in November. They are approximately a year and a half old and purchased from a reputable pet store that specialises in reptiles.
At the time of purchase they were being fed rat fluffs, ( we are in the UK so I know the terminology may be slightly different) and we kept them on these for a few weeks before moving to small weaners which we fed for ten weeks at a seven-day schedule.
Both have been excellent feeders. Both have had two successful full sheds and both are just going into blue for the third time at the point of writing.
This week we have given them their first large weaner (70g) rat which is where my question lies. I am aware that opinions may differ so I’m trying to get an understanding of the possible pros and cons of what I’m asking.
Should I now be looking to stretch out their feeding time or should I keep them on their existing seven-day schedule? Neither of us wants to breed and so we are not looking to hurry their growth but neither do we want them to be hungry unnecessarily. I have been considering moving them now to a ten-day schedule but I’m more interested in doing what is best for them.
Thank you for your help in advance.
I typically suggest a 10 day window feeding prey items that are roughly equal to 10% of the animals body weight (for pets). If you find they are hunting and being grumpy towards day 10 then you can bump it to 7 days if you feel like the animal is acting hungry and it is impacting your enjoyment or ability to handle them.
Anything between 7-14 days is fine for them. I tend to feed weekly meals that are the same or just slightly larger then the snakes body. If you feed a little larger meals 14 days is perfect for them. I tend to go by the individual snakes look and prey drive. If the snake is getting too fat cut it down to 14 days it can be easy to make ball pythons obese. On the other hand sometimes they can go off feed for months, which can be worrisome but usually no health issues arise from this somewhat typical ball python behavior. Sounds like yours are doing good, we would love some pics as well!
First, Hi and welcome to the community.
We have some good discussions here about feeding frequency.
But I am asking about the size of the snake relative to the 70g food item which is as relevant as frequency.
A large snake would need 70g more often than a smaller one or a bigger food item. Or a smaller snake 70g food item less frequently.
How big is the snake in KG, or @banereptiles suggests, pictures are also good, especially to see if its over or under weight which also effects frequency.
Something for size comparison like your hand or something would help too if you don’t know the weight.
Hey there and welcome to the family! I’m not a breeder but I have 4 pet BPs, one girl and three boys. They all have different personalities believe it or not. I generally feed every 7 days. However I vary the size of rat between small and medium for my girl because she seems to do well with this method, for now of course. (She is around 2 years old.)
My boys are a lot younger so they are working up to rat fuzzies etc. My newest little boy was painfully thin when I got him . When he finished his first shed he actually came looking for his food so I fed him a couple of times a week to put some weight on him.
All that being said, I like to feed consistently every 7 days unless of course during a shedding period.