From hoppers to... nothing?

I picked up a ‘male’ from a friend who couldn’t care for it anymore. It is in fact a female. They kept it in a cage jam-packed with DeCoRaTiOnS so much so that the snake had no where to sit but under the log. They also said they fed it 3 hopper mice each time they fed it. It is a 1200 gram girl! So I’ve offered her a rat and a mouse a week apart and she refused to eat both times. I tried to assist feed just to get something in her, but she refused to close her mouth and would spit it out. She isnt thin or anything, I would just like her to eat. Shes nice and chubby, but my worry is that she is accustomed to eating tiny things and wont ever want to eat rats or even mice like she should. Anyone know what I can do aside from obviously waiting until she is hungry enough?

Never assist feed unless the animal is starving. It will put unnecessary stress on the animal. How long have you had her and let her settle in? You may need to wait a few weeks without bothering her to let her get used to everything, given she has only known that cramped cage her whole life. You may also need to downsize the enclosure to make her feel safe. But again, never assist feed when they are healthy, and it is generally a bad idea to assist feed adults. They can go a really long time without food. If they only ever fed her small mice, then she might only eat that for a while. Give her two weeks without messing with her, and make sure her enclosure is nice and secure, if you have her in a tank make sure you blackout 3 sides of it and give her a ton of cover. Then try feeding her an appropriate sized rat scented with mice. Does she eat live or frozen thawed? I will say rats don’t act the same as mice and won’t trigger the same feeding response half the time, so if she eats live offer her a couple large mice. Chances are she might be a mouser for a while.


Thank you for the advice. Her enclosure is a nice tub, so I’ll see what I can do and get it more cozy in there for her! I wondered about how I’d never heard of assisting adults, so I’m glad you confirmed my speculations. I’ll give her some time to herself for sure.

There are several things here

First you DO NOT assist an animal that knows how to eat especially one that is 1200 grams unless it is on the verge of death.

Second the prey size if you tried to feed the same prey size it is not likely gonna work, you need to offer an adult mouse if mice were her food of choice and worry about switching to rat late.

Third it is a 1200 gram animal and adults are notorious to go off feed especially when changing environment, on average 50% of the adults I have dealt with (loan or purchases) took anywhere between 6 months to a year to resume feeding, it just take them longer to adjust.

So be patient, be consistent and make sure your husbandry is optimum and no more assisting.


Thank you!