Going off food after breeding

Hey guys.

I haven’t had a ball python go off of food for this long in a long time.
This male, Wendigo is close to 3 years old, I paired him up for the first time last year, when he was closer to 2 years old.
I’d paired him up once a month, for maybe 5 months, the last time he was with a female was last December.

He hasn’t eaten in 5 months. Probably close to 6 at this point. I’ve offered every week, pretty much everything, live and f/t rats and mice.

He’s lost about 100 grams, sitting at 800 grams or so right now.

Should I offer a chick or something? I’m pretty worried about him.

Temps are 88 on the hot side and 76 on the cool side. Humidity is 60%. He’s in a 32 quart tub, has a hide, fake plants etc.

Here’s a picture, though he’s a bit more thin now and not this bright:

Basically, is this normal? Should I just keep offering once a week?


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I wouldn’t worry too much.
If you really want to try jumpstarting him, maybe try a soak and add a little dish soap to the water at the end to wash off lingering pheromones or whatever. Then do a good bedding change and wipe down for his tub.

That might switch it up enough to get him started. But he still may stay off food for another couple months. He was a pretty chunky guy in the first photo, I don’t typically let my boys get that heavy. That can be another factor of why he’s holding out longer. My boys haven’t gotten that picky now that I keep them on the lean side. My oldest though at one point did fast for around 9-10 months.

I don’t see the reasoning for offing a chick unless he’s eaten them before and seemed really keen on them. Maybe space out your offerings to every 2 weeks for a bit and see if bothering him less with food helps.

Edit: if he starts seeming lethargic or has any strange discoloration in scales, anything suspicious, it wouldn’t hurt to have a vet check him for a bacterial infection or parasites.


I had a male go off for over 7 months before. While lengths beyond 6 months aren’t as common, they are certainly not an exception. Presuming there is no underlying issue other than being off feed, I know you really want him to start eating again. However, try to offer food less often. Only offer food once every other week. You’ll know when he is coming back as he will act vary interested and like he’s going to eat, but still may not. Chances are when he acts like that, he’ll eat the next time he is offered. When you do offer food, offer a prey item that is one size smaller than you would normally. In other word if you normally feed smalls, try a weanling. If you don’t have access to weanlings then try a mouse. Don’t worry if he eats a mouse that he won’t go back. When he’s on and hungry, he’ll eat just like before. Best of luck to you.


Okay, I’ll definitely give him a soak and wipe everything down.


He’s acting normal other than not eating so I figured it was just due to him being a male and being paired for the first time. He seemed to eat both mice and rats before, didn’t seem to have a preference luckily.

Dang, 7 months is a long time. Hope he doesn’t go that long!


He overall seems to have good body composition. I also wouldn’t worry that much about it. It’s if he starts going down hill and down >250+ grams and his body composition begins to falter is when I’d get concerned and even take him to a vet.