Hatchlings question

I have 2 surviving hatchlings. They have both shed, and one has ate…

One has not…

Any tips and trick appreciated!!


We need a bit more info to be able to help

How long has it been since they shed? What are your conditions (temps, housing, light, humidity, etc)? What have you tried feeding them?


On top of answering travis’ questions, also read over this

New owner with non feeding hatchling, troubleshooting 101


My top three things I do is: (Assuming heat, humidity is good.) I always have better luck with small enclosures, shoe box or even smaller. Too big or open areas stress them out. Dark, feed at night with the lights out. Ball pythons are not necessarily nocturnal, but this helps make them feel less exposed and works sometimes. Live prey, most bp breeders will say large fuzzie/small hopper mouse. Reasons are they have fur= More smell, and are more lively then rat pinks/fuzzies. Try every 10-14 days if you keep trying quickly it will stress them out. If none of the ideas work, you may have to try assist feeding a meal or two, wait a while before trying this, I know your worried but this is really a last resort. Sometimes nothing you can do will work. Not your fault, and it doesn’t happen often, but occasionally a snake for whatever reason just won’t eat. Wish you luck!


They are in a rack.sytem, in 12 qt bins with a hide at one end, smalll water on cool size, temp just read 87 on hot.side.

Fed live fuzzy rats

Try hopper mice. They seem to work better for hatchling BPs. Make sure not to leave the hopper in the enclosure for long though, as they can hurt the hatchling.


Sometimes I’ve had to put a fuzzy mouse or asf in with the hatchling and leave it over night. Sometimes they just might not take interest in it right away but later on decide that they want it. It don’t always work but sometimes it does. And you don’t really have to worry about it hurting your snake because the mouse can barely crawl just enough to move around.


Solid advice has already been given but.

Assuming environmental conditions are in check, 78-80 ambients / 87-90 hot side etc, a good approach is to try hopper mice instead of rats.

Another factor can be substrate. Changing it up from paper to something like coco can help. This also works with more reluctant mature ball pythons as well. I like to house mine on paper for numerous reasons and when I have a number of refusals I always move to coco substrate and it’s amazing how often that gets them back on food. Newborn hatchlings can be a little trickier though. Luckily I haven’t had to deal with any that have flat out refused and eventually required force feeding but I’m sure that day will come.

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What @banereptiles, @biologicalcanvas, and @blacksmokereptiles said, and to add to that I want to say that for really stubborn ones I like to add a small black hide to their tubs as well just to give them that extra bit of security and it’s worked on all of mine so far. I have a similar process to @biologicalcanvas where I use paper towel first, then swap to Reptichip if they don’t eat on paper towel, but if they still don’t eat after swapping to Reptichip then I add a hide. I usually try feeding 2 or 3 times on each step before switching to the next.


I gave it a hide, ill try to.swith up substrate. Its striking at the hopper but wont eat it…


Good plan. You might want to give them a little bit of time before attempting to feed again, 7 days or so, and keep stress to a minimum. Avoid handling, unnecessary opening of the tub, etc.