Do you all have any tips for getting thawed rodents extra hot? I use very hot water (no it isn’t boiling so nothing is getting “cooked”) and sometimes a hair dryer to dry off a rodent while continuing to heat it, but for some of my picky eaters I still don’t think this does the trick every time as they’ll eat once and then go off food for another month before accepting another rat. I think the food is not warm enough and the pickier eaters aren’t wanting the frozen/thawed options. Tips for heating up thawed rodents to a hotter temp?
I think something to keep in mind is you don’t need to have them “hot” you need to get them to normal body temperature, and that should be enough for most of your snakes. Using a hairdryer on the head of the feeder to get it to I think the 95-100 degree mark should work.
It’s possible your snakes just don’t like f/t. Not all snakes take to it as well all the time. So just a thought.
In my experience I’ve got some snakes that don’t want to eat a rodent if it’s soaking wet. So I generally thaw and warm them up in a ziplock bag, then feed to the snake. That’s something you could try as well.
Also a side note - water doesn’t have to be boiling for it to cook something in it, it just does so at a slower rate.
I just use hot water from the tap. I will say to keep in mind evaporations cooling effect. Wet your hand and point a blow dryer at it, it will feel cool until the water finishes evaporating, so if you arent using the blow dryer after its dry too, you may have actually lowered the temp back down even if the outside fur seems warmer.
Thanks for the info! I may try the ziploc bag trick to keep it dry before heating up. Much appreciated!
Oh snap that’s an interesting point I haven’t thought about it actually lowering the temp back down. Thank you!
Have you tried feeding the rats at room temperature? For the large rats I unthaw in the fridge overnight and then let the rats come to room temperature.
In the past I’ve tried every rat feeding preparation known to man but room temperature just works for me. I fed 6 of my ball pythons last night and bam! Everyone ate. However, this is a success story that has worked for me. But your heating concerns may be over kill? Just sayin……
Good luck! I know ball python feeding is frustrating at times to say the least! .
Science can be weird like that sometimes xD
I have done room temp for some hatchlings and juveniles and it’s worked to get them to eat but I haven’t tried it with the big ones so I’ll try that this week too! I appreciate the tips. Last night I went 9 for 18 but thankfully I have a boa and a retic to help with the leftovers haha. My colubrids also help too.
How often do you feed them @reptile_sam ?
I thaw rats in a tub in a rack for a few hours then use a heat gun and check temp before I offer each one. I find a heat gun is a lot more efficient than a hairdryer and pulls less power.
That’s a great question @buckeyeballs. @reptile_sam I was feeding one of my girls a medium rat weekly and she went off feed for several months because she was just getting too much so she adjusted herself. Now I feed her twice a month 1 med rat and she eats every time and is growing nicely.
Keep in mind that I am a keeper, not a breeder…….
@reptile_sam I was wondering the same, how often do you feed (try to feed) and what size?
Once mine start refuses to eat, I switch to every other week. Keeping the size the same. I don’t use the 10% rule or “it needs to be bigger then the thickest part” rule either. Keeping them a little smaller keeps them eating regulator.
To know if it is the f/t, I would try live for a while to see if they take them regularly or if you have the same pattern. This will let you know if it is the food.
Since they are eating, you can play around with different options to learn about each ones eating habits. Remember, they can go a year plus without eating (on their own choice, not yours). So skipping some meals is not the end of the world, yet. You may have some that don’t eat as often, then at least you will know it is them and not the food or something you are doing. Keep us posted on waht you try and the outcome.
most of my snakes (I have 18 currently) are fed weekly except my adult female ball pythons and my adult boa constrictor. my retic is a juvie and always takes food. The only ones I have occasional feeding issues with are my adult male ball pythons and my sub-adult amazon tree boa.
@d_y_python the ones who get picky have always taken a live rat for me when its been offered to them which usually has kick started them back on f/t the follow week or two. sounds like it might be prudent to not offer food for a week or two.
I have also been carefully monitoring temps/humidity for the animals, too.
this is also helpful! keeping them in the room to get the scent in the room, I take it?
I’ve got a male ball that stops eating between November and December. Then doesn’t want food again untill March or April. If he does it again this year , it will be three years in a row.
Some males of breeding age do this.
Most all of my bp’s are over a year and a half old. Those get fed every other week. Younger balls are every 7-10 days.
How are you housing them?
Exactly! They know what the heat gun means as well.
Sounds like they are just changing their eating pattern. Every other week might be the answer.
Seems like a lot of males go off feeding during the winter. I know mine do and I have seen a lot of other people post the same thing. When winter comes don’t be surprised if it does happen. Some females might also cut back on frequency.
I’ll start trying every other week for my adult males - my largest adult male is in a V-70 as he’s pretty large for a male, almost as big as the adult females, and my other males are in V-35’s. I use a variety of substrates depending on what the animals seem to do well on. I’ve got some on aspen, some on coco fiber, and for the messy ones, plain paper.
thanks for the input, its much appreciated!
I am going to try a combination of the methods y’all have put in this thread with my animals and see if I can get a bit higher rates of feeding, but I fully get that BP’s sometimes just go off food for spells. Thanks everyone!
Best of luck to you @reptile_sam on your feeding success! I don’t think there is are any hard and fast rules for BP feeding methods. There are too many variables that affect the appetite of a BP (imho).
Tank vs tub
Type of substrate
Environment inside enclosure
Environment outside of enclosure
Sex of BP
Age of BP
Type of rodent
Frequency of feeding
I may be way out in left field on this but it’s just my thoughts on the subject……