HELP! baby ball python not eating

i have a 2 week old baby ball python and the person i bought him from said he has eaten 1 live mouse so i assumed i could just feed frozen and ive tried 2 times and he wouldnt take it and then i tried to assist feed and he wouldnt do that so tomorrow im going to get a live hopper mouse plese help!!

Definitely try the live hopper but I’d give him at least a few more days to rest, calm down before attempting again. Did you say that the breeder sold him to you with only one meal since hatching? No bueno

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You don’t attempt assist feeding on a snake that knows how to eat. It just stresses them and makes the problem worse. You are also supposed to let them settle in for a couple weeks with no handling, and no feeding. What is your setup like? If they don’t feel safe they won’t eat. You are also only supposed to attempt a feeding once every week or else you stress the snake. Whoever you got him from clearly wasn’t a good breeder if it is really only a couple weeks old.

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It sounds like you really, really didn’t do your homework before getting this snake. Never buy an animal unless it has eaten at least 3 times unassisted. Just because a snake eats live, does not mean they will eat f/t. Don’t feed or handle your snake for the first 7-10 days after bringing it home. Do not forcefeed an animal that knows how to eat. Forcefeed only in a life or death situation.

If you did not know any of these things, chances are there are issues with your setup as well. We can help if you answer a few questions. How big is the enclosure and what kind? What are the temperatures on the hot side and cold side? How are you providing/controlling heat? How many hides do you have, how big are they, and where are they placed? What substrate are you using?

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i did lots of research on ball pythons before i got one and i went to a pet expo to get one and when i was there i was so excited when i found one i loved i bought him and the breader said he had shed and eaten once and he was like 5 days old so i didnt mess with him for about a week and i tried to feed him a f/t mouse and he woudnt eat it so i waited another week and tried again and he still wouldnt eat and then i got nervous and so like 2 days later i tried to assist feed and he still wouldnt eat it

i did lots of research on ball pythons before i got one and i went to a pet expo to get one and when i was there i was so excited when i found one i loved i bought him and the breader said he had shed and eaten once and he was like 5 days old so i didnt mess with him for about a week and i tried to feed him a f/t mouse and he woudnt eat it so i waited another week and tried again and he still wouldnt eat and then i got nervous and so like 2 days later i tried to assist feed and he still wouldnt eat it
hes in a 10 gallon tank and has a humid hide in the middle,a hot side cave and a cool side cave with a branch and a plant covering overtop most of it and the substrate is just paper towel right now because i wanted to watch his poop and everything ,he has a waterbowl that he can fit in also

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Leave him alone for a week, then offer him a live rodent. Hatchlings tend to only eat live for the first few meals. Once he has eaten at least 5 meals, then try swapping to F/T. If he still doesn’t take the F/T, then offer live and try F/T again the following feed cycle. Some pythons can swap over with no issues, others can be picky and only want live. You also have to make sure the F/T rodent is at a good temp, having a temp gun is good to check with. I go with mid to high 90s with mine. Do not reuse the F/T rodent failed from the previous cycle, I recommend using only fresh F/T rodent at each attempt.

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I really suggest giving this a read through…
New owner with non feeding hatchling, troubleshooting 101

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Chances are he will eat on his own. Just do not handle him for about a week, and then offer a live hopper mouse. Eating live or f/t isn’t what is important right now. Getting him to eat regularly is what matters most. Resist the urge to handle him. Start record keeping so you know dates for what goes on. When he eats, sheds, what his weight is, etc. It sounds like you purchased your snake from a very irresponsible seller. He will do fine. Just stay patient.

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Not trying to take a jab or anything but if you did your research like you claim then you would have known that it is strongly recommended and a industry standard for most sellers to only sell a baby if it Is a established eater and has 3 meals in them at minimum. I get that you were excited and just wanted a snake right away but next time please look into buying from a reliable breeder with good reviews. Just about anyone can reserve a spot at a show and sell so you cant always go into a expo thinking everyone is a good breeder or seller.

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It’s funny because on paper this breeder may appear reliable, ethical, knowledgeable or whichever terminology we’d choose for them, but as only a few of see here, that’s not entirely the case. Unless future buyers saw this post and did a little bit of research on the breeder in question, no one will ever know this has happened. Especially with the apology offer that’s on the table hence no negative review. Hey, he may not be a “bad guy” but just needs more knowledge themselves. Who knows…Ball Python breeders should never be selling hatchlings that are not established eaters but as we know some care more about the few bucks they’ll be saving on feeders over what the future is for that particular animal. Even if a customer told me they knew what they were doing, you’d think that customer would also understand and have the patience to wait a bit more. Actually the lack of patience may show me they’re not ready. 3 consistent meals is different than having 3 meals since hatching.
To get back to the post though and to deal with what’s at hand instead of dwelling over what happened, let your little guy settle. Make sure his enclosure is how it should be and attempt a live feeding. After a few times doing this, when his feeding response is how it should, attempt frozen thawed if that’s your goal and go from there.

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If it’s a glass tank, also consider blocking out at least 3 sides and the top (without blocking air exchange for breathing obviously).

As others have said: at this age you may need to offer live food before trying to switch to f/t.

For feeding live prey to hatchlings I prefer to get young fuzzy mice that have not grown any teeth yet. It allows you to wait longer without having to keep checking that they are not biting the snake. But you have to be absolutely certain they do not have teeth for that. They are also slower and less intimidating than a mouse hopper if your snake is particularly shy or afraid.

As for getting this snake so young, now you’ve had to learn the hard way. It’s mostly not your fault for not learning this beforehand. There is so much to learn and some of those details are harder to come by than it should be. The person who sold this snake to you though should have known better. We as breeders have the experience and a responsibility not to do crap like this to make a quick buck on someone’s inexperience. Anyways, all you can do now is to make the best of this situation now that you’ve been thrown into it like this. Hope the advice helps.

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And keep your head up. No irreparable damage is done.

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