He's not gonna hurt himself, is he? UPDATE

So yesterday I received my first ball python in the mail. I was super nervous cause its my first experience with ordering and getting an animal shipped to me. So other than him being delivered almost an hour late, everything went smooth. I took him out immediately, looked him over for a couple minutes and put him in his enclosure cause he was super stressed, striking and everything. I even covered his tank to try and put him more at ease. So of course he was making laps around the tank all night which I kind of expected since my first snake did the same, but then he starts crawling up the side of the tank, gets to the lid and falls over into his water dish. SO I’m sitting next to him (his tank is next to my couch) and I’m just hearing silence THUMP silence THUMP . Hes making me super nervous, hes only 2weeks old, I don’t want him hurting himself, etc. He has his cool and warm hides (thermostat set to 90*, humitdity @55%) and hes been in both already, he has a paper towel roll in there as well that he’s already made use to hide in, his water dish and I just put some vines in there for added enrichment/more hiding. I took him out today to weigh him (80g). I did offer him food ft, he was eating live) but he refused, so I’m guessing he was still stressed. Today I uncovered his tank about 1/5 to get him used to some light and people constantly walking by. Right now hes out and roaming over the vines.

Is there anything else I could be doing to settle him down or is there something Im doing wrong thats freaking him out more? Im really trying to leave him alone as much as possible other than topping off his water dish (cause him falling in it is splashing it all over) and lifting his hide to make sure hes still alive.

I’m a worry wart, I know this already.

10 gallon?

10gallon glass, 3/4 of screen lid covered to retain humidity

Well I would stop messing with his hide checking if he’s alive honestly isn’t going to do anything but stress him out. Fresh water once per day he doesn’t need a full dish all the time and leave him alone. He should calm down in a week or so, and you will too.
Good luck!


Keep in mind this baby is going to have been used to tubs and how safe they feel compared to a tank. Also, you just got him yesterday and you already got him out? You need to leave him alone for a week at least, no bugging him, no handling him, and no offering food. You may even need 2 weeks given how small of a baby he is, and the fact you have him in a 10 gallon tank instead of a smaller tub so he feels safer (and has no chance to hurt himself with climbing). Do not uncover the tank for the next few days, and make sure you blackout 3 of the 4 sides of the tank when you do. Another thing, if he is in a high traffic room, I would recommend putting him in a quiet room with little to no noise.

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Yea I figured he probably came from a tub in a rack and now hes just scared to death, like wtf is going on?! I have already planned to cover 3/4 sides of the tank once he settled down. Thank you guys for your advice! :pray:

Ok so update: He has stopped his pacing of the cage, mostly stays in his hide now. I still have his cage covered and have since moved him to a room that doesn’t get used as much as where he was. I’ve left him alone most the time, other than to lift his cover once a day to make sure hes still alert and alive. I tried feeding his F/T last night and he refused. I will be trying live/freshly killed soon. He hasn’t eaten since hes been with us, so that’s at least 10days. My other snake is going into blue, which is usually who I feed rats to when this little guy refuses. Most likely going to try a live fuzzy since that’s what the breeder suggested. Any suggestions on what to do with the live prey item if little guy decides he doesn’t want to eat that? Ive read that they probably wont live long at all, is it possible to freeze live prey that dies after going uneaten?

If he doesn’t eat it, kill it via cervical dislocation and freeze it

Cervical dislocation is not easy to do unless you know exactly what you are doing, and can cause the animal a lot pain if you do it wrong.

Yeah, kill it via a quick method and don’t just leave it to die naturally since it could last a whole day or more and be suffering the whole time. If you don’t have the equipment killing it via the suffocation method could be difficult (it also takes the longest), cervical dislocation is pretty easy on an animal that small but best to research it. Or you could use a quick blow to the head with a rock/hammer. No matter which way you choose, be sure to research it so you don’t injure the animal instead.

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I suggested cervical dislocation because that’s how I was trained to humanely kill mice/small rats, but if you aren’t familiar or comfortable with this method, anything that’s quick, efficient and humane will work.

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At 2 weeks old my hatchlings have shed and maybe been offered 1 meal, who ships out 2 week old hatchlings?

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Doesn’t quite help with the situation they’re in now, but I agree this should be a cautionary tale to not buy a ball python so young. I also would never ship so young.

Given that this snake is so young, you might consider getting a live fuzzy mouse (make sure it does not have teeth yet!!) and leave it in the enclosure overnight. That’s how I get the more stubborn hatchlings started most successfully. Then once you’ve got one mouse down, switch to rats.

I agree, I wish I had paid more attention to his weight on the website and asked more questions, but that’s a problem I created myself. Good news is I got him a live fuzzy rat. Dropped it in his tank, covered it back up and left him alone. Went to check on him about 30mins later and he’d already struck it and started constricting it. So hopefully he eats it and I can stop worrying for now. I have no problem feeding him live until he gets to a weight that I’m comfortable to start trying to switch him to F/T.

He ate the live fuzzy rat no problem. So I feel a little better. I plan on trying to feed him again in 5 days. Will try a F/T first, then go to live a couple days later if he refuses.

Night and day difference between this guy and my first snake. But it’s a learning experience.

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