Hissing When Feeding

It may very well be too soon that I’m attempting to feed him, but he was a little underweight when he came in to me so I figured I’d try to get him to a desirable weight.
He is around a year old, hatched in 2018 and he last fed on the 9th of November.
Is that too soon for a ball python of his age?

He also seems to have a habit of hissing a lot before feeding, never any other time. He does it regardless of whether he takes the rat, is this normal?

Not sure what you mean by too soon. Are you saying you just got him? When? Or just asking if a feeding every 9 days is too often? (No it’s definitely not I would still be feeding him every week.)

As for the hissing I’m not sure but it would help to know how are you feeding him? And what’s his living set up?

By too soon, I meant between feeding intervals.
As for his setup, he’s got a heat mat (under some soil and orchid bark) and a ceramic bulb that keeps the hot side at 30 C, the bulb is on a thermostat btw.
He has a cork bark hide on the hot side, and a plastic tub on the cool. I may have to swap them out for smaller hides, since they seem a bit large rn.
As for his feeding: he gets thawed and warmed up small weaner rats and doesn’t get taken out the enclosure to feed.

Ok well In answer to that He’s still growing I would think every week is still an ideal feed interval. I have not had this happen myself, I am not sure what to say if his enclosure is getting too much light maybe he feels stressed but if he hisses even when he accepts the food that would seem to say he’s not that stressed.
I don’t know why a BP feeding response would involve hissing I would think one in the wild that hissed before striking would starve…


Maybe it’s a result of being excited? Constricted airway in some way getting ready to strike in some kind of pose that makes it hard for the snake to intake or exhale?

Luna hissed when I tried to feed her. She hissed, scrunched up in a ball, and was overall extremely stressed. After the third attempt to feed her I left the f/t rat fuzzy in her tub with her, and she ate it.

I think some snakes don’t want their food to dangle, and would rather eat when they want. I will try feeding her tonight again, since it’s that time, and maybe she’ll take it from the tongs.


Don’t dangle… Mice and rats dont dangle. Try grabbing the food item by the back end and wiggle it in a more natural manner. She might just be intimidated by floating food.


Maybe I’m being lazy but unless they are being stubborn and making me work for it I just dangle it. I’m not training them to exist in the wild. If they recognize dangling as food I’m good.

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Well I mean some snakes don’t give a crap and as long as it’s warm and smells even remotely right they’ll go for it. Some get intimidated and need a little encouragement to feed from tongs. Eventually they’ll learn tongs = food and won’t care at all.

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@meerkatlyndz I assume eventually someday I’m going to have to go to live anyway if I get enough snakes so won’t have to deal with the tongs haha. I have been forced to work a little harder at feeding with the changing seasons mine have been a bit more stubborn.

Can’t say I agree with feeding live but that’s not what this is about and know plenty of snake owners do. Good luck with everything one way or another.

Lol oh boy. Let’s not go there :joy::joy::joy:

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Nope we aren’t. Not gonna happen lol

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@thecrawdfather do you want me to come teach your snakes the clicking noise of tongs?
since i have the voice of an angel and my snakes are so smart :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy:


Honestly you should take some video of your snakes responding to your voice and stuff like you say. I’m still laughing about it.

Here’s Margo - literally hating my guts (husband is in striking range the whole mf time)

(won’t let me post a video)

edit; i’ll have to get a video of penny up at some point


That’s hilarious, but if hubby wasn’t moving and you are to show her following… Snakes more likely to watch a moving target aren’t they? Moving could equal circling predator (or human they hate lol)

My husband was moving quite a bit in that video. She always knew where he was. That video is just a snip it, but she knew where he was at all times - but doesn’t ever get into a striking pose for him.

I asked if she was done being a “biscuit” and this was the look she gave me when she game back out


She’s not a bad word snake! She’s just misunderstood! That cutie just wants a kiss. Go on… Lean in nice and close

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Here’s Margo thinking I wasn’t going to look before putting my hand in her tub to fix that thermometer