I currently have 7 Ball Pythons and will be pairing a male and female next month. Unfortunately the male will only eat live mice. He used to eat F/T rats, then stopped so I went to F/T ASF’s and now he wont eat those. If I put a live mouse in front of him it’s gone. The couple places by me that sell live mice sell them for about $2.50 each and at 4 a week it adds up. Just thinking that having a trio or two of mice would be a lot cheaper and also be a benefit for when I have hatchlings. Just wondering if anyone has some advice that they would be willing to share? Sounds like I can use 10 gallon aquariums which I already have. 3 would be what I need - 1 for females, 1 to grow out weaned babies, and 1 to keep the male or males separate?
I really prefer the mouse breeder tubs with the food hopper type lids from reptile basics. Less mess and waste, and so easy to clean compared to a aquarium. Honestly though I hate breeding mice, rats I don’t have a problem with, very easy and straight forward. Mice will sometimes seemingly for no reason just eat their babies! I have found not mixing different mice together helps keep this to a min. Always keep the same adults 1 male and a few females together. When I try to switch one or make a new tub with adults that’s when they can get violent. Other then that they will breed fine. Get good stock to start that may eliminate a lot of issues. Good luck!
Try moving this post to the section on Feeder Rodents, you may get more replies.
@banereptiles is right on the risks of cannibalism and aggression.
Another thing you don’t want to do is mix males together. They will relentlessly bully the weaker one until everything is covered in blood. Even keeping siblings together can get messy but less likely. I always tried to feed off the males first for that reason. You ideally need something larger than a 10 gallon to grow out multiple males in without the bullying.
Females that cannibalize seem to be more likely to continue, so I would cull them from the breeding groups. Weirdly I’ve seen them nursing other female’s offspring, but always eat their own.
Male mice are much smellier that rats as well if you’re sensitive that way. It’s one of the main reasons I stick to rats. I’ve also had mice eat more than a few offspring you try to put back after failed meal attempts where rats tend to take them back willingly.
Mice can still be really rewarding. They’re just more work to keep going than rats to me. Maybe someone with better luck will have some good tips
Thanks for the help. Cannibalism is one of the reasons why I’m very hesitant on breeding mice. That and smell. I wish my male would eat rats! I’ve tried weaned and fuzzy rats and he won’t touch them. Maybe I’ll give them another try. I’ve also tried live ASF’s but mediums and he wouldn’t touch those either. Maybe smalls? I may try these again this weekend.
Thanks for your help! The more and more I read about mice the less I’m liking the idea of breeding them. I’ve tried fuzzy and weaned rats in the past as well as a medium ASF and he wouldn’t eat them. I’ll give it another try though. I’d much rather breed either of those over mice.
Sorry, I didn’t see the feeder section. Is there a simple way to move it or should I just start another thread there?
@pcexotics does pretty well with mice. I’ve bred them for years, quite inefficiently. Like @banereptiles I’ve found them to do better in permanent groups. And either in small groups like 1.3 or in huge colonies. They’ve never consistently paid their rent for me, I’m much better at rats
All fixed, no worries!
Thanks for the help!
Keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll eat a live rat fuzzy or pup when I give it another try this weekend.
You could also try scenting with a mouse, some of my picky ones were able to be swapped to rats by me just rubbing them all over a few live mice… but I also breed both rats and mice so it isn’t any big deal for me to do so.
Ive seen horror stories for ASF breeding, but i started recently and they have been a dream. Interacted with them when young, so they are pretty calm, the males all get along with eachother when i add each new round of babies to the gender seperated tubs, and they reproduce frequently. If he ends up taking asfs, it may be easier since theres not really any SSA. (Same sex aggretion)
I fed him a small ASF and a rat pup this morning. He killed the ASF but did not eat it and won’t touch the rat pup. I left the ASF in his tub to see if he’ll eventually eat it but I’m not getting my hopes up. I may try again in a few weeks though. Regular rats seem out of the question though.
Ive been breeding mice, rats and asfs for the last few years. Mice definitely smell the worst. They stink pretty bad by around day 5. For me personally, i breed mostly asfs. Highest yield and less space requirements than rats. I can get 2 asfs to 90g each quicker than i can get a rat to 180-200g. Rats for my biggest snakes, asfs for most of my snakes, mice for my few smaller snakes. I keep my mice in lab setups. They run about $95 w/ 500ml water bottle on amazon. I’ll post a pic in a sec
for me, when a ball python eats frozen thawed rats I will never give the option for anything else. 11-month hunger strikes just mean a lower food bill for the year.
These are $60 right now on reptile basics! You still have to purchase water bottle separate as well. You can do multiple cage deals for a little cheaper (per cage) as well
@lkhigg I would let him get good and hungry however with my small collection I’m really relying on him to breed and want him to be in good condition. Yesterday he killed a small ASF but did t eat it. Then he shed last night. So I’ll try another live ASF again next week if I can get one.
Nice!!! Thanks for the tip. I need to have 4 more colonies started by new years.