So here’s the short story. My ball python is stuck on live. (That’s not the issue right now) My main rat guy ran out of feeders for a while. I couldn’t find rats anywhere. I got desperate and caved. Bought mice to hold em down until I could find more rats. Now the snake is refusing rats!!! It’s been fed rats for 7 months straight but the 2 mice it ate to hold it over has put him on a strike! I have tried scenting , putting a mouse with the rat ( these are weaned sized) , white rats and nothing. It’s not the husbandry as everything is perfect. I tested it an dropped the weaned rat in watched the snake taste it and go back into the hide. Left the weaned rat in there and tossed a mouse in… I kid you not in less than 30 seconds it was food. The mouse is too small so the snake kept looking for more. Eventually it realized that the only thing left was the rat so it went into it’s hide to digest it’s mouse meal. I’ve been told that to switch it back over I basically have to starve it of mice and continue offering rats until it’s Soo hungry it doesn’t care. This ball python is still a “baby” so I don’t want to risk him dying of starvation either. Any advice is appreciated! Thank you!
You said that the snake has been fed rats for 7 months, so it’s not technically a baby any more. I think the best way is just to continue offering rats. What was the feeding schedule when it was eating rats? Can you add a picture of the snake? I’m guessing that the snake just isn’t hungry so it can choose not to eat rats.
I’m at work right now so no pic yet, but every Thursday night is their feed night. My other 3 haven’t had any issues like this guy. They were on a 4 day feed schedule until they hit 300g but that was with much smaller prey. These are pets, I’m not a breeder and have no plans to breed. I feel guilty not feeding him what he wants but it’s like $6 a mouse vs a larger rat for less than $2. My area is weird like that. I tried FT mice as well and nope. It’s frustrating because it’s just him. The others don’t care at all. They eat FT, rats,mice even asf when I can find them.
Rats are much healthier so you should try to get it back on rats.
It would take at least 2 Maybe 3 adult mice to fill him up the same way 1 rat would. I guess I just have to be as stubborn as he is
You could try keeping the rat in some dirty mouse bedding in a small container for a while before offering it, somtimes that works. I feel ya I have a adult female breeder that only eats mice have to give her 2-3 jumbo mice a week. But the important thing is it’s still eating! Keep trying to offer rats hopefully she will get back on them. Good luck! Crazy picky ball pythons!
Thank you, I even tried leaving the rat in the mouse tub with the mouse! They slept curled up together the whole night and he still wasn’t fooled
The first thing you should do is not attempt to feed that snake for 3 weeks. While it is a juvenile, BPs in the wild do not have the opportunity to eat every week so it won’t harm it. Hungry is not the same thing as starving. When you do try to feed it again, use a smaller than normal prey item. Since you were feeding it weanlings, offer it a rat pup. if it refuses, wait another week and a half to two weeks, and try a rat pup again. The snake will not starve itself to death if there is food available and eventually will go back on rats. It does require some tough love on your part though and don’t cave into the guilt. Best of luck.
A few BPs I got were fed mice when young and would not touch rats. Did this for about 3 feedings and eventually worked and were eating rats with no problem!
He started to lose a significant amount of weight and still refused rats. Went back to rat pups and still nothing. He has accepted frozen thawed mice 3 times though and that is cheaper than live. He will probably be a bit smaller than my others now that he has his own special diet. This had been going on since February smh he ate the frozen thawed mice this month.
Thanks for the update! Sounds to me like you got yourself a mouser! It’s not all bad some bps eat mice all there life, sometimes when they get older they will switch to rats. I have one that has gone back and forth over the years, for what reason-no reason at all! Truth is all these bps are different, yes everyone prefers to feed rats but it always comes down to the snake! Could be worse, might only eat asfs or won’t eat at all! Thanks again for the update!