Snakes are weird like that. Some eat differently than what you would expect
If you are scared they will bite you, just put some protecting gloves on. They don’t smell fear but I think they can feel your fear in the way you move and handle them. They bite out of fear . So if you feel confident it’s easier to hold them steady and firm and they will also feel more secure. It helps you and your snake to get confidence in each other. Expecially if you are not that used to snakes. For me it really helped, and I recently used it again on a very snappy stressed one. Took one month and now we know each other I can pick her up without any fear.
For feeding I also believe the best is feeding in the enclosure. It gives lesser stress. Just make it like a routine they can get used to. Defrosting in a plastic bag can help to keep the smell in the mouse and keep it dry. If you have a nervous one it can help to make the room dark and only put a nightlight on. If they are not that used to frozen mice, than just try to mimic a life mouse. Just move it around a bit in the enclosure .
I watched some videos on youtube about feeding in tanks. How to hold mouse with tongs above shoulder blades, head first toward snake with slight wiggles. I will try that next week. If they dont respond I will keep yall posted before trying box feeding again
50/50 on tank feeding tonight. My lesser got instantly intrigued, came out of her vines, watched and sniffed for a few seconds and took the meal. The albino came out of her hide sniffing, even touched the mouse twice with her tongue and went back in her hide. I will try in tank with the albino again in a few days.
You can always try leaving it overnight. Some will take it some won’t but at least then you’ll know if that particular individual will do it.
Left it for 30 mins. Chucked it. Going to try again in 48 hrs. If she doesnt take it I will let it lay for a for bit longer
I usually don’t try to feed more than once a week, even if they refuse food. Sometimes overdoing it is just as bad as not doing it at all, and you risk stressing them more. When you feed try mimicking prey movements with the tongs. If the snake comes to sniff the mouse, slowly move the mouse back like it is about to run away. It can sometimes trigger a snake to strike. Something odd I always have to do with my rosy boa is move the mouse to the side of her head as if it was walking past her, so you could try that as well.
My 2 cents I agree. Feed the same day every week no need to keep trying every couple days.
Yall are gonna hate me. I couldnt leave well enough alone. I wanted to remodel some stuff in my albinos tank. Put her in her feeding box, thawed a mouse, hung it with the clothes pin and as soon as I closed the lid, she struck. Im going to keep trying to get both of them on tank feeding. And I hear yall on stress. Ive had her 10 days. I have handled her 3 times, less than 15 seconds each time. Once to take her out of her shipping container, 2 times to feed her. Im just glad they both ate. 18 & 22 inch juvies, got a long way to go.
I’m going to add to the fire here.
All of my snakes I have no problems with feeding, as soon as food is offered all of them strike without a issue… Except my little girl Goo.
I got her at the beginning of January and 4 days after being home she ate no problem, but up until yesterday she hadn’t ate since. I tried rats, mice and ASFs, left them in over night, defrosted them in different ways, punctured skulls and so on… Nothing worked.
Yesterday I thought "F*CK it, I’ll give @nolagregg s idea a shot… as soon as I closed the lid, boom, she struck.
I’m not saying this is the right way, I’m just saying… This time for me it worked .
Ive heard from so many people how picky BPs can be about eating that I treat every successful feeding as an accomplishment. The goal is still to get them both to feed in tank.
Finally the most important is that they eat so no hate from me at all. It’s whatever works for the snake and for you. The only thing is that when new ball python owners get their new snake the can be very worried about them not eating immediately, while most of the time it’s perfectly normal because the snake is still adjusting. Or they heard crazy stories about snakes getting food-aggressive in the tanks if you feed them in there. You see them figuring out ways of feeding that are even more stressful for the snake, while giving it some extra time to adjust would be enough. So these techniques can be totally contra productive. On top of that they are difficult to maintain if you decide to buy more snakes.
But that said, ball pythons are stubborn creatures and are all different, so you might get one that love those techiques. In general the first advise is to do the least stressful way for snake and the owner and that is feeding in the tank. But if the snake doesn’t eat there and does in a box, then no hard feelings at all. It’s whatever get’s the job done. But it’s good to try the tank feeding first. At least one allready ate fine in there.
But I agree on what is said before on not trying to often to feed. It’s on you whether you try once or twice a week, but if the snake is stressed and every day you try feeding you take the risk that the food get’s associated with stress and it stays a difficult eater. So some days in between is better. But the most important is to learn to know your snake and test and see what works for the little boy/girl because they are simply not all the same.
A lot of good information given in this thread.
I have some of the pickiest eaters. They all still get fed in their enclosures and I never move them. I’ve learned that adding clutter helps a lot with picky eaters. There’s one snake that will not strike at ANYTHING on the tongs. I have to leave it in front of her hide, and she’ll eventually come out and get it.
I took your tip about thawing near tank. I take the empty bag the mouse was shipped in, butterfly it and lay it on enclosure while I defrost the mouse. My normal BP loves it. I have both of them eating every 5 days with no problems. Albino still wont eat in her enclosure yet but she hits within seconds in her box. Thanks again for sharing some knowledge.
Seems to be helping mine as well, I’ve kept it up. No problem!
Then I think feeding her in a box is the way to go for her. It’s good you tested different ways and finally listen to what is working for your snakes. Well done…
Theres pros and cons to every way you feed - but lets face it, if it eats in a box then crack on and enjoy!
Next time I increase their feeder size I am changing over to rats. Hopefully they are both cool with it.
I did my monthly weigh in.
CJ: from 123gm to 152gm
Moolah: from 108gm to 120.5gm
You’ll see them start to put on weight faster once they switch over. It just hit me today a couple of mine are 4x the size I got them at anywhere from 8-11 months ago pretty crazy!
Well it only took 3 1/2 months but Fabulous Moolah took her first meal in her enclosure.
She had no issues with FTM when she was on 5 day feedings or 7 day feedings. Had no issues switching to FTR. Always aggressive fast strikes. Still hasnt tagged or regurged during moving to feed. But she never comes out of her hide to feed.
She has been on FTR for 3 weeks. Tonight I laid the plastic feeder bags on top of her enclosure while prepping their feeders. She finally came out stalking the tank. Offered her the feeder and she was on it instantly.
It looks like she is finally over the hump.
Also, she weighed in at 304g on the first of the month. Growing fast for 4 1/2 months old