I am planning to do this study September 1, 2021 - April 30, 2022. As a small operation ball python breeder myself, I have always heard that spider ball pythons eat better than most morphs while bananas are more picky eaters. I am wanting to buy 16-18 baby ball pythons (or more depending on your opinions) to compare feeding habits and growth rates to see if these morphs that affect pigmentation of the skin affect feeding response.
I cannot decide if I want to focus on four different morphs (Normals, Spiders, Bananas, and Banana spiders) with 4 snakes in each group (that come from the same clutch to minimize genetic differences) or if I want to do 2 snakes to each group and expand my study to compare more morphs. With contacting breeders, some have told me that mahogany morphs eat better than fire morphs as well as a few other comparisons.
Does anyone have any morphs that seem to eat better or worse than others? I am trying to get a list going and decide which ones I will be choosing before submitting my proposal to the IACUC at my school to get approval!
This study may seem small compared to others being done but I might have to possibly fund this study out of pocket as there are not a lot of grants being given out at the moment. I am in the process of contacting various breeders and businesses to see if any of them can help fund my study. If anyone has any suggestions with that I will take them as well! It wouldn’t need to be large scale anyways as my school is on the smaller level and this will be for my Veterinary Management masters program.
I understand that some people claim that all pythons are the same and it can depend on the individual on eating habits. I completely agree that it can depend on the individual but I am testing if any of these morphs eat better than others and comparing the appetite response to growth rate! If the results show that there’s no correlation then those are still results!