My first bp refused his first feed advice please

So I received my first ever Ball python first ever snake I have ever owned. He is a juvenile bp Champagne Fire YB Paradox morph a male. The reptile store I bought him from said that he is a great eater he has eaten several times. I was told feed him thawed from frozen pup rats. So I ordered a few packages from petco. My husband put the rat in the glad bag inside a pan full of warm water especially just for the snake so no cross contaminates happen etc. Let the rat sit until he measured it at 90 degrees with a food thermometer we also bought just for the snake. My husband and I opened the snakes tank from the top we had to take turns holding the rat to the snake bc it was taking so long so held the thawed rat up and made it wiggle alot The snake smelled it with his tongue several times watched it wiggle touched it with his nose a few times almost striked twice but never did he opened his mouth once really wide too but again never went for the rat. After awhile the snake genuinely looked more interested in my hand than the rat. Also I accidentally dropped the rat on the snake a couple times I didn’t realize the rat is so heavy and slipped thru the tongs when wet and also the legs broke off from holding the rat by the legs. So anyway I held the rat far away I held it close still snake never striked the snake seemed more interested in me than the rat. Anyway it was a complete failure i feel bad. The temperature and humidity is fine in the tank all normal levels. The reptile store I bought him from said earlier this week that he ate last week and that he didn’t think he would eat this week that he would probably be to stressed or whatever from shipping and having a new home.That I can offer but he probably won’t eat. He was shipped Wednesday from texas and made it to us in CA Thursday morning. He eats Saturday night. So we tried this Saturday of course. And this is what happened. But like I said the reptile store said he probably wouldn’t eat this Saturday but I haven’t heard from them since Thursday since I picked up the package they haven’t answered any of my texts about anything since I picked up the package for like four days now so I can’t ask them. I mean should I be worried? Is this normal? What did I do wrong anyway? Should I have left the dead rat in the tank overnight after he didn’t eat? I was told originally if he didn’t eat this Saturday to try again not until the following Saturday so thats my plan right now. Advice please. I’m worried he’s to scared to eat and that he’s hungry.

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New owner with non feeding hatchling, troubleshooting 101

Troubleshooting your snake

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You need to give him a week to 2 weeks to settle in. No disturbing him except for water. Some BP even take a month to settle in before they eat. Make sure you have his temps right, a bunch of cover and no lights in his enclosure. If you have a tank then black out 3 sides of it as well. Also, to be 100% that your rat is thawed, leave it in the water for a couple hours. I usually leave mine in the bag I thaw them in for 4 just to be certain they are thawed. They also have time to get smelly this way.

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Honestly I would suggest letting your new snake acclimate to its environment. Ball pythons from what I have personally learned at home/through extensive research has stayed to leave them alone for the first two weeks. If the humidity is good and the temp is good than husbandry isn’t the issue. The other thing is during his quarantine I would suggest to darken the enclosure for most snakes are kept in a rack system to a degree so extra visuals can aid to stressing the snake out.

Over all you could check out the snake discovery Channel on youtube they have all kinds of great advice :). My guess is just leave your scale baby alone for a week or two than try again eventually they eat ^^.

If it becomes too much of a concern their is always a visit to the reptile vet to know for sure

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Thank you so much that makes alot of sense

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thank you for your help I will do just that

Oh and this is what ive done so far he of course has a heating pad and a hot side and cool side as well my delivery stuff was running late bc of this virus going around but I just today got the tint delivered to out on the sides of the tank so ive been covering the whole thing with a blanket as well in the meantime

and I haven’t held him yet he actually really enjoys when I rub him its really cute he moves his body around like he’s getting a massage or something but he also hisses sometimes when I touch him is that normal or is he gonna bite me? And he does have 2 hides And I’m adding alot more plants right now they finally just came in today too

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So far I’m going to order more little trees now

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When a snake moves against you like that they are trying to push you away. Petting them can cause stress as well by leaving them alone that means no contact for one to two weeks. You can still spray the cage and what not for humidity and lift the hide to spot clean bit keep all contact to an absolute minimum. Gorgeous snake I’m so happy for you :slight_smile:

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If he moves against you and hisses that means he doesn’t want to be touched. You are stressing him and need to leave him alone. No touching or anything for 2 weeks now that you have disturbed and probably stressed him quite a bit. You need to make sure you get hides with only 1 entrance as well.

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Okay thank you so much I will leave him alone more than I understand now :slightly_smiling_face:

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why with just one entry please? And I wasn’t aware of completely not touching etc now I am thank you I will let him de-stress now

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Is it normal for him to travel around and sleep all straight from time to time like this or is he supposed to be in a little ball most of the time?

The hides with 1 entrance make them feel completely safe. You need 2 in the enclosure, 1 on the warm side and 1 on the cold side. He is probably wondering around because of stress, and is more than likely trying to find a safe place.

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@queenabigail Totally normal at night for them to come out and be active for a few hours. Almost all of the time during the day he should be curled up under one of his hides, probably usually the hot side.

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Thank you for your post, I have a lot to learn about snakes, I have only had a corn snake for about 3 years. I hope to expand our snake family very soon.

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There will always be more to learn about snakes and we are always working to improve our housing habits in this awesome hobby as keepers. That being said if you do expand out just remember each snake differs from species to species and each have their own requirements ^^

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Time to settle in for sure, bp’s go on food strikes (my female genetic stipe hasn’t eaten for 2 months but has only lost 20 grams of weight) just monitor his weight of it doesn’t drop drastically then just keep trying, bp’s on frozen thawed can at times just decide not to eat them.( my male pastave was on frozen thawed from the day I got him year and half later started refusing them so switched to live and he has eaten every feeding sense except one because he was in deep shed) can also have a vet assist feed or force feed if it gets to bad sometime getting a meal into them will retrigger feeding response…

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Out of curiosity…Is there a lid to that tank? :sweat_smile:

Be careful with Petco frozen rodents. Every time I get frozen rats from Petco they have been freezer burned and when I thaw them, patches of fur falls off the rodents. Most of my snake will still take them but I have a rainbow boa that refuses everytime. She has never refused a rat from Rodent pro. I won’t buy frozen rodent from Petco unless I absolutely have to. Just my two cents.

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