So I am struggling hard to find rats the right size for my ball python. She is at 298-300 grams(she moves a lot lol) but the smallest frozen rats I can find in store are 50 grams. I have someone who is going to have some rat pups for me in a week or two but for now, I need to know what to feed her. I bought a small rat and an adult mouse at the store. The rat is 50 grams, the mouse is 18 grams. I mainly bought the rat because I’ve heard you can feed them something about the same size as the largest part of their body, and the rat looked to meet that goal but can’t be 100% sure without having them side by side, so I’m going to hold it up to her body and check. Would it be safe to feed her the 50 gram rat, or is that a bad idea? I’ve been giving her adult mice since I’ve had her for a little over a month, but she never has a lump after being fed which makes me think I’m underfeeding her, and I definitely don’t want to do that, but I’ve also heard it’s bad to feed two rodents back to back.
I generally advise feeding 10-15% of their body weight while growing, which would be about 30-45g. You probably could feed the 50g rat and be ok, but to make things easier in the future rather than just eyeballing it you can order frozen rats online by weight. I personally tend to feed on the lighter side as overfeeding can have some pretty negative effects on long term health, lifespan and reproduction and I’m not in any rush to get mine up to a certain weight
Yeah I definitely want to order online, but with how expensive shipping is, it’s hard to justify it for only one snake lol. Plus my wife will definitely not let me keep them in the freezer, which is understandable. I am going to purchase a mini freezer so I can order in bulk and have them on standby, but that’s a couple weeks away!
Some people go by weight as @chesterhf stated. We do not as we found feeding just under that they tend to eat more often without going on a feeding strike.
Some go by size as you stated. This is kind of what we do. But we don’t go above the widest part as most suggest.
Under feeding (as some would call it) is your best bet, from what we experienced. Unless during breeding. Then the females get larger food and fed more often, as per their feeding response.
For your size snake, 50g would be to large. It won’t hurt it, but I would not do it consistently.
Feeding a snake that size weekly would be suggested. Once they start refusing melas, then switch to every other week. But keep the food size the same. They do tend to cut back as they get older.
Skipping a meal will not hurt it. Of it just are and your order comes in two weeks, skipping a week would be ok until it arrives. I would stick with mice until it arrives.
The only thing I could find around here were mice, this one weighs 18 grams. Is that suitable to feed her and her still be healthy/growing? I’ve just always heard the slight lump in the belly thing but I can’t even tell she’s ate after she woofs down the mouse. I definitely want to get her on rats asap. Gonna have to bite the bullet and pay the shipping it looks like lol.
Anything is better then nothing. Just keep it eating. Try posting on here that you are looking for someone in your area selling rats, also go onto coldblooded and post the same thing. It is probably best to find someone local and get what you want as you need it, then ording a stockpile online. You can also let us know about where you are and maybe someone will know someone you can go to.
Another thing, if they are to small, you can feed more then one. As long as it will eat 2. Some won’t eat a second one.
Good thinking! I’m in Northern Kentucky, a few minutes south of Cincinnati, OH. I haven’t tried two back to back yet as I’ve heard that’s not good to do, but have seen others say its fine. If she won’t do that, would it be wise to maybe feed her the adult mouse every 5 days instead of 7? I’ve had her on a every 7 days feeding schedule with those since I got her. Not sure if that 2 days would really make any difference. Just stick with that until she’s a bit bigger and can take a small rat?
There really is no evidence that I am aware of that double feeding causes any problems. Especially if the food is much smaller then they need.
Feeding sooner is another option and worth trying. This will give you time to locate a local rat breeder. I read another posr frome a large snake breeder that he feeds every 3 days, but they equal what they should be eating weekly. I have not tried it, but it makes sense.
I know there are many snake breeders, keepers in Ohio.
Check out any local expos, go and ask the locals where to find local rats. I use to live in WV and went to Columbus expos all the time. They use to have large events.
@tylerlovell999 Hey Tyler! I may be way out In left field here but since you only have the 1 BP, if you have a Petsmart or Petco nearby you could pick up some rat fuzzies. My Petsmart sells them and they work in a pinch. I bought some today. I stock up at the expos normally.
Since you only have 1 BP it might be worth just buying the rats as you need them……
Just sayin……. I don’t want to confuse the issue!
I am not as experienced as these other lovely people,
but I can confirm my BP baby Finnley spent most of his first year eating exclusively F/T Mice, and when he got bigger I used scenting to switch him to f/t rats, and he’s a grand growing boy and looking to be a BIG fella, in great shape and fine condition.
I ended up going to Petland and bought a box of large mice! She ate one just fine yesterday and has a little lump in her belly, but nothing grotesque! Gonna keep her on these until she grows about another 50 grams, then will switch her to small rats! I know I have been giving her mice too small because before she would eat them in like 2 minutes, while this mouse took her a solid 5-10 minutes to get it down, and would look like she didn’t eat anything at all after swallowing it lol. But yes, I agree, I just don’t think it’s good for me to order online yet since I only have one snake. I did order the mini freezer so I’ll probably start ordering online when she makes it to small rats!
Yes! The plan is to keep her on large mice for about another 50 grams, then I will switch her to small rats!
So that’s wonderful Tyler! However I would suggest that when you switch to rats you that start with rat fuzzies or the next size up which are rat pups. I think you will find that going from even the largest of mice to small rats will be too big of a size jump without feeding a few rat fuzzies or pups in between.
This is what I do with my BP babies but it is just a suggestion……
Again I am thrilled that things are working out well! Btw one of my BP babies just took her first rat fuzzy tonight! She was currently eating mice! And of course I feed ft!
Happy New Year Tyler!
So glad things are working out for you!
Given that his ball python would be ~350g when he makes the switch, both of these would be too small! Rat weanlings or small rats on the smaller side of the category would be most appropriate
Well if that’s the case then this BP could probably eat rat fuzzies now.
But @tylerlovell999 since you already have mice it’s no big deal…… .
Yeah it’s just tough to find anything smaller than a 50 gram rat around here! All the local pet stores only have those or they sell hopper mice, nothing smaller. Even the bigger chain stores don’t have pups! I’m gonna have to suck it up and pay the shipping on RodentPro or Layne Labs lol. I know Big Cheese actually has decent shipping cost, I believe it’s $29.99 flat rate, but I don’t know how reputable they are. This snake actually was feeding on live rat pups at the breeders, so she has taken them before which makes me hopeful she won’t be difficult to get back to rats when I’m able to provide that. She has an insane food response actually lol, first time I fed her she came flying out of the enclosure at me. Happy New Year to you, and everyone else, as well!
Oh ok! Then obviously you are on the right track and I am so sure she will be able to handle small rats no doubt, as @chesterhf Hilary so rightly pointed out to me!
Sometimes I should just read and then then leave it ALONE!
Tyler you are doing amazing with her so carry on matey!
Happy New Year guys!!!
Check out a Green Room Pythons video for a discount code for Layne Labs.
I love Bob!