Should I breed mice or ASF rats?

So a little back story, I have a 7 year old ball python female that is a notorious mouser who only eats about 6 months of the year. She has been this way her whole life despite me trying all of the tricks in the book and triple checking her environment. I have to feed her four mice every week just to try to keep her weight up which is expensive and tiring so I’ve decided to breed feeders on a small scale. My problem is I’m not sure if I should stick to mice that I know she likes or try ASF since they are bigger so she wouldn’t need as many. Does anyone breed both? If so which would you recommend and why?

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A buddy of mine breeds his own ASF and he has used them to get mousers to switch and has worked for the most part. The hard part though is just finding someone who sells them because my friend had to go out of his way to drive fairly far to buy some.

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I actually just found a guy with some who is only an hour and a half away so I think I’ll go with those. Thank you!

I see ASFs starting to pick up steam among hobbyists, I say go for it. I would like to do the same eventually as well.

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Maybe a very delayed message but it might still help. I had one girl only feeding on life mice and then out of four weeks maybe once. She drove me crazy. Gave her a live rat which she took after a very long stare but only once. I then gave her a live Asf and she didn’t wasted any time. The rat was gone before I knew what happened. Since then she never missed a meal even when shedding, life or death. An other girl who fasted for months around the 1000 gram wall I also got eating again with ASF’s. She also never missed a meal since then. I now started breeding ASF’s myself and it’s going great. I’m now planning on feeding one week ASF’s the other normal rats so they don’t get stuck on them. I have some that get only a little bigger than a mouse, and most really get quite big. Like around that 70 gram but they do seem to have more nutrision so my snakes are really growing well on them…by far more than on mice. So if you can get your hands on them I would for shure advise to switch to ASF’s if you can get them. And since the big ones are almost twice the size of a mouse and have far more nuticion you don’t have to feed a lot. I only give my snakes 1 per week. Hate to feed live or to kill them but what makes it better is that they never get to big so at least they can enjoy live for a longer time…and get spoiled a little…I even have running wheels and toys in their cage and fresh veggies every two days :smile:

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Took a couple months to find someone to set me up but I picked up a colony startup group of 1:3 tonight. I have one other source in a month or so that will be able to set me up with a second group, then I’ll grow them up for a few months, raise the first few litters and pick the best size/temperament to start my own “line.”

Been doing a ton of research, I think I have an idea of some of the “extra” care/dietary things they need compared to Norwegian rats to get them going, but the only way to find out is to dive in.

Cute little buggers aren’t they :laughing:

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I’ve got 2 breeding colonies of ASFs that have been going for about 5 months now… and soon to add another! It’s been a lot of trial and error, but it’s much better than having rats in the house… It also helps that my girlfriend got bit by one, so she’s not likely to consider one a pet like she did with the rats :rofl:


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I really like breeding ASFs. Unfortunately they have been made illegal in my state and I will have to change to common rats by the end of January if USARKs legal challenge isn’t successful.

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Yesterday was cleaning day. Squish inside the TP tube for safety! And I love the fresh cage look even though it doesn’t last long.

Getting close to breeding age with my first group. Could see a first pregnancy by end of January or so.

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@thecrawdfather I would like to hear how you venture with the soft furs goes for you! I used to breed them but I never could get a group going long term without them eating each other and there young. I had them from multiple sources. I don’t know could of been something I was doing that caused this. It got to the point I would immediately pull the babies and put them in my rat nursery tubs. I let the normal rats raise the young. I slowly got away from raising them wasn’t worth it to me. Really hope you have better luck than me. Also there adult size is better for ball pythons in my opinion. You don’t end up with feeders that get to big for your snakes.

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@saleengrinch It’s possible you were doing everything “right.” I’ve been lurking in several ASF groups on FB for months soaking up wisdom from some really experienced breeders that even breed pet quality lines and they all swear by line breeding some of their negative behavioral traits out. If you got a line that hadn’t been worked with a lot and had really flighty individuals there’s not much you’d be able to do except cull baby eaters immediately and keep starting over with new breeders til you got that out of them.

There are definitely challenges with getting them going, mine seem to have a good temperament I’m hoping they make good breeders but we will see! I agree I like the fact they never outgrow BPs

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Fairly sure my male hit puberty while I was at work tonight lol because I came home and he is going ham :joy::joy: should be 30 days on first litter now.

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Nice!!! I started another colony and got a new years day surprise :slight_smile: excited to see your first litter!!

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Cute!!! I expect smaller litters their first times but you never know :laughing: going to try and fatten the girls up as much as I can!

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20+ babies about… Pretty sure it’s two momma’s that dropped at the same time… At least I hope… That’s a lot for one momma!!!

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What are you feeding them if you don’t mine me asking.

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I just switched to Mazuri 9F from 6F to see if that helps with the growth rate. I also give them apples, greens, and unshelled peanuts as treats. I give my breeder colonies with new babies some mealworms until the babies start getting some decent hair on them.

Granted, I’ve only been breeding ASFs for a few months now so I’m still learning!

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I’ve been breeding them for almost 4 years and I’m still learning lol… I keep a few colonies, apart from the main breeding pool to test and track different diets for production and growth rates. So I’m always excited to hear what other people are feeding them.

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Neat! Be interested to hear any results!! I’ve gotten over (I hope) the cannibalism, but I’d be interested in anything that gets them growing up a bit faster. Im soon to get another breeder female and having issues keeping up with the demands. Been supplementing f/t rats to my girls. Likely, I’m just impatient. Ive got plenty of juveniles to grow up.

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Will do, I’m either gonna make a video or write doc and link it when I get a chance…but bare bone basics…

23%-20% protien and 10%-8% fat for their over all diet is what is working for me as far as breeding…stress is another contributing factor when it comes to baby eating and alot of that has to do with tub and or colony size

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