Skipping mice?

Hi all,
I was wondering, do some of you skip feeding mice to hatchlings and start them on rats right away?

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I only use mice if i have too mice are a necessary evil if you don’t have to use them don’t

Some breeders do and some dont but i also know a huge chunk of breeders just jump straight to rats but in some instances like a boob egg or a smaller than average egg that makes it will more than likely need to start off on mice first but either way you decide to feed they all usually do just fine

Depends really what’s available in your area.
I personally start on rats, they don’t have as high fat as mice, and eventually all balls should take rats as adults if all goes well.
In the long run, it really doesn’t matter. More what works for you I would go with.

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Agree with nathan

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Why do you consider mice a necessary evil? I am deeply curious

Too fatty good for high metabolism snakes not so good for ball pythons


We try to start all of our balls on day old rats if possible. We pick out the smallest ones. We breed our own rats so we always have plenty on hand.

While overall mice have a higher average fat content, it’s going to depend on strain and age. Mice range in body fat percentage from 16-39% while rats range from 8-22%. Personally I feed C57bl/6 mice which tend to be lower in body fat


I used to when I first started breeding I wanted to start everything on rats however 3 in years into it I started to start everything on mice and switch after 3 meals which is very easy when they are that young, and I have been doing it ever since.

The reason? Higher success rate of hatchlings eating their first meal first time offered which was not the case with rats.


I was wondering when I should try switching them off of mice. I tried this method with my fourth clutch. I waited an additional week after I separated them into their own tubs and then I offered fuzzy mice. This was the first time out of my four clutches that almost every baby took its first meal for me. I had one holdout, but it’s much better than my usual odds with insisting on only offering rats!

Usually 4 mice hoppers will get them over to rats easily I’ve never needed more than 4 mice hoppers to move any BP to rats.

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@magic_mutations I atually just tried this for the first time after always starting them on fuzzy mice. It actually worked well. Out of 14 hachlings, only 2 didn’t eat the first time offered their fuzzy rats