Stubborn feeder

My boy doesn’t want to eat. Got him 1/7 didn’t eat until 3/3 and his Last meal was 3/14 and he’s refused to eat since then. Has only ever eaten live since hatched. Tried giving him frozen thawed no luck. Then went to live and he took 2 In a row about 10 days apart with out any issues whatsoever. Has refused to eat anything since then. Have been attempting live feeds about once a week to every other week since then with zero luck. Any advice? Tips or tricks. Please help. Aware of how picky they can be but it makes me worry since he is less than a year old and is still small for his age IMO

Please post some photos of your setup as well as a good pic of your boy. Also include info on setup such as temps at hot and cold side as well as humidity, current weight, size and type of prey, location of setup, timenofnday feeding are attempted, etc.

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to ball pythons going off feed or being “stubborn”. Too big of enclosure, not enough hides, temps/humidity being off, time of day, being in too high traffic of an area, etc.

1 Like

How much does he weigh?

How big is your enclosure?

What are your temps?

How (type of thermometer) and where do you measure them?

How tight are your hides?

Here are some pics of his set up. It was a bit dry. Didn’t spray it down so I could get better pics of everything. I don’t have a scale big enough to weigh him. image|666x500

You need way more cover than that. I recommend switching him to a tub in a dark part of your house with more than 1 hide and maybe some fake leaves. Also, that humidity gauge you have will not accurately measure the humidity in the enclosure. You need a digital gauge. Same goes for the temp gauge. Those sticker ones aren’t worth anything and are not good to use.

Turn off all lights when attempting feeding. The hide also looks to be too big. At least from what the pics so. Also get a better thermometer asap those will give you a general idea on temp but nothing really accurate.

I bought a sugar back at end of january with a pastel and pastel has eaten since the first week recieved. The sugar on the other hand would not take a meal and this lasted up until 3 weeks ago the scary part was they weighed 110 grams when recieved so they were hatchlings. The pastel is now over 200 grams and sugar just took her second Meal today. After consulting with vet was told that just off feed but that was troublesome to me with age and size and husbandry being on point. Did some force feeding in between to keep weight on but finally took a live mouse all my other herps take frozen but Mrs Priss needs live.

Ok. So right off the top there are several things that can be improved on. As others have mentioned the enclosure is too open. I would suggest getting something to cover the sides and back of the aquarium, aquarium backgrounds you can get at pet stores work great, but anything that blocks line of sight will work. Ball pythons are nocturnal so a light isn’t necessary unless it is being used to maintain temps in which case switch to and infrared bulb. Ideally provide a hide at both ends of the temperature gradient within the aquarium, one at hot side one on cold side. If this is a high traffic area of the house, try moving to a darker lower traffic area of the house. Humidity appears low, but as you stated you hadn’t misted yet, and those analog hygrometer are, as someone else pointed out not very accurate so you may want to upgrade at some point in the near future. Humidity is definitely important, but I would consider the others more so as long as you maintain as close as possible. Also adding more ground clutter will help substantially.

My only pet peeve is the climbing branches, ball pythons are terrestrial not arboreal, they can hurt themselves from falling, particularly as they get older and bigger.

Piebalds in my experience have a tendency to be pickier eaters, this is purely anecdotal as I know people that claim theirs are ravenous, luck of the draw… That said he is looking a little thin but not where I would be panicking. It’s hard to guage scale without knowing his weight, but unless someone else sees something I’m not I would focus on correcting the issues mentioned and should see some improvement.

keep us apprised, if still having issues after making suggested changes we can look at some other things to try.

1 Like