For those using, or trying to use, strictly frozen thawed, thawing rodents in warm/hot water clearly rinses away the scent that a live rodent would provide. I theorize that frozen thawed issues lie within this observation. “Braining” anything that was frozen and then thawed would clearly unleash scent that water had not washed away.
I strive to provide F/T to my collection, but keep ASF rats available, alive, for contingency. My collection of about 35 snakes is nearly all on F/T, except for two. These two are balls that one, always takes live and randomly accepts F/T, and two, just likes to stop eating at random. A fast. I have a very impressive young adult female ball that was sold because she would not switch to F/T for the previous owner, who now crushes F/T with me because I learned to read her body language and can trick her very quickly.
When I buy babies that refuse to take F/T, I provide a hide (I do use snake racks that serve a similar purpose that hides do) and so far this trick has been perfect for me in getting them to eat. I take hide boxes away when I feel feeding routines have been developed and have had some times where it was too soon, that a hide box was still the extra bit needed to achieve consistent weekly feedings.
Just some observations from my experience.
Some animals just take a little extra time to work with. Once you really establish them, they never let you down.
A few other notes to add:
For stubborn feeders, wait for the animal to actually flick it’s tongue a few times. Ball pythons that are stressed or scared at your sudden movement will freeze, you will either just barely see the tongue come out, or not at all. The animal needs to relax and become curious. All of the stubborn feeders I have dealt with in recent history were not using their tongues at all unless I took the patient approach.
Try to mimick live prey when dangling F/T. The height of a rat of any size dangling from forceps is greater than any random foraging rat approaching a snake in wait. Just think about how many animals have a defense mechanism that is a clear effort to make them appear bigger than they really are. An established feeding snake might not care, but a stubborn feeder might refuse what appears to big to eat. Using your hemos/tweezers to drag the rodent in the bedding towards the snake can help reduce the oversized appearance of one dangling straight in the air.
For now, the last trick I will add is eliciting an impulse strike. Quick movements from side to side (with the snake moving it’s head quickly to follow) often inflicts an impulse strike. These guys are not domesticated. Wild food sources rarely stick around long enough to give snakes a second chance. Quick movements seem to suggest to the snake that it’s “now or never”. I have a couple animals that respond very well to this method. I basically move the rat quickly in a 180° half circle, from eye to eye, maybe 4 inches from their face. More distance if the animal is larger. I suggest this method last for a reason, it takes practice because the snake will miss if you are too fast. Faces smash into glass/tubs/water dishes. Then they lose interest very fast.
Anyway, hope these tricks inspire some of you. I have had a very good success rate switching new animals to F/T with the above.