Hey y’all. This is my second year breeding, and I’m encountering a bit of a problem. I had no trouble getting any of my hatchlings last year to take food right off the bat, but my first clutch this year was only two animals and I am absolutely stuck, neither of them have taken their first meal. Any help is welcome.
They hatched on June 17th, and shed on June 27th. Two days after their first shed I offered mouse hoppers (live) - neither took. Five days later, I offered hoppers again - neither took. Seven days later (figured I’d let them get hungry) I offered mouse fuzzies. Neither took. So then a couple of days ago I offered small rat fuzzies - and again, neither took. All of these were live feeders, and I’m at a loss for anything left to try. Both hatchlings are alert and pay attention to the feeders - tongue flicking and striking - but they only defensive strike and will not wrap, even if their teeth get snagged a bit. They just pull away. I’ve tried:
- live mouse hopper
- live mouse fuzzy
- live rat fuzzy
In terms of environmental and situational things, I’ve tried:
- tong feeding
- leaving the prey in overnight
- scenting with fresh bedding
- dot of vanilla on the back of the rat’s neck
- environmental change (adding bedding and hides for security)
All feeds have taken place at night. They are in 6qt hatchling bins with a water dish. Started with nothing else, but after the first two refusals, I worried they were too anxious and switched them from paper towels to reptichip and gave them both a hide and some leaf cover, figuring maybe a change and more security would stimulate appetite. Didn’t make a difference. The temperature in the baby rack fluctuates between 90-91 for a hotspot, ambient temp in mid-80s. I haven’t handled them at all since shed except to weigh them earlier this week.
I’m at a loss. I just want to make sure there’s nothing obvious I’m missing. Any tips are welcome. I would really love to not have to assist feed these guys, but they’ve already lost a few grams from when I weighed them initially right after shed, so I am a little concerned.