Two hatchlings won’t eat

They both hatched July 27th.
I started assist feeding both about 2 weeks ago. The female fought and fought be she finally took 1 meal. The male didn’t fight the first time and took it immediately. I go to feed them again, the male fought me but eventually took it. The female fought and fought and fought and did not take food.
This week both fought so hard and the male tried began to get aggressive with me. Both did not take. It’s a stressful situation. I have 7 other snakes in that same rack and they eat fine. I don’t know what to do about these two hatchlings, and the rest from the same clutch eat fine.

3 big questions I can think to ask: What have you tried feeding? How are you offering the food? How are they housed?

I’ve never had to assist feed so far, so I’m not the best reference about being successful with that specifically.

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Ok so I attempted frozen fuzzy mice first just to see if they would take it, then have been providing live hop mice since, after 2 months of these two not eating I bit the bullet to assist feed.
They are house in a 6qt tub,belly heat hot spot currently at about 87. On paper towels. I had offered the frozen on tongs and then dropped in overnight.

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OH so you’ve tried offering some live as well? That’s tough. I think you have to assist a couple more meals and if that doesn’t work they might not make it.

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Where are the hatchlings being kept in the rack?
For example I had a hatchling from this one clutch that was on the bottom shelf of my rack system. She didn’t eat anything for me for weeks. I moved her to the top shelf tub and she ate the next day.

So I would try switching their positions in the rack and maybe see if that trick could help.

You could also try raising the ambient temp or hot spot as that will entice them to eat sometimes.

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Do they have hides in the tubs as well? That can sometimes help too.

One thing you might try is now my typical second attempt to feed all new hatchlings. After a few days of no interactions, quietly slip in and leave a live “fuzzy mouse” in the tub overnight. To do this you have to be absolutely certain that the fuzzy mouse is still young enough to have no developed teeth!! Never leave live feeders unattended if they have any teeth!

Do you know the current weight of your troubled hatchlings?


Give this a good read through :blush:

New owner with non feeding hatchling, troubleshooting 101


I concur with your statement, Ive done this in the past to some others, and they are after I moved them. These two started out in the middle of the rack, I moved them to the top last week. And still not wanting to eat.

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They do not have hides at the moment, that’s a good idea. I’m also going to try and raise the temps to just try. They are both about 60g.

Thank you!

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You could also try making a scent trail with a frozen thawed feeder in their enclosure.
Take the snake out, and make sure the feeder is wet and run a trail around the tub and place the feeder inside a hide( make sure the prey item is around 90-100 degrees once placed inside). This will sometimes encourage a hunting response as they experience in the wild finding rodents in burrows.

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That’s interesting, I’ll try that too!

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You could also try offering a live rat pinky. Even though a lot of people start their babies out on mice, occasionally there will be some that actually do prefer rats. I’d try some of the other suggestions before switching up the prey item again though.

I’ve also had experiences (only four clutches so far, so still very new) that even though most of my babies have zero problems eating without a hide, I had a whole clutch that refused to start eating until I gave all of them hides. :woman_shrugging: Ball python hatchlings just love to keep you guessing. Good luck!!

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