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Picky ball python

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  • Picky ball python

    Just having some trouble having him feed and was wondering what size rats should he be taking ?

  • #2
    Ball pythons are notoriously picky eaters. Make sure the rodent you are feeding is warm. It can also help to feed at night, when the snake is more active. As for the rat size, the best thing to do is to weigh your snake. To determine the right sized rat, weigh your snake and feed rats that are around 10-15% the snake's body weight. I found a chart online that might be helpful:

    Click image for larger version

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    Good luck getting him to eat!
    Crested gecko "Bug", corn snake "Luna", dog "Raymee," and a bunch of fish!


    • #3
      The average life-span of a picky ball python is 30 years but it is not unheard of for one to live up to 45 years old as long as they are living in captivity. These snakes tend not to live as long in the wild because of the environment and dangers in having to fend for themselves.


      • #4
        If you've already explored the reasons why your ball python isn't eating (and make any possible changes including the kind of prey offered or increased the temperature in the enclosure), there are some things you can do to get your snake to eat. But make sure you are feeding your snake in a feeding container (separate from his regular enclosure) and are covering that container with a towel to prevent your snake from being distracted while he should be eating.

        First, if you recently acquired your ball python and he hasn't eaten for you yet make sure you are feeding the same kind of prey item as the previous owner, pet store, or breeder where you got your snake from. Subtle changes in the prey can deter a snake from wanting to eat it.

        Second, if the prey is pre-killed, make sure it is warm. You could achieve this by placing the prey in some hot water for a minute or two if it was not freshly killed.

        If your ball still doesn't eat, try cutting the pre-killed prey open to expose the blood and entice your snake with the scent. Using long tongs, hemostats, or feeding forceps to dangle and wiggle the food in front of your snake can also be helpful, especially if your ball prefers eating live prey. Soaking the pre-killed prey in some warmed low or no-sodium chicken broth can help add an attractive scent to the food as well.

        If you've tried all of the above tricks and your ball python still won't eat, get him checked out by an exotics vet. Your vet may recommend force-feeding depending on how old the snake is, what his body condition score is, and how long it has gone without eating. Force-feeding is simple, but you must be careful to avoid injuring your snake's fangs.