As a snake owner, you want your ball python to be healthy and well-fed. However, getting them to eat can be a challenge. Whether you’re dealing with a picky eater or just unsure of how to properly feed your snake, this guide will provide tips and tricks for mastering the meal.
Understanding Your Snake’s Feeding Habits
Before we dive into the tips, it’s important to understand some basic facts about ball pythons.
Ball pythons are notorious for being picky eaters. This is due in part to their cautious nature – they often need time to adjust to new environments before feeling comfortable enough to feed.
Ball pythons are carnivores. They primarily eat rodents in the wild, like rats and mice.
Ball pythons have very slow metabolisms. As a result, they only need to eat once every week or two weeks on average.
Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s move on to the tips!
Tip#1: Provide The Right Environment
A comfortable environment is key for your ball python when it comes time for feeding. Make sure their habitat is set up properly with all necessary equipment and furnishings such as substrate and hides in order for them feel secure while eating. Additionally:
- Ensure that the temperature gradient is correct around 80-85°F during daytime hours, dropping down by up-to-10°F at night.
- Keep humidity levels between 50%-60% as too little or too much can significantly affect a snakes appetite.
Tip#2: Offer Pre-Killed Prey
Live prey may work wonders with other reptiles accustomed to food which needs catching; however with health risks from live rodent bites particularly brain damage caused by sharp movements make pre-killed prey the best option for ball pythons.
Since pre-killed food lacks movements, less time and effort is needed to prepare it. You can get pre-killed rodents from most pet stores that supply reptile food.
Tip#3: Use Feeding Tongs
When your snake finally eats, you want to ensure they aren’t agitated by accidental poking which may occur while feeding them with tongs. Therefore, using feeding tongs are recommended.
However some snakes like it a bit more intimate. .
If at all possible have a designated cloth or glove only used when moving your non-feeding snake around which they can recognize as not being linked to their typical feedings; this will make taking out the separate gloves/clothing your ball python associates with feedings an alarm signal that it’s meal-time.
Tip#4: Try Different Foods
Just because ball pythons primarily eat rodents in the wild doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy other types of food!
Some people alternate between mice and rats on different feeding days just so their ball python does not become accustomed to one type of rodent brand sticking solely in that preference. However do note rat toxicity levels increase after predator-breeding.
Additionally, you might try offering quail’s eggs or even boiled chicken breast!
Tip#5: Don’t Handle Your Snake Before Or After Feeding
One mistake many new snake owners make is handling their snake before or after feeding . This can cause stress in your animal particularly preceding mealtime since snakes prefer restful environments during digestion.
It’s also important to keep handling sessions short and leave them undisturbed until they feel ready despite how interestingly cute those scales maybe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How Much Food Should I Feed My Ball Python?
A: The rule of thumb is 10%-15% of your snake’s body weight – so a 200 gram ball python would need a mouse weighing around 20 grams for example. Feed only once every week or two weeks.
Q: What Do I Do If My Snake Refuses To Eat?
A: Don’t panic! As mentioned, ball pythons can be picky eaters and it’s not uncommon for them to go through periods of refusing food. Starvation in ball pythons occurs after about six months of not eating. Being patient is the best course of action during these times :
- Try decreasing feeding size
- Consider trying different types of food
- Optimize habitat conditions.
Q: How Can I Tell If My Ball Python Is Hungry?
A: Watch out cues like:
– Being active more often than usual
– A sharper short attention span when it comes to activity levels
With the above tips and tricks in your repertoire, you should feel confident About being able to efficiently feed your ball python weekly while promoting a healthy lifestyle/environment s ensuring longevity and overall wellness. Remember if Any concerns arise during feeding examinations do not hesitate in reaching out to an exotic veterinarian nearest to you).