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Thread: Python won't eat?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Default Python won't eat?

    He is in a 50 gallon tank with an under tank heating pad under his hide, as well as overhead heat lamps. The cool side of the tank is usually within the low 80's but it sometimes drops to the high 70's at night. The lowest the humidity gets is 45 percent, but its easily brought back up when we spritz the tank with warm water. He was two hides, one on the cool end and one on the warm end. He is on tropical bedding to help keep the humidity up. He is active at night, although very easily startled. He is about 6 months old, and weighs 8.5 ounces (235 grams). We've had him for three weeks, and have tried to feed him once a week since we've had him, to no avail. The pet store told us that he was eating 2 fuzzies a week, as he was still intimidated by a larger mouse. However, we can't even get him to down that. We thaw the fuzzy, heat it in a bowl of hot water, and make it dance. He simply balls or runs away. He is not handled often, as we are firm believers that snakes shouldn't be handled until they eat at least once. The only time we handle him is when we take him out to weigh. I understand that pythons can be picky eaters to begin with, but I'm used to my corn snakes, who all are VERY healthy eaters. No meal refusals or regurg. I am NOT looking to force feed. I just wanted to get some second opinions and see what you all thought? Maybe there are some tips and tricks out there that I'm missing. Is this weight healthy for a 6 month old? Also, how long is it okay for a python to go without eating? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Calgary, AB

    Default Re: Python won't eat?

    Snake is still stressed out from the move & should not have been offered any prey for at least a couple weeks after moving, but hindsight is 20/20.
    Also a 50G tank is huge for such a little python & that alone could put it off of food as well.
    Folks think bigger is better but young pythons do best in close cramped quarters where they feel secure big open spaces stress them out.
    I would not handle it at all until feeding, not to weigh it or anything, only interaction being fresh water & offering prey at night in its enclosure once every 7-10 days, make sure the prey is the same prey it has been eating & it is heated right up (+10 F prey temp increase can be all it takes) & a quick tease feed & if it will not take it right away do not pester it with it but leave the prey overnight & make sure the snake is undisturbed the whole time as well.
    3 weeks without food for your python is like me having a late breakfast, it is NOTHING your python can go months & months with no issues as long as it is not becoming thin or lethargic & is well hydrated.
    Also it is fall as well & that along with the move & the big tank & being offered prey too soon are all factors IMHO
    Where is the tank located? if it is a high traffic area that will be an issue, does it get direct light from outside as that can be a factor too.
    Back to the season, despite us manipulating their enviroments they still sense what is going on season wise via barometric pressure etc. & it is not uncommon for many Boids to slow right down or go off food completely in the winter months.
    Lots of factors IMHO why it is not feeding yet.
    Also NEVER FF a snake that has been eating on its own prior, the husbandry etc. is the reason it is not feeding & a FF is extremely stressfull to a young snake (fatal even if done incorrectly & the snake goes into shock). FF is an absolute last effort to save an animal that would otherwise perish. Correcting all the other factors first & more importantly time & patience on your behalf will almost always pay off in the long run.
    It has been eating & will again once settled in & everything in its enviroment is correct & enough time has passed that it is hungry again.
    Cheers Mark
    Last edited by GONESNAKEE!; 09-19-2017 at 10:24 AM. Reason: tidbits
    Mark's GONE SNAKEE! No PMs please email at
    Working with select Colubrids (Corns, GB Kings, EIs) and Woma Pythons
    All stock parasite free and established on F/T prey (unless stated otherwise)

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