Baby Ball Python Wont Eat

Ball pythons occasionally refusage to eat, and for a selection of factors.Illness, stress and anxiety, and also imappropriate cage setup are the a lot of common causes. Like many type of snakes, ball pythons deserve to go a long time without food. If your snake hasn"t eaten for months, it"s time for some troubleshooting.

"Help! My ball python will not eat any food that I sell it, and it hasn"t consumed in months. What should I do?"

Judging by the emails I receive, this is just one of the a lot of widespread pertains to among sphere python keepers. Tright here are 2 reasons for this.

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The initially reason is that ball pythons (once compared to various other pet snakes prefer corns and kings) have the right to be a little bit more finicky as soon as it involves eating.The second reason is that there"s many conflicting information on the internet concerning this topic. You check out one webwebsite, and also it claims to do one point. But somebody in a sphere pythong forum claims to do somepoint else.

For instance, one snake keeper might have a negative endure through a round python that will not eat — probably because the snake wasn"t kept under the right conditions — and also then they"ll make a basic statement like: "Ball pythons are difficult to treatment for because they do not eat in captivity." These kinds of basic presumptions have actually a way of spanalysis like wildfire throughout the Internet.

Let me sell a various watch. I have actually kept a number of round pythons in the past, along with assorted colubrid species and boas. And while the round pythons deserve to be a small much less predictable with their eating behavior, they do eat on a more-or-much less continual basis.

Here"s what it all comes down to:

When preserved under the ideal problems, a healthy and balanced round python that periodically refprovides a meal will certainly inevitably eat a succeeding meal at a later day. Notice the two essential parts of that last statement. You must have a healthy snake to begin through, and also you need to keep it under the correct conditions. When you have actually these 2 points going for you, the snake will eat inevitably. You could have to go via some trial and also error initially (check out below), however a healthy snake will certainly inevitably eat for you.

When Your Ball Python Won"t Eat

That"s Gretchen in the photo below. She"s one of my female sphere pythons, and she is more than likely the a lot of finicky eater of the bunch. But as you can tell from the photo, she is in perfect health and wellness. Sure, there are times once she won"t eat no matter what I carry out. And in the previous, she has actually gone numerous months without eating. But as lengthy as she"s healthy, I"ve learned not to sweat it anyeven more.


If a sphere python won"t eat (and also hasn"t consumed for months), tbelow are a number of feasible causes:

The snake is going right into a melted cycle, or it"s already in melted. The snake is experiencing from some sort of disease. The cage conditions are wrong (also cold, also hot, too tiny, etc.) The snake is going though a continuous seasonal fasting duration.

For starters, you want to make sure you"re giving the appropriate problems for your snake. And this is wbelow some keepers go off course. Ball pythons like warmth and dark. They choose to hide in the time of the day and also come out at night for food. If you have actually a healthy specimales, and you can duplicate these appropriate problems, your ball python should eat on a fairly continual basis.

But what about those times when the snake simply won"t eat — no issue what you do? When it refuses every meal that you offer?

First of all, remain calm. This is a common scenario, and in many kind of cases it is no cause for alarm. Sometimes ball pythons just stop eating. It might be as a result of a seasonal change that triggers a breeding response or a brumation type of behavior. (Even if you manage the cage temperature to have the exact same temps year-round, your sphere python can still suffer seasonal changes in actions.)

Feeding habits can likewise adjust once a snake reaches sexual maturity. In sphere pythons, this deserve to take place when the snake reaches 2 years of age -- or also sooner for males. (That"s just a unstable overview. It can differ.) It"s common for ball pythons to begin refutilizing their meals as soon as they reach sex-related maturity, also if the snake has been a "good eater" leading up to that suggest.

But what around those situations as soon as a round python hasn"t eaten in months, and will not eat any kind of of the meals you offer? Now it"s time for some troubleshooting. And I"ve developed a checklist to aid you with it...

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What to Do When a Ball Python Refuses Food

Different snake keepers have various opinions on what to do as soon as a sphere python will not eat. So the troubleshooting measures below are not the only means to handle it. These are simply the measures I recommend, based on even more than 20 years" endure functioning with these snakes.

Note: Before going through these troubleshooting procedures, take into consideration the reality that sphere pythons will certainly occasionally quick through the winter. Not all of them carry out this, yet some execute. I have actually one that typically refsupplies meals for around two months out of the year, while the others basically eat year-round. Somepoint to keep in mind!

Downfill this chart as a PDF fileclick here to download
StepsWhat to Do
1Offer a frozen and thawed rat of proper dimension. Offer the meal after sunset, as soon as the snake is even more inclined to eat (round pythons are greatly nocturnal). If it does not eat, proceed to the following step listed below.
2Double-inspect the snake"s environment to make sure every little thing is best. Start with the temperatures. Give your round python a warmth / basking area of around 90 degrees, with the remainder of the cage being about 78 or 80 levels.
3Leave the snake alone for one week, and also then sell an additional frozen / thawed rodent. Try using feeding tongs to wiggle the rodent in front of the round python. Make certain the food item is warm (these snakes have heat-sensing pits along their jaw line). A cold rodent is a turn-off.
4If your round python still won"t eat, you have to triple-examine its setting. Does the snake have actually areas to hide in its cage or habitat? This is vital. Check those temps aget. Make certain the snake is not in burned, as they will mostly refusage food at such times.
5Wait a week and market one more meal, however this time sell a freshly killed rodent (as opposed to frozen / thawed). Try making use of the tongs to make it seem alive. Make the rodent "crawl" along the ground, as if it were alive. Few round pythons have the right to stand up to a fresh and heat rodent that shows indications of "life." If the snake will not eat the rodent, leave it in the cage overnight and then check in the morning. You can find it gone!
6If after every one of this your sphere python still won"t eat, you may want to scent the computer mouse or rat with gerbil litter (from a cage that contains live gerbils). Your local pet save is bound to have gerbils. Ask them for some of the used / soiled gerbil litter, and also explain why you require it. Ball pythons love gerbils, but you don"t want to get them "hooked" on gerbils unmuch less you have to. So attempt scenting a thawed or fresh rat via gerbil litter.
7Just to rule out the opportunity of any kind of wellness troubles, you may want to make a visit to your local vet. Try to find one that has endure working through snakes.
8Keep in mind that round pythons will regularly fast (refusage food) throughout the winter, even when kept in heated cages. So if your snake still won"t eat after the actions over, just be patient yet persistent. Continue to market a meal about eexceptionally two weeks. Try giving smaller sized rodents.
9If your snake is still refusing meals, it might be time to sell a live rodent. This need to be your last rekind, and also you will certainly have to supervise the procedure. Never leave a live rodent in a snake"s cage unattended. The rodent have the right to revolve the tables and also attack the snake (specifically rats, which have the right to be quite aggressive). If the ball python will not eat the live prey item, you"ll have to remove the rodent for safety and security factors.
10If your sphere python hasn"t consumed a meal for months, and it is start to shed weight, you can desire to offer it a gerbil. Preferably, it would be a humanely eliminated gerbil. You need to only offer a live gerbil as a last rekind, and store a close eye on it. It bears repeating: Live rodents have the right to injury snakes. Ball pythons frequently get incredibly excited around gerbils. So it might be just what you need to gain them ago right into a feeding routine.

So tright here you have actually it, a 10-action troubleshooting overview for a ball python that won"t eat and hasn"t eaten in weeks or months. Good luck!