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Reptiles/Ball python not striking after failed attempt yesterday


My brother bought a young ball python several weeks ago and could not get him to eat frozen.  We finally found a place that sells live and got him to eat a pinky rat last week.  Purchased a fuzzy rat yesterday that he immediatly attempted to constrict, but after failing and, he gave up completally. I tried once more that evening to get him to attempt to eat the fuzzy, but he had no interest.  Today I went back to the store and got a pinky rat for him and put them in the separate feeding environment but he shows no interest now.  He's been with the pinkie now for a few hours and we've moved to the feeding environment into his normal habitat so he can sit in the comfort of the 85ish daytime temp and appx 55 humidity. I'm hoping that once it gets to be nighttime he'll feel comfortable enough to strike, however I'm worried he exerted too much energy on the fuzzy rat (given his already weakened state) and is too tired to strike now. At the moment though we've covered the sides of his habitat to make it as dark and comfortable as possible.

Hello Cier,

This can be very frustrating when they try to eat but don't accomplish it.  We have a ball python that we have had 6 years who has the same trouble from time to time.  
I would try to feed mostly in the nighttime time frame, it seems to be the best.  Give him a few days to get over his last eating attempt, they do have memory so by then he should be able to forget about it & hopefully eat the next time.
Also, be sure to use the same feeders from the same place to feed him because they get used to the same taste & smell of the food they eat also & it becomes familiar to them.  
Do you keep a water dish in his tank right now?  If so, keep the water dish on the cooler end if he isn't shedding to keep the humidity levels below 30% or so.  Once he is getting ready to shed you can move it closer to the warm end so that it will evaporate & increase the humidity levels to help with shedding.
They do well on a night & day cycle regulation so make sure he can have access to daytime light, etc during the day.  It helps regulate hormones too.

Let me know how thingg go for him.



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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