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My ball python won't eat

Updated on April 17, 2012
Jack the Ball Python - My picky eater with a chill attitude
Jack the Ball Python - My picky eater with a chill attitude | Source

So you are worried about your ball python because it will not eat? That's only natural. I mean, who wouldn't worry if their pet suddenly stopped eating? Snake owners are no different. We worry too!

However, there are some things that you may not know about ball pythons that pertain to the way that they eat and their feeding habits. I will try to shed some light on the matter to help put you at ease with your predicament of having a ball python that is a bad eater.

This hub will be speaking from a point of view as a ball python owner myself. I do not believe in giving people shady information just to sound like I know what I'm talking about.

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What should I do! My ball python stopped eating!

First of all, relax. That is step one. Ball pythons can go quite some time without a meal. In fact, I have had my snake go a little over 5 months without eating and he is still doing just fine. In fact again, after his 5 month fast, he only ate one meal before going back on another fast. He is still healthy as I check him almost daily and he move around his enclosure at night. So, it is not uncommon for a ball python to go a while without eating.

Congratulations on being a ball python owner! You are now one of the thousands of people out there who own probably the most finicky eater on the planet. That's right, ball pythons are the WORST eaters in the snake kingdom. If you know of another snake that is more picky than a ball, let me know. I'll gladly change that sentence.

Ball pythons are seriously picky when it comes to feeding. They require the right temperature, humidity, lighting, and the list goes on. Each ball python is different in respects to the requirements for them to feed. I have heard of ball pythons that will only eat certain color rats. Some will only eat African Soft-furs. Some only eat live (if you are unlucky enough to have one of these). There are some things you can do though, to try to get your snake feeding again.

Get your ball python to eat again

Here are a couple things to try to help get your ball python eating again:

  • Raise the humidity to between 60 and 75ish
  • Raise the ambient air temperature to around 82-85F
  • Put the feeder in the feeding container before you put the snake in
  • Feed the snake in the dark
  • Put the feeder in the hide
  • Smash the feeders head so that it has a brain smell (gross I know)
  • Try different color feeders
  • Try different gender feeders
  • Try feeders from different stores
  • Try feeding during the day
  • Dangle the feeder with tongs
  • Just lay the feeder in the feeding enclosure
  • If all else fails, try live...

So... Maybe it will eat, maybe it won't

As you can see, there are many different things you can try. Be creative. But above all else, be patient and stay calm. You snake will be fine, as long as it isn't losing tons of body weight. If your snake is losing body weight and hasn't eaten for a long time, longer than 6 months, take it to a vet and get some tests run. Maybe your ball is sick?

If your snake is after all healthy, it will eat when it is ready. Most ball pythons don't burn a lot of energy because they just sit there for the most part. That is how they can go for so long. They have a very awesome way of storing energy and nutrients.

So once again, just relax and try some of the methods I mentioned and possibly get some ideas from dealers and breeders. They may have some magic method I don't know about. It's worth a shot anyways right?

Below is a great book to pick up that every ball python owner should have. It is a basic but well put together and informative book about ball pythons and how to care for them. It will not break the bank but will equip you to care for your ball python like no other out there.


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    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 

      8 years ago from United States, Illinois

      Your advice is good, I hope I never have that problem with mine but if I do I'll keep your tips in mind.


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