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 Balls off Feed! ?

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acl2790
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PostSubject: Balls off Feed! ?   Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:01 pm

Hi everyone, just wondering if you have some advice for when your ball pythons go off feed and what you can do to minimize their time off feed. The past few weeks they've been off and on with food. Generally every Saturday or Sunday they get live rodents, mostly crawlers right now because they are relatively small. All of a sudden yesterday, 8 out of my 9 balls refused food! And the one that did eat only ate 1 crawler (she usually eats 3 or 4).

Three possible reasons that I could think of: slight increase in room temperature (about 2-3 degrees with the warmer weather) ; cleaning their tubs and giving fresh water the day before spooked them ; getting different rats from different breeders. 6 out of the 9 balls came from the same breeder and were raised on rodents from a local rodent distributor. So maybe getting rodents from a different source has an affect? Not really sure on this one, or maybe they all just need a week off food. What usually makes balls go off feed and any advice to get them back on again?
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Don
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PostSubject: Re: Balls off Feed! ?   Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:02 pm

Don't stress too much. Balls go off feed every once in awhile. Re-check all your temps and humidity. Make sure you have a good thermo gradient. Try again next week. If that doesn't work, let us know.
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smb2585
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PostSubject: Re: Balls off Feed! ?   Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:19 am

We had never had one refuse except when breeding season came then the breeder girls and boys stopped eating...

Now we have a female that hasn't eaten in well over a month, we weigh her and there isnt a big decrease in weight. We try every week and document if she does or doesnt and even if she shows any kind of interest in it.

One of our breeder males hadn't eaten in a long time (approximately 3 months), even though he had been done breeding, he finally ate yesterday. Took him a bit but he did eat it.

We were worried the first time one didn't eat but then figured if they aren't losing a lot of weight and seem to be healthy otherwise we won't worry...

I could be wrong on that but that's how we have handled. We always offer and just take note of what happens.

Not sure how the temperatures may be affecting it since it has been alot warmer than usual.
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Focal
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PostSubject: Re: Balls off Feed! ?   Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:41 am

My 750g+ female albino has never refused one meal, until the last couple weeks in which she has refused twice. All my snakes that were off are now on and the few I had that were on, are now off. It's the most fustrating thing in the world.

I think it may have to do with either the raining season or they hit that 700-1000 gram "wall" they call it. Jon had a good theory Sunday about the ones that good off feed in relation to when they breed for the first time. So many different variables but I think it boils down to one thing, balls are a pain in the rear.
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Focal
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PostSubject: Re: Balls off Feed! ?   Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:44 am

Also wanted to note, I have one female that has been off feed for 4-5 months now. She was a great eater until she went off feed last winter. I think they also build up reserves and live off of them because she has steadily grown in length and hasn't lost weight.
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Cp3_Pythons
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PostSubject: Re: Balls off Feed! ?   Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:52 am

Focal wrote:
Also wanted to note, I have one female that has been off feed for 4-5 months now. She was a great eater until she went off feed last winter. I think they also build up reserves and live off of them because she has steadily grown in length and hasn't lost weight.


iagree

I had one go Christmas to Christmas without eating never lost any weight was one of my best eaters too before going off being she never lost any weight I didn't worry about it too much as Bp's are famous for being picky eaters...
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acl2790
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PostSubject: Re: Balls off Feed! ?   Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:29 pm

Thanks for the input all!

Don, after checking all the temps last night I noticed they were actually about 5 degree warmer than normal, so that might be it.

I guess dealing with picky eaters is all just part of the ball game.
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mamasmarco
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PostSubject: Re: Balls off Feed! ?   Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:20 am

It sure is, i can only agree with everybody. Some of mine are off feed as well right now and one of my big females was off feed for about 2 months and just now ate 2 large rats...
it comes and goes, nothing to worry..
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Hollinasia
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PostSubject: Re: Balls off Feed! ?   Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:18 pm

I can second to that, the first two balls I got were and still are heavy eaters. My pin, which is the second one I got will SOMETIMES wait ten minutes or so after I turn off the lights and I`m gone, but by the time I come back a half hour later, her rat is gone. But I purchased a ghost two months ago, and she ate one, stopped for a month and ate again, and now is turning her head at her food. I`ve played with temperature, humidity, types of foods, and read multiple forum threads on it. At first I thought it might be because she is used to being kept in a bin, but after trying bin feeding with no avail, I just accepted that some ball pythons are going to be a hassle. It really isn`t a big issue until they start loosing weight. Just pay attention to detail, try to hone into the snakes preferences is all that can really be done.
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Focal
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PostSubject: Re: Balls off Feed! ?   Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:53 pm

How are they doing Alex? I've also been trying this new technique that has worked for me and a couple others with picky eaters. It doesn't always work, but two of my pickiest eaters are back on feed and I've heard success from others. Just change their place on the rack. Whether up a few or down a few, left or right. I took two balls out, cleaned their enclosure, refilled with new aspen, and put them in each others (opposite) enclosures. They were eating again in no time with just a change of atmosphere. Of course, this could be a double-edged sword or purely coincidental, but worth mentioning.
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acl2790
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PostSubject: Re: Balls off Feed! ?   Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:06 pm

Hey Nick, I just took your advice and rotated a few tubs of my picky eaters. We'll see how this works. A strange thing I noticed since originally posting this is that some really are different with their temp preferences. I have a 12 month old female that's a total pig at 1300 grams. I have to keep her cage cool all the time. If it goes above 85 at the hot spot she'll go off feed for a few weeks. And others seem to not want to eat unless the hot spot is at least 88, so there seems to be quite a bit of variation that really affects their feeding habits.

Thanks for the advice!
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mamasmarco
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PostSubject: Re: Balls off Feed! ?   Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:30 pm

All my adults and even the almost adults are off feed right now. The first few years i started stressing it, but then learned, that Balls are picky eaters and once you cool them down for breeding time they refuse most meals. It does happen in summer time as well and i do believe, just like Don and some other guys said here, that temperatures just need to be readjusted a little. Sometimes (especially in summer) the humidity needs checked a little more thoroughly..
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