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 Can my BP mouser ever convert to rats?

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derpinah
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PostSubject: Can my BP mouser ever convert to rats?   Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:14 pm

I have an 1100 gram adult male BP that I've had for about 4 months that's a mouser. His previous owner fed 2 to 3 live mice every 2 to 3 weeks. I've been trying to feed him more often and larger size prey without any luck. I've got him to eat every 10 days instead of biweekly, he refuses to eat weekly. I've tried a medium f/t rat, a small live rat, a live large mouse followed by a same size live extra small rat that had been placed in used mouse bedding that he showed slight interest but refused to eat(then happily accepted a second mouse instead).

I've tried everything except African Soft furs, which I'm hesitant to try since only 1 of the 4 nearby pet stores carry them. Temps (I have an electronic thermometer, not pictured) & humidity are good, he's handled about 3 times a week for about 15 minutes, he's in a 40 gallon breeder with 2 hides in a very low traffic area. I only recently purchased a scale, so I can't say if he's gained or lost weight since I got him.

I am a frequent lurker here and on a couple other boards and everyone seems to feed more frequent and larger meals. I feel like a bad mom whose skinny kid will only eat PB & J while social services watches disapprovingly. I have a baby normal BP that pounds hoppers or rat pups every 5 days like clockwork. He's my first BP, but not my first snake. Am I being a worrywart? He looks slender to me? Should I suck it up and try an African Soft fur? Or let him continue on his mouse diet?

thanks!



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Don
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PostSubject: Re: Can my BP mouser ever convert to rats?   Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:41 pm

I never feed my ball pythons anything larger than a small rat, including my breeding females. It could be that she is afraid of larger prey. Try to feed weaned rats first. If she doesn't eat, wait a week. The key is to be more patient than the snake.
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acl2790
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PostSubject: Re: Can my BP mouser ever convert to rats?   Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:40 pm

I used the method explained by pro exotics. Bought a female leopard that was a mouser in January. Used the "primer" method exactly as described and have had her on f/t rats ever since early February, and she hasn't eaten a mouse since. Funny thing is, she won't go near a live rat, no matter how small, but will destroy weaned frozen thawed rats all day. She's now one of my best eaters, eating a f/t every 4 days, no problems.

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http://www.proexotics.com/FAQ2.html
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Don
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PostSubject: Re: Can my BP mouser ever convert to rats?   Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:24 pm

Also, someone here swears by the KFC method. You rub up a rat with Kentucky Fried Chicken grease and they will go for it. I have never tried this and it sounds a little bizarre to me, but maybe someone who has tried it can testify.



Last edited by Don on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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ClarkeReptiles
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PostSubject: Re: Can my BP mouser ever convert to rats?   Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:33 am

Its possible, but some snakes simply won't switch. You could try getting some mouse bedding and rubbing the rat on it. It will smell like a mouse to the snake and they may be more inclined to eat it.

Also, get rid of those thermometers. They don't even work properly for fish tanks (for which they are designed), much less reptile tanks. They take the temperature of the glass rather than the air temperature so it will not give you a very accurate temperature reading, at least in my experience with them. You can pick up digital thermometers for less than $15 at Walmart. Its called an Accurite. One thermometer will take the temperature of two locations (so you can check the temp on both sides of the tank. Plus, it takes humidity readings. (And they last forever.)
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BlackboxStar
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PostSubject: Re: Can my BP mouser ever convert to rats?   Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:41 am

I've got a very picky eater that I'm having similar problems with. I think its high time I try again to get her on frozen rats instead of live mice. Let the game of wills begin!

But if it makes you feel any better that bp doesn't look bad to me.

I too have heard about the KFC and about chicken broth. A lot of people seem to think that it helps so there might be something to it.
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ClarkeReptiles
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PostSubject: Re: Can my BP mouser ever convert to rats?   Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:47 am

I agree with BlackboxStar. Your snake doesn't look skinny to me. You want to see a skinny pastel, come check out my 2007 Pastel Male, Thriller. He weighs somewhere around 600-700g and is currently eating one rat fuzzy per week (It is all he will eat, but I'm planning to slowly but surely increase the size of the prey). Anything larger than a rat fuzzy and he freaks out and won't touch it. Throw a live rat fuzzy in there and he's all over it. Try and throw in a second and he ignores it.

Good luck with switching yours over, BlackboxStar.
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BlackboxStar
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PostSubject: Re: Can my BP mouser ever convert to rats?   Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:55 am

Thnx. And yeah, you wanna see skinny? I've got a girl that was bred way early that weighed in at only 700 when I got her in january. March 3 she escaped her cage and by a stroke of luck we found her more than three months later. She weighed a mere 614g. That snake was the definition of emaciated.
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derpinah
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PostSubject: Re: Can my BP mouser ever convert to rats?   Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:43 pm

Don wrote:
I never feed my ball pythons anything larger than a small rat, including my breeding females. It could be that she is afraid of larger prey. Try to feed weaned rats first. If she doesn't eat, wait a week. The key is to be more patient than the snake.

Also, someone here swears by the KFC method. You rub up a rat with Kentucky Fried Chicken grease and they will go for it. I have never tried this and it sounds a little bizarre to me, but maybe someone who has tried it can testify.


The rat I tried was just about the same size as the mouse, the only difference was color, but he's never showed any color preference. He hovered over the rat for about 5 minutes and decided he wasn't interested... My pet store might think I'm crazy if I return a non eaten rat smelling like fried chicken, lol. They are very accommodating when I return uneaten live prey. I may save the the KFC grease as a last resort.

acl2790 wrote:
I used the method explained by pro exotics. Bought a female leopard that was a mouser in January. Used the "primer" method exactly as described and have had her on f/t rats ever since early February, and she hasn't eaten a mouse since. Funny thing is, she won't go near a live rat, no matter how small, but will destroy weaned frozen thawed rats all day. She's now one of my best eaters, eating a f/t every 4 days, no problems.

Scroll a little ways down the page
http://www.proexotics.com/FAQ2.html

Thanks! Maybe I need to try the primer method a few more times before I rule it out.

BlackboxStar wrote:
But if it makes you feel any better that bp doesn't look bad to me.

ClarkeReptiles wrote:
I agree with BlackboxStar. Your snake doesn't look skinny to me.

Thanks! Maybe, it's in my head. I'm a big lurker on a couple forums and I often read members getting fussed at for feeding too small and too infrequently.

ClarkeReptiles wrote:
Its possible, but some snakes simply won't switch. You could try getting some mouse bedding and rubbing the rat on it. It will smell like a mouse to the snake and they may be more inclined to eat it.

Also, get rid of those thermometers. They don't even work properly for fish tanks (for which they are designed), much less reptile tanks. They take the temperature of the glass rather than the air temperature so it will not give you a very accurate temperature reading, at least in my experience with them. You can pick up digital thermometers for less than $15 at Walmart. Its called an Accurite. One thermometer will take the temperature of two locations (so you can check the temp on both sides of the tank. Plus, it takes humidity readings. (And they last forever.)

I have one, it's just not in the picture. & a Zoomed one, which I don't like, It always reads 4 degrees lower than the Accurite. I haven't fiddled much with the tank since I got it.

Thanks for everyone's input! I think I'll try to continue with the extra small rat "primer" method for a few more months before I give up. I've been trying things once or twice and not being very persistent. It's frustrating going back and forth to the pet store to swap or return mice.
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Focal
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PostSubject: Re: Can my BP mouser ever convert to rats?   Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:30 pm

I've converted two snakes with the "primer" method.
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