Pet Snake Forum And Discussion Board

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Ranger 07-04-2007 11:55 PM



If your snake wont eat there are many things that could be wrong. ry fixing some of the following things. Temperature should be about 80 for most snakes and some need 85-90 degrees. Cage Decorations, does your snake have enough space, and a place to hide and drink and "play"? Is he/she losing weight? It could be its just mating season where some snake species naturally just dont eat. Is the food right for your snake, it shouldnt be bigger than the largest part of its body, although you can feed it slightly larger when moving up a step like Fuzzy - to hopper. Does your snake have any injuries or sickness? Some snakes unfortunatly are Wild caught and get shipped to you with parasites. Stress from shipping the snake itself can cause feeding problems.
-If you still have problems and ALL the top questions are answered post a topic about your snake having eating problems and we will help you out.

Heres what i do for feeding my picky ball python.

They eat at night so after about 12 hours of having his cage light, turn it off, leave him for a hour. unthaw the mouse but KEEP IT DRY they tend to like it better. Go in there, try not to run around his room a bunch, and try to be very discreet to get it all ready with the cage cover off. Then, hopefully hes hiding or in his hide box. Dangle the mouse in the entrance of the hide box, kinda dangle it and make it look like the mouse is looking for a house and is digging around the entrance. Do this for atleast 5 mins. If he hasnt come, lift out the box and check is he was moving twords the mouse. If he was, it was working but you need to do it longer. Put the box down and try although they feel exposed now he wont strike im thinking. Try it again the next night.

Thats what i did for my picky ball python and she took it within 20 sec, and now i get her to eat every time.

Hope it works.


-If this doesnt help or work Post a topic and we will help

These are just two of many common subjects we get asked and have to answer OVER and OVER so many times i thought i would give the full list of some answers lol. And more Sections that anyone wants i will slide in as this will be hopefully kept a sticky post.


massaf 01-23-2008 04:57 AM

eating habbits?
well i just need to ask a quick question.
i did receive a young ball python on my birthday 2 months ago..
so! in 2 months (every 12 days) Wisey ate piece of RAW HAMBURGER :shock: , instead of mice... knowing that all mys search on how to feed her only lead me to "Snake eats mice or birds"..

anyway, she stoped eating, and now she is now fasting for the last 17 days!! :!:

i dont know if the weather is effecting her, since it is really damn cold in Dubai these days, which is not the normal weather!

so! any suggestions?

thanks in advance

Roy 01-23-2008 07:11 AM

That is unusual. I would expect that the cold weather will put her off eating, but I wouldn't be in the habit of feeding her raw mince, I don't think it would have the nutritional elements that would be contained in a rat. :?

tmmpin 01-23-2008 11:12 AM

Raw meat can't be good. Think about the effects it has on us. Not to mention like Roy said, the nutritional value.

gina83 03-14-2008 06:22 PM

My snake will not eat food is already dead, and i was wondering when I get ready to start feeding it rats what should I do? i don't want the rats to bite him and hurt him but I also don't want him not to eat because it's already dead.

raptor667 03-14-2008 06:52 PM

start by weaning him onto prekilled....downside is you have to kill the rat. Otherwise just persist with frozen thawed but reheat them to body temp using warm water.

But if you have to feed live stun the rat first.

I'm sure that your snake will come around eventually.

gina83 03-14-2008 07:01 PM

Thanks my red tail is pretty good at eating he just won't eat the mices if there dead and i tryed warming the freezin one up and then giving it to him but he just looks at me as if to say" I'm not eating that now go get one I can kill". He's spoiled .

tmmpin 03-14-2008 09:01 PM

shake it around
A little motion can be just what it takes to entice the snake.

Roy 03-15-2008 06:12 AM

With the scent of the rat in the air and a thrashing motion (made by yourself) tends to stir the senses in a snake, try it. :wink: Just don't get bitten.

tmmpin 03-15-2008 10:37 AM

Good tip Roy, :wink:
Use feeding tongs!

gina83 03-24-2008 07:47 PM

My snake is starting to become very aggresive when it feeding time and goes back to normal . Ex. I take tigger out of his tank and put in his feeding tank and knock the mouse silly and give it to him, the second one I do the same but before I can even give him the second one he's striking at the tank. One more question , should I give him three instead of two because he is not big enough for the smallest rat that a few pet stores carry. I have order a rat before but he would not eat it even when I warmed and dangled it , an hour later back to the mices. :?

tmmpin 03-24-2008 08:07 PM

My boa has a real strong feed instinct. After I feed him I don't dare reach back into his enclosure because he is still in feed mode. When feeding your snake you want to feed a properly sized mouse or rat. One that is the same or a little bigger then the widest point of the snake. Feeding several in a row can be stressful on the snake. Its best to try to feed just one.
The freeze/thawed mice or rats takes time to get a snake to eat, especially one that has been eating live or fresh killed. When I try to transition a snake over I use a pair of tongs to dangle the mouse or rat in front of the snake. Bouncing it up and down, it can take awhile of bouncing. You can also feed a live one then a freeze thawed one just to try to transition the snake over. As I stated above though, feeding several in a row can be stressful to the snake.

rexibew 11-02-2008 12:21 AM

won't eat
baby corn snake won't eat

lovesnuffles 11-02-2008 02:36 AM

Has it ever eaten before? How big is it? What are you trying to feed it?

dwg1211 11-02-2008 04:05 PM


Originally Posted by rexibew (Post 12094)
baby corn snake won't eat

just sharing or asking for advice.. ?.. you don't give us much to go on...

parker 01-12-2009 11:44 PM

there is one tip i can suggest, and i've heard it works wonders. go to petsmart and ask for some of the bedding in the gerbils cage. right before you feed you snake let the mouse/rat sit in the bedding. some snakes prefer gerbils so they think the mouse is a gerbil. just make sure he doesn't find out or he'll be mad =(
Also try:

DennyS 02-23-2009 12:32 AM

heck yeah, "shake it around...give it alittle motion"... works on the wife!!

lovesnuffles 02-23-2009 12:39 AM

LMAO Parker!!! XDD I love that!!! OMG!! Poor snake!!! XD

LOL! The mouse gets away xDD

parker 02-28-2009 06:10 PM

ha, denny. im on 100 mg of zoloft. you dont wanna take that stuff if you already have a bad sex life:(

supersnake88 03-10-2009 02:35 PM

Kills and wont eat??
I just adopted my first pet snake two weeks ago. He is an 18 inch rat snake named jasper. I tried feeding him yesterday. His previous owner fed him live hoppers so I am doing the same. I have tried to feed him three live hoppers dangling them in front of his face by their tails. All three he has taken, killed, (constricted) and then just leaves it there and doesn't eat it. Can anyone explain this?

Also is there a difference between a rat snake and a corn snake? Can they be kept together?


dwg1211 03-10-2009 03:01 PM

welcome!... real difference.. a corn snake is just a Red Rat snake.. but a Black Rat snake wouldn't be considered a 'Corn snake'.. the name just refers to the color/markings.. maybe your snake just needs to adjust.. the strike/constrict instinct is a feeding response.. good sign.. it just may be a little too stressed to consume prey.. snakes can be that way.. do you know when it last ate?.. they don't have to eat as often as many people think.. they can actually go weeks, even months, without eating.. are you providing the proper requirements? (proper temperatures, humidity, hiding places, day/night cycles, etc.).. can you post pics of the snake and enclosure?.. I wouldn't advise keeping snakes together.. they are pretty much loner animals.. except at breeding time.. if you do house them together, I would be sure to know the sexes and keep males seperate.. I would also feed them in seperate/divided quarters.. they can smell prey, get confused, and end up eating the other snake.. hope this helps.. I'm a Burm owner myself, but there are many Corn snake owners here who can help you even more..

supersnake88 03-10-2009 07:39 PM

Thanks for your advice thats definitely very helpful. I know he ate the day that I picked him up about two weeks ago so it has not been to long. Here are pics of my baby and his house =) There is also an under tank heater on the side with his hide and water dish. He stays in my room so i always turn off his light when i go to bed at night. I handled him alot in the first week that i had him so maybe he is just stressed out. I ask about having two because there is a beautiful albino rat snake that i have had my eye on also. I am addicted haha. But i would house it separately because its a little bigger.

dwg1211 03-11-2009 02:28 AM

that's a good-looking snake!.. I like the colors/markings.. :cool:
..nice ink, too.. real?

supersnake88 03-11-2009 04:45 AM

Thanks! Yeah it's real. Aries =)

lovesnuffles 03-11-2009 04:48 AM

Whewt for Aries!! Power to the ram! >D Mwahahaha!! :) So did it hurt? I'm thinking about getting me one ... Be honest!! Don't be like "Oh no, it doesn't feel like anything at all!" Cause I know it does!!! Every guy I've talked to has said "It doesn't hurt at first, but then it starts to hurt after the first 30 minutes or so and keeps getting worse" But I've never got a girl's point of view ....

Gonna look like this:


But I'm SCARED! ;.;

Nice little corn snake by the way :) Real cutie! Bigger than mine :( But mine will grow!! As soon as the pet store gets some frigging mice in! D< What kind of pet store runs out of mice? Honestly!

DodoBird27 03-11-2009 05:17 AM

Thats a good lookin corn! <3

I also am considering a tattoo, when I'm older of course, but I am a bit afraid about how bad it hurts... Thats a cool lookin one snuffles! I love the one you have too Supersnake

dwg1211 03-11-2009 10:03 AM

check out Roy's 'Tattoos' social group.. you should post a pic(s)there!

..that would be cool, Snuffles!.. tats do sting a bit.. depending on where you get one.. I only have the one on my shoulder, I got last year.. had it touched up just before the pic in the social group (you can barely make out the spots.. they've all faded/blended in now).. when someone asks me if it hurt, I just say it was about like standing on a tack for a couple of hours.. it hurts, but you kinda get used to it.. helps to chit-chat during the process... otherwise, it would get boring and you'd have nothing to think about but, 'damn.. this kinda ****s..'... lol... I really enjoyed getting mine.. thinking about getting something on the front of my other shoulder.. or forearm.. not quite sure yet.. I like the black work/tribal stuff.. doubt I'll mix styles..

supersnake88 03-11-2009 10:45 PM

that tattoo is hawt snuffles! where are u thinking of getting it? All my tattoos hurt like hell honestly. but dwg is right it really helps if you have ppl to talk to as a distraction. I also have a big nautical compass on my back and "carpe diem" on my ankle. all 3 hurt pretty much the same. the worst is when its almost done with and they go over some spots again to make sure they didn't miss anything. totally worth it in the end! this is a picture of the one on my ankle.. and my baby Jasper of corse!

tmmpin 03-11-2009 11:07 PM

The only time my it hurt was when they were going over the top of the bones.
Like the panther I have on my shoulder it just felt like little shocks.
I am told that the bottom of the back is one of the worst places to get a tat.

lovesnuffles 03-11-2009 11:54 PM

Awww, Jasper is a cute name :) I'm not sure where I want to get it. Possibly on my thigh or my wrist ... I'd like to get it on my stomach around my belly button too .... Buuuuutt .... I'm scared!! D:

dwg1211 03-12-2009 12:18 AM

yeah.. they say people think that it won't hurt so much on their butt.. but there are a lot of nerves that spread out from the base of the spinal column, so the lower back/butt area tend to hurt.. so I hear..

TonyB 10-19-2009 12:49 AM

My california king snake won't eat
I have had my california king snake for two weeks and he has a warm side and cool side of his tank.He has hiding places to go to and he still won't eat.

rainbowgirl 10-20-2009 12:46 AM

offer once a week on the same day and be patient. As long as he is drinking and not loosing weight he will be fine. A little more info like temps and age and such may be helpful as well.

SittingAbout 10-21-2009 09:27 AM

I really think it should be added to this thread that if your ball python is a picky eater it might be helpful to use some african frozen rats. Since balls are from africa the feeding instinct will really kick in. My snakes previous owner did everything to get him onto frozen food. He was shocked I managed to do it.

However african rats are more expensive. Before your bag is up get a bag of regular rats and rub the african ones on a few of them. Eventually your snake will eat frozen regular rats.

DennyS 11-07-2009 03:51 PM

I'll check into that...thanks! See... even us old dogs can learn!

SittingAbout 11-09-2009 02:46 AM

Yeah a guy at the show I went to recently told me about this trick. It's supposedly pretty fool proof!

raptor667 11-09-2009 04:19 AM

You can also use gerbils, also part of their natural food chain and easier to get hold off..........just don't mention it at the petshop..they look at you funny when you say that their display animals would look good inside your snake....:rolleyes:

SittingAbout 11-09-2009 06:36 AM

Actually that wouldn't be helpful since you can't just buy a frozen gerbil.

raptor667 11-09-2009 08:31 AM

Not sure about the U.S. but you can in the U.K. :p........but they do seem to have a "season", at some points of the year you can get them and at others everywhere seems to be completely barren of the little sods.:D

shaynethan 01-18-2010 12:15 AM

Hi I have two sand boas one is about 14in long and is doing great. The female is about 7in long and won't eat. We bought them from an individual and he assured us that they were both eating great. We have had her since last sunday and have tried feeding her on wed,fri and sat and sun. We have tried live pinkies dead pinkies and the latest we were told to cut the pinkie so that the snake would be attracted to the blood smell. Still no go. We were told by the pet store to try jump-start caloric supplement. this looks to be okay for lizards what about snakes. Please help

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