Black-headed python hatchlings and feeding

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by Derpdiggler, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. Derpdiggler

    Derpdiggler Not so new Member

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    Hello everyone, I have recently managed to acquire a beautiful pair of my bucket list snakes. They are black-headed pythons. They may not be much of a big deal in collection in Australia but I have been obsessed with them as well as womas since the first time I saw some in person at a reptile show here in the states over 20 years ago. Of course back then I was a poor college kid and they were selling for $10,000.00 for womas and $20,000.00 for black-headed. Fast forward to now and they are much more affordable and my financial situation has allowed for me to get pairs of both.
    Now I have some great resources for information on both here in the states. I purchased them from well respected breeders. They have advised me on responsible feeding and growth rates for both. I am aware of the hazards and propensity of obesity for both species if they are power fed. As a result I am slow growing them by giving them small frequent meals. Doing so i am told will take 4 yo 5 years to get my bhp's to a healthy breeding size.
    With all that said and provided I am successful in breeding these guys there is one area where information seems to be rather limited. That is getting the hatchlings bhp's to eat. I have been told assist feeding is simply required in most cases even when offering the reptiles these guys naturally feed on. I am hoping to get some insight into this. I don't mind assist feeding if that truly is the only option but I can't see how these guys survive in the wild if they really require this no matter what the prey item offered.
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    I have attached a couple pictures of two of my snakes for attention.

    IMG_20171028_8974.jpg

    IMG_20171114_42672.jpg
     
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  2. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Well-Known Member

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    Holy heck!

    No wonder people say the reward is greater than The Risk for people exporting out of Australia @.@

    They are indeed very beautiful, some of my favourites to look at.

    (Can’t help with the feeding question But I’m afraid :(. )
     
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  3. Derpdiggler

    Derpdiggler Not so new Member

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    The lineage on these bhp's go back decades here in the US. The breeder I got them from is well respected in the industry as well. Obviously we know at some point their bloodlines originated in Australia I have no idea how they got here to begin with.
     
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  4. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

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    Getting BHP's to eat (In My Opinion), is no more difficult than getting other species to eat.....and in some cases easier.
    I find them much easier than Diamonds for example.
    Last year we hatched out 3 clutches and most ate straight away with no issues I think from memory we had 7 or 8 that needed assist feeding a couple of times, 1 that was a little stubborn but he was feeding well within 5 or 6 months.
    I have heard all the hype and all the methods different people employ but assist feeding is so easy and so quick I see no need to worry about messing around dipping rat tails in egg yolk or squeezing live yoghurt down them.

    I think you will find that strong robust hatchies will eat fairly quickly.
     
  5. Derpdiggler

    Derpdiggler Not so new Member

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    Awesome to hear! Do you start them on rat pinks or something else?
     
  6. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

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    Yeah a couple of feeds on pinkie rats then straight onto fuzzies.
     
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  7. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Mmm, nice animals. Assist feeding of either species if needed, is made easier by the fact that they are very large babies, and much easier to manipulate than smaller more delicate species.

    Jamie
     
  8. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

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    @Derpdiggler
    Just to highlight that BHP's are often no more difficult than other species to get feeding I thought I would actually take a bit more notice on my hatchies this year.
    1st clutch hatched out on the 14th Jan. Of 12 hatchies we have just tried them all with a feed and 6 have eaten without issues at the 1st attempt today only 4 days after hatching & even before they have had their initial slough.

    Just thought you might find this of interest.
     
  9. Derpdiggler

    Derpdiggler Not so new Member

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    Hey Paul, thank you for the info! Congrats on your new additions by the way. I am glad you are having good luck with yours. There general consensus over here in the states is that is super rare. Makes me wonder if it just happens to be a genetic trait shared by the US line stuff?
    Ihave also heard mixing up their diets can help some. I have been told only feeding rodents, even if you only feed small/medium ones will eventually take its toll on the bhp health because the diet is too fatty. Some suggest supplementing with either iguana based repti links or even small fish like finger mullet. Any thoughts?
    Anyway, very good news on your recent hatchlings! I had an unexpected pick up earlier last week. A 2015 25%goergen/75%Lazik high yellow female. She should be ready to go by the end of the year. The 2016 Male we have has similar pedigree and coloring so we will likely pair them up. Our 2016 female is pure western pilibara blood which is very hard to come by here so I am holding out for a similar male for her.[​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
  10. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

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    I do feed some of mine on fish occasionally but I don't like to do so on a regular basis. (I'm assuming you know of Derek Roddy, he also uses fish from time to time). I find some won't go near fish at all but others I think would be happy on a diet of just fish.
    I do feed mainly rodents due to availability but also Rabbit when I can get it at a reasonable price, (expensive to source here in Aus).

    Chicken can be used, including chicken parts such as necks and skinned drumsticks are used here with some success though I have never been one for using parts of feeder animals, for me its the whole thing or nothing.

    A wise man I know used to say that BHP's will eat a can of coke if you leave it in the enclosure long enough. Once eating I find they are very difficult to upset/put them off their food and will eat pretty much whatever you can source within reason.
     
  11. richyboa72

    richyboa72 Active Member

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    Very nice indeed


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. Derpdiggler

    Derpdiggler Not so new Member

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    Yes, I know Derek. He is the individual that got me into these guys. His stock is the primary source for my collection. He is probably the most knowledgeable and helpful person on our side of the pond when it comes to bhp's.
    Thanks again for the info.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
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  13. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller APS Veteran

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    My 12 yr old Bhp's, the holdbacks I kept, and even the stunted one I call noselicker because it has a cleft palette, would all eat human if they tongue flick your skin. No-one gets to hold them unless I have their head end, or your experienced. They are feeding machines, and a food bite from an 8ft blackhead, when paired with the Chinese burn action they do when they coil you leaves a mess of cuts.
    They are big, powerful snakes, slow and easy going....but if they grab you.......
     
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  14. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

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    Agreed. The ones that don't bite are 99% reliable but the unpredictable ones, you can't have a bad/unaware day, they seem to know when you are not on your game.
     

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