Hatchling won't eat

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SnakeMan44

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Ive got a 9 month old childrens python and i originally got it for a friend/housemate but they handled the python a lot, didn't let it settle in and was pretty rough with the python. Said friend has since moved out and left the snake in my care. I have been trying for over a week to get it to eat but it just wont touch the food. I have even tried to assist feed it but it just does not take any interest in the food whatsoever. Its been over a month since the last time it ate and I'm starting to get really worried that it won't eat at all because of how my friend handled it. The python has a heat source, a hide and water and has also recently shed. Can anyone please help? Or have any advice they can give me?
 

Sdaji

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There are plenty of reasons for a snake not to eat at this time of year, and unless it's actually injured, previous rough handling is an unlikely explanation.

Assist feeding most snakes requires a reasonable amount of skill, it's best if you can get an experienced person to teach you, or if you're going to go it alone, learn as much as you can and persist until you get a feed into it, which may require force feeding.

Even with heating they know what time of year it is unless you're extremely careful. Every time there's a waft of cold air it tells them something, the reduced day length, etc. If you keep them in a warm room they'll be a lot more likely to feed than in a cool room in an enclosure with access to a source of warmth. Some, especially males, stop feeding in their first winter.

There's a million and one possible explanations and with so little information to go on it's difficult to know exactly what's going on, but unless the snake looks malnourished (in which case it would probably be eating) it'll probably be fine. Winter can be a very frustrating and sometimes scary time for new reptile keepers!
 

SnakeMan44

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There are plenty of reasons for a snake not to eat at this time of year, and unless it's actually injured, previous rough handling is an unlikely explanation.

Assist feeding most snakes requires a reasonable amount of skill, it's best if you can get an experienced person to teach you, or if you're going to go it alone, learn as much as you can and persist until you get a feed into it, which may require force feeding.

Even with heating they know what time of year it is unless you're extremely careful. Every time there's a waft of cold air it tells them something, the reduced day length, etc. If you keep them in a warm room they'll be a lot more likely to feed than in a cool room in an enclosure with access to a source of warmth. Some, especially males, stop feeding in their first winter.

There's a million and one possible explanations and with so little information to go on it's difficult to know exactly what's going on, but unless the snake looks malnourished (in which case it would probably be eating) it'll probably be fine. Winter can be a very frustrating and sometimes scary time for new reptile keepers!
Thanks for the info. Im not new to keeping snakes as i have 3 others that are almost 5 years old and they all feed well during winter. So having a hatchling not feed is really worrying me. But with it being winter i can understand why it would not want to eat ^_^
 

Sdaji

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Thanks for the info. Im not new to keeping snakes as i have 3 others that are almost 5 years old and they all feed well during winter. So having a hatchling not feed is really worrying me. But with it being winter i can understand why it would not want to eat ^_^

When you only have half a dozen snakes and one is doing something different from the other 5 it might be scary, but when you've spend decades caring for hundreds of snakes and you know that 20% or so are going to do something each year, you don't get worried or even surprised.

Even after dealing with however many thousands of snakes it has been, I still sometimes come across things I haven't seen before, and when I'd only worked with a dozen or so snakes in my first couple of years there were certainly plenty of things I didn't understand and could potentially have been big problems, which I would now immediately recognise and deal with without thinking anything of it. Most likely your one is just deciding to cease feeding for the winter, but potentially it could be something else and potentially it could be dangerous if it is underweight (not all snakes naturally make it through their first winter). If you want to post a clear picture of it I should be able to give you an idea of whether or not it's likely to be an issue. I like to keep them warm and feeding through their first winter, mainly because I'm one of those evil people who likes to grow them quickly, and I have a big bag of tricks to convince them to comply. To give you some idea, by this time of year if I have 100 baby Antaresia in my care I'll usually have 100 Antaresia feeding, and the 5 or so of those which are still assist feeding are the pains which still haven't decided to feed on their own rather than any which were feeding and have now stopped. I might have one or two which have decided to entire stop for winter, which are almost always the ones I fed very generously in their first 6 months or so and have decided that's enough for the season, so I usually let them rest, although usually that happens a month or two later in the year rather than at the start of May. This has been an extremely unusual season for me, with sales and human movements having been disrupted, so I currently have more than usual still around, but I don't currently have any of last season's Ants which are not getting a weekly feed other than a handful which might skip a week while sloughing.

Without seeing yours I don't know if it's a well fed and conditioned youngster or a scrawny critter in some danger of not getting through winter without a feed (which seems like a possibility if he was previously with a less than ideal carer). It's probably fine, but without seeing it I definitely can't give any guarantees.
 

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