"my Snake Won't Eat"

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ronhalling

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Over the years that i have been a member of this Forum the number 1 recurring theme in 1 form or another seems to be "MY SNAKE WON'T EAT"!! There are hundreds of posts pertaining to this subject and probably just as many reasons, in theory the best way to read these posts would be to use the search feature and troll through them all, but for 1 reason or another quite a few people seem to have trouble doing this, so with Stuarts help by making this a Sticky and the combined Brains Trust we have on tap we might be able to put together a thread of reasons and possible fixes in 1 place that "Newbies" and in some cases more experienced keepers can draw on for help with this sometimes vexing problem.

A suggested format would be :

Species : i.e. Spotted Python
Problem : i.e. Temperature
Possible fix : i.e. Needs to be around 34 deg C etc

the above is not hard and fast nor does it need to be in a format at all, but we have all had problems with feeding and have come up with fixes that work, and this can be a 1 stop place to tell all.

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( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) -ronhalling-
 
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ronhalling

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I don't think the members are really getting the point of this thread, i did not start it for new and older members to post their "My Snake Won't Eat" questions and hope to get answers that will inevitably get lost in the bushes, It was for experienced members from each state that have single Sp collections or multi Sp collections to input the reasons and fixes that they have come across with their animals (of all Sp) that for 1 reason or another won't eat. I.E. a 3 year old MD in a collection in Adelaide might have a completely different reason for not eating than an MD of the same age and time of year in Brisbane, so I would expect @pinefamily would input his experiences in South Australia and likewise @nick_75 in Queensland for all their Sp they have encountered problems with and fixed. The same could be asked of @kittycat17 for Sydney and @pythoninfinite for Northern NSW @Oshkii in Western Australia and @Sheldoncooper in Victoria.
These are just suggested names of those i "Have" seen reply to "My Snake Won't Eat" posts over the last 5 years, but there are many many more with experience that can be utilized to fix this problem, this is primarily for the newer members to our mighty forum who initially have problems using the search feature and get lost in the plethora of information they get in return, so having this as a sticky at the beginning of the Herp Help section they might be more able to find what they need that is more specific to their region and Sp. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) -ronhalling
 

pinefamily

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:cool: Bit bright for this time of the morning, lol. But thanks for the vote of confidence.
While there may well be some regional differences (ie ambient seasonal temps), I suspect the reason(s) a snake isn't eating are pretty universal, Ron.
As a general rule of thumb, antaresias can start to go off their food any time after January, dependent on age. Any newbies reading this have to understand this is completely normal for an adult (or even sub-adult) antaresia (children's, spotted, Stimson's, pygmy), as long as their python is healthy looking.
All pythons can go off their food when moved into a new enclosure, or even if you have bought a snake and enclosure, and brought it home. Your home will smell different, and ambient temps in your house could be different to the previous owner's. Even with heat in the tank, most reptiles can detect differences outside the tank. This reason is most commonly encountered by newbies when moving a snake from a click clack into a tank.
As adults, our own (Morelia) pythons have usually started to go off their food in Adelaide about April. Having moved further north, they are only starting to show signs of slowing down now (that could also be the warmer autumn this year).
Outside of these general things, the most common reason for not eating I've encountered in our own, and other people's, pythons is temperatures. Either not hot enough, or not enough heat gradient across the tank.
One last one I've encountered in new keepers is tryng to feed their python too often; your python will eat when it's hungry.

How's that for starters, Ron?
 

Pauls_Pythons

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Ill add my 2 bobs worth as Ron as gone to the length of putting this thread together.........
Stress......Make sure your animal has enough hides
Animals housed in rooms (Or close to rooms) where loud music is played are known to go off food
High traffic areas (Busy rooms or hallways)
Some snakes don't do well kept in light 24/7. It goes against their nature. Give them a period of darkness in line with the season we are in.
Temps....Not just too cold. Animals can get stressed if they are in enclosures where they dont have opportunity to get away from the heat
Appropriate hot spot. (Tired of hearing people with an ambient of 35 or a hot spot of 26 and they wonder why the snake wont eat).
Time......Try feeding at different times such as at night
Try leaving food in the enclosure overnight
Food......Try different food types (Don't be afraid to try things out of the norm)
Try smaller food
Try brained pinkies (Young snakes)
Try fresh killed over frozen/thawed (Stronger scent)
Try dipping food items into egg (Not tried it but heard people having great results)
Try scenting food items with Quail, chicks or rabbit. Even lizards if you have access to them)

If the animal is a new acquisition or if it goes off food during Autumn/Winter leave it be.
If its an animal you know well that has previously been a good feeder there might be cause for concern if the behaviour continues for an extended period or if you see other changes, swellings, signs of RI, changes in the colour/texture of stools that are not associated to food changes. Examine your animals, look for changes
Finally don't stress because your snake didn't eat for 4 weeks.
We have an Anterasia here at the moment that has had 1 feed in 18 months but still has awesome condition. I have just this week started assist feeding and thats not because she needs it but to stop the owner fretting. If the snake is loosing weight and still refusing food a vet visit might be in order as there could be an associated health issue.
 

Balotzki Twins

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Many Thanks , im a new member and we have a Murry Darling Python named Basil who is just under 2 meters long and about 2 1/2 years old . He has always been a great feeder but 2 weeks ago he just stopped eating . I have left the rats in his house overnight but he just sort of looks at it and ignores it . He has become very active in his house lately and its almost as if he is searching for something . He is very easy and happy to be handled . He last shed about 2 /12 months ago and does not look ready to shed again . Could he be off his food because he has come of age and wants a mate ? He has a heat lamp ( set to 32 degrees ) and has always liked his home . thanks for your help with this
Ill add my 2 bobs worth as Ron as gone to the length of putting this thread together.........
Stress......Make sure your animal has enough hides
Animals housed in rooms (Or close to rooms) where loud music is played are known to go off food
High traffic areas (Busy rooms or hallways)
Some snakes don't do well kept in light 24/7. It goes against their nature. Give them a period of darkness in line with the season we are in.
Temps....Not just too cold. Animals can get stressed if they are in enclosures where they dont have opportunity to get away from the heat
Appropriate hot spot. (Tired of hearing people with an ambient of 35 or a hot spot of 26 and they wonder why the snake wont eat).
Time......Try feeding at different times such as at night
Try leaving food in the enclosure overnight
Food......Try different food types (Don't be afraid to try things out of the norm)
Try smaller food
Try brained pinkies (Young snakes)
Try fresh killed over frozen/thawed (Stronger scent)
Try dipping food items into egg (Not tried it but heard people having great results)
Try scenting food items with Quail, chicks or rabbit. Even lizards if you have access to them)

If the animal is a new acquisition or if it goes off food during Autumn/Winter leave it be.
If its an animal you know well that has previously been a good feeder there might be cause for concern if the behaviour continues for an extended period or if you see other changes, swellings, signs of RI, changes in the colour/texture of stools that are not associated to food changes. Examine your animals, look for changes
Finally don't stress because your snake didn't eat for 4 weeks.
We have an Anterasia here at the moment that has had 1 feed in 18 months but still has awesome condition. I have just this week started assist feeding and thats not because she needs it but to stop the owner fretting. If the snake is loosing weight and still refusing food a vet visit might be in order as there could be an associated health issue.
 

bluedragon

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this was interesting i haven't fed my 2yo coastal and she downed 2 rats second time she is such an aggressive feeder that she struck and broke all her front teeth off

Many Thanks , im a new member and we have a Murry Darling Python named Basil who is just under 2 meters long and about 2 1/2 years old . He has always been a great feeder but 2 weeks ago he just stopped eating . I have left the rats in his house overnight but he just sort of looks at it and ignores it . He has become very active in his house lately and its almost as if he is searching for something . He is very easy and happy to be handled . He last shed about 2 /12 months ago and does not look ready to shed again . Could he be off his food because he has come of age and wants a mate ? He has a heat lamp ( set to 32 degrees ) and has always liked his home . thanks for your help with this
are they frozen rats or live
 
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pinefamily

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Welcome to the forum.
You are probably right about your MD. He/she is probably roaming looking for a mate. It will eat when it's hungry. Wait a week or two, then offer again.
 
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