Spotted Python Hatchling Refusing Food

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potatoleeksoup

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Hey Everyone,

First time snake owner here so please go easy on me since I have no idea if I'm overthinking this or I just need validation.

I've had my hatchling for about a month and a bit now and I've been having some issues with his feeding response. He's a spotted python and was born in early December. The breeder who I bought him off said he was shy but hadn't had any issues with feeding and was feeding him a mix of live and frozen (he breeds his own food) and said that he was eating fuzzies.

When I brought him home I tried to feed him a fuzzy mouse since he was due to eat, but it was too big for his mouth and he gave up after trying for a substantial amount of time. A week later he ate a smaller fuzzy mouse but regurgitated it the next morning around 5am (this was 3 weeks ago)- I've offered him pinkies and small fuzzy mice about 4 times since then (even tried to brain one) and he hasn't been interested at all. However he did shed 8 days after he was last offered food (he's so handsome with his fresh vibrant skin :) ).

I'm not sure what to do anymore please help!! I don't know if he's stressed but he has 3 hides, the warm side of his enclosure sits around 29-34 degrees C, the cool end 23-26 degrees C, and humidity is around 51% usually. He doesn't seem to mind being handled since he comes up to my hand sometimes when I offer it to him, climbs up, and wraps himself around my fingers and hangs out for a while. He also has never struck at me except for when I came for him a bit fast and startled him, and when he was going through shed.

I left him alone in his enclosure covered by a towel for a week and a half and tried to feed him again tonight but still nothing. Is it because the weather is cooling down and it's normal or am I doing something wrong?
 

CF Constrictor

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Hi Potatoleeksoup
I must admit I have never owned a spotted python, Morelias are my favorites . It is probably the cooler weather, so you could try raising the temps a little bit higher and see if that works. 51% humidity sounds a bit high (I keep my carpets at around 30% humidity to avoid respiratory infections) but I doubt that would cause your spotted to stop eating. You could also try offering day old quail instead. My carpets will usualy refuse food when they are about to shed . Be patient and good luck.
 

Sdaji

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If he tried to eat a mouse but couldn't get it down, it might have been too large. If you feed them a meal which is too large they can regurgitate, which is likely what happened. Once they regurgitate it can take some time for them to recover.

As a new keeper it is best not to push feed sizes, so you'll be best off erring on the side of small meals until you're familiar with appropriate meal sizing. As a general rule 15-20% of the weight of a python is a good meal, but as a beginner you might want to go a little smaller (many people think smaller meals are always better, 10% or so). I personally often go 40% or so, but not every meal, and I only do this because after decades of working with thousands of snakes and experimenting heavily, I know which snakes will go well with it and which ones shouldn't be given anything like that size, and I know that some individuals will definitely regurgitate with a meal anything like that size. At the absolute extreme I've given some pythons meals more than 100% of their own weight and they've digested them without a problem. After a regurgitation it is best to wait a week or two before offering another feed, and it's very important to give a small meal, I'd generally opt for about 5% of the snake's weight around 2 weeks after a regurgitation. If he was eating (or trying to eat) enthusiastically before now he is probably happy enough with the environment, and that's probably not the issue.

I hope this helps somewhat, and good luck with your little friend.
 

Ryan-James

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Fuzzies are too big for hatchy maccie's imo, as a species they don't have the greatest feeding response but have noticed if they have enough troubles feeding, it can make them very shy feeders.
Make sure it's warm enough and then warm up a pinkie and pop it in the hide without disturbing the hatchy, do it at night and turn the lights off, leave it be and leave the room if needed. Give it a few hours before checking on it
 

Susannah

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Yep, all of the above. My little guy went through a phase of rejecting food but it was almost always to do with shedding. General tips are to feed at night/early evening, cover tank and keep lighting low while they're feeding and make sure the food offered is at body temperature. Good luck!
 

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