What are the pre-shedding signs to look for in a juvenile spotted python?!

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antaresia2021

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I'm back, and still stressing out because my juvenile hasn't had food for 2 weeks (and isn't that too long?!?).
I know people have told me to not feed him for days or weeks longer if he's being reluctant. But he's still very young and they can only go without food for 2-4 weeks this young.

I've considered the possibility of shedding.
I know I should be looking for a duller coat and milky eyes but neither of those have been happening, and yet he has been reluctant to eat.
I need to know if there are any other signs that indicate a snake is going into shedding and is why they're not eating!
 

Herpetology

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they can only go without food for 2-4 weeks this young
???
my mate had an carpet hatchie straight from the egg that went 2 1/2 months without a feed, offering once a fortnight

he doesn’t believe in force feeding (to each their own I suppose) and it ended up deciding one day that it’ll eat

regarding sheds, it won’t shed unless it’s growing ( or has scale issues), if it’s not eating it won’t grow
 

antaresia2021

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But he was eating and then stopped. I heard that they lose appetite when shedding?
And I also ready the dipping a mouse in chicken broth will get hem to feed'
 

Herpetology

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They *can* lose appetite when shedding, if they want to eat they'll eat! -- you shouldnt really offer feed anyways as it can cause constrictions when they try to slough over the lump of the feed

The shed process can take 2+ weeks from The cloudy eyes stage

You're really overthinking this mate, if it doesnt want to eat it wont, offer it a mouse, if it doesnt feed wait a week, if it doesnt feed again wait another week etc untill it decides---- or wait a month and try again (maybe itll shed, then you can feed after it sheds)

You're just wasting food if you offer every 2nd day
 

antaresia2021

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Yeah, I won't attempt feeding for a bit. And his eyes haven't become cloudy so i don't know if that's the ultimate determinant of shedding or if that could appear later i the process and he is, in fact, shedding.
Quick ask; I read somewhere that if he's not feeding I should check on his weight and see if it is dropping a dangerous amount over a week?
 

Herpetology

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Judging by pictures you've just posted in the other thread your snake is in fine condition and is absolutely nowhere near any dangerous weights, the more you stress and start meddling with weird methods, the worse off your snake will be
 
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antaresia2021

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I won't meddle with weird methods then. But is the chicken broth method considered weird or useful?
 

antaresia2021

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I read somewhere that if you dip or thaw (not sure which of the two) in chicken broth the picky eaters will more likely eat because they like the smell.
I held off for a week from his first refusal offering now and then. Is hat the same as "holding off for a week" or is there there just supposed to me 0 food involved?
 

antaresia2021

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Yep, when I was just setting everything up I woke up between 4-6am and checked and the temps were good and he was active at night. I'll check again today.
More importantly i need do know if 'waiting a week' involves presenting some food occasionally or not at all?
 

Ramsayi

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ep, when I was just setting everything up I woke up between 4-6am and checked and the temps were good and he was active at night.
What were the temps though? Also how were you measuring them?

You seem to think that you have a picky eater when it most likely comes down to incorrect husbandry.
 

Herpetology

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Yep, when I was just setting everything up I woke up between 4-6am and checked and the temps were good and he was active at night. I'll check again today.
More importantly i need do know if 'waiting a week' involves presenting some food occasionally or not at all?
well you arent waiting a week or 2 if you offer it more food during that time are you?
 

antaresia2021

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What were the temps though? Also how were you measuring them?

You seem to think that you have a picky eater when it most likely comes down to incorrect husbandry.
I use a thermocouple to get readings from below the warm hide. A dual-thermometer for the atmosphere/ambient temp that is secured on either side through one of my ventilation holes, and I also have a infrared pocket thermometer to check the surface temp on the cool end mainly, but also hot end.
 

antaresia2021

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Under the warm hide is 30-33. On the warm side in general it ranges from 25/6-28. Beneath cool hide I try to keep it at 24/25 degrees but sometimes it can drop to 22 (and/or, rarely 22). The on the cool side in general i have 23/24 (sometimes 25/26).

Now that it's night he becomes very active and sticks his nose through every ventilation hole (which is worrisome so I did plug the sharper ones with paper towel so that he doesn't injure himself). But do you think that means he's either looking for food or trying to escape because he is uncomfortable in his environment?
 

Ramsayi

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Those are the temps over an entire 24 hour period?
Curious, if using a heat mat how many watts is it and what does the room temp get down to?
 

antaresia2021

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Overnight I maintain a steady room temperature through my own room heater. I haven't measured my room temperature in the middle of the night but I have checked to make sure that the temperatures are adequate and, with a few exceptions, I've generally tried and managed to always fluctuate within that range of temperatures I gave above.
I'm only doing this while he's still little. When they get older I know an ambient drop in temperature overnight is OK.

I've also done some research into different, slight changes to feeding that could hold an encouraging quality to them, such as braining/splitting (that I have gathered is using a pin to create a small opening in the mouses' brain as it causes a stronger, more appealing smell)? Could this be beneficial the next time I try feeding?
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UPDATE: Braining works a charm. He ate! Finally!
He also seemed more accepting of the food when the lights were out and I left him alone so I will probably stick to that method if he finds it more comfortable.
 
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CF Constrictor

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I would try increasing the hot end temp to around 35 or 36 , a small increase can make a difference to their willingness to feed.
Under the warm hide is 30-33. On the warm side in general it ranges from 25/6-28. Beneath cool hide I try to keep it at 24/25 degrees but sometimes it can drop to 22 (and/or, rarely 22). The on the cool side in general i have 23/24 (sometimes 25/26).

Now that it's night he becomes very active and sticks his nose through every ventilation hole (which is worrisome so I did plug the sharper ones with paper towel so that he doesn't injure himself). But do you think that means he's either looking for food or trying to escape because he is uncomfortable in his environment?

Mine are set up so they don't go over 38c even on the hottest days with no problems so as long as it stays within that range you sould be safe.
 

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