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Thread: Getting new ball phython - may need help.

  1. #1
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    Sep 2009
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    Getting new ball phython - may need help.

    I don't think I posted this before, but a few months ago my ball python passed away of what was reveled to be a form of gout that attacks the orgins. Not getting into details but my vet belives it was brought on by the stress of me moving. (I also lost several garter snakes suddenly, but didn't have a necropsy done on them).

    Anyway one of the problems I think was me not being familer of how the basement worked. Becasue I moved in the fall, I had the heater on - and it was spewing hot air into that room offten enough that it was quite warm.

    well in the spring the heater simply didn't come on as much and the room overall was getting colder then I thought. In a large cage that means the "cool" end was room temp - and possibly too cold even though the basking area was close to 90.

    well I've TOTALY rethought and revaped my cage layouts and I'm going to try again.

    I have a cage now set up that the basic temp is 80 with the top basking area about 89-90 and a hot/humad box that is a little higher. I've put moss in the courner of the cage and that seems to help keep the humidaty up.

    So anyway - I won a Ben Siegel auction on FB last night (two people on this board at least are friends as well - Rick I think is the one that posted about him to begin with) --- a 2011 hatchling "Spider" morph BP.


    The problem is I had never got a stright answer about FT food - and it turns out they just pretty much toss live in the cages every week - don't bother to take them out in a seperate feeding bin or anything (which is what my vet recommended). They are in the camp as well that BPs rarely can be converted to FT... whereas I've heard others say they can be easly.

    I'm hoping this is the case because he is a hatchling that he'll be easer. Because I had gerbils as pets and I just don't like the thought of feeding live. So I plan on trying FT from the get go.

    However, if I can't get him to eat I'll need help to convert him (meaning I'd have to give him to someone who will then do live, stunned, pk and hopfully finally ft)

    Rich at SnT helped the last time- but the snake ended up with a small case of mites. :( Hopefully it won't come down to that and he'll take food right away.

    Oh - just in case as I've seen some people I don't reconize posting - if your going to slam me - please don't bother posting.


    Also help to set up a better misting system would be apprecated. any recomendations? It has to be something that can later be used on stackable cages. And I'm not very handy so I can't cut screen or use hot glue etc.

    OH yeah and of course I'd be willing to pay for any help. .

    Thanks much.

    Sharon

    PS - I'm at work so don't have a spell checker.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2009
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    227

    Re: Getting new ball phython - may need help.

    Congrats on the win again, Sharon. It is small enough to giverat pinks and they can't hurt it. As it grows into fuzzies, and when you know how it feeds from personal observation, you can whack that little fuzzie and feed it fresh killed. Then after you think its time you can offer frozen thawed. It may work right away with some effort. Warm the food up in a warm cup of water first, then dry with a paper towel, then present it with tongs or something besides your finger.
    Sounds like the cage is set up, make sure it has a hide to feel safe in. A broken piece of flower pot is unbeatable for this. Wait a week to let it settle down and include under tank heat if you didn't. I don't think ball pythons bask much in the wild, esp. babies. They are more nocturnal, I think.
    Anyhow, all the breeders use are opaque plastic totes, aspen substrate, and heat tape under one end. Good Luck.

  3. #3
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    Re: Getting new ball phython - may need help.

    um. I want to feed ft because I CAN"T KILL a mouse like that. (just banging it on the head? actually I tried with a partialy eaten baby gerbil before that was still alive and I STILL couldn't do it) Actually let me go further cause you said "rat pinks can't hurt it" Even though that is a concern - my thing is I simply don't like the idea of the mouse or rat dieing being squeezed to death (even though that is natural) . Fish are easier to deal with - why I started with garters. I wanted a ball because they are docile. So my first one I had converted to FT by someone else.

    Oh and I asked they are feeding mouse hoppers currently so that's what I'm going to try (FT).

    I have several open cages so - currently he will go in the 16x16 x... not sure height but way heigh but that's ok. Under the cage mat (I'm sorry I really don't trust heat tape - or I don't trust myself to set up heat tape up correctly) and my vet's recommendation of a hot box... a hide box that has a container in it filled with moss that you wet - that way it provides a hot humid area. I don't expect basking really but in order to get the temps up I have to also have an over the cage ceramic heat lamp. (they apparently are supposed to be at 80 on the COOL side... something I don't think I did before- I double checked the care sheet I read with the breeder).

    I don't want a "breeder" set up btw... I don't want to offend anyone but rack systems sound like the snake version of puppy mills... I asked my vet's opeion and she thinks they are great for small snakes... but not so much so with adult large snakes. (besides my last one would hang out on the branch I had).

    Anyway I found a plastic drawer that I'm currently going to use as a hide. When he is larger and I put him in a larger cage I'll try to use the rubbermade or similar container with the hole cut in it - but I may need help to cut the hole. Ive seen that suggested a few tiems. Or a container with a hole cut in the lid so they can go top down.

    I'm hoping what I have is ok with minimal changes because I really don't have time to redo everything. Rick - you remember the cage baby was in right? It's the same type of cage but half the size. I'll transfer to the larger cage when he gets bigger.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2009
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    227

    Re: Getting new ball phython - may need help.

    I'm sure it will all be fine. Ball pythons aren't so popular because they are difficult. And you can start with ft and it may be good to go from the start. Just give it a week or so then try feeding. You can warm it up a bit so the snakes pits pick up "body heat". Move it around a bit with forceps so it looks alive. As last resort leave it overnite outside the door of the snakes hide.
    Yeah, they are snake mills. But most snakes spend the bigger part of their life under a rock and are nervous in large open places.

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