Baby ball python
Hello! I just recently got a baby male ball python he he got feed about a week a ago on the 15th of febuary and I tried to feed him today but he just did not want to eat. Is there a reason why? What should I do? Also, he always kinda avoids my hand/ draws back his head like he is scared why is that? What can I do? Is there something he would specially like? Also, I was wondering if I am able to feed him tap water
Hays County Texas
Thank you for your question. There may be several reasons your ball python refused to eat. He may have not finished digesting the previous meal you fed him; he may be under stress; environmental conditions (temperature and humidity) in the enclosure may not be appropriate for this species, or your snake could be ill.
Although ball pythons are probably the most popular snake species in the pet trade, and are relatively easy to maintain, you do have to provide a suitable habitat for them in order to keep them successfully. Here's a link to a care sheet on ball pythons published by Reptiles Magazine that provides excellent information on housing and feeding your pet:
Ball pythons, especially young ones, are easily stressed. The fact that your snake keeps shying away from your hands indicates that it is afraid. Two things you can do to alleviate stress in ball pythons is make sure your enclosure is not too large. People sometimes purchase a large cage for a juvenile snake to allow for adequate space once the snake reaches its adult size. However, the large area can overwhelm a young snake and result in stress. Also, ball pythons need adequate hiding places in their cage, again to alleviate stress. Most snakes do not spend a lot of time out in the open, because this exposes them to predators. They need good places to hide where they can feel secure. You can purchase reptile "hides" at pet stores that sell reptile supplies.
Make sure you are providing a suitable and safe environment, as listed on the care sheet, for your pet, and it should begin to feed on a regular basis. If not, you should take your pet to an experienced reptile vet and have it examined.
I hope this information helps, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.