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  • Lost my mind.



    That little monster is an albino burmese. Sex unknown for the moment. Picked it up this past Friday (7-8-2016).

    I've since been told the breeder is an idiot, because it's about 4 weeks old. Shed once, ate 2-3 times, and was promptly sold to me. I didn't know there was a protocol for selling hatchlings ...

    The last baby I actually raised was my first boa, so this will be interesting. I was told it was "snappy". I haven't seen any real signs of aggression though. Hissed at me once, but that's it. Yesterday was my feeding day for my others - I wanted to feed it also, but my supplier was out of rat pinkies completely (and pups too) so he sent me home with a hopper mouse. Said mouse was ignored aside from some curious sniffing. I'm hoping the reason it didn't eat was because it wasn't the right prey item.

    I know don't handle it until it settles in good. I know don't handle it for 72 hours after eating. I know if it doesn't eat for a couple of weeks, don't panic (I had a breeder from a FB group I'm in tell me she had hatchlings who were born in May and hadn't eaten yet ... that seems like a long time to me, but I don't raise snakes). If anyone has suggestions outside of this, I'm all ears.

  • #2
    Re: Lost my mind.

    "Snappy" behavior is normal for a baby. In their world anything that moves is either a big predator (you) or prey.

    Other than spot cleaning, I would leave him alone for a few more days to settle before handling or feeding again.

    Did you offer a live or a f/t feeder? If f/t try live and convert after he eats a few times. Also a mouse hopper may be too small to get him interested in eating, that's what ball python babies start on and burms are bigger.

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    • #3
      Re: Lost my mind.

      Burms are usually little monsters until they are something like 3 months old or so because they are very snappy then they calm down great. Most breeders don't usually sell babies until they are a month old which sounds like this case. That time gives them 1 good shed and usually at least one good meal with observation to make sure there is nothing unusual going on. I've seen people selling maybe 8 day old boas at reptile expos, so I wouldn't be surprised by any age anymore. 8 day old boas haven't had their first shed or first meal.

      I agree with [MENTION=19219]bcr_229[/MENTION] with you should try leaving it alone a little longer to let it get settled in. Rats and mice do smell different so what you could do with a mouse hopper is rub a rat on it to get the smell on it. The burm should take a mouse hopper as a nice small starting meal.

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      • #4
        Re: Lost my mind.

        Originally posted by bcr_229 View Post
        Did you offer a live or a f/t feeder? If f/t try live and convert after he eats a few times. Also a mouse hopper may be too small to get him interested in eating, that's what ball python babies start on and burms are bigger.
        Live, but stunned. I buy live prey for all of my snakes, but if it's more active than a pinkie/fuzzie/pup, I either stun or kill outright (with rats, I kill outright). Breeder told me he was eating rat pups, but I saw what she was feeding - big rat pinkies, not pups. I know the difference there. I tried the hopper because it was all my supplier had.

        I'm going to leave him be until this coming weekend. I'll try to feed again then, hopefully my supplier will have rat pinkies by then. A burm breeder in my area wiped him out the day before I needed a pinkie ... and I *refuse* to go to the other live feeder supplier near me. Bad bad experience there.

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        • #5
          Re: Lost my mind.

          Originally posted by JadeThorne View Post
          I'm going to leave him be until this coming weekend. I'll try to feed again then, hopefully my supplier will have rat pinkies by then. A burm breeder in my area wiped him out the day before I needed a pinkie ... and I *refuse* to go to the other live feeder supplier near me. Bad bad experience there.
          I unfortunately have that issue with my supplier sometimes too, though usually with frozen. I've learned to keep enough in the freezer for a month's worth of feedings.

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          • #6
            Re: Lost my mind.

            He's a nice looking little guy! It sounds like you are doing ok, wait a while and try a rat for him, he's probably still just settling in and mice and rats do smell differently. Good luck with him.
            http://berkeleyknebel.wix.com/mississippimorphs

            Photo credit:Eddie Ard .....Banner Credit:Big PaPa Ernest

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            • #7
              Re: Lost my mind.

              Good luck with that monster! I love burms, but I settled for a pair of half-dwarf burms purely for manageability. Maybe if I had an active partner in the hobby I'd get a burm, but my wife only likes to look, not hold

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              • #8
                Re: Lost my mind.

                Well, I went to get food for everyone today. Got it a rat pinkie.

                It's been in there for three hours. I hate this. I know hatchlings sometimes take a while to eat, but ... it's been two and a half weeks now since this little one ate last. I don't mess with it other than to make sure it has water and the substrate is clean. *sighs* This is hard. I'm used to snakes that eat.

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                • #9
                  Re: Lost my mind.

                  It's not good for babies to go too long without food, then can go a little while but they don't have the reserves of adults so it needs to eat BUT... there are a couple things to look at before you worry about that to ensure it's ready to eat.
                  1. light cycles - are you using artificial lights? If so when do they come on and for how long?
                  2. parameters - what heat are you using and what is your humidity at?
                  3 hides - do you have an adequate hide for him to feel secure not too big or too small? How often does he use it, and is he undisturbed?
                  4 travel stress - every animal is different but most need a week or two after being moved to a new home to adjust and will spend that time taking in the new environment from a safe haven.

                  I suggest not attempting another feeding for 2 weeks, double and triple check the above without moving or disturbing him and monitor movement and hide usage from a distance to ensure he is in fact settling in and not being unnecessarily stressed by something near his new home. As stated above youngun' snakes see EVERYTHING as a threat so reducing possible stressors will go a long way in getting him to eat for you.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Lost my mind.

                    He's in a room that gets natural light - I'm not using a light cycle, as the breeder had him in a rack system with no lights on him.

                    I'm using an UTH with therm. Humidity is about 40%.

                    He has a fairly large cardboard box - it's big enough for him to get into without being too big. I've glanced in to find him in it several times.

                    At this point, I'm so worried I'm considering moving his entire set-up to the unused spare bedroom. Right now he's in my "snake room" with the others. It's the formal dining room - we never use it - and there's one door I can close but the other is blocked off by a waist-high Ikea bookshelf. So even though no one is really going in there other than me to check cages for cleaning and water, it may still just be too much for him. Maybe if I isolated him completely he'd settle in and eat for me.

                    I'm really, really worried. I have never had a snake not eat for me, and that he's so young ... I'm terrified I'll lose him. The breeder is no help either ... unfortunately. I can't help thinking this is what I get for purchasing an animal on my budget. I know that may sound stupid, but there were other breeders in my state selling babies - but they were going for $750 and I can't afford that whatsoever. You know the saying you get what you pay for? I'm scared this is going to be the case, and that my luck with snakes has just run out.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Lost my mind.

                      So did you put the rat pink in live? If so, I'm surprised he didn't eat. You can leave the pink in for a long time, it's not going to hurt your snake since it doesn't have teeth to fight back. If you pre-killed/stunned the pink, next time try live. The main thing is to get him to eat, convert to stunned/pre-killed at a later date.
                      http://berkeleyknebel.wix.com/mississippimorphs

                      Photo credit:Eddie Ard .....Banner Credit:Big PaPa Ernest

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                      • #12
                        Re: Lost my mind.

                        Yes, I feed live pinks and fuzzies. I pre-kill anything that can bite and do damage.

                        The pink is still alive, surprisingly.

                        I moved the entire enclosure to the unused spare bedroom. Maybe complete isolation will help. I don't know what else to do at this point. This will make two weeks the baby has gone without eating now. It's active, and seems healthy still - I don't see any signs of weight loss yet or dehydration (it has a nice big water bowl), but the fact that it shows no interest in eating scares me.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Lost my mind.

                          Originally posted by JadeThorne View Post
                          The breeder is no help either ... unfortunately. I can't help thinking this is what I get for purchasing an animal on my budget. I know that may sound stupid, but there were other breeders in my state selling babies - but they were going for $750 and I can't afford that whatsoever. You know the saying you get what you pay for? I'm scared this is going to be the case, and that my luck with snakes has just run out.
                          You are right, with snakes as with anything else, you get what you pay for. Unfortunately many sellers price their animals cheaply because once the critter is out of their hands and in yours, they won't respond to your questions if you have a problem with the animal. These people won't bat an eye at selling you a slithering vet bill. Sellers with better reputations provide customer service after the sale - but they can charge a premium for their animals.

                          Eating or not, a new arrival should never be moved right into the "snake room" with your other critters. Reptiles can be sick and not show symptoms for a long time (months) so new ones should be quarantined well away from your established collection. I use a 90 day quarantine and know folks who isolate new snakes for half a year.

                          Go ahead and isolate him now in the other room (better late than never) so he has peace and quiet except when you check on him. Since you have to move him anyway weigh him. Afterward leave him alone for the two weeks before offering a live rat pink, you may have to leave it with him overnight, which is ok since it can't hurt him.

                          If he eats, great. If not weigh him and then leave him alone for another week before trying to feed him again. The reason to weigh him is to ensure that he's not losing much weight. If he does get too thin it will be time to consider assist feeding.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Lost my mind.

                            Originally posted by bcr_229 View Post
                            If he eats, great. If not weigh him and then leave him alone for another week before trying to feed him again. The reason to weigh him is to ensure that he's not losing much weight. If he does get too thin it will be time to consider assist feeding.
                            I don't have a set of scales yet. I thought I had a set that would work, but even my sand boas are too heavy for it (and they're still juveniles - less than a year old).

                            I did move him though. The pink is still moving, something that surprised me. I was sure I'd find it dead by now, with no food. It has heat though (it's on the heat), but I'm sure it won't make it another night. It's sitting right beside the burm.

                            If I have to assist-feed, I'm taking it to my herp guy. I've never done it, and he has, and I don't want to risk injury.



                            Originally posted by bcr_229 View Post
                            Sellers with better reputations provide customer service after the sale - but they can charge a premium for their animals.
                            The problem is that even the breeders that were selling at premium prices were less than friendly when I asked about their animals. And I noticed they really haven't sold their stock yet too. Stupid Lacey Act ... if not for that I might have stood a shot at getting a good burm for a price I could actually afford. I'm not saying this one isn't - I was at the breeder's facilities to pick it up and all of their reptiles were healthy and well-fed (I looked in on all of them), but the fact that I can't seem to get it interested in food worries me to no end. It has to be hungry ...

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                            • #15
                              Re: Lost my mind.

                              So, I called the breeder today.

                              She told me my tub was too large - to move him into a shoebox - and kick the heat down to 86 instead of 90. She said use paper towels instead of aspen, and put the pink in the hide box. Then, make sure the room has a natural light cycle. She also said maybe move up a tad on the pink to a pup, which will be a little more active. Or try a hopper mouse.

                              So I did this. I didn't want to mess with him, but maybe it will work. The pink is still alive and wiggling and squeaking. I tossed it into the hide box and then gently moved the baby burm. Then I opened the curtains and left the room.

                              She told me to let her know if he hadn't eaten by next weekend. She assured me he'd eaten twice for her, and even sent me a photo. (She says it's a male - okay, great.)

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