Okay, the title isn’t exactly what you were expecting or anywhere near how the old cliché goes but neither was my sudden unannounced hiatus from the wonderful world of ball pythons either. I want to first make a public apology to all my friends and customers across the globe for just “vanishing” from the scene the way I did. Before explaining what happened in my life, I want to first and foremost thank and acknowledge my amazing staff for maintaining our vast collection of ball python morphs and working with customers across the globe to keep everything operating uninterrupted.
With that said, please allow me to share with you briefly the reasons why I decided to take a temporary leave of absence. For those of us that are religious, I refer you to the bible story of Job. For those unfamiliar with this story, Job was a God fearing family man who was blameless and upright. In one day Job lost everything he owned yet he refused to curse God for his loss and was ultimately blessed by God and given what he once had and abundance more. I’m no Job by any account but I sure felt like my world was turned upside down when a series of unfortunate events came one after the other blow by blow and then suddenly out of nowhere the ultimate bomb drops…my wife of 15-years wants a divorce.
I needed to get my head around all of this, deal with these issues and then take some much needed “time off” to self-reflect on life in general and the changes that divorce would bring to my family and children. I’ve since taken time off to heal the painful wounds and am now “back in business” full swing with a clear head and laser focus. Like I mentioned before, RCReptiles.com has always been in business but despite my staff running the business as usual, it just wasn’t the same with me – Ron Crawford - not being at the facility full time like everyone is used to to and talking to customers personally on the telephone when they called.
With that said we still have one of the absolute best collections of ball python morphs on the face of the planet and will continue producing the highest quality ball pythons for your collection that you’re accustomed to and have come to expect from RCReptiles.com. I invite you to join our ball python forum, sign up to receive notifications of when we add new ball pythons to the website and keep an eye on our website for updates. We’re also going to have better integration into Facebook and other social media websites so stay tuned for that as well as we continue to grow.
Thanks for your continued support!
As a follow up to my previous blog, The Importance of Keeping Records, we've released a FREE reptile husbandry sheet - in PDF format - that you can use to maintain important husbandry related information pertaining to your pet ball python or reptile in general for that matter. Technology and software to track husbandry information is good but sometimes it's more handy to have quick access to your husbandry sheet right near your ball python tank.
You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader - a free software download - to view and print out the reptile husbandry sheet.
Download the FREE pet reptile husbandry sheet now.
This blog article will attempt to provide a checklist of sorts for persons having difficulties getting a newly acquired ball python hatchling to feed. I'm not going to re-write what I've already written in previous blogs so I'll simply make reference to those blog articles as they're needed throughout the text. This article makes the presumption that your ball python is a healthy captive born and bred hatchling that has been feeding effortlessly before you received it and is from a respectable ball python breeder such as RCReptiles.com and the like.
The first thing you should do when you receive a new ball python is give it an adequate amount of time to acclimate and settle in to its new home. Your home is a new environment to your ball python with many scents that it may not be accustomed to. This new transition into your home will likely cause it stress just as it would to a small child that advances from kindergarten to elementary school. New faces, a new school and new classmates will probably cause some anxiety to the child. The same principal applies to your new ball python. You'll need to give it some time by itself without bothering or handling it so it can settle in. Refer to the following blog article which goes into greater detail on properly acclimating your ball python.
After you've allowed your ball python some time to acclimate and settle in, you can then offer it a meal. Sometimes ball pythons will feed immediately when offered a meal and sometimes they won't. If your ball python doesn't feed when you offer it a meal then you need to take a step back - figuratively speaking of course - and try to figure out exactly why it's not feeding. This process is similar to flicking a switch on a lamp to illuminate the room you're in only to find out the lamp isn't working. Is the bulb blown? Is the lamp plugged in? Is the switch broke? Is both the bulb blown and the lamp unplugged? When trying to figure out why your ball python isn't feeding, you have to first remove all variables one at a time in order to try and figure out the underlying cause of why your ball python is not feeding.
1. Are you handling the ball python for long periods of time each day causing it stress? If so, cut down on the handling or stop handling it until it starts feeding again.
2. Is the cage/tank set at optimum conditions? Check both the hot and cold spots and make sure they're both at their acceptable levels. Check the humidity gauge and make sure it's optimal as well. Make sure you have all the necessary ingredients that make up a suitable environment.
3. Is the cage/tank in a high traffic area of your home and is the hide placement adequate? Refer to the Proper Hide Placement for Ball Pythons article for tips on how to properly place hides for maximum results.
4. Are you offering it frozen thawed? If so, double check your feeding strategy by referring to the article entitled Feeding F/T (Frozen Thawed) Food Items. Since we're trying to remove variables, I would suggest offering your ball python a live hopper mouse in a small tight shoe-box sized container to see if it feeds or place the ball python in a small brown lunch-bag along with the mouse (and a piece of food for the mouse), seal the bag completely and check on it in a few minutes. Again, we're trying to remove variables in an effort to figure out why it's not feeding so offering live in this context is perfectly reasonable and recommended.
5. Perhaps the ball python needs more time to settle in and acclimate? If you've performed the steps outlined above and it's still not feeding, it's very possible that it's not ready to feed yet and simply needs more time to settle in. I would contact the breeder and inform them of the situation and try offering it a live hopper mouse twice a week as outlined in #4 above until it begins feeding.
We as humans in an ideal situation consume food pretty much each day for the most part. Not only that, we tend to eat several times a day. Our diet differs drastically from that of a ball python whereas adult ball pythons can go months without feeding on a voluntary fast and hatchlings can go more than a month or so with no adverse affects. I would recommend trying the steps outlined above and bring the breeder into the picture if you're crossing the 2-week period with no success.
There's nothing like receiving a new ball python and experiencing the thrill and excitement that accompanys it. I too get such a rush when new ball python babies start hatching out of their shells. Here are just a few videos of customers receiving their ball python from RCReptiles.com or enjoying ball pythons they've purchased from us. If you have a YouTube video of your RCReptiles.com produced ball python and would like it added, send us an email with the YouTube link and we'll make sure to get it posted. Enjoy the videos and the ball pythons!
Pastel ball python
New pastel ball!
My 2010 baby female lesser p. ball python
Male het pie bp 1st day
I haven't blogged in quite some time so a quick blog and status update is in order. The ball python breeding season started late for us here so we're expecting clutches of ball python eggs a bit later than usual.
I've been out of the loop lately and have failed to respond to emails and phone calls because I've been down the Gulf of Mexico helping out as a volunteer with the oil-spill cleanup efforts. Both Peter and Matt from the facility joined me for the trip as we tried to do our best to help save the environment and animal life in general. Although we live many miles away, it's still our planet so we had to do whatever we could to help out.
We're back now from the cleanup efforts so please give us a little time to catch up and get back to full speed here. Karen, Ginger, Eric and Steve were manning the fort here at the ball python facility while we were down the gulf cleaning up corporate America's mess and I want to publicly thank them for a job well done. Excellent job guys!
Thanks for everyones patience.