Sometimes, as snakes age, they may become difficult to feed.    A good example of this is my oldest Antaresia stimsoni, or Stimson’s python.  She is approximately 18 years old.

A couple of years ago, she started refusing to eat when taken out of the cage with the other stimsoni.   As they have always been fed out of the cage, this was a bit surprising.

After a little experimenting, she was left in the cage when the others were taken out for feeding, and this worked for a while, until suddenly, she absolutely refused to eat, whether she was in or out of the cage.    In eight months, she ate just one fuzzy rat, which is not a lot af sustenance at all.  She drank as much as usual, fortunately, and didn’t seem to lose a lot of condition.

Python on feeding bucket

Python on feeding bucket.

One feeding day, after about four months without a thing, we had an idea.   We have a lidded bucket reserved for the snakes’ use, and put her in there, with a defrosted mouse, and left her in peace with the lid on.    When we checked, the mouse was almost gone.

Of course, this was an encouraging sign, so the next feed, the same procedure was followed, and she and a weaner rat were put in the bucket as soon as feeding started.    She ate it.

Hopefully, if we do this each time we feed the pythons, she will eat normallty again.    It sees as she ages, she is becoming a little more timid, and needs privacy to feel safe.


If you need more help with feeding a problem snake, contact a vet who deals with reptiles.   Here is my page with a list of Australian Herp Vets,  which is kept up to date as far as possible.   If you know of any vets who are not listed, please let me know.