If your new ball python won’t eat, there are a few simple things you can do to solve this issue. In an otherwise healthy snake, refusing prey is symptomatic of a problem in the snake’s environment.

First, if you’ve just received your snake, it will be very stressed from being shipped. Once you’ve set it up in its new home, it’s very important to leave it completely alone for several days to a week to get acclimated (this means don’t handle it at all) before you try feeding.

Second, your new snake was well established on appropriately sized prey before it was shipped to you. However, it was living in a drawer in a rack system with us, not a large reptile habitat. This can definitely affect its feeding response, due to stress from exposure. If you’re using a larger habitat, make sure you black out the back and sides of the tank, so the snake can only see out and be viewed from the front. This will provide a measure of comfort in its new environment.

Third, refer to our blog, "Caring for Your Ball Python", for our recommendations for keeping a healthy, happy snake!