Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Vinson Massif, Antarctica
I agree with this article wholeheartedly. I have gotten many a ball python in that "isn't feeding"... it can be a real pain to figure out what they want to eat. Most will eat though eventually... with much patience and stress on the keeper's part.
I'd like to throw out a few other snakes though...
If you like your animals a little fiestier, most species of rat snakes are pretty good starters - avoid the TX rat, but others... grey rats, black rats, fox snakes, great plains rats, and the like. (Corn snakes actually are a species of rat snake.) are all decent starters. Hardy, good feeders, and tame with regular handling.
Sand boas, kenyans or rough scaleds are both pretty good starters. They don't get big, and have pretty straightforward care needs.
Rosy boas are small, and are pretty easy to care for. Finding captive born ones is pretty easy.
If you want something a little bigger, bull snakes or gopher snakes are pretty easy captives - but some of them can get over 6' so that needs to be considered.
Lastly... you can't go wrong with any species of garter or ribbon snake. They are all small sized snakes, many feed on fish, but most won't have a problem with rodents too. Some are incredibly pretty, like the blacknecked garter or the red striped ribbon.
She sits in her corner, singing herself to sleep.
Wrapped in all of the promises, that no one seems to keep.