Monty, like all pythons, finds his food by detecting the heat they give off via the labial heat pits that line his upper lip. This means that in order to get him to eat the food we give him (frozen/thawed mice), they need to be warmed up.
Up until recently we had been putting the mice in the microwave after thawing them; gradually warming them with five second increments. But after a three week period where he turned his nose up at every mouse, we decided to resort to other methods of preparation in hopes of getting a feeding response from him.
The first different technique we used actually worked! The mice he eats come in their own little separate plastic baggies. After bringing a beaker full of water to a slight boil, we let the mouse (still in the bag) warm up in the water for approx. 6 minutes, or until it no longer felt cold. Boiling the mouse gave it a much more even and thorough heat, and keeping it in the bag allowed it to retain its scent more than it would if microwaved.
Other than boiling the mouse, it was presented to Monty the same way he usually is. He took it readily! I think we should stick to boiling his mice from now on.
Written by Chelsea K.