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  1. #1
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    Question Ball Python with bad accuracy.

    So I just bought a female Champagne pewter. I've had her for 2 weeks now. This was my second time feeding her and she is 2 1/2 months old. I put a live hopper in her cage. Unlike last time she came right out her cage sniffing ready to eat...which is good! Although something I'm a little worried about is her accuracy has been horrible. The first time I fed her when she did try to eat it was the same. The first time she gave up at first. This time she was 2 inches away from the still hopper. Instead of lunging right in front of her she lunged all the way at the top of the cage...not even an understandable mistake. Then her 2nd try she was about 2 feet back and got the mice with perfect precision and accuracy. Is there anything to be worried about here?

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    Probably nothing wrong. I have some wild misses with many of mine as well.
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    Only from her perspective. That sounds like a deliberate "miss", which tells me she's fearful of the live prey. Did you ask when you got her if she was being fed live rodents or dead (f/t or fresh) and if they were rats or mice? It makes ALL the difference to many snakes- & for best results, you should plan to feed any new snake the same thing & the same way as they were previously being fed. It's not only to avoid food refusals, but also so your snake doesn't get injured, when they hesitate or underestimate their live prey. Rats & mice smell different- if she was raised on rat pups (eyes closed) for example, they move but not as much as mouse hoppers, & mouse hoppers have their eyes open & therefore may also fight (bite!) back. So that would explain her hesitation...see?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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    Re: Ball Python with bad accuracy.

    Yes, she only had been fed once before I got her and it was frozen frozen adult mouse. When I tried feeding her the first time she wouldn't eat frozen. I'm just trying to get her to eat anything because she is small and skinny right now. I plan trying to feed her frozen again next week. I didn't think of that though. You may be right.

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    Re: Ball Python with bad accuracy.

    Some champagnes also have a neuro wobble, similar to the spider gene, though I hear it's usually not as severe.

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    Re: Ball Python with bad accuracy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tay21 View Post
    Yes, she only had been fed once before I got her and it was frozen frozen adult mouse. When I tried feeding her the first time she wouldn't eat frozen. I'm just trying to get her to eat anything because she is small and skinny right now. I plan trying to feed her frozen again next week. I didn't think of that though. You may be right.
    Many times when a snake, especially a BP, refuses f/t prey it's because it was not prepared correctly. If you thaw the wrong way, it causes spoilage that your snake can smell, even if you cannot.

    And if you've thawed it but not warmed it to seem lifelike, or you wiggled it too much so it scared the snake, it's likely the snake will also refuse. It also usually matters when (time of day) you offer the food, & also how much activity there is- many snakes, especially new ones, need some privacy- they like dim lighting, no commotion nearby, & prefer to eat in the evening-night hours, after sundown. If you've hovering to watch, that may also be a turn-off- as we can be perceived as a threat nearby (potential predator) when they're eating, so try your best to be inconspicuous. BPs are ambush-predators, so it's often best to offer prey when you see them peeking out from a hide in the evening- they're not "active hunters" & usually won't eat if they're out in the open (because instinctively they know they're at risk from predators themselves that way).

    Back to preparing the rodent: thaw in cool water until completely soft thru-out (feel by hand & make sure), then soak a few minutes in very warm water, & finally, use a hair (blow) dryer to bring the temperature up quickly, right before you offer. Use tongs & do not appear to approach the snake with the rodent- make it appear to pass nearby, cluelessly too close so the snake will notice & also gives a slight chase- that way the snake feels they have the "upper hand". Remember that in the wild, rodents don't approach snakes, volunteering to be eaten.

    I'm glad you're planning to try f/t prey again next week- it's much safer for the snake, & more humane for the rodent- better all the way around. This gets easier as you get more comfortable "reading your snake"- you just spooked her with the live prey.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-14-2022 at 06:36 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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    Re: Ball Python with bad accuracy.

    Quote Originally Posted by plateOfFlan View Post
    Some champagnes also have a neuro wobble, similar to the spider gene, though I hear it's usually not as severe.
    I'm going to second this. It could be that bit of wobble. Champagne and spider are the same complex. Hidden Gene Woma too. All three can have wobble.

    My spider will sometimes throw wild misses if she strikes while I'm still moving her rat into the tub. Once the rat is almost at ground level, she is very accurate, but any time there's a height difference it can miss. Amusingly enough, my pastel is the one who misses most often.
    Mine is very defensive, so if I'm eyeballing her too much after dropping the food in, she will lunge at me and not her meal. Maybe your little one is reacting the same. 2 weeks isn't a long time to get to know the patterns and the big hands in the sky are still scary, even when they drop food in.

    Once she's settled in, eating well and comfortable, she might get that better aim and you'll understand her habits more.

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