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  1. #11
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    Re: New Corn - inconsistent / difficult eater

    Not sure when she was moved to FT. Where do folks usually get their live pinkies?

  2. #12
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    Re: New Corn - inconsistent / difficult eater

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_MD View Post
    Not sure when she was moved to FT. Where do folks usually get their live pinkies?
    Pet stores, local breeders. Do some networking in your area- ask herp clubs, exotic vet offices or zoos, or put out a free want ad. Personally, I raise my own, always have, because pet stores aren't usually dependable- & I've been keeping & breeding or raising many some snakes for literally decades, & have had some challenging snakes that need consistent pinkies/fuzzies etc. I actually had a small side business raising rats, mice & hamsters for a while (besides feeding all my own snakes, I supplied local pet stores & others) but it's labor intensive & I no longer keep so many snakes or the variety as I did then, so I only raise mice now. Healthy rodents are very prolific but I also like to control the quality of my feeders. They're always pet quality "fancy" & fed quality professional food plus supplemental health foods (like kale). Pity I'm nowhere near you- I'd happily give you pinkies, as I always have too many.

    You can also ask in this sub-forum here: https://ball-pythons.net/forums/foru...tion-or-Wanted (because you "want" these, your request must go only in that forum as an "ad"- okay?) Maybe another member here is in your area?
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 08-15-2023 at 12:16 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  4. #13
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    She ate two pinkies late last night (8/16). First time she's eaten without being moved to separate enclosure. I left two FT pinkies in front of the hide I knew she was using (cool side planter bottom), then covered the full enclosure, turned out the room lights and left her for 45 minutes. I came back to check and both pinkies were gone. Only changes this time - I thawed them without rats and pinched the noses instead of braining.

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  6. #14
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    Beautiful! Keep up the good work, she'll learn. FYI- only waiting 45 minutes before peeking was RISKY with a shy (poor) feeder. I'd have waited for morning. But glad it worked- just keep on- she'll likely improve- but give her a good week now before offering again. Preferably when she's acting hungry AND also not visibly in shed.

    Moving snakes to separate containers to feed was an idea promoted by those afraid to get bit by their snakes wanting food instead of handling, & in any case, it's a bad idea for many reasons. And I sure wouldn't worry about a bitey young corn snake- (but other cues can be used to show you're not incoming prey anyway)
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  8. #15
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    Re: New Corn - inconsistent / difficult eater

    I peeked after 45 min b/c I had a Plan B if she hadn't eaten them. I did notice she was more active this week and seemed to do more exploring. Perhaps growing comfort with new home, blackening the 3 sides, hunger, or a combination of those.

    My goal in using the separate enclosure was purely to keep her near the prey since she kept moving away from it early on. Basically to counter the whole "enclosure is too big" problem. Interesting side note that 20+ years ago when I had the Dumerils Boa, the conventional wisdom was to feed in separate enclosures. That's one thing that seemed to have completely flipped when I started the research to get back into reptiles a few years ago. All 4 of my boas and the other corn eat in their normal enclosures now. I have had to tap train the boas though.

    Interestingly, this little girl did tag me several times over a couple minutes in the first week I had her here. Didn't even break skin. Was cute. She still does the tail vibration occasionally, but she's decidedly more calm now.

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  10. #16
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    I've raised quite a number of corn snakes (& many other kinds of snakes too)- hatchling corns have teeth so small that even with their best efforts. their bites don't feel like anything more than fine grit sandpaper on adult skin- about as harmful as being gently pecked by a sunflower seed. Such cute little critters. I'd agree, success was a combination of all that you mentioned- jumpstarted by finally having prey that smelled right. Some snakes are more sensitive while others are bolder. Being re-homed was a set-back & she had an "iffy" start in the first place- that was your cue for extra TLC. I love sassy little snakes that vibrate their tails. But it's only self-defense, not aggression. We're big scary giants to them. At least I am.

    With some decent regular meals, this snake should feel stronger & braver- much like anything else, human kids & other critters, they have to gain strength, confidence & experience to thrive. Compared to many other kinds of snakes, corn snakes are docile to begin with, a trait they share with ball pythons. Even so, most snakes are shy, & they're most confident in their own home.

    The notion that snakes should be fed in a side container/cage to avoid "cage aggression" has been around a long time- & I wish I had a dollar for every time we have to tackle it again online. Snakes are essentially wild animals even when captive bred. As such, they rely on their instincts to survive- so remember that the only thing that picks them up in the wild is a predator that's about to eat them. Nothing like fear & stress to put off an appetite, eh? So no matter how gently you pick up a snake- even when it seems relaxed, it's not- & the mere act of handling them prior to feeding is an appetite turn-off. Young snakes have all they can do to summon the courage to tackle their prey in nature- done wrong, they can end up as the meal, or injured. They're at their best (most confident) in their own territory. Handling is a distraction from their need to feed.

    The other problem with doing that is that snakes tend to stay in "feed mode" for anywhere from hours to a day or more after they do eat. So do you REALLY want to be picking up a hungry snake at the outset (bite risk if they misread you) & then risk having to put them back after they're really pumped up from taking a meal. Bad idea- especially with bigger snakes- so it's a bad habit to get into, even when they're small.

    And the good news is that snakes learn to read signals from us that it's time to handle, not have dinner. Some people like to "tap train", but the most effective technique will vary with the species & individual personalities. Many of my snakes respond when I give them my scent- I blow air across my hand & thru the screen so they get it- or you can dangle long hair or an empty sleeve in front of them- anything to give them your scent as a reminder that what's coming is not edible, while keeping out of their way. I have some large rat snakes with monster appetites- for them, a spray of water mist in their face usually "changes the channel"- though it might take a couple times. And it's not "mean"- snakes get rained on in nature & mine will even drink from a water spray. Whatever works, as long as no one gets hurt, eh?

    Anyway, I think this cutie will keep improving now- you're on the right track. Some day maybe she'll even respond like your boas- (evil laugh)
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  12. #17
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    You may have broken through the resistance, here's hoping. In the meantime, these are some minor husbandry thoughts that may or may not be useful:

    I'd set up an itty bitty tub (a six-quart tub or even just one of those black 'meal prep' bowls with a lid) in her larger enclosure. Cut a hole in it and fill it with substrate that she can burrow in (really small sized coco husk mixed with sphagnum moss or something similar) so that she can spend most of her time there if she prefers, and explore the larger enclosure at her leisure.

    I'd also consider making sure that the substrate in the larger enclosure is something she can easily burrow in. Regular coco husk usually doesn't work, but you can mix it with sphagnum moss and more of an earthlike substrate like Reptisoil. If you have leaf litter available, a good layer of that on top would be nice too.

    Good luck with this little soul. Hopefully once you get her comfortable and established she'll settle into having a typical colubrid appetite.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 08-17-2023 at 10:32 PM.
    1.0 Jungle Carpet Python 'Ziggy'
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  14. #18
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    I indirectly discovered that while misting in the winter. I can get a good read on all the boas except 1, because they sleep in sky boxes or on the elevated shelf which lets me see posture and movement. A tiny bit of spray takes each of them right out of feed mode. My other guy, the BCA, is the outlier who prefers to burrow in ground level hides. He'll sometimes immediately snap at the air if I wake him up by sliding the doors open. He's the one who gets the dedicated tap training.

    The little corn can move around in the coco substrate pretty easily. She's so small she doesn't even need the hides sometimes. Rather, she'll just opt to fully burrow in a corner. There's also a little Forest Floor mixed in and everyone has dried Magnolia leaves layered on top of their substrate. For the little corn, the Magnolia leaves are big enough to serve as full cover. I'll occasionally drop some moss in when I see either of the corns going into shed, but there's none in there now. I'll think about how I might get a mini-enclosure worked into the larger one.

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  16. #19
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    Happy to report we're on a positive trend. 3 successful feedings in a row, all with two pinkies inside enclosure. Thanks again for the help and advice.

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  18. #20
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    Awesome. Things that seem like nothing to us (like scent of rat on their food) can be huge to a tiny corn snake. They're delicate at first, but great pets once they grow a bit- normally easy to feed & docile to handle. And corn snakes are way more tolerant of temperature swings (especially to cooler) than BPs are.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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