Help! My Ball Python won’t Eat!

Time and again we hear about ball pythons going on feeding strikes, being picky eaters, or missing a meal. They can be a bit of a challenge, and when they do refuse a meal it can be quite concerning. But, what is normal? When does it become a problem? When do we draw the line and say “okay, vet time?”

If you ask most people, they will say “it’s a normal thing for them to stop eating, don’t worry about it” but what most people don’t consider is the age and health of the ball python. For healthy, breeding-sized adults, feeding strikes can and do happen. However, if hatchlings and underweight ball pythons begin to miss consecutive meals, it is a concerning matter, as they should not skip out on eating multiple meals in a row. This guide was created to help you determine why your snake has stopped eating, or perhaps, why it is not eating consistently. This resource was intended for those whose snakes have missed multiple meals in a row or do not eat regularly. While a single skipped meal can cause panic in many new owners, it will not affect the snake negatively and is not of great concern. When many meals are missed, it becomes a problem.

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You already have a few tools for getting around the perspective problem. Tunnels are naturally dark, which helps disguise the problem from far away. And people typically approach tunnels using a road or other predictable path, which minimizes any chances of them seeing your fake tunnel from the side. But the illusion will always break down as they get closer to the painting.

The only way around this is to use some form of distraction. Once your target gets within a certain distance of the fake tunnel, you’ll need to divert their attention from it somehow so that they look away in the moments before their hilarious death. Distraction can come in any number of forms, and will vary depending on the terrain and who you’re trying to fool. Fireworks, brightly flashing lights, or an attractive girl bird are traditional options, but remember: You still have a bucket of paint. You can do a lot of things.

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