What do they eat?
We feed all of our snake live rodents. The babies start off on hopper mice and then are switched to rat pups when they are around 200 grams. We do have a couple snakes that will only eat mice and we are okay with this. They each have their own personalities. You do not have to feed your snakes live if you do not want to. Frozen thawed rodents that are thawed and then warmed up and presented to the snakes on tongs are a great option. Some people also chose to feed freshly killed rodents. It is your (and the snake’s) preference. If you do chose to feed live, keep in mind that a rat will bite or chew on your snake if the snake is not interested in eating and left too long with the snake. We check and pull all uneaten rodents after 20-30 minutes.
How often should I feed my snake?
Baby snakes should be fed every 4-5 days. As they approach 200 grams or so, once a week is fine. Adult snakes can be fed every week to every other week. Keep in mind that sometimes they will refuse meals. This can be for any number of reasons. So there is no need to worry about the odd missed meal. We’ve had full grown ball pythons refuse meals for several months. This is normal for adults. If you do start to notice obvious weight loss, then you should consider reasons that may be.
What kind of bedding should I use?
We bed all of our snakes on Sani Chips. However, this is a preference and some snake owners use newspaper or paper towels or other aspen shaving products.
Where can I keep them? Can you give me an idea of an enclosure setup?
The 2 most common methods for keeping ball pythons are in terrarium or rack/tub system. Most pet snake owners tend to lean toward the terrarium setups as they are generally more viewer friendly. For those of you that keep multiple snakes, the rack/tub system may be the better option. Whichever method you decide, ball python enclosures all share the same common elements. First and foremost, it must be secure. One of the most frustrating is coming home to look for an escapee. People also tend to think that bigger is better. This isn’t necessarily the case. A large enclosure can be overwhelming for a small snake and cause it undue stress. For a hatchling/ yearling ball python, a 20 gallon terrarium will give more than enough room for the snake to grow for quite sometime. Adults can be housed in 40 gallon or bigger. Once the enclosure size is figured out, they need a warm side and a cool side. This allows them the ability to regulate their temps with their environment. The warm side should have a 89-92 degree temp. This is best achieved by using an undertank heating method. The cooler side can range from 78-82 degrees. A nice bowl of fresh water on the cool side is very important. Lastly, ball pythons tend to be a little shy and they often like to hang out under cover. A little hiding spot on either side of the enclosure gives them all the options. These are just the necessities, you can decorate to your hearts content.
What is their heat requirement?
The warm side should have a 89-92 degree temp. This is best achieved by using an undertank heating method. The cooler side can range from 78-82 degrees.
Can I keep more than one snake housed together?
Ball pythons can be kept together, however, we keep all of our snakes in separate tubs. They are housed individually except when we put them together during breeding season. You can keep snakes together but we would discourage against it. It can be stressful for the snakes; they are not social creatures and are solitary in nature. It is also difficult to feed when they are together, make sure you feed them separately, in feeding tubs. Also, 2 adult males will fight, or if you have a male and a female together you may get eggs….
Do ball pythons need water?
Yes! All of our snakes have water dishes that need to be filled and cleaned regularly.
My new baby snake snaps at me? Can I tame it?
Yes, a lot of baby ball pythons can get feisty. We find that with regular holding and human interaction (wear a sweatshirt if you’re nervous) they get used to being out of their enclosure and settle down. It is important to continue to interact with your snake on a regular basis if you want to keep it “nice” be a friendly pet. Keep in mind that all snakes have different personalities. Many of our snakes (who don’t get handled weekly) are very nice, calm and gentle, others may tense up, and a few are just feisty.
Is there a difference in temperament between male and females?
No. Most of our males and females are sweet and calm. Some of our most feisty are both male and female. They each have unique personalities that does not seem to discriminate to either sex.
Where are ball pythons from?
Ball pythons, python regius, are native to central and western Africa. They are a non-venomous constrictor species.
How big do they get?
Adult female snakes get to 3-5 feet long. Males typically mature to a slightly smaller size, 2-4 feet. Our largest female snake, Betty, is 4000 grams. On average, our adult females are 2200-3500 grams. Males here are in the 800-1500 grams range.
How long do ball pythons live?
With proper husbandry, ball pythons can live 25-30 years or more.
***Please contact us with any additional questions you might have! We are happy to help!
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