The ball python is a decent snake for a new snake owner. Growing to be about 5 feet long when mature, ball pythons are not as vast as most constricting snakes that people keep as pets but they are very accommodating and quite easy to handle.
- Names: Ball (Python regius)
- Size: Up to 5 feet
- Lifespan: Typically 20 to 30 years, but some love to be more than that
Temperament and Behavior of Ball Pythons
Ball pythons earned their names from the way they fold themselves into a tight ball when threatened, tucking their head inside their curls. Young ball pythons grow up to one foot every year until they’re three years. They can live for quite a while with the right kind of care.
Housing Ball Pythons
Ball pythons are not terribly dynamic snakes so a small enclosure should suffice (Using a 30-gallon tank for a mature one and a 10- to 20-gallon tank for younger snakes). They can escape if given the chance so ensure a tight lid is provided.
There are several alternatives for substrate for your snake including Astroturf, newsprint and shredded barb. Provide a dark hiding spot and some sturdy branches within the cage for your snake.
An under the tank heating tank intended for reptiles functions admirably but monitoring the temperature is difficult.
Never utilize hot rocks with pet reptiles and ensure the bulb or heat component is screened off so it does not come in contact with the snake and cause burns.
Provide a dish sufficient enough for the snake to take a dip in and soak. The snake soaks a lot during shedding season. Another option is to provide a humidity retreat, which likewise utilizes a secured compartment with an entrance gap fixed with damp sphagnum or paper towels to provide the required moisture.
Water and Food
Ball pythons can fed medium sized rats or small mice, depending on the size of the snake and this should be every week or two. Young snakes ought to be fed fuzzy mice every 5 to 7 days while full-grown snakes can be fed a larger prey as they can go up to two weeks before their next meal. Use pre-killed prey since live mice can harm a snake. Dangling the prey before the snake with forceps usually makes the snake interested in the meal.
Common Health Problems
As with other snakes, the ball python suffers from inclusion body disease. Indeed, even captive bred ball pythons can sometimes refuse to eat for a couple of months. For whatever length of time this happens and it does not affect the snake’s body weight and condition, this is not problematic.
In the event that your snake refuses to eat for a while, cautiously analyze the environment, health, handling and husbandry farming to be absolutely sure the snake is not stressed out.
Choosing a Ball Python
When you finally decide to get your own ball python, search for a captivity bred and young python (you may need to discover a breeder for this). Go for a snake that has a vent, clean eyes and a well-rounded body and does not display any of the symptoms of respiratory problems (wheezing, bubbles around nostrils).