Ball python care can be quite difficult in comparison to other snakes. Feeding a ball python is the most difficult part. If it feeds on a regular basis. you should consider yourself fortunate and the future ball python care will be a breeze. A ball python in the wild would be eating rats, gerbils, jerboas, and other small rodents. Here are some guidelines for feeding a pet Ball Python. You should feed a sub-adult ball python between one and three small mice per week. ball python care for for feeding an adult would be between two and four medium sized mice a week for a healthy diet. One or two medium sized rats a week is another option for feeding an adult Ball Snake. With ball python care it is optimal to switch the snake from mice to rats right when they start growing or they may never make the switch. Rats are a much more cost effective option then having to purchase four mice a week.
When feeding your ball python it is beneficial to create a routine that becomes standard procedure for your pet. Remove the snake from its enclosure before giving them a mouse for optimal ball python care. By handling the snake prior to its feeding it will become accustomed to being touched. Then it the future it is less liable to mistake your hand as prey while reaching into their tank. It is suggested that you feed your ball python pre-killed rodents. Never throw live prey into your pythons enclosure. A pair of tongs or dangling by the tail is helpful for holding the prey within proper range of the ball python without being bitten.
Ball pythons are fussy feeders to say the least. When you introduce them to the prey, best case scenario, they will strike the prey and coil around it. Some ball pythons seem to have eating disorders though. They are prone to going long periods of time without eating. Some will actually never eat themselves. Protocol is not letting a snake go longer than nine months without feeding. In these extreme cases, force feeding becomes necessary. If you need to force feed your Ball Python, I suggest you ask someone who has experience. Force feeding is dangerous and quite stressful for you and the snake.
Creating a Habitat for Ball Pythons
In the wild, Ball Python’s are generally ground snakes although they are comfortable in the trees. It is not important to have a necessarily tall enclosure. Most of the time when a ball python climbs anything it is in attempt to escape their tank. It is vital to ball python care that the tank is large enough for the snake to stretch out completely. Aquariums work well for creating a habitat for ball pythons. Reptile tanks also work great and they come in endless shapes and sizes. A fifty gallon low top tank will likely house your ball python nicely although one much smaller is fine for young ball python Care. A lock is necessary on any container that hold reptiles.
Popular substrates for ball python care are alfalfa pellets, wood chips, newspaper, and artificial turf. I would suggest the artificial turf as it is easy to clean when soiled. When you have chosen your substrate then you can begin decorating the rest of your new pythons habitat. Similar to other reptiles, ball pythons need a hiding place. With out a hiding place your python will be very stressed. Cork bark is an option sold a pet stores but a hiding place can also be homemade. Your ball python will need a water dish for soaking and drinking. The dish needs to be large enough so that the ball python can submerge itself completely. Ball pythons are from very dry and hot regions in Africa. In captivity they must be kept pretty warm. The air temperature in your ball python habitat should be controlled between eight and eighty-five degrees during the day. Heat lights positioned at the top, under tank heaters, and heat tape are great options for heating the enclosure. It is important that there is a hot spot in the tank of the ball python for it to bask. If they have a spot to warm up, the tank can be lowered five to ten degrees at night. A reptile under tank heater on one side is usually the best to create this basking area.
Picking a Ball Python
Before beginning ball python care, there are a few thing to keep in mind when purchasing your pet. Going to the petstore with a solid game plan is the most important part of ball python care. Look closely at the pet store to make sure the cages are dry and free of fecal matter. If the cage is clean, make sure you see the snake eat before purchasing. A ball python may not feed for a variety of different reasons. Ball Python’s caught in the wild will not eat mice and if the snake does not eat otherwise, that is a sign that it is not healthy. If the cage does not have fecal matter, make sure to examine the ball python closely. Look to see if there are any signs of parasites or diseases. Examine the mouth of the Ball Python. It should be a pink tint, but make sure that it is clean and there is no mucus. Do not purchase a ball python with any oral sores. After closely examining the mouth, slide your hand along its spine. When sliding your hand on its back check for any bumps and lumps. Check the Ball pythons body for any mites or ticks. The easiest place to spot mites is around the Ball Python’s mouth and eyes. A tick will only look like a scale when they are small but if you see one, there will be many more. Be sure to examine the anal scale to make sure there is no crusty matter or signs of diarrhea. A snake with any of these problems should be treated right away before the infestation gets worse. Captive born ball python hatching’s make better pets then those from the wild. Do not choose a ball python that stays coiled up in its ball posture the entire time you hold it. Ball python care is the best if you do not start with buying a snake that seems aggressive or repeatedly strikes when nearing its cage.
General Information About Ball Pythons and Ball Python Care
They make great pets but ball python care is crucial. Here are some interesting facts. The scientific name for a ball python is “Python Regius”. A fully grown ball python will grow to between three and six feet long. Ball pythons in captivity hardly ever reach six feet long. Ball pythons are such great pets because they can be tamed easily and they will hardly ever bite. Even an adult ball python could never deliver a serious bite. Learning as much as you can about ball python care is essential because they are difficult to handle. In Europe they are call royal pythons. In the United States they are called ball python due to their habit of curling themselves up into a tight ball when they are nervous. They pull their heads pulled firmly into the center of the call. Ball pythons are curious and gentle snakes like other pythons. Ball pythons are nocturnal and they will spend about seventy percent of their time inside their hiding place.
This is a great video detailing ball python care: