What temperature should my Ball Python be kept at?
A temperature gradient of 78/82 – 90/95 works well for most Ball Pythons.
How should I measure the temperature?
Stick on thermometers do not work well and they only measure the ambient (air) temperature around it. To measure the temps in your
cage, you will need something that measures the surface temepratures in the cage, such as a temp gun or digital thermometer with a
remote probe that can be placed in various areas around the cage.
What is the best way to keep my snake warm?
I prefer to use a bottom heat method, such as undertank heaters or heat tape. These are the most efficient method as they cost less,
last longer, are very low wattage, and since heat rises, it makes more sense to heat from the bottom than the top. You can also use
heat panels, incandescent bulbs, or ceramic heat emitters.
What kind of enclosure should I have?
Babies can be housed in rubbermaids with holes drilled for ventilation, and older snakes can be housed in custom enclosures or larger
sized rubbermaids. Tanks can also be used for smaller snakes, however they aren’t the best choice IMHO as they do not offer any security,
control over humdity, or insulation for maintenance of temperature, in addition to which they are quite cumbersome and inefficient spacewise.
Whatever type of enclosure you decide on, be sure to have ATLEAST two hides (one on the cool side and one on the warm side).
What is the best substrate?
You should avoid any softwoods, such as pine, fir, and especially cedar! These contain phenols which can be harmful to your snake,
some can even be potentially fatal! Some safe substrates include, but are not limited to, newspaper, papertowel, flannel sheets, Carefresh,
and cypress mulch. Susbtrates that should be avoided include, but are not limited to, astro- turf, gravel, soil, softwood mulch/
chips, and sand. Note that most loose substrates come with inherant risk of ingestion, which can pose problems such as impaction. I
prefer to house all my smaller snakes on Carefresh or papertowels, and my larger snakes on newspaper or towels/sheets.
How big will my Ball Python get?
On average, Ball Pythons will attain an average size of 3-5 feet in length. There are reports of animals in the 6 foot range that have
been collected in the wild.
How much should I feed my Ball Python?
Your snake will tell you when it is in need of a meal and what kind of meals it prefers, until you learn to read your snakes behaviours
you can use the general guideline of feeding babies every 5-7 days and sub-adult and adult snakes every 7-10 days. Ball Pythons can
typically take very large meals, if you choose to feed your snake larger meals and he has no problems with them, make sure you do not
feed as often. Safe meal sizes are those that are roughly equal to the same size as the snake’s girth. These are digested quicker and
can be fed more often than large meals.
Should I feed my Ball Python rats or mice?
Baby Ball Pythons can be started on either hopper or adult mice and baby rats. Your Ball Python will grow quickly, so it is best to start
them on rats or switch them over as soon as you can, to avoid the snake developing any preferences. Adult Ball Pythons can be fed
large rats or adequately sized rabbits.
Why won’t my Ball Python eat?
Some Ball Pythons may need a week or so to settle in before they feel comfortable feeding, so it is a good idea to leave them alone in
the beginning. If your Ball Python still won’t eat you need to assess the situation carefully. Is your snake sick? If so, a trip to the vet may
be in order. If not, are you feeding your Ball Python what it was feeding on before? If so, are your temperatures ok within the cage? Is
it possible your snake may be feeling “exposed”? Some snakes prefer to have several hides placed in their cages. This is especially
noted in open enclosures such as glass terrariums. Is it possible that your snake is being stressed out? Are you handling it a lot or is it
in a busy area of the home, or perhaps a family pet is hanging around a lot? Snakes shouldn’t be handled until they are feeding reliably.