Getting Your First Ball Python? Here's What You Need To Know

Posted on: 30 January 2023

If you've always been fascinated by reptiles and have recently decided to take the plunge and get a ball python to keep as a pet, you're probably excited and nervous at the same time. Both emotions are entirely natural when you're about to welcome a new family member into your home. However, you dial down the level of nervousness you're experiencing significantly by taking measures to be properly prepared to provide your snake. Here's what you need to know about providing the best possible environment for your new reptile friend: 

Provide a Suitable Enclosure

Adult pythons will need a larger enclosure. The enclosure should have a secure lid and include a hide box and branches for climbing. Maintain a moderate temperature range on the warm side of the enclosure and a cooler temperature on the cool side. The enclosure should also have a basking spot with a heat lamp or ceramic heater.

Other features the enclosure should have include the following: 

  • A source of humidity, such as a water bowl or misting the enclosure.
  • Clean water at all times
  • An appropriate substrate, such as coconut fiber or aspen shavings

Do a full cleaning of the enclosure every few weeks and perform spot cleanings on a daily basis. 

Feed Your Ball Python 

Ball pythons are carnivores and should be fed pre-killed or frozen mice or rats. The prey should be no larger than the widest part of the snake's body. Adult ball pythons should be fed weekly, while young snakes may need to be fed more times per week. The smaller the snake, the more regular feedings will be necessary. It is important to never feed your snake live prey as it can harm your snake. Although some ball python owners will also give their snakes a variety of prey items such as quail, chicks, or even rabbits. This is not a requirement and always should be done under the guidance of a veterinarian or an experienced reptile keeper.

Monitor Your Python

Monitor your snake's weight and overall health to ensure they are receiving the proper amount of food. If you notice your snake is losing weight or appears to be too thin, you may need to increase the frequency of feedings or the size of the prey. If your snake is gaining too much weight, you may need to decrease the frequency of feedings or the size of the prey.

Look for ball pythons for sale today.