Ball pythons, also known as royal pythons, are the perfect snake for someone who has never owned a snake. you are Usually docile, easy to use and not as big as other constrictors.
they Also make great pets for experienced snake ownershow they come in an impressive selection of unusual morphs (opens in a new tab), which can make breeding an exciting challenge!
Whether you’re looking for your first snake or want to breed the latest ball python morph, you’ve come to the right place to get an all inclusive ball python maintenance sheet!
What you will learn in this Ball Python Care Sheet:
- Background information on ball pythons
- Where can you buy a healthy ball python (and what should you watch out for?)
- Relative cost of a ball python (including rare morphs)
- Proper nutrition for all ages
- How to properly set up a ball python case
- Health concerns to consider (and how to prevent them!)
- Tips for handling and gluing
- & So much more!
Packed with tips on the ideal enclosure, living space and nutrition, This Ball Python Care Guide will help you You will learn the best ways to maintain your five-star ball python PLUS how to avoid common health problems.
After reading this ball python maintenance sheet, you will leave as a ball python care professional and be ready to embark on the adventure, own your first snake, or discover a new morph.
After all of this is said, we will come to the good things straight away and dive into this ball python maintenance sheet!
Ball python background information
Did you know? There are an apparently endless number of ball python morphs out there! When trying to decipher morphs from one another, there are three things you should pay special attention to: 1) overall color or tone, 2) blush, 3) pattern, and 4) head and eye color.
As one of the most popular pet snakes (especially for beginners!), are ball pythons generally docile and easy to care forand appear in a diverse range of beautiful morphs.
Named Ball Pythons because of their nature, to curl up in a ball around their head when they are afraid These snakes can bond with their owners and remove their shyness through regular, orderly treatment.
Setting up setups with a standard ball python is not particularly expensive because setting up enclosures and habitats is a large part of the initial cost.
In fact you can Expect to start around $ 500 to $ 600 to buy your snake, the enclosure and the essential items for proper keeping, such as B. heat lamps and skins.
To feed your snake, the cost is usually around $ 150 a year, plus around $ 50 for quality substrate.
Ball pythons are native to West and Central Africa and usually live in Savannah and forest areas. They spend much of their time digging and hiding. they prefer to be active at night and will spend much of their day in caves.
Ball pythons generally only live in the wild for about 10 years Well-cared for snakes can live to be 20 to 30 years oldand in rare cases much longer.
As your snake grows older, it usually grows one foot a year as a young snake and often grows to a maximum of three to four feet in three years.
Ball pythons Make EXCELLENT pets for a variety of experience levelsand they offer something for everyone …
From its gentle nature and easy care for beginners to rare and unique morphs for advanced hobbyists, a ball python makes a wonderful pet snake all around!
🔑 Ball Python background key to take away: Ball pythons Make fabulous pets for beginners and experienced snake owners how. Generally docile, these easy-care snakes can even tie and bond with their owners can live between 20 and 30 years in prison. The costs are usually affordableMost of the investment is in the purchase of the snake and its keeping.
Where to buy a ball of python
Seasoned snake owners agree that there is no better place to buy a ball python than from a reputable breeder! This is especially true if you have set your heart (or should I say eye?) For a beautiful morph and a rare morph like the Candino shown above.
Next, let’s discuss where exactly you should buy your new pet in our Ball Python Grooming Guide.
Ball pythons are one of the most popular pet snakes, mostly due to their friendliness, unique morphs and care.
A typical ball python may only cost around $ 50, while a morph often starts at $ 75 to $ 100.
Pricing for ball pythons depends on the rarity of the morph. So if you’re looking for a truly unique snake, you should expect serious money. While most of the more popular popular morphs generally fetch between $ 200 and $ 800, newly discovered and extremely rare morphs can throw you back thousands of dollars.
Depending on what color or pattern you’re looking for in a ball python, you may be able to pick up your new pet at a local pet store.
For rare morphs, you may need to find a breeder online or at a reptile show if you want to add a uniquely colored ball python to your household.
⭐️ Fun fact: Did you know that the most expensive ball python ever sold brought in a whopping $ 40,000 ?! The price went in the direction of a beautiful lavender-albino ball python that has striking yellow spots that stand beautifully next to soft lavender scales. It is a real beauty!
Most snake experts recommend looking for a reputable breeder instead of buying a snake from a pet store. Many pet shop workers lack the expertise to properly care for these fascinating creatures, which can lead to hidden health problems.
Before buying a ball python, check carefully for signs of poor health.
Ideally, your new snake should …
- Don’t be too fat or too thin
- Have clean, bright eyes
- Have a shiny look rather than boring
- Shouldn’t have broken skin
Avoid snakes with signs of breathing problems such as wheezing or blisters around the nostrils.
🔑 Ball Python key to take away: If you want to buy a ball python, you have the choice to go to a pet store to find a reputable breeder (recommended). Rare morphs are always more expensive than typical pythonsand costs an average of between $ 200 and $ 800. If you pick a snake, Check eyes, dandruff and weight to make sure it’s healthy.
Ball Python diet and feeding guidelines
Rest assured, ball pythons are the easiest reptiles to feed, because unlike others, they only need one in their diet … whole prey! Whether you feed rats or mice is up to you, but one thing is certain, it is probably best if they are dead before you give them to your snake.
Since ball pythons are nocturnal snakes, They prefer to eat at night. And like all snakes, They are carnivores and only feed on meat to get the necessary food.
Most snake owners feed their pets with mice or rats. However, you can personally decide whether you want to feed live prey or freshly frozen feed Feeding pre-killed food is preferable. If your snake does not eat immediately, live prey can cause severe bites and scratches in addition to the transmission of intestinal parasites.
Prey can be bought freshly killed or freshly frozen and fully thawed. You definitely have a couple of options when it comes to that Purchase of feeder mice, Rats and other sources of protein.
Warm the rodent to body temperature and feed the thawed rodent immediately.
DO NOT microwave or thaw prey with heat or hot waterThis can change the nutritional value and accelerate bacterial growth, which spoils the food quickly.
Never freeze food again and do not keep the prey frozen for longer than 4 to 6 months. After this time, the nutritional value begins to decrease.
Be sure too Place the prey item in the cage with feeding tongs to prevent your snake from mistaking your hand for a prey and accidentally bite you.
You can also have a separate case on hand that is used only for feeding. This will minimize your snake’s confusion as to whether your hand is prey or not and will help tame.
What does a ball eat python? Components of a Ball Python diet
The ONLY element a ball python needs in their diet is whole foods like mice or rats.
No fruit, vegetables or cereals are needed for these carnivorous creatures because they receive all the food they need from prey.
Although some snakes can overeat and become overweight, other snakes can be picky eaters, especially in the winter months.
Try the following tips to encourage your snake to eat:
- Feed a smaller prey. This enables easier digestion and better absorption of nutrients, and your snake may not be ready to fight a large rat.
- Offer a brown, gray, or black rodent instead of a white mouse or rat.
- Offer an item that is more like wild prey than an gerbil.
- Offer freshly killed loot.
- Use pliers to dangle the prey in front of the snake and try to encourage the snake to strike while eating.
- After feeding your snake, give your pet privacy by covering the jar with towels or newspapers for 24 hours.
- Try to put the snake and its prey in a small “feeding box” or cloth bag overnight.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are not required when feeding your snake prey meals. Since mice and rats contain all the nutrients necessary for your ball python to thrive, you can skip this step.
How often you feed your ball python by age
As a carnivore, your ball python only has to eat meat to survive.
When choosing the right food for your pet by age, the main factor to consider is the size of the prey. If it is too large, your snake will not be able to eat it, and if it is too small, your snake will not be able to thrive due to lack of nutrition.
Baby Ball Python Diet
Juvenile ball pythons need to eat about once a week (every 5 to 7 days) to promote healthy growth.
Feed your snake prey that is no larger than most of your body to ensure that it can digest your meal properly.
Most young snakes absolutely live on baby mice or rats, known as pinkies, fuzzies or hopper, which are relatively cheap to feed your snake.
Adult Ball Python Diet
Adult ball pythons can usually eat once every 10 to 14 days and handle adult mice and rats.
Make sure your snake’s prey is not too large by checking the prey’s circumference to the widest part of your snake’s circumference.
You should know that too Adult snakes also tend to feed on food in winter, although in an air-conditioned case.
they may also hesitate to eat during a dandruff period, but keep offering your Ball Python food every few weeks.
P Ball Python Diet Key Takeaways: Ball pythons of all ages have a very simple diet like them only need whole prey food, like mice or rats, for all of their nutrients. While you need to feed young animals weekly, adult ball pythons only need to be fed every 10 to 14 days. No additional additions are required. Just be sure Measure the feed to make sure your snake can handle it.
Ball python case and tank setup
A happy (and healthy) ball python is one you can hide in plenty of during the day. Ideally, you want to provide 2 for each side of the case.
As with all reptiles, the habitat and enclosure of your ball python is a crucial element for the general health and well-being of your pet. In fact, it is one of the 4 key factors that affect lifespan.
Without the right temperature gradient, humidity and hygiene, your snake can get sick or not thrive.
Also be sure that you Have a separate enclosure for each snake, because ball pythons are loners and prefer to be accommodated alone.
Before you bring a ball python home, make sure you have all the important things you need for a happy, healthy snake.
Size of the case
Juvenile Ball Pythons work well in small enclosures where they feel safe, e.g. B. in a 15 to 20 gallon aquarium. However, if your snake grows, its enclosure should grow too.
Because ball pythons do not grow very large, they will be contained in cases that are not exceptionally spacious or expensive. Your adult ball python should have at least a habitat of at least 30 gallons.
But not too big of an enclosure! Since ball pythons like to curl up and feel safe, too much space can strain your snake.
Type of housing
Various options are available for ideal spherical python housings, e.g. B. glass, plastic, wood or homemade …
Glass aquariums are the most popular choice because they offer the best view and are easy to clean. However, glass can get cold. So make sure your aquarium is properly heated for your snake.
Plastic cases have become popular in recent yearsespecially with breeders. They are usually much more economical, lighter and easier to move than glass tanks.
You need to choose a plastic case carefullyHowever, it is important that it does not melt when exposed to a heating element and can have a properly ventilated lid.
Wooden enclosures offer a level of security and privacy that cannot be found with the other materials. Most wooden enclosures have glass or plastic doors through which you can view or access the front living space so your snake can hide on a wooden wall.
Whatever material you choose for your snake’s habitat, make sure:
- Provides adequate ventilation
- has a secure opening
- Can withstand a heating element
- It will not be too difficult to stay clean
Ideal temperature gradient
As a cold-blooded reptile, your ball python needs an appropriate thermal gradient to stay healthy.
Set one side of the case as the sun spot and make sure that the heat stays between 85 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit and should NOT exceed 93 degrees. The ambient heat of the case should remain at a mild 78 to 80 degrees and never drop below 75 degrees.
Ideally You should place a thermometer on BOTH ends of the case Monitor the hotspot and cooling zone temperatures to ensure they are within the correct slope.
In the sun area of your ball python Avoid using a hot rock because they are known to cause severe burns to reptiles. Instead, use sunlight or a heating mat under the tank.
Be sure too Keep an eye on the humidity with a sun lamp or a radiant heater, as these can dry out the surroundings quickly, especially if they are combined with an upper part of the screen.
No additional lighting is required for ball pythonsand continuous, bright light is stressful for snakes, especially for the nightly python. If you use lighting in the enclosure of your snake, make sure it is on for 12 hours and off for 12 hours.
The ideal humidity for a ball python is between 50 and 60%This can usually be maintained by storing a water bowl in the case.
If the humidity is too low, you can remedy this by spraying the housing with a water bottle or adding a larger water bowl or a larger moss to the habitat.
A large water bowl also gives your ball python plenty of room to soak. Without proper humidity, your ball python cannot shed properly, which can lead to serious problems.
Fortunately, there are many options for the flooring or the lining of the housing of your ball python …
Suitable substrate options include:
- Paper towel
- Reptile carpet
- Cypress mulch
- Aspen bark
Avoid sand, cedar and pine as substrates in your pet’s habitat. Sand does NOT absorb moisture well and can absorb numerous bacterial pathogens, while cedar and pine contain harmful oils.
Decor and accessories
The key to making your ball python happy in their new case are two high quality hiding boxes.
Place skin on each end of the habitat so that a cool and hot area can rest and relax. You can use flower pots, hollow stems, or other household items that will safely cover your pet. There is also a large selection of unique skins available for purchase.
If your ball python needs to train, Tree and rock climbing areas are great ways to keep your snake fit.
You can even create a cozy sun spot with a strategically placed branch or rock, however Make sure that the climbing furniture is stable.
P Ball Python Enclosure Key Takeaways: Ball pythons do not need large habitats and can work well as adults in a 30 gallon tank. When it comes to temperature and humidity, make sure you have one hot side to sunbathe 90 degrees FahrenheitWith Ambient temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheitt and Humidity between 50-60%. Last, Always add furbut ideally 2 with one on each side of the case.
Ball Python General health information
The easiest way to make sure your ball python stays healthy? Maintain the living space! Problems with moisture, cleanliness and temperature can lead to health problems, especially when dandruff. Therefore, regularly monitor your slope and your levels and carry out a routine cleaning.
As with all reptiles, ball pythons are prone to improper nutrition and habitat design.
An incorrect temperature gradient or moisture level, the lack of suitable cage furniture, a dirty housing and poor nutrition strain your ball python and reduce the resilience of the immune system.
With decreased immune system function, snakes are more likely to develop a variety of diseasessome of which are listed below …
Inclusion Body Disease (IBD)
A deadly viral infection Inclusion body disease Mainly affects boids, but can also infect pythons.
Signs of infection are:
- Central nervous system disorders such as paralysis
- Not being able to straighten up when turning over
- Watch stars
- Inability to hit or narrow
- Chronic regurgitation
- Extreme weight loss
- Respiratory infections
At this moment, There is no treatment for the disease and since it is always fatal and highly contagious, humane euthanasia is recommended.
To protect your current Ballpython collection, always quarantine a new snake for at least three to six months and take precautions when visiting breeders, pet stores, and snake exhibitions or exchanges.
When snakes shed their skin, they may encounter incomplete shedding problems, also known as Dysecdysis.
Since snakes have no eyelids and instead have a clear, fused scale that protects their eyes, they throw off that scale or spectacle along with the rest of their skin. If the spectacle doesn’t peel off with the rest of the skin, this can be a problem.
Conservative treatment is best to avoid damaging the new layer of skin or eye structures.
The frequent use of sterile eye lubricants can be used to dampen the spectacle, along with warm water and moisture boxes.
Before the next shed cycle, postural problems such as moisture, temperature and cage furniture MUST be corrected to prevent retention glasses from becoming a recurring problem.
Most cases of ball python pneumonia are caused by bacteria, but this respiratory infection can also be caused by viruses, fungal infections, or parasites.
Typical signs of pneumonia are:
- Difficulty breathing
- Breathe with your mouth open
- Wheezing and crackling while breathing
- Discharge from the nose or mouth
- Decreased appetite
Dirty environments, incorrect temperature gradients or incorrect humidity are the most common causes of pneumonia, but can also be caused by poor nutrition or parasites.
Keeping your snake’s habitat clean and maintaining the correct temperature and humidity will reduce stress and avoid negative effects on the immune system.
Stomatitis, also known as mouth rot, is a common disease in snakes and lizards.
The most noticeable sign of stomatitis is a reddened, inflamed mouth with swollen gingiva.
This bacterial condition is caused by food or mouth sores easy to handle with antiseptic rinses and antibiotics. It is also easily avoidable by keeping your snake’s enclosure clean and making sure no food remains are left in the gum tissue.
🔑 Ball Python General Health Key to take away: Like all reptile species, ball pythons are susceptible to a variety of health concerns. Fortunately, you can prevent them from suffering from a weakened immune system and getting sick by ensuring that humidity, nutrition, and the enclosure are spot on.
Tips for handling and gluing ball pythons
Although it’s a little shy at first, it won’t be long before Ball Python falls head over heels for its owner! Just be patient and before you know it, your snake will love to be treated and visited by you!
As a young snake, ball pythons tend to be shy, but older snakes become more open-minded and curious.
With much love and respectful attention, you and your snake will make a lifelong connection that will last for decades.
Follow these tips to make sure your snake is treated appropriately and safely:
- When handling a snake, be careful not to smell like snake food like mice or rats. Wash your hands thoroughly beforehand and consider using a hand sanitizer to ensure that you remove all traces of mouse odor with the harsh alcohol.
- Support the head, neck, and body of your snake. Make sure that the body weight is not carried by the snake’s head and cervical spine.
- Move slowly and avoid sudden movements. Avoid panicking when your snake wraps around your arm to support yourself, as this behavior is perfectly normal.
- After feeding, give your snake time to digest before touching it again to prevent belching. If you want to handle your ball python, interact before feeding or wait a few days after feeding to make sure your pet is comfortable.
- Avoid handling your ball python while it is being shed. Eyesight becomes more restricted during this time and can make your snake fearful.
With time, patience and attention, you have an open-minded, curious snake that is a perfect companion.
P Ball Python Handling & Bonding Key Takeaways: Don’t be surprised if your new ball python appears shy and distant at first. With a little bit of time and patience, not to mention the right techniques (see above), you and your pet are sure to make a close connection that will take decades!
Is a Ball Python Right for YOU?
After reading this ballpython grooming sheet and learning everything about it, it is only natural that you are out to bring a new pet home.
Before you buy the first ball python you see, take your time to explore the various morphs and create the ideal habitat.
It’s a great idea to set up your new snake’s enclosure for a few days before buying to ensure that humidity and temperature are appropriate.
Once your snake’s habitat is fully established, you can choose your ball python!
Choose a healthy snake from a reputable breederbecause they are a fantastic source of knowledge when you learn and grow with your new pet. With the right living space, the right love and the right care, your ball python will be a wonderful companion for the coming years.