Are you thinking of getting a ball python as a pet? If so, you’re in for a treat! These snakes are some of the most docile around and make great pets for beginners. With the proper setup and care, your pet will thrive and be a great pet for many years to come. In this Definitive Guide to Keeping Ball Pythons as Pets, we will cover everything you need to know about taking care of these awesome snakes!
How Big Your Ball Python Will Get
One of the first things you need to consider when getting a ball python is how big they will get. On average, these snakes will grow to be between three and five feet long. However, some have been known to reach lengths of six feet or more! With that said, it’s important to make sure you have enough space for your snake to move around and exercise. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least two square feet of space per foot of snake. So, if you have a three-foot long ball python, you should provide them with at least six square feet of space.
Another thing to consider is whether or not you want your ball python to have any tank mates. In most cases, it’s best to keep these snakes by themselves. This is because they can be territorial and may become aggressive if they feel like their space is being encroached upon. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If you have a very large tank and you introduce your ball python to another snake gradually, they may be able to coexist peacefully. It’s important to do your research before adding any tank mates, as it can be dangerous for both snakes if they don’t get along.
Temperament, Handling, and Behavior
One of the reasons ball pythons make such great pets is because of their temperament. These snakes are typically very docile and calm, even when they’re being handled. They’re also not known for being aggressive, which makes them ideal for people who are new to snake ownership. Of course, every snake is different and there are always exceptions to the rule. However, in general, ball pythons are gentle snakes that make great pets.
When it comes to handling, it’s important to start slowly and let your snake get used to you. The best way to do this is to let them crawl on you while you’re lying down. This way, they won’t feel like they’re going to fall and will be more likely to explore. Once your snake is comfortable with being handled, you can start to pick them up for short periods of time. It’s important not to handle them too much, as they do need time to rest and relax in their habitat.
In terms of behavior, ball pythons are relatively inactive snakes. They typically spend the majority of their time hiding in their burrows or under rocks. However, they are nocturnal animals and may be more active at night. During the day, you may see your snake basking in the sun or lying in their water bowl. Either way, they’re typically not very active during the daytime hours.
One of the most important aspects of caring for a ball python is providing the proper heating. These snakes are native to Africa, where the temperatures can get quite hot. As a result, they need a warm environment in order to thrive. The ideal temperature for your ball python’s habitat is between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. During the day, you can provide this heat with a basking light or heat lamp. At night, you can use a ceramic heat emitter to keep the habitat warm. It’s important to monitor the temperature of your ball python’s habitat carefully, as too much or too little heat can be dangerous for your snake.
When it comes to substrate, there are a few different options you can choose from. The most popular substrates for ball pythons are aspen shavings, cypress mulch, and coco coir. All of these substrates are safe for your snake to burrow in and will help to keep the habitat clean. You can also use paper towels as a substrate, but it’s not as aesthetically pleasing.
Setting Up The Perfect Enclosure For Your Ball Python
Now that you know the basics of ball python care, it’s time to set up your snake’s habitat. The first step is to choose the right size enclosure. As we mentioned previously, a good rule of thumb is to provide at least two square feet of space per foot of snake. So, if you have a three-foot long ball python, you should provide them with an enclosure that is at least six square feet. In general, the bigger the better when it comes to snake enclosures. This is because snakes are natural explorers and they need space to move around.
What To Feed Your Ball Python
One of the most important aspects of ball python care is providing your snake with the proper diet. These snakes are carnivores and their diet should consist primarily of rodents. The best way to feed your ball python is to purchase frozen mice or rats from a pet store. You can then thaw them out and offer them to your snake. It’s important to never feed your ball python live prey, as this can be dangerous for both the snake and the prey animal.
Humidity & Water
Another important aspect of ball python care is maintaining the proper humidity levels in their habitat. These snakes come from a tropical climate, so they need a habitat that is fairly humid. The ideal humidity level for your ball python’s habitat is between 50 and 60%. You can maintain these levels by using a humidifier or by misting the enclosure with water. It’s also important to provide your ball python with a water bowl that is large enough for them to soak in. This will help to keep their skin healthy and hydrated.
Ball Python Morphs
One of the most exciting things about keeping ball pythons as pets is the wide variety of morphs that are available. Morphs are different color and pattern variations of the same species. Ball pythons come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, which means there is sure to be a morph that you will love. Some of the most popular ball python morphs include the albino morph, the spider morph, and the pastel morph.
Determining the Sex of Your Ball Python
If you are planning to breed your ball python, then it is important to know the sex of your snake. There are a few different ways that you can determine the sex of your ball python. The most common method is to look for physical differences between males and females. Females typically have a longer and wider body than males. Males also tend to have longer tails. Another way to determine the sex of your ball python is to have a vet do a probe test. This is a quick and easy test that will allow your vet to determine the sex of your snake with 100% accuracy.
Caring for a ball python is relatively easy, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind. By following these tips, you can be sure that your pet will thrive and be a great addition to your family. Ball pythons make great pets for people of all ages and they are sure to bring you years of enjoyment. Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy your new pet!