- Ball Python behaviour and care sheet, morphs, diets, lifespan
- Ball Python Behaviour and Temperament
- Proper Housing and Habitat for Ball Pythons
- Ball Python Substrate and Bedding
- Food (Diets) and Water for Ball Python
- Common Health Problems
- Ball Python Care
- Types of Ball Python Morphs
- Q: How to take care of a ball python?
- Q: How long can a ball python go without eating?
- Q: How much does a ball python cost?
- Q: How often to feed ball python?
Ball Python behaviour and care sheet, morphs, diets, lifespan
General Info About Ball Pythons
Ball Pythons originate from Western and Central regions of Africa. Their primary habitat is open forests and grasslands. Like majority of other types of pythons, Ball Pythons belong to nocturnal animal group, who are known to become active during night time. Ball pythons do not belong to a venomous type of snakes and kill their prey by constricting it after completing active prowling and ambush techniques. Thermal receptors of Ball Pythons, same as other pythons, are located around mouths and provide them with ability to detect heat. Ball Pythons belong to egg-laying species group and generally produce 2 – 10 eggs every year.
Given proper care, Ball Pythons lifespan can reach up to 30 years plus, with a maximum of more than 40 years. Ball Python hatchlings reach around 10 inches in length, whereby adult male Ball Pythons reach 2 – 3 feet and female specimen around 3 – 5 feet long. Generally, adult female species are bigger than males.
It best that you provide a basking spot temperature of 88 – 96 deg F, and ambient temperature of 78 – 80 degrees. Keep in mind that ambient temperature should remain above 75 degrees, as it has vital importance for your python.
Once threatened by some predator, Ball Pythons tend to roll into a tight ball, which protects their neck and head. Even though Ball Pythons are mainly terrestrial snakes, but they still sometimes climb on bushes and trees. Generally, the scale of Ball Pythons has a distinctive pattern with black, grey and brown mixture of tones.
Ball Python Behaviour and Temperament
Generally, Ball Pythons demonstrate various common behaviours, which every keeper should be familiar with, because it will assist in identification of possible problems at early stage, while it is still simple to resolve them.
Hence, if you are planning to get a Ball Python, please make sure you familiarize yourself with most important behaviour traits and farming approaches you should consider.
If a Python Snake is calm, it will basically move around in a deliberate and slow style while flicking tongues in order to learn more about the surroundings. Once Ball Python gets frightened, it curls into a ball, while retracting the heads into an “S-coil,” flee or hiss. Even though, this type of pythons is mostly not really aggressive, but they still may bite once frightened or if they have mistaken your hand for a potential prey.
Generally, ball pythons are not very active and would rather prefer spending most of their time, while hiding in one of the shelters that you provided for them. But keep in mind that they tend to prowl often looking for food, mostly during night time. However, in general, a hungry Ball Python usually lays without any motion, having the head poised and prepared for a strike.
Proper Housing and Habitat for Ball PythonsCreating a perfect environment for your python is the key to a healthy and long life of your favourite animal. You are free to select a terrarium, cage or a tank depending on your conditions and budget constraints. The best thing would be to create a bioactive vivarium with natural plants, accessories, substrate and living organisms, so that your Ball Python feels like home and doesn’t spend a lot of time adapting to a totally different environment.
Creating a proper terrarium will ensure that your python remains happy and develops properly. It would be great if you provide a private terrarium for your python and do not put multiple snakes in one habitat, as it may create disturbance and unease.
Ball Python Substrate and Bedding
For the substrate, abstain from sand or cedar. The best options of Python substrate would be Reptile Prime, Repti Bark or merely a newspaper or simple paper towel. Create two hides for your python – one on a cold and another on a hot side, so that your python can regulate their temperature as necessary.
Food (Diets) and Water for Ball Python
Water is very important for Ball Python, hence make sure you put sufficient amount of water (bottled water or a special water conditioner for reptiles) in the water bowl to keep your python healthy and hydrated.
Feeding plays a very important role in development of Ball Pythons. For smaller size and younger pythons large crickets, pinkies, and fuzzies would be enough, whereby adult Ball Pythons usually eat adult mice and also rats.
Likewise, for baby Ball Pythons you can start with one live little adult mouse one time per week. Once the becomes regular, you may switch to thawed/ frozen ones. If you decide to continue with live feeding, make sure you supervise the feeding process, because live mouse can cause an injury to your Ball Python. Keep in mind that prey size should be equivalent to the biggest body part of your python. Later, you can even change prey type to rats, provided that your python is already used to a medium or bigger size mice. If you prefer to stick with live feeding, make sure you find a local rodent breeder, who is reliable. However, If you decide to proceed with frozen feeding, you can find a lot of companies in your town or online, that are able to ship rats or mice in bulk to you. A frozen rodent should never be cooked or defrosted in microwave. Make it thaw naturally or put inside warm water to defrost. Another important point is not to hold the python after the meal for a period of 24-48 hours.
Common Health ProblemsThere are various health problems that you Ball Python may face, hence it is of high importance that you properly understand the signs of illness and able to take appropriate actions, because the sooner you see the vet, the faster the healing process will occur.
In general, it is important that you pay attention to the following symptoms and report them right away to your specialized vet for assistance:
If you observe your Ball Python staying a lot of time in water dish with black specks floating in water, it may be mites. In this case you can also inspect the scales to check if there are any raised scales with mites hiding underneath. The best way to prevent it from happening is to keep your python away from other reptiles, if you have any at home.
However, once you have confirmed that your python has mites, it is best that you bathe it in warm water (around inch deep). At the same time perform a complete disinfection of the enclosure while python is outside undergoing bathing. Let the spray to completely dry inside the enclosure, remove everything else from there and use lay down paper towel as a substrate. After a few days you can put back the water dish. The full cycle of disinfection may take up to 1 month and during that period you need to perform all the abovementioned exercises to ensure that your Ball Python is completely healthy again.
Ball Python Care
It may be quite difficult to believe that there are toys for Ball Pythons, but these animals also need something for fun. Likewise, you can find cork logs and small decoration cave for python to hide inside, jungle vines and driftwoods to climb, or plastic terrarium plants to create an inhabitable environment inside the terrarium or cage.
Humidity is very important for Ball Pythons and should be maintained around optimum level of 60% inside the enclosure. Baby pythons may require a slightly higher humidity. Besides that, you may also want to slightly increase the humidity inside the enclosure, if your python has problems shedding. The best way to make humidity a little bit higher – dampen the bedding with help of a spray bottle or a bigger water dish.
Shedding of Ball Pythons occurs periodically, and may vary from every 3 weeks to biannually. It is very important to pay attention to your Ball Python shedding, because a proper shed is supposed to come off in single long piece. Hereby, if you observe your Ball Python shedding in multiple pieces or not shedding at all, it may be an alerting sign that it is sick, dehydrated or mite infested. This is one of the important Ball Python facts, which is very crucial, as it may be caused by some long-term health problems, which are always good to be noticed at an early stage. When it comes to Ball Pythons, you can handle them on a regular basis as long as it is brief and not too long. However, please be do not handle them right after the meals.
Ball Pythons are particularly sensitive to regurgitation. Hereby, if you observe your Ball Python regurgitating, do not feed it again. Ensure that you give a minimum of 1.5 weeks break before starting feeding again. Once you start feeding again, begin with smaller meal portions for approximately a month prior to switching back to regular meals. If you observe your Ball Python regurgitating a second time, it is best that you see a vet for assistance.
Types of Ball Python Morphs
Ball Pythons, same like other breeds of snake, don’t all look similar. Their breeds have morphs and hence differ in shapes, forms and colours. Fortunately, in case of Ball Pythons, there are a lot of diversified morphs, hence you can be certain that you will surely find the morph that is most suitable for you.