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Ball Python Care – Prime 10 Questions and Solutions

Every week, I obtain dozens of snake-care questions by way of the Reptile Information web site. Many of those folks ask the identical questions. So I assumed it might be useful to compile a few of these FAQs right into a sequence of articles, after which publish all of them throughout the Web. That is the primary article in that sequence, and it is all about ball pythons.

After sifting by way of a whole lot of emails courting again to 2007, I’ve recognized these top-ten questions on ball python care:

1. What do they eat?

These snakes come from a number of nations in jap Africa, the place they eat all kinds of rodents — mice, shrews, soft-furred rats, and so on. In captivity, ball pythons will do effectively on a food plan of mice and rats. I like to recommend providing frozen / thawed prey, as a result of reside rodents might be harmful. A reside rat, for instance, can injure or kill a snake that is not enthusiastic about consuming.

2. How usually ought to I feed it?

You’ll be able to feed infants each 5 – 7 days, and adults each 7 – 15 days. This will even rely on the dimensions of the meal. It is best to supply one rodent per meal, with the rodent being barely wider than the widest a part of the snake.

3. How massive do they get?

This is without doubt one of the primary causes ball pythons are so fashionable as pets — they don’t get very massive. These snakes are quick and thick-bodied. They hardly ever develop past 5 ft in size.

4. How a lot do they price?

For those who purchase a “regular” ball python (which is the type that happen in nature), you may count on to pay $50 – $90 for it. For those who purchase an albino specimen, you may in all probability pay just a few hundred {dollars}. A few of the most uncommon morphs can price 1000’s of {dollars}, however solely breeders pay this type of cash. Usually talking, females price greater than males due to their reproductive skill.

5. Are they harmful?

Not except you are a rodent. Ball pythons are non-venomous. And although they’re constrictors, they aren’t massive sufficient to constrict a human (not even an toddler human). They’re comparatively easy-going, when in comparison with different snake species. That is another excuse they’re so fashionable as pets. They’ll chunk their house owners in sure conditions — resembling when the proprietor’s hand is mistaken for meals — however these bites are usually not critical.

6. How lengthy do they reside?

A very long time! Bear this in thoughts when you’re fascinated about getting a ball python. They’ll simply reside past 20 years in captivity, and a few will even go the 40-year mark.

7. What measurement of cage do I want?

You’ll be able to preserve a child or juvenile in a 20-gallon terrarium, or a two-foot-long plastic cage. Grownup snakes needs to be given extra space to maneuver round. For adults, I like to recommend both a 50-gallon glass cage or the equal plastic mannequin (three to 4 ft lengthy is good).

8. What temperatures ought to I intention for?

You wish to obtain a thermal gradient within the cage, in order that one facet is hotter than the opposite. This permits the snake to thermoregulate, transferring to completely different temperatures as wanted. I like to recommend 80 – 82 levels (Fahrenheit) on the cooler facet, and 92 – 96 levels on the hotter facet. You’ll be able to obtain this by utilizing a warmth lamp or an under-the-tank heating pad.

9. How a lot upkeep is required?

You need to do an entire cage cleansing about as soon as a month. This should not take any greater than an hour. When you get good at it, you may clear the cage in a half hour or much less. You additionally want to scrub water bowls as soon as every week, or instantly if the snake defecates on it. Apart from feeding and monitoring temps, that is about all there’s to it.

10. The place can I be taught extra?

Yow will discover loads of info on-line, however you must all the time think about the supply. There isn’t any editorial-review course of on the Web, so anyone can publish something whatever the accuracy. I’ve seen some frightfully inaccurate care sheets on-line, however I’ve additionally seen some actually good ones. You may also wish to evaluate my e-book on this topic (see under).

* Copyright 2009, Brandon Cornett. Chances are you’ll republish this text in your web site so long as you retain the quotation hyperlinks under.

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