Ball Python Care Sheet

This python, native to Africa, reaches a very modest size of the order of 1.2 m for a male, and 1.4 m for a female. Very calm, it is a non-aggressive animal (except young specimens but which calm down with age) and even fearful. Specimens born in captivity are easy to handle and can be recommended for motivated beginners. We strongly advise you to buy only individuals born in captivity and to avoid imported pythons (ranching or farming). They are indeed much more subject to stress, anorexia, intestinal parasites and this avoids wild samples in the wild. The arrival a few years ago, new patterns and colors (Phases, morph or mutations) have contributed to the explosion of demand and its democratization.

Terrarium For Ball Python

This little python lives in a natural environment in very small spaces like termite mounds for example. Because of his small size, and his terrestrial and sedentary manners, he will be much more comfortable in a small terrarium. A juvenile less than 60 cm will stay in a terrarium 45 to 60 cm long maximum.
Please note: too large a terrarium will stress this animal, which again needs a confined universe to be reassured. The adults will contain themselves in a terrarium of 80 cm for a small male up to 1 meter for an imposing female.

Prefer terrarium s in the glass without mesh on the upper part. This helps prevent heat and humidity loss. The terrarium hot spot should reach 32 ° C to allow the animal optimal digestion. For this, opt for a heating mat of a size adapted to the terrarium: placed below the terrarium, it is invisible, economical and diffuses a healthy heat and avoids any risk of burns for the animal. It is essential to have a thermometer (preferably digital) to check temperatures regularly. Bulbs are to be avoided for this snake who likes subdued or even dark atmospheres. The heated ceramics dry the air too much and do not allow the python to make correct molts. A thermostat is essential to regulate the heating mat to 32 ° C during the day, and especially to lower the temperature to around 26 ° C at night.

The decoration must be provided with maximum hiding place for its tranquility: cork tubes, cork plate, cave Exo Terra, Gecko cellar…

Tip: Always offer your python a hiding place with wet sphagnum. This foam which keeps moisture very well, allows the animal to get into it, and thus to impregnate its skin with moisture. This will then allow it to make a perfect molt. So, no need to spray to get a high humidity in the terrarium, the snake will go by itself in the hiding place! Change the sphagnum every 2/3 weeks, and spray with lukewarm water every 2/3 days.

A large bowl of water will be present so that your snake can drink when he wishes, and increase the humidity by evaporation. For the substrate, we recommend the: hummus, coconut shine, forest floor which allow maintaining a higher humidity level, and excellent resistance to humidity. The sand or beech chips are to be avoided, in addition to their low absorption of waste, they can be responsible for intestinal obstruction if your animal ingests it.

Raising The Ball Python

Juvenile:

Housed in small terrariums, juveniles (less than 60 cm) feed on average every 5/7 days of thawed rodents of suitable size. To do this, propose the mouse using a pair of pliers and refer to our advice sheet ” Feeding my snake”. A temperature of 32 ° C during the day at the hot spot will allow it to digest quickly, and to molt on average every 4/6 weeks. When molting, as explained above, provide him with a box or cavern with sphagnum inside. The result is guaranteed: perfect shedding every time. You can take your pet regularly depending on his behavior. Avoid handling it within 48 hours of taking a meal and during the molting period (dull appearance, bluish eyes). Whatever the substrate used, carry out the complete disinfection of your terrarium every 2 months. For that use the F10, which is bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal but without risk of poisoning for the animal. The water will be changed every 2 days, and the bowl disinfected once a week with this same product. To avoid any escapade that could endanger the life of your python, we strongly recommend that you install a lock on your terrarium windows.

Sub adults and adults: from 60 cm to adult size

These pythons become less and less fearful with age and can, depending on the characters and respecting the tranquility of the animal, be handled regularly. The frequency of food will be spaced at approximately one meal every 10 days for individuals from 60 to 90 cm, and every 15/20 days when they exceed 90 cm. Always take into account that the royal python can be a finicky snake in terms of food. An observation of the animal and its hunting behavior (increased activity, tongue out often) should allow you to understand the food needs of your animal. After the age of one year, many specimens make a period of fasting which lasts on average from 1 to 5 months. Again, observing its behavior will allow you to define when it will feed again. Of frozen rodents will, therefore, must be distributed in proportion to its size. When molting, offer as for juveniles, a box or cavity with sphagnum.

Hygiene Of The Terrarium

Regardless of the age of the animal, the hygiene of the terrarium is important to prevent the development of germs that can weaken it. Reptiles are very robust animals if you respect temperatures, food, and hygiene. The Royal Python evolves in a semi-desert to the tropical environment, we advise you to disinfect its terrarium every 2 months maximum.