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Ball Python Care Sheet

 Ball Python (Python regius)     


This is a very general care sheet and we strongly recommend gathering as much information as possible regarding captive husbandry of Ball Pythons.  Connecting with other keepers via online groups and social media is a great way to learn more about the long term care of your new pet.  



Temperatures


Hot side: 88-92F (thermometer placed on ground, not on wall)

Cool side of cage 80-83F (thermometer placed on ground, not on wall)

Night 78-82F  - during colder months you can cover the top of a screen cage with aluminum foil to trap in more heat or consider getting a “closed “ top cage. 

There should be thermometers on both the hot and cool side of the cages at all times.


* If your cool side or night time temperatures drop below these, your snake may start to refuse eating.


Water and Humidity

Your Ball python should have a water dish large enough for the snake to curl up in.

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Lighting


For “Daytime lighting”

12 hours on, 12 hours off



Cage Size:

Baby/Juvenile - Floor space of 24” x 12” 

Adult -  Floor space of 36” x 24” Minimum


Handling

Do not handle your snake for a minimum of 24-48  hours after feeding as this may cause your snake to regurgitate.

** If your snake ever regurgitates - wait a full 2 weeks before feeding again and make sure the food item is on  the smaller side.



Shelter

You should have a hide on the warm side of the cage and the cool side of the cage. Make both hides the same, as Ball Pythons have preferences.  It’s best practice to make those hides more humid by occasionally misting the substrate underneath them. This will help make sure your snake stays hydrated and has complete sheds (always check the snakes tail tip and eyes as these are the most problematic shed areas)

Hides should be tight fitting. The snake's back should touch the top of the hide. They feel most safe when they have to squeeze in.



Substrate:   

The most popular substrate for ball pythons is “Forest Floor” which is a cypress mulch mix.  Another popular substrate is our Bioactive Grassland mix. 



Diet:

Your snake should be fed an item of  roughly the same girth as they are at their widest point. Ideally you’ll transition your snake to eating thawed frozen rodents as live rodents have the ability to hurt or even kill your snakes if the snake isn't hungry.l


Babies/Juveniles:  Hopper/Adult Mice or Rat Pup every 5-7 days

Juveniles-Subadult - Rats every 7-10 days

Adults - Rats every 10-14 days


** If your cage temperature drops below our listed lows your snake may go off feed. Also sexually mature males often go off feed for months when they’re in breeding mode and is not a concern if the snake is not visibly losing weight/ muscle tone.





Vet Visits:


We recommend any reptile you own sees a vet once a year but with appropriate and consistent husbandry you shouldn’t need to consult a veterinarian unless unforeseen health issues arise. 


Examples of health concerns are:  Tumors,cysts, eye infections, rapid weight loss, runny stools/ prolonged constipation, mis-shapen bones, trembles, bubbling/whistling from nose/mouth, missing digits or toes (caused by improper sheds)

See the link below for a couple Vets located in the Bay Area as well as a nationwide reptile vet search

 

Reptile Vets