Buying captive-born ball pythons reduces the stress on the threatened populations in the wild and helps ensure you will get a healthy, established eater and a snake already used to contact with humans. Buying from a reputable breeder will ensure that you will get the help and advice you need to assure that your ball feels comfortable and secure enough to eat after you bring it home and let it get settled for a week or so.
Not only will you get high quality python, but you can always come back and ask us for tips or questions. We want you to enjoy your ball python and give it the best possible care. We breed a large portion of the snakes we offer for sale, as well as purchase from local breeders where we can inspect them, and know who and how they are taken care of to ensure a perfect addition to your collection.
The one cage accessory that is required for a happy ball python is a good hide box. . . maybe even a couple of them. Ball pythons are secretive snakes that appreciate and utilize hide spots. Provide one on each end of your python's enclosure so that it doesn't have to choose between temperature and security. Clay flowerpots, plastic flowerpot trays and commercially available hide boxes all work well.
Ball pythons are generally shy and will spend much of their time hiding. Your ball python may initially see you as a threat and it must learn who you are. The goal is to establish trust between you and your snake.
The ball python is quite simply the most popular pet python in the world. Ball pythons are generally a bit shy, but they make for ideal captives, because they are of a small size, are generally friendly, are easy to care for, and come in a remarkable array of colors and patterns.
Feed adult ball pythons every 1 to 2 weeks and younger ball pythons weekly as they need this energy to grow. Do not be alarmed if a well-started ball python goes off feed during the cooler, drier times of the year, as this is common in captivity. Snakes generally do not eat while they are in the shed cycle.
Newspapers and paper towels are the cheapest and easiest substrates for ball pythons with regards to cleaning and disinfecting – out with the old, in with the new. Cypress mulch and orchid bark are great substrates for controlling humidity, but remember that too much humidity can be as detrimental (if not more) as too little. Never use any substrate containing cedar, as it contains oils that can be deadly to reptiles! Avoid sand, shavings and peat bedding.
Ball pythons can feed on mice their entire lives but nutritionally speaking, it is better to convert them over to rats as soon as possible. They should be fed on a weekly basis and require 1 appropriately sized meal per week. This means that the mouse/rat should be the same size as the largest part of the snakes body.
Provide a hide on both the warm side and the cool side of the enclosure. If your enclosure is quite large, then providing more hides will be necessary. Some people also like to provide a damp hide - a place the snake can go when it needs more humidity. I personally have never provided a damp hide for ball pythons.
Juvenile ball pythons seem to do well in small enclosures that make them feel secure. A small snake in a big cage can become overwhelmed and stressed. Adult ball pythons do not require exceptionally large or elaborate enclosures either. A 36-inch by 18-inch by 12-inch enclosure will more than comfortably house an adult ball python.
Because all reptiles are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your reptile or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of disease.
Ball pythons are one of the most popular snakes kept in captivity worldwide. Keeping them can be very rewarding and on the whole, is not too difficult.
Pregnant women, children under the age of 5, senior citizens and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing or caring for reptiles and should consider not having a reptile as a pet.
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Necessities Some things you should have on hand for general maintenance and first aid include: Nolvasan (chlorhexidine diacetate) for cleaning enclosures and disinfecting food and water bowls, litter boxes, tubs, sinks, your hands, etc. Betadine (povidone/iodine) for cleansing scratches and wounds. Set aside a food storage bowl, feeding and water bowls, soaking bowl or tub, even sponges, to be used only for your snake.
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Spot-clean your ball python's enclosure as necessary. Remove feces and urates as soon as possible. Do a complete tear-down every 30 days by removing all substrate and cage accessories and completely disinfecting with a 5 percent bleach solution. Rinse the enclosure thoroughly with water, and allow it to dry completely before replacing cage accessories and your snake.
Female snakes will typically be larger than their male counterparts - so knowing the sex of you snake may be important to you. Female ball pythons can grow up to 4.5 feet while males will get up to 3.5 feet.
Depending on the age of your snake, it will shed its skin every 4 - 6 weeks. Ball pythons do not typically have problems shedding as their humidity requirements are not too intensive. Should your ball python shed incompletely, soak the snake for two hours in shallow water. Afterwards, the remaining skin should come off easily.
Inclusion Body Disease / Quarantine Inclusion body disease (IBD) is a virus that affects boas and pythons (boids). It is always fatal in pythons. Unfortunately, the lust to sell has overcome common sense in private breeders as well as pet stores and wholesalers, and an increasing number of boas and pythons are being sold who are infected with this virus.
As ball pythons are cold blooded, they rely on external heat that you as the owner will provide for them. The snake itself will modulate its own heat requirements and will therefore need a healthy range of temperatures throughout the enclosure.
To be on the safe side, it is better to feed your ball python in a dedicated feeding cage. This way when you put your hand inside of the snakes primary enclosure, you will not trigger a feeding response and get bit. Though this is uncommon, it has been known to happen.
Kevin McCurley is the source for Ball Python care and information. Visit his website at NewEnglandReptile.com.
When you buy a ball python from us, be assured your getting a top notch, healthy animal with all our guarantees
If your enclosure is too small, creating a proper heat gradient will not be possible.
The Ball Python Manual, by Philippe de Vosjoli, Dave and Tracy Barker, and Roger Klingenberg, 1995. Advanced Vivarium Systems, Lakeside CA.
A healthy ball python will not typically soak in its water bowl. Therefore, this does not need to be a consideration when choosing a water bowl for your snake.
It is always important to check the snake after it has shed to ensure that there is no skin remaining on the tip of its tail, and that the eye caps have been completely removed.
Ball pythons are clean animals and choosing a substrate is not difficult. Almost any type of substrate you find in the pet shop will work just fine. The more porous the substrate (like mulch) the more it will retain moisture and bolster the humidity. The most popular bedding is probably aspen shavings. Aspen is easy to spot clean and easy to replace entirely. I personally use newspaper as my preferred bedding for ball pythons.
Supplemental lighting is not necessary for ball pythons, but if used should run on a 12/12 cycle, meaning 12 hours on and 12 hours off. Continuous bright, overhead lighting is stressful to snakes, especially a nocturnal species such as the ball python. Ball pythons seem to prefer humidity levels of 50 to 60 percent. Maintaining proper humidity will allow your ball python to shed properly.
Snakes of the World, by Scott Weidensaul. 1991. Chartwell Books, Seacacus, NJ.
The color pattern is typically black or dark brown with light brown or gold sides and dorsal blotches. The belly is a white or cream that may include scattered black markings. However, those in the pet industries have, through selective breeding, developed many morphs (genetic mutations) with altered colors and patterns.
Always have boids who are not acting well (loss of appetite, regurgitating meals, mouthrot, respiratory infection, contorted body positions, stargazing) seen by a reptile vet as soon as possibly after symptoms are noticed. Warn the vet before coming in that it may be IBD so they may take precautions to reduce exposure to other boids who may be in their office at that time.
Remember that cedar is not a suitable bedding as it is toxic to all snakes.
Buy at least two thermometers - one to use in the overall area 1" (2.5 cm) above the enclosure floor, and the other 1" (2.5 cm) above the floor in the basking area. Don't try to guess the temperature - you will either end up with a snake who will be too cold to eat and digest its food or one ill or dead from overheating.
Ball pythons are reputed to be able to go for extended periods of time without food; wild-caught ball pythons have gone for a year or more without food until finally enticed to eat lizards and other snakes. This is not a healthy trait and must not be a reason for selecting this species. This should also make you suspicious when a pet store tells you that their ball pythons are eating well.
Ball pythons are known to be shy animals and (like other snakes) will seek comfort in a small and dark space.
This care sheet can cover the care needs of other species.
Always spend a considerable amount of time observing boids before you buy them, especially at pet stores. Even reptile specialty stores have been selling infected stock so buying from such stores is no guarantee that you are buying an uninfected/unexposed snake. Don't buy a boid because you feel sorry for it, because it looks sick and the store isn't providing proper care for it - you may lose every boid you own.
The hottest thing in the reptile world right now are Ball Python morphs. We breed many of the ball pythons for sale here. Snakes at Sunset is at the leading edge of new and exciting ball python morphs. The ball pythons for sale are guaranteed eating , and sexed correctly. There are thousands of combinations of ball python morphs for sale.