The ball python is a non-venomous python species native to Africa. They are the smallest pythons as they are 4-5 ft long while other pythons can average 33 ft. Due to it ball pythons are kept as pets very often. Let's consider how to care for ball pythons.
Pythons have a strong and thick body with a short tail. Their body color pattern is very beautiful. Usually they have brown and blacks spots and irregular stripes with light edging. However, ball pythons of various color patters have already been bred.
Ball python has a habit of winding itself into a tight ball. It rolls its body into a fold and hides its head inside when frightened or stressed, hence the name.
Females are usually bigger than males. However, if you are not a specialist, it will be difficult for your to determine the sex of an animal. Adult female's tail is a little shorter than that of a male. Pythons can live for 20-30 years if you care for them properly.
How to Create Habitat for Ball Pythons?
You should keep the ball python in a spacious horizontal reptile tank. It should be at least 32 inches long, 20 inches high and wide. However, most ball snake owners keep their pets in larger tanks which are at least 40 inches long.
Use coconut fiber substrate, gravel, sawdust, peat moss as a bedding. You can moisten the substrate from time to time to create appropriate microclimate for the snake. Place a water bowl in the tank for your ball python to bathe and drink and for maintaining humidity. Make sure that it will fit your pet. Wash the bowl and change water regularly.
This pet loves warmth, that's why the temperature inside the terrarium should be 85-90°F in the daytime and 77-79°F at night. Don't use hot rocks to heat. Install an incandescent light bulb and a heat cable instead.
Ball python is a nocturnal animal. In the wild they spend most of the daytime hiding in fallen leaves, holes, and tree hollows. That's why there should be several hides, submerged stumps, various branches and artificial plants in the tank.
How to Feed Ball Pythons?
Ball python should be fed rats, mice, chickens, and small rabbits. It is not recommended to feed them live food as live rodents can be infected. You can freeze food and unfreeze before feeding. Feed the ball pythons at nighttime or in the dark.
Young python should be fed once every five days. Adult python needs feeding once every 10 days. You can also give it special vitamins and dietary minerals, but consult a vet first.
If your python refuses food, it can be explained by several reasons. Usually, wild caught ball pythons refuse to eat, that's why you should buy the ball python in a licensed pet shop. Another reason for refusing food is stress. Besides, these pets can refuse food during shedding or breeding.
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