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Thread: Thinking about buying a ball python

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    Default Thinking about buying a ball python

    So, ive owned 3 crested geckos for about a year now and wanted something new so i was looking into ball pythons but i dont think i found a reliable care sheet out there, so i am asking if anyone has website links they have that they can share with me or opinions or advice, i aslo was curious on what gender tends to be more relaxed and would like to be handled more. Thank you in advance!

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    it doesnt matter on the sex. Ive had both and they are both great! it just depends on how much theyre handled.
    do you know anything about them?

    here are a few quick basic answers:
    temp. Provide your ball python with a basking spot temperature of 88 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit and an ambient temperature of 78 to 80 degrees. The ambient temperature should not fall below 75 degrees. It is vitally important to know the temperatures at which you are keeping your snake(s). Do not guess! There are several ways to go about heating a ball python enclosure. Undercage heating pads and tapes, ceramic heat emitters, basking bulbs (both regular daytime and red night bulbs) are just a few. With heat emitters and basking bulbs, it is crucial to keep an eye on the humidity within the enclosure, especially if combined with a screen top, as both will dry the air quickly. Use thermostats, rheostats and/or timers to control your heat source. Do not use hot rocks with snakes as they can heat unevenly over too small of a surface area and can cause serious burns.

    water. Always have fresh, clean water available for your ball python. Check the water daily. The size of the water dish is up to you. If it is large enough for the ball python to crawl in to and soak, sooner or later your snake will make the most of the opportunity – ball pythons seem to enjoy a nice soak from time to time. Ensure that the water bowl is not too deep for juvenile animals – 1 inch or so will suffice. Snakes of many species will defecate in their water bowls from time to time, so be prepared to clean and disinfect the water bowl. The water bowl should be cleaned and disinfected on a weekly basis. Having a spare water bowl for such occasions can be handy, so that one may be used while the other is being cleaned.

    handling/temperament
    . 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.

    Always support your ball python’s body and avoid fast movements. Once a ball python realizes that you will not hurt it they often seem to enjoy being handled. Some ball pythons may try to hide when handled and occasionally there are ones that may even bite due to excessive fear. These ball pythons may require a bit more time to settle in and establish trust. A ball python’s bite is a superficial wound. If a snake looks like it is going to strike, it is best to not handle it. Relax when holding your animal – sit down and give the animal a chance to settle.

    Some snakes may not eat for several hours or longer after being handled, so avoid handling if you plan to feed. After a snake has eaten it may be a good idea to limit the handling because it may be uncomfortable for the animal. Avoid putting your snake’s cage in a heavy traffic area, excessive movement, and other pets should be avoided.

    bedding/hides. newspaper or paper towels is the cheapest and easiest way to go. 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! I recommend using a loose substrate (such as above), that gives the snake more coverage. I have heard that shavings is not good for them, but I have always used and had no problem, so that is entirely up to you. Avoid sand. Provide several small-large sized hides. I have always used cereal boxes and cutting an appropriate sized hole (make sure its not sharp!), or empty and cleaned out, oatmeal canister, or poptart box, or things like that (cutting out holes).

    humidity. Ball pythons seem to prefer humidity levels of 50 to 60 percent. Maintaining proper humidity will allow your ball python to shed properly.

    caging size. 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. an adult ball python (from 3-5 feet) will do in a 20-50 gallon. smaller adults *can* do in a 15 gallon.

    size. Ball python hatchlings are approximately 10 inches in length. Adult female ball pythons average 3 to 5 feet long, and adult male ball pythons average 2 to 3 feet in size. This is a species in which mature females are typically much larger than the males. A 5-foot ball python is considered big, although lengths of 6 feet or more have been reported.

    life span. With proper care, ball pythons can live 30 years or more. The record age for a ball python is more than 40 years – so plan on a long life for your new pet snake. If you know now that you will not be keeping them for the full length, please dont purchase one, pr get one that is older.

    availability. Ball pythons are quite easy to acquire. They are commonly available from pet stores, reptile breeders, reptile expos, and through online vendors and breeders. The best choice will always be captive born and bred snakes because they are usually parasite free and most likely the healthiest. Any ball python should be well-started and eating prior to purchase. I highly recommend that you do not get one from a petstore and dont take any advice that they have to give. breeders is the best option.

    feeding. Feed your ball python an appropriately sized rodent weekly. "Appropriately sized" means prey items that are no bigger in circumference than the ball python at its largest circumference. Ball pythons can eat rats from the time they are young – starting off with rat pups or "crawlers" at first and moving up in size as they grow. Do not handle your ball python for at least a day after feeding, as this can lead to regurgitation. Ball pythons can be fed frozen/thawed or pre-killed rodents (although I highly recommend feeding f/t). Never leave a live rodent unattended with any snake, as they can injure the snake.

    Ball pythons are well-known for not eating at certain times throughout the year, particularly in the winter months. Be prepared for the possibility of your ball python going off feed, and keep an observant eye on the snake's overall condition and body weight. This is typically nothing to worry about with healthy, well-established pythons, although it can be extremely frustrating to the snakekeeper. If your ball python is healthy, continue your husbandry routine as usual, but keep the amount of handling to a minimum. Offer your ball python food every 10 to 14 days until it is interested in eating again, as the snake will eventually resume feeding normally.

    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.

    if you have any other questions, please dont hesitate to ask!
    .1.DOG Jiggles
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