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Ball Python Care

This document is for guidance only and should not be used as the sole source of information. New information is being developed regularly. It is recommended to find multiple sources of information before buying a pet. 


Common Name: Ball Python or Royal Python                   

Scientific Name: Python regius

Native to: Central and Western Africa

Size: 4 to 6 feet

Life span: 20 to 30 years

Difficulty Level: Beginner

General appearance: Ball pythons are named for their defense behavior of rolling into a tight ball with their head in the middle. Like all other pythons, ball pythons have spurs at their vents. There are many different color morphs and patterns available today in captive bred specimens. The "standard" ball python has large chocolate brown markings with lighter medium-brown spots interspersed between the darker spots. The belly is generally off-white or a pale gray.


Enclosure: Remember that all snakes are escape artists and when designing an enclosure it is of the utmost importance that whatever enclosure is used is made as escape-proof as possible. Baby balls can start out in a 20-gallon enclosure for the first 1-2 years. Adult ball pythons should be kept is a minimum size of 40-gallon sized enclosure (36x18x18). Though, 4x2x2 offer better exercise and enrichment for them. 

Heating and Lighting: Daytime temperatures should be maintained at 80° - 85° F with a basking temperature of 90° - 95° F. Nighttime temperatures should be 70° - 75° F.


Substrate: We use a variety of substrates with our ball pythons. Aspen and Repti-Bark are some of the favorites. You can also use butch paper/ liners/ or paper towels. 


Humidity: Ball Pythons require 40% - 60% humidity. You can spray the cage lightly on the hot side. or set up a humid hide filled with moss. A ball python should NEVER be kept wet and cold. 


Handling: One of the most exciting parts about having a pet snake is being able to handle him or her if you choose to.

While Ball pythons can certainly be held, take time to establish a bond of trust with your snake before simply reaching in and grabbing it. 

Also make sure to support your snake. As time goes on they come out of their ball more often as they are curious by nature. 


Diet: Hatchlings can be started on feeding fuzzy mice. Juveniles and adults can gradually take larger prey of hopper mice, adult mice or young rats all the way up to large rats. Young snakes can be fed once a week, while adults can be fed bi-weekly.

Ball Pythons should have a water bowl big enough to soak in.

Maintenance: Spot clean the cage as needed. Full cage clean every 6 months or so. Water blows should be changed if dirty and washed thoroughly once to twice a week.

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