Choosing your Pet Ball Python
Captive bred juvenile Ball Pythons make the best pets. Avoid ranched or wild caught Ball Pythons as these snakes are often problem feeders. Ball Pythons that are very cheap are often ranched or wild caught. Many pet shops will buy ranched Ball Pythons for next to nothing and sell them at a huge profit. Only buy a Ball Python from a seller who can guarantee that the python is eating. Choose a Ball Python that is round in shape as this indicates that the snake has been feeding well. Avoid Ball Pythons which are triangular in shape as this indicates that the snake has not eaten for a while. The pythons nose and mouth should be clear of discharge and the pythons vent should be clean.
Wild Ball Pythons can be found in hollow tree stumps, disused termite hills and disused animal burrows. These provide, security heat, humidity and the opportunity to ambush prey. Ball Pythons do best in small cages with hide boxes, a substrate of coco husk or bark chips and a large water bowl. Ball Python prefer security over space and do not do well in huge cages.
Use a heat pad to create a hot spot of 30-35 degrees. The ambient cage temperature should be 25-28 degrees. Place the hide box over the hot spot to create a warm retreat for you pet Ball Python. Your Ball Python will spend most of its warm hide box.
Keep your Ball Pythons cage at 60-70% humidity. This can be achieved by providing a large water bowl and daily spraying with clean water. Putting moist sphagnum moss in your Ball Pythons will help it shed properly.
Ball Pythons can be picky feeders so make sure your Ball Python is feeding before you buy it. A healthy Ball Python should feed on frozen/thawed mice or rats offered on feeding tongs. Weight your Ball Python on a regular basis to monitor growth. Ball Pythons go on fasts and may refuse food for several months. Fasting is natural Ball Python behavior and as long as your Ball Python is not sick and is not losing weight it will be fine. Offer food once per week during fasting and often your per Ball Python will resume feeding by itself.
Ball Pythons are small snakes reaching an adult length of 1.2 meters that are extremely docile and very easy to handle. Ball Pythons curl up into a ball and hide their heads in their coils as a defense. This behaviour will stop once your Ball Python gets used to being handled. Do not handle your Ball Python for 3 days after feeding or when your Ball Python is shedding. Ball Pythons that are handled excessively can become stressed and may refuse food.