Do Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?
Healthy captive bred Ball Pythons that are eating frozen/thawed rodents make excellent pets. Ball Pythons stay small with adults averaging 1.2-1.4 m long. Ball Pythons are fairly bulky which makes them appear more impressive than Corn snakes or King Snakes of the same length. Ball Pythons thrive in small cages with a simple setup which makes them suitable for pet owners living in flats or town houses with limited space. Ball Pythons are very docile snakes and are easy to handle. Caring for Captive Bred Ball Pythons is not difficult making them suitable pets for novice snake keepers.
Help my Ball Python wont eat!!!
Ball pythons will eat weekly but have a tendency to go on prolonged fasts which can last a few weeks to a few months. Fasting is normal Ball Python behavior and as long as the snake is not loosing weight and is not sick it should resume feeding on its own. Ball Pythons are picky eaters and my ball python eats much less often than my other snake species. Ball Pythons are very inactive snakes and don’t use many calories in their day to day lives and can survive on only a few meals per month. I would be worried if a newly purchased Ball python refuses to eat or if your Ball Python starts to loose lots of weight or appears to be sick. Ball Pythons prefer eating at night. Individual Ball Pythons can prefer rats over mice and vise versa. Some Ball Pythons prefer brown mice or rats to white mice or rats and vise versa. Check the temperature in your Ball Pythons cage as cold Ball Pythons will not eat. Ball Pythons will also refuse food when shedding which is normal. Captive bred Ball Pythons are the best feeders followed by healthy ranched juvenile Ball Pythons. Wild caught adult Ball Pythons are a nightmare to feed and many will never eat in captivity . Always purchase captive bred Ball Pythons as they will give you less problems with feeding than ranched or wild caught Ball Pythons.
Where can I buy a Pet Ball Python?
Ball Pythons can be purchased from Pet Shops, Breeders and at Reptile Expos. When purchasing a pet Ball Python from a pet shop make sure it is a captive bred python as pet shops often sell ranched Ball Pythons. Buying directly from a breeder is a good idea as he/she can give detailed info on the Ball Pythons genetics and provide feeding records. Breeders tend to know much more about Ball Pythons than most pet shop staff do. Many breeders and pet shops attend reptile expos making reptile expos the best place to buy Ball Pythons. Reptile expos have the best selection of designer Ball Python morphs in anyone place. Your Ball Pythons cages and even its food can be purchased at the same expo.
Why are they called “Ball Pythons”
Ball Pythons are the name that American reptile keepers coined for these pythons. In Europe and the UK they are often called Royal Pythons. We call them Ball Pythons in South Africa and I have never heard these pythons called ” Royal Pythons” in South Africa. The name Ball Python comes from this pythons defensive technique of curling into a ball when frightened. This behavior is believed to have evolved as a defense against being eaten by cobras which sometimes feed on ball pythons in the wild. Curling into a ball makes Ball pythons more difficult for the cobras to swallow allows the Ball Python to live another day. This balling behavior stops fairly quickly if you handle your pet Ball Python enough.