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Pet Ball Python Care Sheet

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For a really ballsy animal lover, a ball python is the perfect pet. Not everyone screams with glee when they see a snake, but at least most people stands in awe when they see a stocky, beautifully colored ball python. Since the exotic pet ball python is most likely not native to where you live, you need a short ball python care sheet to properly care for your slithering pet.

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Exotic Pet Ball Python Description

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Ball pythons rarely grow to over 3.9 feet; their average length is anything from 3 to 3.9. They can grow at least 1 foot per year until their adulthood in three years. The original colors of ball pythons are black and brown with light brown or gold band or blotches on the sides and back. Selective breeding in captivity resulted to other color patterns you see in exotic pet ball pythons today.

They’re so called ball pythons because they coil themselves into a ball when provoked by a larger aggressor. With their head safely tucked in the center, you can literally roll the snake like a ball when they’re coiled.

Housing Exotic Pet Ball Python

Since ball pythons are wild and native from West Africa, housing them involves careful planning.


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An adult exotic pet ball python should be housed in at least a 30 gallon tank. To save money, get this tank size from the get go; just install a divider that allows you to adjust the tank size while your exotic pet is growing. Ball pythons are skilled jail breakers, so install a tight mesh lid to prevent your pet from devouring your sister’s cat.


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An equal mixture of peat moss, shredded coconut husk block, and shredded orchid bark is an excellent substrate for ball pythons. Cleaning the substrate involves removing the soiled part and replacing it every second or third month.


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Ball pythons bask to digest their food and for warmth. So it’s important that you install a heat pad under one half of the tank. Daytime temperature should be around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit; night time temperature should be around 75-80 Fahrenheit. The basking area, at least one half of the tank, should be around 90 Fahrenheit during the day.

Tank Decor

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Exotic pet ball pythons like to hide in rodent burrows in the wild. In your home, they’re content hiding under broken large clay pots or whatever hiding place that can accommodate the snake. Provide a log or a tree trunk for basking if you have a basking lamp instead of a heated pad too.


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Ball pythons like to soak in water; a water basin enough to accommodate your exotic pet should be provided in its tank. Keep the water always clean because the water basin will serve as your pet’s drinking water too.

Feeding Exotic Pet Ball Python

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Even baby ball pythons have no problem taking on a small size rat. But to be on the safe side, always feed your exotic pet with pre-killed prey. The size of the prey should be no larger than the largest portion of your pet’s body. An adult ball python can be fed with a pre-killed large rat held by forceps once a week.

Handling a Pet Ball Python

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Pet ball pythons are one of the most tame pet snake species; they can be held pretty safely. When handling a pet snake, remember to use both hands to support the spine. Never pick up a snake by one hand only because you can break its spine by this.

If you’re a newbie pet snake enthusiast, an exotic pet ball python should be right for you. Although they’re big, they’re pretty tame and easy to care for. Just don’t let them roam around the house especially if you have other pets.

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