Animal Stories - Ball Python

Animal-World Information about: Ball Python

The handsome, sweet tempered Ball Python is one of the most favored and adored pet snakes!
Latest Animal Stories
Angela - 2010-07-04
I got a beautiful ball our 5 yo daughter named No Feet last week, about 1 1/2 weeks ago actually. Snake appears healthy, but the place where I got her told me they had been feeding frozen pinkies. I bought a box and have offered them to it twice but both times, "she" has appeared to be a reluctant eater and by the time she is interested in them, they are no longer warm. How can I keep them warm since she is slow as molasses? Or is there a better alternative? i know she is captive bred so would her instincts kick in if I gave her live? I've never fed frozen before and always had snakes who were live fed. Any info would be appreciated.

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  • kevin holmes - 2010-11-23
    When you defrost frozen mice there's really no way to re warm the food but I had the same problem with my python, so I started feeding him live mice and never had a problem since. So try live because most snakes prefer live.
matt d - 2010-09-27
Hi we have a baby boy ball python, two actually. Mine is perfectly fine, healthy, active, and curious, our other snake seems quite skiddish, flips upside down a lot when exploring my hands, and seems to have a very hard time climbing up and gaining orientation if I hold him by the tip of the tail. Just wondering if this is something I should worry about, please help. -new snake owners -matt

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  • michael mccoy - 2010-10-10
    Not to scare you, but a trip to a qualified herp vet is probably in order. IBD or inclusion body disease is a viral affliction of boas and pythons. The disease is characterized by propensity for regurgitation, mouth rot bloating and lack of body coordination. Not to say your snake has that, but it might be worth it for you to be on the safe side and take him in. It's also highly contagious.
Carlos - 2010-10-03
I have a question that I keep getting different answers on, so I'm open to any suggestions. I have a 9 year old ball python named Angel, and I recently bought a baby python not to long ago. I've been asking around to see if it'd b a bad idea to put them together or not, because she could easily hurt the younger python. My question is it ok to put them in the same tank together or take them out together? Or is it to soon to put the the baby python with the adult?

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  • michael mccoy - 2010-10-10
    Most snake keepers will tell you its a very bad idea. Although rare, cannibalism in ball pythons has happened. If you're going to house two ball pythons together it is best to make sure they're of equal size. On the other end, I'm sure its been done before without issue so really what it comes down to, are you willing to lose one or possibly both snakes? We currently house two adult males together. We also feed them in separate containers.
Anonymous - 2009-11-21
Damien is my ball python. He is 4 feet long and I love him to bits. The weird thing is how he likes to help me vacuum my house, LOL. As far as feeding issues, he eats like a porker. Very happy guy, a great addition to my family :) ~KRISTEN

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  • stephen - 2010-10-04
    I'm surprised with you, be very intelligent coz a beast is always a beast, especially snakes.
Lenny - 2008-04-29
I have a young ball python named Patch. Ball pythons are chubby snakes; short and fat and generally quite slow when moving, so they are not likely to scare someone who is afraid of snakes. They are incredibly strong creatures with over 77% of their entire bodies consisting of pure muscle, so they will squeeze very tightly and effortlessly to anything supporting them. Ball pythons often scare their new owners when they refuse to eat for months at a time. This is simply because they are sensitive creatures and they become shy and reclusive when introduced to a new situation. It may take your python a full year to become accustomed to your home, and so he will be quite reluctant to eat. Very seldom will a reptile eat when shedding, so you can speed up the shed by warm baths every couple of days until the snake finally gets rid of his skin. It is always better to feed several small prey items rather than one large one. I suggest offering a live pinky mouse every to every other day. If the snake eats it, he eats it. If not, it can wait a day or two. This is the best way for a snake to eat, as it does wonders for their digestive tract. Studies show that snakes fed this way can top fifty years or more, and even in some cases, outlive their owners! A larger snake can be fed a larger mouse, or more pinkies. Breeding colonies of mice is a great way to get hundreds of mice for under ten dollars, and to keep them for years to come. Ball pythons are extremely sensitive to drastic temperature change, and they can slowly freeze to death even at room temperature! Remember, your body makes heat on its own, but snakes need their environment to make heat for them. This is what "cold-blooded" really means. Have you ever noticed your snake crawling towards appliances, heaters, warm food, or even towards you? They can "see" warm places, and they like to be near them to regulate body temperature. A cold snake will quickly wander to the warmest place it sees to keep itself alive. That's why it's a good idea to turn on a small heater and put a towel next to it whenever your snake gets loose. You can check the towel every couple of hours to see if your buddy is sleeping underneath it. If you let a mouse crawl on the towel, your snake will also be attracted to the tasty smell.

SITE ADMIN: Alter the text as you see fit, post the parts that you like most if you need to make room. Feel free to leave my address on the page, as I enjoy helping inexperienced python owners in their times of need. Feel free to contact me at any time, I'd be more than happy to chat!

Lenny V. Lisbeck
Heavenly Hollow Herps
Leech Lake Area, MN

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  • Dezirae - 2010-10-03
    Hi, I have a baby ball python named Chico. He is a little over two months. I do handle him a lot and I found out that that does cause a refusal to eat with ball pythons. I usually take him with me when I go places. Is that unhealthy for him?
    The first time I fed him a fuzzy, he ate it. My local pet store did not have any live fuzzies so I had to buy a frozen one. I thawed it out and gave it to him but he will not eat it.
    Also, I feel like it's time for him to shed, but he isn't. I am worried his tank is not humid enough. Help?
Eddie Budd - 2010-08-10
I have 2 royal pythons that have been together since they were babies about 18mths is it safe to separate them they are both males?

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  • Editor's Note - 2010-08-15
    Reptiles usually don't bond or have the same emotional connections to other members of their family like many mammals do. It is safe to separate them.
Lynn - 2010-03-16
The scales on the top/end part of the tail of my ball python has turned a redish color almost over night. Its not crusty of nasty looking, the scales still look healthy too. Any ideas?

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  • Editor's Note - 2010-03-16
    Has your snake shed recently? The scales are the brightest and most colorful right after they shed. On rare occasions they will have challenges shedding the tip of the tail skin. When it does fall off it may bleed a little and then scab over. Perhaps your snake had a similar thing, but leaving the skin reddish in color.
  • keynhatay - 2010-04-27
    That's crazy.
  • Dylan - 2010-07-09
    Sounds like scale rot, not serious but check the belly of it if it has any sort of pink tint it is definitely scale rot, if it likes to stay in the water do not mist the tank or try taking the water dish out for a night or two.
tomika - 2010-03-01
?how can you tell if it is a boy or girl? Please tell me how can I find out.

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  • Dave B - 2010-03-16
    Ball Python sexing is relatively easy. All pythons and boas have anal spurs. The spurs are a claw-like structure located about 2" - 3" from the tip of the tail. Male ball pythons have longer spurs than females. There is a theory that the spurs are evolutionary remnants of hind legs! Male pythons also tend to have smaller heads than females.
  • Dustin Turner - 2010-04-21
    Sexing is best done by somebody with experience. With that said there are two common ways to determine the sex of your ball python.

    #1 - Probing: Probing is done with an appropriately sized stainless steel rod with a rounded end. You first sterilize the rod. Then you lubricate the rod with preferably KY Jelly, or Vaseline. Then you insert the rod SLOWLY into the vent of the snake gently pushing the rod toward the tail until you feel resistance. DO NOT push the rod past this point! Now with your thumbnail mark how deep the rod went into the vent before resistance was felt. Now slowly pull the rod out keeping the spot marked on the rod, and lay it on the snakes tail to compare it to the amount of scales down the tail. If the length inserted is equal to no more that 2 to 4 scales ( typically 3 ) then the ball python is female. If it is more ( typically 7 or 8 ) then it is a male. Now you must remember to remove any lube that may be left on the snake.

    The second method is popping which is to manually force the snake to show their hemipenes. This method is easy to perform if done properly, but is easiest to learn if taught in person by somebody with experience.
Devin Christmas - 2009-10-07
That picture is awesome.

Megan - 2009-04-28
I haven't read the previous comments but my boyfriends friend's california king snake got out n went down the drain in the tub, couldn't find him so he figured it died. Well a year later he found her out in the yard just chillin. Also my boyfriends ball python got out twice after we moved into our apartment. First time we found him behind the dryer and the other time he was under the window seat. Your best chances of catching the little guy even like they say in the book, put things that get warm around your house in a few different places to help draw the snake out n just check up from time to time. As long as your house is secure and you don't have animals that will bother it like a cat or dog your chances of finding it should stay pretty good. My boyfriend also had a snake that got out in his old house and lived under the carpet for over a year n just caught mice most likely. -Megan