Acquired: Online breeder / seller,
Posted Jul 09, 2013
In our pet shop we acquired and sold many ball pythons. They are a easy going, fairly small, easy to care for snake. For some reason my husband developed a bond with this one fairly large female (she was over 3 feet when we got her) and she came to live in our home in a 50 gallon aquarium.
Ball pythons generally are not likely to strike, usually if they do it is a food reflex. We always removed snakes from their aquarium and fed them in our large garden tub. It was easy to clean and they did not learn to associate a hand reaching into their aquarium with food. They learn behaviors (in same way say an alligator once or twice fed by a human learns to associate all humans with food). A snake fed in its regular home will learn to associate hands with food. Common sense goes a long way. take the time to remove your snake from its cage. Put it in a tub, a large box, somewhere new to feed it. Make it a process.
A ball python can live in an aquarium with newspaper(no color print) for the bottom. Cheap, easy to clean. A uvb bulb and heat lamp with a rock below to bask on. Keep temp in that area around 90F. Never use a heat rock, they can get to hot and burn your snake. You need to monitor and control the temperature and keep your snake safe. They need a cooler zone 80-83F days, 75-80F nights. Humidity of 60-70% is ideal. You can make a moist spot for them using a plastic box with a hole cut in it lined with sphagnum moss or paper towels kept damp and clean. If you have a big snake set up you can give them a pool (kitty litter box works). Or just allow your snake the opportunity to swim occasionally, some like it. They need a few sticks or branches to climb on, also to aid in shedding.
Feeding is mice or rats, depending on size of your snake. I always dusted feed mice with a good calcium and vitamin supplement. They need appropriate size food and area to bask and digest after. NEVER leave your snake alone with live food.
Most snakes sold in the US are wild caught, or eggs hatched from wild caught snakes. Your first stop should be a vet to check for parasites and infections and ticks..and for treatment if needed. A healthy snake is a shiny, active, beautiful animal.
Baby lived with us about 5 years. After we sold the pet shop we moved and down sized and baby still lives with one of our former customers. She is one of those snakes who seemed to like being held, she liked having her eyes and ear area rubbed. Still does. Remember they can grow to 5 feet with 3-4 being average. And can live 30-40+ years. Always wash your hands before and after handling any reptile. Please do your research before buying any pet, but especially an exotic.