What do ball pythons eat?
Ball pythons eat rodents, namely rats and mice. Some feed baby chicks, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits. I would not
recommend feeding anything but mice or rats, as ball pythons have been known to become "hooked" on other items and will eat nothing
but those items. In my opinion, Rats are a complete source of nutrition for ball pythons and should be the only food source for ball
pythons in captivity; rats are available in all sizes that would accommodate your ball python throughout it"s life cycle (imagine feeding
your 4000g female 20+ mice every week). Rats are relatively easy and cheap to obtain, both live and frozen. Rats are easy to breed and
have large litters if you decide to breed your own food.
Should I feed live?
No. Live food bites back. There are extenuating circumstances where live feeding is necessary, but should only be used as a last resort.
How often should I feed my ball python?
The "Rule of Thumb" is to feed your juvenile ball python every 5-7 days, and your adult ball pythons every 10-14 days. I tend to feed my
ball pythons more often than the above outdated "Rule of Thumb". I feed my hatchling to juvenile balls an appropriately-sized (10%-20%
of overall snake weight) food item every 3-4 days, and my adult males every 7-10 days. My female ball pythons (because breeding
requires extra fat storage) are fed every 7 days.
Do ball pythons require supplements?
Supplements are not necessary for ball pythons. Whole prey animals are nutritionally complete.
Why did my ball python eat his mouse/rat backwards?
Don"t worry, ball pythons sometimes eat smaller items backwards. It will take longer to eat, but will cause no ill effects.
Does the color of the mouse/rat make a difference?
No. Ball pythons do not see in colour, so they do not know the difference. They see a "heat signature" that the rodent emits, and the
general size of the rodent. That's it. No colour.
How often should my ball python poop?
As often as it wants. If your ball python is eating properly, you should expect a poop once a week or every second week. If you ball
python has access to fresh water, you should have no concerns. I"ve had balls that have gone 10 weeks without pooping, and I have
balls that poop after every meal. It varies from snake to snake.
What is that white, chalky stuff in the enclosure?
Ball pythons have become very efficient with their fluids. What you see in the enclosure is a "urate". Urates are the equivalent of urine
which is usually left a few days after a meal.
Can you overfeed a ball python?
Yes, you can overfeed a ball python. A good sign as to whether or not your ball python is overfed is their inability to make a tight coil. In
an overfed ball, you will also notice that the scales are pulled apart, showing skin between the scales.
Why did my ball python regurgitate?
Regurgitation could be the result of many different things; temperatures being too low, food item may have been too large, the snake was
handled too soon after a meal, a sign that your snake has an infection or internal parasite. Eliminate the reasons for the regurg and if it
happens again, seek medical assistance.
updated Feb 1, 2011