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Ball Python’s Diet

Ball Python Pet

You can feed your domesticated Ball Python with frozen mice.They don’t eat veggiesso don’t give them vegetables or fruits. They will always like all kinds of rodents.

Ball pythons are carnivorous, so their diet consists of:

  • Rodents
  • Small birds
  • Hamsters
  • Small chicks
  • Ducklings

Do not feed them often because Ball Pythons take more time to digest their food and to gain energy. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, and this will shorten their lifespan.

Feeding frequency of Ball Pythons

It all depends on the size and age of your Ball Python. Young Ball Pythons (birth to 7th month) have to be fed once a week. After the 7th month, you can feed them once every 10 days.

After 2 years they would have fully grown, and by then, it would be alright to you feed them once every 2 weeks.

Diet of Hatchlings

Hatchlings can survive a week without food after hatching because they gain energy from the absorbed yolk. You have to feed them only after their first shed.

They may take a week to undergo their first shedding process and after that, you can feed them. Note that hatchlings are quite aggressive and might refuse to eat.

They haven’t adapted to the prey and to the feeding. So give them some time to adapt, and it is also okay if they don’t eat for a week. Once you offer the food, monitor them closely to see whether they are eating or not.

If 2 weeks have passed and they don’t eat, then contact your hatchling’s breeder (if you acquired one from) and ask them about their previous feeding routine and the kind of food they were feeding the hatchling. If they say they haven’t fed the Hatchling, then have yours taken to a veterinarian.

Ball Pythons Pet

Diet of Baby Ball Python

You have to feed a baby Ball Python once a week. Don’t give them live prey or adult rodents; they will get hurt if you give them live prey and they won’t be able to swallow adult rodents.

Baby pall pythons require enough amount of calcium and protein so you have to feed them pinky mice, fuzzy mice, or hopper mice. Follow this routine for 7 months.

Diet of Adult Ball Pythons

For Ball Pythons aging above 7 months, you can try to feed them small-sized rodents. Always remember that whatever you feed them, the size of the food should not be wider than the mid-belly section of the ball python regardless of their age.

After a year, you can try to give them live food so that they will learn to hunt their prey. After releasing their live prey to them, do NOT handle them, but closely monitor to see if they are wounded or not.

Feeding amount of a Ball Python

Regardless of their age, don’t give them a variety of food per day. Though they will most likely love all kinds of rodents, stick to one for a period of time.

Rodents are their primary food. Whatever you feed them the size of the food should not exceed the width of the Ball Python’s mouth and mid-belly section.

  • For baby Ball Pythons (under 7 months) the food should not exceed 200 grams.
  • After the 7th month, you can give them 350 grams of the food.
  • After a year you can give them 300 – 500 grams of food once every 2 weeks.
  • For fully grown Ball Pythons, you can give them 500 – 1200 grams of food once every 15 to 20 days.
Wild Ball Python

Food other than rodents

It isn’t recommended to feed Ball Pythons anything other than rodents. But sometimes they will get bored of rodents and won’t eat. If that time comes, you can feed them a different food – like fish (e.g. guppies, platies, trout, salmon), chicken, small snakes, lizards, and birds.

Rodents are the healthiest meal for the Ball Pythons. They provide all the vitamins and calcium one may require. You may occasionally feed them food other than rodents, as mentioned, but, always feed them inside their vivarium.

Hunger Strikes of Ball Pythons

Ball Pythons will often do Hunger Strikes during the winter month. They can survive without eating for 6 months. Whenever they don’t eat for more than a month, make sure whether they are affected by any disease or not.

Whenever they are sick, the first symptom is the loss of appetite. Once you have them checked with the veterinarian and you’ve figured out what’s wrong and treat it, they will start to eat. If they do not, then you have to wait for another couple of weeks and then feed them.

Force-feeding Ball Pythons

You can force-feed your Ball pythons when they don’t eat for more than 2 weeks after consulting the Vet. For that, You have to get pinkies with your head removed. You have to firmly and gently hold the head of your ball python and push the pinkie against their mouth.

They will swallow the food on their own if not you have to use a rod to push the food. Then massage your ball python in a way that the food goes to their stomach. Once it is done then don’t handle them leave them in their cage. They may take a day or two to digest the food depending on the age and size.

Do they require supplements?

No, they do not. Ball Pythons get most of the required vitamins and calcium from the rodents themselves.

Obesity in Ball pythons

Overfeeding Ball Pythons lead to obesity, and their lifespan reduces when they do; so stick to a regular feeding time. I recommend you feed them at night since they are nocturnal.

Water Routine

Ball pythons like to play in the water and live near a water source. Always keep water in a large bowl so they can drink and soak as required. If you have a younger Ball Python, you can keep a smaller bowl so they can get out the bowl easily. Regularly change the water twice a day.

Can we provide Tap water for Ball python to drink?

No, you do NOT use tap water. Tap water may contain high chlorine content which will affect your pet’s organs. Always use clean, filtered, or spring water.

How long can Ball Python survive without water?

Ball Pythons can survive 12 days without water and their health won’t be affected. Past 12 days dehydration kicks in and is usually characterized by:

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Skin folds or wrinkles (visible along the sides or around the neck)
  • Dry tongue and inner mouth
  • Cracked or dented eye caps
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Stuck shed around eyes, tail, and nose

Final Thoughts

Ball Pythons are beautiful pets and require low maintenance. They don’t require constant attention, but monitoring during feeding is needed. Always remember, the loss of appetite is the first symptom of any kind of sickness in Ball Pythons.