In part one of this series, we started with the foundation of ball python care. In part two, we branched out into identifying and solving some of the most common husbandry issues. Now, we dive into the biggest set of issues with ball pythons: feeding. This is where even experienced owners will inevitably get frustrated. Ball pythons are notorious for being picky eaters and losing their appetite for long periods of time. I’ve worked through a wide range of feeding issues with my own ball pythons, and my experiences have helped me build quite an arsenal of tips and tricks.
California kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula californiae or L. californiae) are incredibly popular pet snakes, and for many good reasons. As their common name suggests, these snakes range throughout California, but also through parts of Oregon, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. They are hardy, easy to care for, and inexpensive to purchase and maintain, not to mention they grow to a very manageable average size of three to five feet, and occasionally up to six feet. Although wild phase California king snakes are already very attractive in their own right with striking bands of black and white or brown and yellow, these animals also come in a vast array of morphs and other colors, from albino to banana to high whites and more!
California kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae); Source
We’ve already gone over the ball python basics, and then some, in part one of my ball python care series. Now let’s explore a few of the problems many ball python owners experience with basic husbandry, what causes these problems, and how to fix them. Some aspects of ball python husbandry can be a bit of a challenge, even for experienced snake owners, since there are many variables that can come into play.
Rainbow boas are arguably one of the most beautiful snake species in the world. They get their common name from the stunning iridescence on their scales, which have tiny ridges that behave like prisms to give the stunning array of blue, green, and purple when light hits their scales. These animals are native to Central and South America, and although there are currently nine recognized subspecies, this article will focus on the Brazilian rainbow boa (Epicratescenchriacenchria), as this is the animal most widely found in captivity.
Why? If you ever plan to own a venomous snake, this will be a question that you will answer for a lifetime. Why would you risk your life? Why keep an animal that can kill you? Why not keep a normal, non-venomous snake? These are all questions that you will be forced to answer, not just to random strangers you meet, but to your friends, family, and anyone else who has an affiliation with you. However, by that point, you should have no problem answering any of those questions because you should have already answered them for yourself.
Ball pythons are one of the most popular snakes in the pet trade. Looking at the wide variety of morphs, docile temperament, and a nice mid-range size, it’s easy to see why ball pythons are so appealing to many first time snake owners. Unfortunately, these snakes aren’t always beginner-friendly. Ball pythons can be easily stressed, sensitive to imperfect husbandry, and they often have some feeding quirks that can be challenging even for experienced owners. With an average lifespan of 25-35 years, even 40+ years being possible, this pet is a big long-term commitment. If you’re considering a ball python for your new reptilian pet, you can set up yourself (and your snake) for success by familiarizing yourself with the basics of ball python husbandry, common husbandry problems, and common feeding problems. In this longer-than-average care sheet, we’ll explore the basics and flesh out some of the details.
Congratulations! By reading this, you have proven that you’re doing the responsible thing and looking up information on how to care for your snake. Corn snakes are hardy and beautiful snakes that are simple to take care of, but require that care over a long period of time (15-30 years!). If you understand this responsibility, then read on and learn how to keep your corn snake happy and healthy.