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Old 07-12-2015, 08:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anyone have ball python experience?

Well, I know what my first new pet will be once my friend & I have our own apartment...and it won't be a hedgie as I was hoping!

My friend's cousin said today that he has a snake for us, because he can't take care of her anymore. She's a 4.5 foot long ball python. He wasn't kidding about not being able to take care of her - he said she's currently in a pillowcase & has her in a 10-gallon aquarium otherwise.

I have to wait until we have our own place to get her, which will be a month & a half. It'll drive me nuts, but gives me time to prepare. Petco & Petsmart are both currently doing their $1/gallon sales, so I'm planning to get a 40 or 55 gallon tank this week. I'm going to see if he'll put her in it until she can move in with us.

Starting to do some research, but thought I'd ask - anyone have some good sites for information on ball python care? So far I'm checking out www.reptileforums.co.uk & www.anapsid.org.
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sheesh. You don't get the easy pets, do you? I have zero snake experience. The only thing that I know that I've been told about keeping them is that you feed them in a separate tank or container so that they don't go after you when you reach into their home. And that my friend is the extent of my knowledge. Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's been a while since I've had a ball python. Hubby hates snakes, been with him for over 10 years now. Gosh that makes me feel old. But feeding in a different tank/cage is a good rule. Also it's generally better if they eat pre-killed food to avoid injuries.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Where are you from? I have a 40 gallon tank you could have, free of charge
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't know how I keep ending up in these situations. I need someone to give me an animal I already know how to take care of! On the plus side, my friend & I did already plan on getting a snake at some point. I'd wanted it to be a corn snake, but I can't turn this girl away.

Yup, I knew of the different feeding enclosure rule to avoid bites. I know numerous people who haven't followed that & had their pythons bite them. And I'm 100% behind pre-killed food, I absolutely refuse to do live feeding of anything bigger than insects for any animal. Not safe for the predator & inhumane for the prey! I'm not sure what she's being fed now, but will hopefully be feeding her rats as I keep reading that's best nutritionally.

Mostly I'm trying to make sure I'm finding the right information for all of the care specifics. Heating, humidity, cage size, water availability & type of water, etc. I think I may have heating figured out - thinking of doing a Ultratherm heater the length of the tank on the back of the tank, similar to how I have it for the hermit crabs. That will keep the whole tank at around 78-80*. Then one end will have a CHE bulb to make a basking spot that's around 90*. I'm hoping a large water basin will keep her humidity up high enough since she doesn't need it as high as crabs & I can do a humid hide during shedding time. I'm just not sure what to use for a water bowl yet, that will be big enough for her to hang out in if she wants, but sturdy enough to avoid being tipped. If anyone has ideas, I'm listening!

And Eharwood, I'm located near Kansas City. Not sure if that's anywhere near you, but I would not turn down a free tank! I was already planning to get a 30 or 40 gallon for my hermit crabs (their totes aren't working out as well as hoped ) & now I'm going to be buying two large tanks.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh my goodness, im near Boston!
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Heh, bit too far! Thank you for the offer though, I appreciate it.

I texted my friend's cousin to clarify on the tank. He said that he's almost done with building one for her, which kind of explains...at least the 10 gallon is temporary. The enclosure he's building is a frame out of wood for right now, he sent pictures. He said it's 24" long, 16" wide, and 24" tall. There's a divider splitting in half for two floors, not sure how he's going to connect the two to give her access. It looks kind of neat, but I'm still considering getting her a 40-55 gallon tank anyway. I'll probably buy one & if I don't use it for her, I'll save it for something else. I'm sure I'll find something to put in it...I do want a bearded dragon too.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There are videos on YouTube all about caring for different kinds of snakes its some sorta of mini show I can't remember what its called oh Snake bites TV check them out, also I'm 100% with pre-killed feeding BUT some snakes will NOT eat pre-killed rats and you will have to feed live or else they will starve in the end what you want her to eat will mean nothing its about what she will eat sometimes we have to suck it up and do live feeding I had a ball python and he refused to eat pre-killed rats and I had to feed him live otherwise he wouldn't eat at all you need to ask what shes being fed now if she eats live ask how she does with pre-killed and go from there or if she already eats pre-killed then your good.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'll check out the videos. I'm generally not a fan of youtube for animal care information (I've been majorly soured on it with how many BAD hedgehog care videos there are), but will at least take a look!

I'll definitely be asking what she's fed now. I know ball pythons can be very picky eaters, so fingers crossed. On the plus side, she's older & I've read adults can be less difficult than youngsters with food pickiness. If she's on live feeding, I'll be doing my absolute best to switch her to pre-killed, even if I have to kill the rats/mice myself directly before feeding or something. I won't risk her being injured or killed by a defensive rodent.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That could work as long as its still warm she may eat it like that I used to feed rats that had no nails I would trim them off and keep an eye on the feeding to make sure he was not attacked by the rat but he was fast once he saw the rat it was done he killed them fast so I didn't worry so much about the rat attacking him I haven't had a ball python since I started getting to hedgehogs I have been thinking about it though but I would be to worried he/she would get out and hurt one of my babies and with just losing my girl I am putting it off.

Edit: Snake bits TV is a reliable source of info for snakes that's where I go but you can always double check the information they give you with other websites

Last edited by Storybrooke; 07-12-2015 at 10:54 PM. Reason: I left something out
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