Taking care of cats and dogs is easy enough — you can find information about their feeding and needs just about anywhere. But what if you’re taking care of a more exotic animal, such as a ball python? Figuring out the right diet and how often you should feed it is not quite as simple. To help you give your pet the best possible care, we’ve prepared this ball python feeding chart with all the info you need!
Ball Python Feeding Chart — What You Need to Know
When you’re deciding what and how often to feed your snake, make sure to measure its weight first. The lighter the python is, the smaller the prey. Also, feeding is more frequent when the snake is still young and slowly becomes rarer as it grows.
But let’s convert that into real numbers for your convenience. For the first 5-3 meals, you should give your python a small pinky rat or a hopper mouse every five days. As your pet becomes larger, start feeding it bigger rodents — but do so less frequently. For instance, once its weight reaches 200-350 grams, you should start giving it adult mice and rat pups every seven to ten days.
Next on the list are weaned rats and jumbo mice, which you should give to your snake every 10-14 days. By then, its weight should be around 350-500 grams. At the next stage — 500-1500 grams — your python will enjoy small rats every two to three weeks. Finally, once the scales show over 1500 grams, you can give it medium-sized rats. No need to feed it quite often either — once every 28-56 days will suffice.
Keep in mind that ball pythons are not all the same. While this chart provides some basic guidelines, it may not be 100% true for all pythons. So instead of blindly following it, take your pet’s needs into account. If you notice it needs feeding more frequently or prefers a different kind of prey, then adjust this chart accordingly.
Where to Buy Food for Ball Pythons
To get proper nutrition, ball pythons need to eat whole animals — just like they do in the wild. Some owners offer their snakes live rodents, but they can injure your pet while fighting to survive. Thus, the safest option is buying frozen prey and thawing it before feeding.
Luckily, there are numerous places where you can buy frozen rodents. For instance, your local pet store probably offers a few varieties, as well as a local breeder.
Beware of chain pet stores like Petsmart or Petco, though — the food is often of low quality and may give your snake food poisoning. If all else fails, you can always turn to online shops, where you’ll certainly find what you need.
Taking care of a snake is no walk in the park, but with a little research, it’s not impossible either. This ball python feeding chart should give you enough info to get started. But don’t hesitate to adjust it as you get to know your pet. Soon enough, you won’t use any chart at all — you’ll know what your python needs just by looking at it!