Ball Python, The Right Pet for Me?
Posted on September 8, 2017
Clint talks specifically about the ball python (Python regius), weighing the merits of these incredible snakes so you can decide if they are the right pet for you.
0:35 Ball Pythons get an overall score of 4.0 out of 5.
0:43 Score criteria: Handleability, Care, Hardiness, Availability, Upfront Costs.
0:52 Handleability: How well does a Ball Python do with handling?
2:58 Care: What is involved with caring for Ball Pythons?
4:51 Hardiness: How hardy are Ball Pythons?
5:39 Availability: How easy is it to obtain a Ball Python?
5:59 Upfront Costs: How much does it cost to get setup with a Ball
7:39 Conclusion: Ball Pythons are great and deserve an overall score of 4.0.
8:09 Bloopers, out-takes, silliness.
Welcome! I assume if you’re here it’s because you’re considering, at least on some level, getting a ball python. And I think that’s an excellent choice.
You might have seen our video before, about the five best pet reptiles for new keepers. If not you should check it out – it’s right there… right here. You see it? Go there! Check it out! Tell us what you thought.
Ball python: very reasonable. And today we’re gonna talk a little bit about what makes a ball python so spectacular and why it might be the perfect pet reptile for you. Overall we are going to give the ball python a score of four out of five. That’s really high. That’s gonna come down to our five categories: handleability, care, hardiness availability, and upfront costs.
So the first thing on our list is handleability. And for handleability we give them a five out of five. There isn’t a reptile that is better to handle than a ball python. For starters, they’re very mellow – very calm, laid-back. You can see these guys, some of them, they’ll just sit here for for quite a while and hanging out. Others will explore a little bit but they’re not nearly as easily startled as a lot of other snakes. It’s very very difficult to upset them. They’re big enough that they can handle a little bit of rough handling. Of course you want to try to avoid this but sometimes you might have somebody (like a child) handling a snake and this snake is big enough that if a child squeezed it a little bit or or dropped it a little bit it probably would be okay. You still want to avoid this if you can but they handle rough handling better than most reptiles. Also, they’re a very moderately sized reptile. Before we mention that they’re big enough to handle some rough handling but they’re small enough that you can easily handle them by yourself. Some pythons and boas can get so large that it’s really not even safe to handle them alone and they’re so heavy you probably couldn’t even if you wanted to. This piebald (this white snake) she is a pretty good-sized ball python. They don’t get a whole lot bigger than this very often and she is very very manageable even with one hand. They are very easy to deal with: not gonna bite you, not gonna strike or scare you, or hiss at you. Generally speaking, they’re very very laid-back, very fun. Because they have almost no legs they’re very unlikely to scratch you. Other reptiles, especially larger lizards, might scratch you with their claws. And we’ll talk more about this later but ball pythons do have two claws – which most people don’t expect to see from a snake. But I’ve never been scratched by the claws of a ball python. If you look right here though – and this always surprises people to see. Right there and right there. Those are claws. They’re called spurs and they’re kind of the last leftovers of legs. So this is a snake with legs – don’t mean to ruin your day.
When it comes to care we’ve given them a score of three out of five. They can be relatively inconsistent feeders. In general, they will eat about once a week – usually. And sometimes you will get a snake that might not feed for weeks or even months at a time and that can be very disconcerting for a new reptile keeper. You probably are gonna try to feed frozen thawed rodents. That is definitely the safest way to go because a live rodent can potentially carry diseases but more concerning is the fact that it could potentially injure your snake. In fact, if you ever leave them alone with the snake there’s a very good chance that they will kill your snake or seriously seriously injure it. So you never want to do that. Other things to be aware of our hydration and humidity. This is particularly important when it comes time for them to shed their skin. Ball pythons can be notorious for having incomplete sheds – where they only shed kind of flakes of skin at a time. A snake should be shedding its skin all in one big piece – like a sock. If it’s coming off in flakes your humidity is too low and you need to boost that humidity. You don’t want your enclosure to be soaked not by any means but your humidity needs to be higher than it is. Additionally, temperature will be very important when it comes to caring for your ball python. You need an ambient temperature of probably between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. With a basking area between 88 and 96 degrees. This is probably best attained by using some sort of under tank heating. You may be using something like heat tape or a heating pad. Any of these devices could potentially malfunction and get so hot that it could burn your snake and so you definitely want to make sure you’ve got a thermostat and good thermometers on your enclosure so that you don’t have any problems with burning them or keeping them too cold.
Let’s talk next about hardiness. When it comes to hardiness we give these snakes a four out of five. The easiest ways to kill a snake would be to dehydrate it. If you didn’t provide water that was available to these snakes for too long you could lose a snake fairly quickly much faster than you could say from starvation. Also, if you get them very very cold or very very hot these things could easily kill a ball python. Always, you know, if you squish one or if you drop it off of something high – things that would kill you would kill them. In general, they’re pretty hardy – pretty tolerant of you learning how to take care of this snake. You know, we all make a few mistakes here and there. A ball python won’t just keel over and die because you made a tiny mistake one day – unless you leave it in your car and the hot sun.
As far as availability goes we give these a five out of five. Anywhere where you can buy reptiles you can buy ball pythons. You can get them in basically any color you want – within reason. You can see right here, a huge diversity of ball pythons. However you want it to look (if you’re willing to pay for it) you can probably find it.
For upfront costs we give them a three out of five. You can purchase a ball python very affordably. If it just came down to the cost of the snake itself it would be a 5 out of a 5. But housing a ball python can be a little bit more expensive. First, you’re gonna have to decide the way that you want to house it. When it comes to personal preference, glass terraria isn’t what I would use. It is the best for viewing your animal – there’s a place for that. It is definitely going to be harder for you to keep temperatures and humidity where they need to be in a glass terraria – specially if it has like a screen top on it. The other thing that can be a problem with glass terraria is just that they’re very open and snakes feel very vulnerable in the open. Like I’ve said before: when you’re a noodle with a head the world’s a scary place. If you’re going to use glass terraria you make sure that you have a lot of clutter in there and places for the snake to hide. Probably an easier option but nowhere near as good for display or for observing your snake would be some sort of a rack system. Which is sort of like a a plastic drawer of sorts that has some sort of a heating element underneath it. These are excellent for keeping humidity right where it should be and temperatures right where they should be but it’s very difficult to observe your pet. You know, other people will say “why are you keeping your snake in a drawer” “why do you even have this if” you’re just gonna lock it away in a drawer.” So there’s a lot of personal preference. Both of these options though are going to be somewhat expensive. Maybe running a few hundred dollars for you to get a really good set up with thermostat and proper heat. Not too bad, but that’s why we give them a three out of five.
To conclude with the ball python, we have given them an overall score of four out of five. Once again, that’s one of the highest scores we’re gonna give any reptile. They’re excellent. I love them. It would be difficult for me to recommend one higher. As far as snakes go, they are just spectacular. I love them. Since I’ve been sitting here with them I’ve realized I love them more than I even realized I loved them.
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Giddy-up? [Giddy-up] [Giddy-up] [Okay] Did we want to grab any, did you want to grab any b-roll? [SNAP!] I’m realizing while they’re here ball pythons are just spectacular. Why are these creatures so great? They’re so great. These are so great. This is an awesome snake pile. Ball pythons are cool. They’re stinking rad. If either of these two males try to pair with her because she is possibly ovulating. Could make for an exciting video.