There are a number of foods which a ball python can eat. There are also many that a ball python will not eat. Below are some common questions that have been answered in correlation to this question.
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Can Ball Pythons Eat Crickets?
Ball pythons have a varied diet, but can a ball python eat crickets. Ball pythons bodies have adapted and are now accustomed to rodent consumption. Therefore they will not eat crickets. To be honest, they won’t even take a second look at a cricket as a meal. Could you imagine the amount of crickets they would have to eat, just to fill themselves.
In fact, crickets can actually cause some harm to your ball python. Crickets are notorious for feeding on dry reptile skin. With crickets inside your snake vivarium, you may find the crickets will actually start to eat away at your snakes skin. Not only after time will this become very sore and irritating for your snake. It could even spread harmful bacteria which your snake wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to.
Can Ball Pythons Eat Fish?
There are some snakes that are known to eat fish instead of rodents as their first choice of meal. However this isn’t the case for ball pythons. Can ball pythons eat fish. Well, not really. In the wild, ball pythons are very opportunistic, so they will eat whenever the chance arises. Specially when they’re hungry. So there are times when a ball python will eat fish. However for captive ball pythons, it’s not recommended.
There are many complications which come from feeding your ball python fish. Over many years ball pythons have evolved specifically to consume rodents. Their digestive system is finely tuned, for the consumption of rodents.
Ball pythons digest their food in stages. First of all with the skin and flesh, secondly with the fats and inner organs, then lastly with the bones. Fish have many small bones, and this become a bit of a problem for ball pythons (and all snakes for that matter). These small bones are very hard to decompose, and are very sharp. The small bones can actually scratch and damage the inside of a snakes stomach, causing swelling, bruising and some times bleeding.
Rodents have larger bones, which are much more rounded compared to fish. This makes them much easier and manageable when digesting, causing little, if any discomfort.
Can Ball Pythons Eat Eggs?
Can a ball python eat eggs you ask. Unfortunately not. Eggs are not really on a ball pythons menu. Although they have been know to eat eggs sometimes in the wild. This however, is a very rare meal and not one that ball pythons should be fed in captivity.
This would most commonly be seen in the wild if the ball python had not fed for a very long time. In some cases ball pythons have been know to climb tree in search for nest. Mainly for little birds or hatchlings, but commonly come across eggs. Sometimes their hunger takes over and the eggs actually seem appetising.
So although ball pythons have been known to eat eggs in the wild. It is not recommended for captive snakes. Sticking to small rodents is by far the best meal for your snake.
How Often Do Ball Pythons Eat?
In all honesty, how often do ball pythons eat is a very vague question. All snakes will have varying appetites and this is no different for ball pythons. Ball pythons will eat at different rates throughout certain stages in its life.
Juvenile ball pythons will eat a little more often compared to an adult ball python. This is simply due to the fact they are still growing, therefore their bodies are using more energy. Juveniles should be fed at least once a week, or even once every 5 days. There is no harm offering a juvenile snake another meal after 5 days. If they are hungry, they will eat. If not, then they won’t. It’s that simple. If they don’t eat, then just offer them food again in a couple of days time.
Ball pythons are classed as adults once they have reached sexual maturity. This is commonly anywhere between 18 months and 3 years. At this stage a ball python will eat (and should be fed) once every 10-14 days. However it is good to vary the number of days between eat meal as this be replicate feeding in the wild. Maybe, every so often you could try feeding your snake a couple of days early, or even a couple of days late. This will have no harm towards your snake, but it will keep their appetite high.
During the shedding period, ball pythons may actually feed less. Sometimes they will not feed at all. This is nothing to be worried about. Feeding during a shed can actually cause some harm to your snake. Ball pythons will always try to shed their skin in one whole piece. If a snake eats whilst its skin is dry, it could cause the skin to crack and eventually flake.
This can sometime cause complications to the shedding process and some dry skin can actually still stay attached, which is not good news for your snake. This dry skin becomes tight, and very irritating. Until all the dry skin is off, the new layer of skin can not toughen up. This means, in this period of time, your snake will be prone to bacterial infections.
Watch out for the signs that your ball python may be about to shed their skin. They often won’t feed anyway, so this is a clear sign of the shedding stage. Only feed your snake once the shedding is completed. After this time your snake should definitely be in need of a meal.
Most Recommended For Ball Pythons
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Vivarium/Enclosure – Click Here
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Hydrometer – Click Here
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