When Do Ball Pythons Stop Growing? – Size, Weight & Age
When do ball pythons stop growing, and is there a specific time this will happen. Well, assuming your ball python is healthy, usually they will reach full size as an adult at 3 years of age. However, snakes never actually stop growing. Although after 3 years it will slow considerably, but never fully stop. As captive bred ball pythons are usually sold as babies, many owners are curious to how fast their new pet snake will grow. Like all snakes, ball pythons start off small, and can grow to lengths of 4-5 feet commonly for captive species. This may sound like a big snake, however these are small snakes compared to their cousin pythons, which can range up to 25ft.
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Ball pythons grow at a rapid speed within their first months of life. The first 12 months of a baby ball python will see its biggest growth rate. A ball python is sexually mature at roughly 24 – 36 months. From this stage its growth rate will start to slow down until full size at adulthood.
There are a number of factors which can have an affect on when ball pythons stop growing. This includes, sex of the snake, varied diets, vivarium size and environmental conditions. Keeping a record of your ball pythons weight monthly, is a great way to ensure that your ball python is growing at a healthy rate.
Sex of Snake
The sex of a ball python will determine its size quite considerably. Female ball pythons will commonly be much larger than the male species. In captivity female ball pythons will grow to roughly 4-5 feet in length, compared to the male species which will likely only reach 3.5 – 4 feet in length. Obviously this can vary for individuals, but this is a general guideline. Females grow to a much larger length due to their reproductive organs. Males are not equipped with these organ, so have no reason to grow to the size that females need too.
Feeding your ball python the wrong diet will have serious consequences in its growth rate and ability. Feeding your ball python a balanced and healthy diet will allow your snake to grow to its full potential. Researching the most suitable foods and dietary requirements for your ball python throughout the different stages in its life will improve its chances of healthy growth.
The size vivarium your ball python is housed in, will have an affect on its size of growth also. Captive snakes will only grow to the size of their surroundings. Healthy snakes will be housed in the correct sized vivariums. Vivariums don’t even need to be too big, as a large space can cause stress for a ball python.
For an adult ball python, sized between 3.5 – 5 feet should be housed in a vivarium size of 4ft x 2ft x 2ft. This will give your ball python enough space to stretch out, and also not spacious enough for it to feel to o stressed. Naturally, ball pythons fear open spaces because in the wild they are vulnerable to predatory attacks, and this will be the same with captive snakes. They don’t know the difference.
Environmental conditions can be found both inside and outside of the vivarium. These are the most common reason why ball pythons don’t grow to their full capability. These can include factors such as;
Ball pythons are nocturnal. Many ball python owners will want to spend the days holding and interacting with their pet snake. However this can cause a lot of stress for a ball python as their eyes are extremely sensitive to light.
Ball pythons are ectothermic. This means they can not self regulate their body temperature. They regulate their temperature by moving between cool and warm spots within their enclosures. Vivariums that lack temperature gradient can cause ball pythons to stop eating, putting them at risk.
Incorrect humidity levels can cause a variety of health problems. This stems from shedding problems, respiratory problems/infections and feeding problems. All of which have growth rate consequences.
Ball pythons are generally a very docile and shy species. They enjoy spending their days curled up in hides, avoiding anything and everything. If a ball pythons enclosure lacks a suitable hide, your snake will become stress and may not eat as a result of this.
Any of these environmental factors above can have serious affects on when ball pythons stop growing and its health and wellbeing. Improper levels of any of these factors may result in health issues such and stress and illnesses. This will inevitably lead to your ball python refusing food, which in turn will affect its growth rate.
What is power feeding?
Power feeding is what some snake owners do to increase the size of their snake. It is never recommended to power feed ball pythons, or any snake or animal for that matter. Power feeding causes results of unhealthy ball pythons. They are often very overweight and in nearly all cases have shorter lifespans. Commonly, overweight ball pythons will require veterinarian care throughout its whole life, with some serious health conditions arising from over feeding. Veterinarian or reptile specialist help can advise on dietary requirements to return ball pythons to a healthy weight.
Most Recommended For Ball Pythons
Bathing Water Bowl – Click Here
Heat Lamp and Guard – Click Here
Reliable Thermometer – Click Here
Vivarium/Enclosure – Click Here
Climbing Branches – Click Here
Hydrometer – Click Here