A happy, healthy ball python eats when they're hungry. Our goal as keepers is to figure out what to do in order to make that happen. When my collection was smaller, I used to feed frozen/thawed rats. While it was very easy to order frozen rodents in bulk and use them at my convenience, there were always a few that simply wouldn't eat them and needed to be offered live prey. I also found that many of my animals that would eat frozen/thawed rodents wouldn't do so consistently. And, nutritionally speaking, there are very few differences between feeding live, freshly killed, or frozen/thawed rodents. For those reasons, I made the decision to switch all of my ball pythons over to live rodents - and the difference is remarkable. Before, only about 50% of my animals that were offered food would eat each week. Now, at least 90% of my animals that are offered food eat each week. It's incredible to me how many feeding resources for ball pythons talk about them being problem feeders. Since switching my collection over to live rodents, that simply isn't the case.

An appropriately sized meal for a ball python is a rodent that is approximately the same diameter as the thickest part of the snake. This kind of meal leaves a discernible lump for two to four days that is completely gone by the next feeding day. The chart below shows generally how I feed my collection, with adults being offered food once weekly and hatchling and young snakes being offered food more often. This schedule, with the occasional skipped meal by the adults being perfectly acceptable, works very well here. By no means is it intended to be a definitive "rule book" by which all ball pythons should be fed. When an animal does decide to skip a meal, and at some point it will happen, that is when I move to "Feeding - Plan B".


Coming soon...



Coming soon...