Native to central and west Africa, the ball python has fascinated many pet owners with their aloof allure and cool looks. Due to their variety of morphs, they have a color and pattern scheme for nearly any aesthetic preference. If you have ever considered getting one of these reptiles, you may be asking yourself “how big do ball pythons get”. After all, part of responsible pet ownership is doing your due diligence. You should absolutely learn as much as you can about your pet before purchasing it.
With this guide, the size, appearance, and care needs should be demystified. Hopefully, you yourself will be one step closer to enjoying the wonders of responsible pet ownership.
How big do ball pythons get?
Ball pythons are a mid-sized constrictor. Growing anywhere from 3-5 feet and reaching around 5-8 pounds, this is an animal that nearly anyone can handle. They have evolved small, sturdy, strong bodies that can climb up trees, swim, and hunt their desired prey items. Naturally, this includes birds and small mammals. However, they can thrive on a diet of frozen-thawed rodents in captivity.
When thinking about how big ball pythons get, you want to consider the space one needs. This will also determine how easy it is to handle. Thankfully, these snakes do not need an extraordinary amount of space. They are capable of being happy in a 10 gallon tank as hatchlings and growing into an approximately 40 gallon terrarium. Because of their modest size and docile natures, these animals are also fairly easy to handle. As long as they are properly socialized, you should have no issue handling one on your own. These snakes stay at a fairly low weight, and don’t tend to move around a lot even when being picked up or transported.
Making Sure Your Ball Python Thrives
It’s important to remember that you will likely be receiving your ball python as a hatchling. It will be largely up to you to ensure that it receives the appropriate nutrients to grow to a healthy size. This means feeding it weekly. At around a year old, you can feed it around every 10 days. Once it reaches its adult size, you can feed it approximately three times a month. When your snake eats, you want to be sure to give it enough time to relax and digest. Otherwise, it may regurgitate its food or experience other digestive issues. Be sure to give your snake a few days of minimal contact after feeding to avoid unnecessary stress.
To ensure that your snake is absorbing the nutrients it needs from its diet, you will also need to provide it with UVA/UVB lighting. You can not substitute this for any other bulb. It should also be noted that your snake needs to be exposed to these rays for around 8 hours a day. If you are looking for a way to acquire the accessories and materials you need for your baby snake, we would recommend purchasing a prepackaged 10 gallon ball python habitat setup. You can just it to a 10 gallon tank with a locking lid and you are set.
Note: It is important that you do not feed your ball python too frequently. This can cause digestion to slow down – leaving food to putrefy in your snake’s stomach. Doing this may lead to severe gastrointestinal issues and may require veterinary intervention. To learn more about how to properly feed your ball python, check out
Differences Between the Sexes
When asking “how big do ball pythons get”, it is important to consider that there may be some differences between the sexes. As is the case with most snake species, the female ball python typically grows larger than the male. While females can reach 3-5 feet, males stay at a (slightly) more manageable 3-4 feet. If you want a ball python but wish to keep an animal that will stay on the lower end of its size potential, seek out a male. Be sure to take your snake to a vet for a proper assessment if you believe that it was improperly sexed by its breeder.
Final Thoughts on How Big do Ball Pythons Get
Overall, this is a reptile that is highly manageable for nearly any living situation. There is a reason why they are such popular pets, after all. However, thinking about size is still important when considering ball pythons for sale. The weight and length of an animal will determine its housing, feeding, and medical needs. Fortunately, the size of this animal stays fairly consistent between different lines and morphs. Simply provide your snake with an appropriately sized terrarium along with the accessories and enrichment it needs. Soon enough, you will have a unique companion that will keep you company for many years.