Ball Python Growth
I got my ball python when he was around 7 months old.. In the first 7 months of his life he didn’t eat anything from the time he was sent to the pet store until i bought him. He now eats properly sized mice once a week and I was just wondering if he will sill reach full size if he didn’t do very much growing in the first portion of his life?
Outagamie County Wisconsin
Thank you for your question. It is not unusual for ball pythons to refuse food. The stress of capture, if your snake was wild-caught and/or being shipped to the pet store is enough to make them stop eating. The important thing is that your snake now appears to be eating regularly. Even so, ball pythons that are eating regularly sometimes go off their feed during cooler, drier times of the year. As long as your snake continues to get enough to eat, he or she should reach full size. Males have an average adult length of 2 - 3 feet, and female adults average 3 - 5 feet in length.
Here's a link to an article in Reptiles Magazine that provides information on the proper care and feeding of this species:
An excellent reference book on ball pythons is:
Barker, David G. and Barker, Tracy M. (2006). Ball Pythons: Their History, Natural History, Care and Breeding. Boerne: VPI.
This book costs $75 through VPI publishing, but you can probably get a copy through interlibrary loan at your local public library.
Hope this answers your question, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.