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Python Ball Health Information

Ball Pythons are timid snakes and may not be a good choice for children, who may stress them with over-handling or improper handling. Most wild caught Ball Pythons or Ball Pythons that become too stressed or ill will starve themselves by refusing to eat. It is always recommended that you choose a captive bred Ball Python. Wild specimens also have a tendency to suffer from parasites and injuries from capture.

Ball Pythons should never be kept on sand or sandlike substrates.

The first step when breeding captive Ball Pythons is to identify which is the male and which is the female. visual distinction is tricky, but sometimes can be made by examining the following differences. Males will generally have more curved anal spurs and thicker tails than the females. The most reliable way of sexing snakes is to have them probed by an experienced herpetologist or veterinarian. It is recommended to house the snakes separately until breeding is ready to begin. Prior to breeding, in October or November, most hobbyists recommend stopping feeding for a few weeks and leaving them at normal temperatures. The males and females will then be moved together. Often it is recommended to breed them in groups with at least two males. The males will often combat for breeding rights. The breeding tank should contain three hide boxes. The third will act as a water bowl. Temperatures and light will need to be carefully regulated at this time. The research seems to differ a little on this area. Some breeders will give equal 12-hour shifts between light and dark, while others will give nine dark and fifteen day. In both cases during the day temperatures should be maintained in the high 80's Fahrenheit, and in the high 60's low 70's range at night. Some keepers will also raise humidity levels during breeding, this, however, does not always seem to be the preferred method. Females should be offered food every three to four weeks. If they refuse food this is normal and should not be a cause for concern. By March or April it is time to separate the snakes into their own containers. Females should be well fed. If they are pregnant (gravid), they will often refuse food. Provide a nesting box filled with moist peat moss,vermiculite, or perlite. Typically the gravid female will shed, then within a week or two she will lay six to seven eggs. Most females will lay their eggs at night. Many hobbyists recommend incubating the eggs, rather than leaving them with the female. The eggs have an incubation period of about 60 days at 88 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Python_Ball".
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