If you are new to the snake world, or if you are thinking about getting a snake, you might be a little bit intimidated by the thought of owning a snake and you might hope that it doesn´t get too big. (Trust me, I felt exactly like this as well) Or, completely different, you are absolutely fine with having a huge snake, but you are worried about the space such a snake needs.
No matter what the reason is you are asking yourself how long ball pythons get, you are about to receive an answer. In this article your are going to learn how big ball pythons get and what you can do if you really want to get a ball python, but you´d rather get a smaller one, because you are a beginner and feel initimidated or if you don´t have enough space.
HOW BIG DO BALL PYTHONS GET?
Actually, ball pythons do not get too big. While the hatchlings are around 10 inches in length, a full grown ball python can become 5-foot long. They can even become longer, but a 5-foot ball python is already pretty big.
So it is likely that your ball python might stay a little bit smaller.
How big your ball python gets and how fast it grows highly depends on how you are feeding and how good your ball python eats. Ball pythons are known for being picky eaters. The size difference between a good eating ball python and a picky eater at the same age can be huge.
However that does not mean that you should “create” your own ball python size by feeding more or less, of course. While the ball python´s head stays rather small, their bodies can get thick, but definitely not as thick as your arm. So, it really is a rather small snake.
WHAT KIND OF ENCLOSURE DO YOU NEED?
You might think now, that ball pythons need a huge enclosure. In my opinion, they need a tank that´s rather small. If you have a very small baby ball python, you can start with a long 10-Gallon tank.
Although I would definitely recommend to start with a long 20-Gallon tank as the snake should have some space to stretch.
Adult ball pythons need a wide 40-Gallon tank, but I recommend to go with a bigger tank, since most 40-Gallon tanks are only 36 inches in length. 48 inches in length is an okay size in my opinion.
Further you don´t have to get a glass tank. Most ball python owners keep their snake in a plastic box. It doesn´t look as beautiful as a glass tank, but it is cheaper and some think that it is easier to maintain the right humidity in it.
Honestly, keeping the right humidity in a glass tank is not that hard, so get what feels better to you. Always make sure that the enclosure is as long as the snake.
WHAT DOES SUCH A SNAKE EAT?
If you want to know how big ball pythons get, you might also be worried about the size of their food. It is a little bit weird for beginners to feed mice and rats to a snake. I understand that and I felt the same. You definitely get used to it though.
Baby ball pythons should eat adult mice. Adult ball pythons will eat full grown rats. If this gives you a weird feeling, I recommend to get your ball python as a baby.
This way, you will grow with your snake and it won´t be that hard for you to feed a full grown rat to you ball python.
You can still feed your ball python frozen rats, if you don´t want to feed them alive, however it is more natural if you feed them alive.
WHAT YOU CAN DO IF YOU WANT A SMALLER BALL PYTHON
If you want a ball python that stays rather small, you should definitely take a male python. Female ball pythons get 3 to 5 feet long while males only get around 3 feet long.
There are no guarantees though. There are males that get as big as females. There are females that stay as small as males. You could also get a full grown ball python with a size that you like. As I said, growth depends on how well the python eats.
If you are a beginner and intimidated, don´t worry about it. If you really want this snake, get it and you will see that no matter how big your snake gets, you won´t be afraid of it. It is just a matter of getting used to it. They are not able to kill you and even if they were, they have no interest in doing so as they are pretty calm snakes as adults.
Ball pythons are amazing snakes, so do your research and get one if you really want to!
If you have any questions, just leave a comment in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Have fun with your ball python!