If you’re feeding your ball python live prey, you’ll need to know what size mice to give them. Here’s a guide to help you choose the right size mice for your snake.
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The size of the mouse you feed your ball python will depend on the size of your snake. A baby ball python will need to eat smaller mice than an adult snake. Here is a helpful guide to determine what size mice to feed your ball python at different stages of its life.
Pinky mice are the smallest size of live prey that you can feed your ball python, and are typically only fed to young snakes or snakes that have just been born. While adult ball pythons typically eat mice that are the size of an adult human’s thumb, pinky mice are only about the size of a human pinky finger. While they are small, they still provide a good source of nutrition for your snake, and can help them to grow and develop properly.
Fuzzy mice are the smallest of all the sizes of mice you can feed your python and they usually weigh between 10 and 20 grams. They are born without their fur and it takes them a few weeks to grow their adult coat. It is advisable not to feed your python more than one mouse per week, no matter what size the mouse is.
Hopper mice are adult mice that have not yet had a litter of pups. They are about the same size as weanling mice but are a little bit heavier, averaging around 20 grams. Hopper mice are a good size for adult ball pythons and can be offered every 5-7 days.
When to Feed
Ball pythons should be fed every 5-7 days. 1-2 appropriately sized mice per feeding is sufficient. Mice should be no larger than the widest part of the ball python’s body. If you are unsure of what size to feed your ball python, err on the side of caution and feed smaller meals more often.
Juvenile Ball Pythons
Juvenile Ball Pythons should be offered food every 5 to 7 days. A good rule of thumb is to offer a prey item that is approximately the width of the snake at its widest point. For example, a baby mouse for a juvenile python that is 10” wide. As your snake grows, you will need to increase the size and number of prey items accordingly. A full-grown adult Ball Python should be offered 1 large rat or 2 medium rats every 10-14 days.
Adult Ball Pythons
Adult ball pythons should be offered food once every 7 to 10 days. If your snake is particularly overweight, it may need to be put on a diet and offered food only once every 14 days. If your snake is underweight or growing rapidly, it may need to be fed more often. When in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of feeding too little rather than too much.
Frequency of Feeding
A baby ball python should be fed every 5 to 7 days. As your ball python grows, you can start feeding them every 7 to 10 days. An adult ball python can be fed every 10 to 14 days. If your ball python is not eating, there are a few things you can try to get them to start eating again.
Juvenile Ball Pythons
A juvenile Ball python should be fed one appropriately sized mouse every 5 to 7 days.
Adult Ball Pythons
Adult ball pythons should be fed once a week. A single adult mouse is usually sufficient, but some ball pythons will eat 2 or 3 mice at a time. When feeding adult ball pythons, it is important to remember that they have strong jaws and can easily injure their human handlers if not handled properly.
When it comes to ball pythons, there are a lot of different opinions on what size mice you should be feeding them. Some people say that you should only feed them mice that are the same size as their head, while others say that you can feed them mice that are a little bit bigger. So, what is the right answer?
Frozen mice should be thawed properly before being fed to your ball python. To thaw a frozen mouse, place it in a zip-lock bag and submerge it in warm water. Do not use hot water, as this can cook the mouse, making it unsafe for your snake to eat. Once the mouse is thawed, remove it from the bag and offer it to your snake. If your ball python does not eat the mouse right away, you can place it in the snake’s enclosure until it is eaten.
Live mice should only be given to ball pythons that are big enough to eat them. If you have a baby ball python, it will need to be fed baby mice, which are smaller than regular mice. Adult ball pythons can eat regular-sized mice.
Some people believe that it is cruel to feed live mice to snakes, but this is actually the natural way for snakes to eat. In the wild, they would never encounter dead prey, so they have no way of knowing how to eat it. If you do not feel comfortable feeding live prey to your snake, you can buy frozen mice, which are readily available at most pet stores.