One of the first concerns a pet owner can have is how big their ball python can get and how to give them their right kind of enclosure/environment. Because of their size, ball pythons are generally considered friendly and therefore make for great pets that are easy to care for, especially for first time owners. Ball pythons can live up to 30 years if they are given the proper care
Ball Python Hatchlings Size
These measure to about 10’’ long but will eventually grow to several feet.
Female Ball Pythons Size
The female pythons measure between 3’ to 5’ feet long when they reach adulthood. They are known to grow larger in size as compared to the males. Although 5 feet is considered large for pythons, there have been instances where they have grown up to 6 feet or even more.
The males and females are the same size and weight upon hatching; however the females grow up to 1.5 times faster than the males.
Male Ball Pythons Size
Adult male pythons grow till 2’ to 3’ feet long but will always be smaller in size than the female python and also have a smaller head as compared to the females.
Ball pythons can measure from 4’’ to 6’’ in diameter and can weigh from 3 to 5 pounds, but that depends on how well they are fed. A python living in the wild will reach its full size in about 4 to 5 years, while in confinement it can grow within 3 years
Ball Python Growth Rate and Food Supply
Ball Pythons are about 10 to 17 inches long when they first hatch, and after the first 6 months the females start growing faster than the males. Female pythons put on more weight as compared to males, who are slimmer and weigh up to 3 pounds.
Females grow about one foot per year in the first 4 years while males grow till 8 inches per year.
Their diets should be monitored carefully because as inactive creatures, it is easy for them to put on weight .There is no exact way to tell how big pythons get according to their age as that varies among every python. However, other factors can also determine their growth rate like: the size of their egg when they hatch, size of their prey, how many times they are fed etc.
While there is less information on how the length of pythons depends on their age, there are however some details on their growth and age depending on what kind of diet they are on.
Take a look at the following tables comparing the age and weight of pythons, and the diet that affects their weight.
|When ball pythons are fed mice|
|One Month||78 grams|
|Two months||119.4 grams|
|Three Months||155.6 grams|
|Four months||200.3 grams|
When you feed the ball pythons bigger food, they grow a lot faster and end up weighing more in the end.
|When ball pythons are fed young rats|
|One Month||99.4 grams|
|Two months||130.6 grams|
|Three Months||200.5 grams|
|Four months||277.7 grams|
Factors That Influence Size
The length or size of pythons depends on four main factors:
Males, as mentioned earlier, grow at a slower rate than females even when they are given the same diet.
The enclosure environment should be carefully monitored with temperatures that are most suitable (88 to 92°) for the python’s metabolism and activity
Size of Enclosure
The size of the enclosure should be big enough to create a temperature gradient and give space to the python to move around. A 20-gallon enclosure is best for young pythons while the adults may need a 40 or even 50-gallon enclosure.
A good feeding schedule is important to regulate your python’s growth rate. The ideal size of the prey should be the same size (or just a bit larger) as the widest part of the python’s body.
You may need to purchase a scale that has a platform of 6 inches square and should be able to measure between 50 to 6000 grams. Initially when you try to handle your python, it might curl up in a ball, which is the best time to determine its weight.
How Long Do Ball Pythons Live
If they are well cared for, ball pythons may live for a very long time. Their average life expectancy is between 20 and 30 years in captivity. However in the wild they can only live up till 10 years as they are more at risk of being attacked and killed by predators.