“What? Snakes?! Are you crazy?!” This is the usual reaction I get when family and friends learn that we have ball pythons.
I’ve always had a fascination for snakes when I was a boy. I marvelled at the reticulated pythons that I saw in pet shops and often asked the store keepers if I could handle the snake. Of course I would first ask them to show me that the snake was tame. That always didn’t end well. Wild caught reticulated pythons aren’t the friendliest, I learned.
I was on the lookout for a snake that was manageable, pet quality. Many, many years later, after marriage and 2 kids, during one of our family vacations, we visited my sister in Florida. She brought us to this pet store as our kids loved animals. The store had a LOT of snakes. There was a large aquarium that had many hatchlings in it and the keeper was handling a few quite easily. I asked to handle one and she allowed it. After a few minutes with the snake, which I later learned was a ball python, I was hooked!
Ball pythons are very beautiful and interesting creatures! People often think that they are dangerous because snakes are aggressive and are usually thought to be “poisonous.” A fellow hobbyist once told me that anything with teeth will bite. Think of all the people you know who have been bitten by man’s best friend!
Snakes are not “poisonous.” Some snakes are venomous. Ball pythons are non-venomous. If you are unfortunate enough to get bitten by one you won’t have to suck the venom out like they do in the movies. There isn’t any! All you’ll need to do is wash the wound with soap and rinse with water. That’s it! Okay, apply some betadine if you wish but it really isn’t necessary.
They are not aggressive either. When threatened, their natural defence is to curl up into a ball, hence the term “ball python.” They are docile, gentle creatures.
They grow up to a maximum length of 4 to 5 feet for females and around 4 feet for males. They are small enough to fit in a large plastic under-bed storage container.
It doesn’t cost much to feed them. They do not eat a lot. One appropriate sized rat per week will do… Ah, no, they can’t be trained to eat dog food!
If you need to go on a 30-day out-of-town vacation you can feed them once before you leave and don’t have to worry about them dying of hunger. They will be fine so long as they have enough water until you return. Hard to top that!
Last and this is one of our favorite reasons, they have a wide array of color and pattern morphs to choose from. The resulting hatchlings from breeding different pattern and color morphs will simply blow your mind away!!! Don’t take our word for it, check them out yourself… That’s what I did and that’s how I got hooked.
The next couple of pages will show what we have in our small collection and probably what we are cooking up in the future. We hope that you will have time to look around and enjoy the photos. Let us know if there is anything that we can help you with.