Essential Tips for Feeding Your Ball Python

Essential Tips for Feeding Your Ball Python

Feeding ball pythons can sometimes be a challenge for snake owners, especially for those who are new to the world of reptile care. However, with the right knowledge and approach, feeding time can become a stress-free and fulfilling experience for both you and your scaly companion. In this blog post, we will share valuable feeding tips and insights to help ensure the health and well-being of your ball python.

It is not uncommon for caretakers of pet ball pythons to become concerned when their snakes refuse to eat. 

The duration of time that a ball python can safely go without meals is dependent on various factors. It is crucial, however, to recognize that very few snakes will willingly starve themselves to death if provided with proper care and suitable sustenance.  For this reason, it's important to ensure you have the perfect husbandry!

In general, healthy ball pythons can sustain themselves for multiple weeks without consuming food. Additionally, adult snakes with a well-maintained body weight can typically endure months before any adverse health effects may occur. 

Therefore, it is unnecessary to panic if your ball python rejects a meal. The refusal of food by a snake, even on a couple of occasions, should not be cause for excessive concern, as many snakes occasionally undergo brief fasting periods for reasons known only to them. In most cases, a fast lasting two to three weeks poses minimal risk or issue.

Here are some tips to help get your ball python feeding

Choose the Right Prey Size:

Choosing the appropriate prey size is crucial for the overall health of your ball python. As a general rule, the prey item should be no larger than the widest part of your snake's body. Opting for smaller prey ensures easier digestion and reduces the risk of regurgitation.  We never feed larger than a small adult rat to our adult ball pythons.

It is not uncommon for ball pythons to feel intimidated by the size of their prey, which can result in them rejecting it out of fear. If you observe that your pet has declined a meal or two, considering offering them a smaller-sized prey to see if that helps to alleviate their apprehension.

Establish a Feeding Routine:

Consistency is key when it comes to feeding ball pythons. Establish a feeding routine by offering food at regular intervals. For younger snakes, feed every 5-7 days, while adult pythons can be fed every 7-10 days. Consistency provides a sense of security for your snake, and a regular feeding schedule can also help regulate their metabolism.

Avoid Disturbing Your Snake After Feeding:

After a meal, ball pythons require time to digest their food properly. Avoid handling or disturbing your snake for at least 24-48 hours after feeding to allow for undisturbed digestion. This ensures that your python can absorb nutrients efficiently and minimize the risk of regurgitation.

Maintain Proper Feeding Environment:

Create a calm and quiet feeding environment for your ball python. Offer food night time when they are most awake. Make sure the temperature and humidity levels in the enclosure are appropriate to encourage proper digestion.

Monitor the Snake's Weight:

Regularly monitor your ball python's weight to ensure they are maintaining a healthy body condition. Weight loss or sudden fluctuations in weight may indicate underlying health issues or improper feeding. Consult a reptile veterinarian if you notice any significant changes.

Avoid Overfeeding:

Ball pythons have a tendency to become overweight if overfed. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, digestive issues, and other health problems. Stick to a proper feeding schedule and adjust prey sizes accordingly to avoid overfeeding your snake.

Understand Seasonal Changes:

Ball pythons are known for their reduced appetite during certain times of the year, commonly referred to as 'fasting.' This is a natural behavior and should not be a cause for concern. During fasting periods, continue to offer food regularly but reduce the prey size to accommodate their decreased appetite.


Feeding your ball python properly is essential for their overall health and well-being. By following these feeding tips, you can ensure your scaly friend receives the nutrition they need while keeping feeding sessions stress-free and enjoyable. Remember, if you have any concerns or questions regarding your ball python's feeding habits, it is always advisable to consult a reptile veterinarian or experienced herpetologist for guidance. Happy feeding!