What kind of Food Do Ball Pythons Eat? Explained

As like other reptiles, ball python eat not that much like mammals do. Being cold blooded, their movements are minimum to conserve energy. They are picky about intaking and choosing meals.

Among the many items, they are fond of are Rats, Mice, African soft-furred rats, Gerbils, Hamsters, Young guinea pigs, Young rabbits, Chicks, Quail chicks and so on.

Having been raised in different regions, they are used to liking different meals. It is also possible for some ball pythons to not like variations in intaking food.

What Kind of Food Do Ball Pythons Eat?

For being a less eater, ball pythons’ food habit is quite strange. The owner has to be cautious about feeding them. Choose the right food for them according to what they may like. Some common foods can be described though.

1. Rats:

A rat can weigh about 300g. They contain about 648 calories. Rich in protein and fat. They have these in abundance in the wild.

2. Mice:

We found this animal in our house as an unwelcome guest. To control them people keep cats in houses. If they are given to ball pythons, then you may probably not need an extra cat in house. Just check whether they are infected by viruses or not.

3. Gerbils:

They are quite similar like mice but not available in many continents. Ball pythons like this animal for survival. They are active, sociable and intelligent.

4. Hamsters:

The main thing about hamsters is that they are commonly available. They are not as fast as rats and good at providing protein. You can also have some of them so that the ball python can have a meal from time to time. Make sure the size matches the reptile’s mouth.

5. Small Guinea pigs:

Guinea pigs are a good source of meat. Reptiles like ball pythons often feed those animals. Some of them want it on a regular basis.

6. Small Rabbits:

There are some tiny sized rabbits that are grown to feed large snakes like ball pythons or crocodiles. Rabbits are such animals that need minimum taking care, grow faster and give multiple births.

7. Chicken:

Chickens are available in most of the houses in the village. Some captive-bred ball pythons will readily eat chicken, while others may be more hesitant.

Ball Python Feeding Chart

Weight of Ball PythonFeeding AmountFrequency
Initial 5 mealsMouse (10g)Per week
Less than 0.2 KgMouse (20g)Per week
Less than 0.4 KgMouse (30g)7 to 10 days
Less than 0.5 KgMouse (45g)Per two weeks
Less than 1.5 KgMouse (80g)Per three weeks
More than 1.5 KgMouse (150g)Per one to two months

*Source: Wikipedia

What Are Ball Pythons’ Favorite Food?

Among their favorite foods rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and chickens lead the most. Some ball pythons like to have their prey alive. Many of them can have them frozen.

Frozen options are popular these days as they are easily available in the supermarkets and you need not to raise them separately.

Also Read: Can Ball Pythons Eat Vegetables?

Best Ball Python Foods

Best ball python foods

There is readily available food sold in the market. Amazon will give hassle-free delivery to your door in case you won’t go shopping. Among many products, there are two best of them.

MiceDirect 50 Small Adult Mice

If they arrive hard frozen, you can keep them for a long time. They pack the mice well and ship them in packaging that protects them from freezer burn. The shelf life is one year.

What does help improve the shelf life is to press out as much air out of the bag and make sure the bag is fully sealed. The mice and rats are born, raised and euthanized in good facilities.

Most frozen mice we have gotten have all had a fishy smell. This pack has 50 frozen Small Adult mice for snakes. The reptile and snake supplies are among the freshest you can buy.

UGRodents 10-Pack Frozen Medium Rats

They have white and dark rats. Inform them what color you need and they can send that particular one to customers. They are all placed together in a single, heavy gauge plastic, zip-top package.

To defrost, simply put one in a separate zip-top bag and immerse it in cold water. Nice sized medium feeders, clean and ready to feed. Because they are frozen, you can save money on larger quantities and don’t have to worry about the mess of feeding live rodents to your pet.

They are formula fed and provide superior nutrition and the perfect diet. Do not put them in the microwave.

What Do Baby Ball Pythons Eat?

Pythons that are hatchlings grow very fast. In the case of females, they can grow up to one ft within a year. Males can grow eight inches per year.

Feed a mouse every five days for the first four weeks of their life. Make sure their feeding response is strong. Ball pythons under one year old grow fast. They need to eat a small mouse each week.

Increase the size of your snake’s prey regularly. At six months old, you can give a larger prey item over longer periods of time.

Also Read: Can Ball Pythons Eat Fruit?

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Sure, here is a 1500-word blog post about the food that ball pythons eat:

What Kind of Food Do Ball Pythons Eat?

Ball pythons are constrictor snakes, which means that they kill their prey by wrapping their bodies around it and squeezing until it suffocates. Once the prey is dead, the ball python will swallow it whole.

Ball pythons are carnivores, and their diet consists of small mammals, such as mice and rats. They will also eat small birds, such as chicks and quail.

In the wild, ball pythons will typically eat once every 1-2 weeks. However, in captivity, they may eat more often, depending on their age and activity level.

What to Feed a Ball Python

When feeding a ball python, it is important to choose prey that is the correct size. The prey should be about the same width as the widest part of the snake’s body.

It is also important to feed the snake live prey. This is because ball pythons do not recognize dead prey as food.

If you are unable to find live prey, you can feed your ball python frozen thawed prey. However, it is important to make sure that the prey is thawed completely before feeding it to the snake.

How Often to Feed a Ball Python

The frequency of feeding a ball python will depend on the age of the snake. Juvenile ball pythons will need to eat more often than adult ball pythons.

Juvenile ball pythons should be fed every 7-10 days. Adult ball pythons can be fed every 10-14 days.

However, it is important to monitor your snake’s weight and adjust the feeding schedule accordingly. If your snake is gaining weight too quickly, you may need to feed it less often. If your snake is not gaining weight, you may need to feed it more often.

What to Avoid Feeding a Ball Python

There are a few things that you should avoid feeding a ball python. These include:

  • Rodents that have been treated with pesticides or chemicals.
  • Rodents that have been dead for more than a few hours.
  • Human food.

Tips for Feeding a Ball Python

Here are a few tips for feeding your ball python:

  • Offer the prey to the snake in a secure container. This will help to prevent the prey from escaping and harming the snake.
  • Do not handle the snake for at least 24 hours after feeding. This will give the snake time to digest its food.
  • Clean up any uneaten prey immediately. This will help to prevent the enclosure from becoming contaminated.


Do ball pythons need vitamins?

Rodents lack nutrients like vitamin D. It has negative effects on the health of the snakes that eat them. Even when you buy your prey items from the best breeders there is a risk of nutrient deficiency over time. Use a calcium supplement that contains vitamin D.

What should I feed my ball python?

Ball Python prefers rats, black rats, grass mice, weaver birds and so on as they are carnivores. They will feed on any bird or mammal small enough to be swallowed.
Females eat more mammals than birds but males are more arboreal than females and eat more birds than mammals.
Ball pythons will not eat foods like fish, amphibians, eggs or other reptiles. They are mostly fed domestic mice, rats and chicks. Adding the occasional chick, quail, or young rabbit can provide enrichment.

Can ball pythons eat fish?

It is not the best food for them. Ball pythons can eat mice, birds, rats and small mammals. Some eat fish if they happen to live near water. But there aren’t many snakes that enjoy eating fish. For domestic ball pythons, it is not wise to give them fish.

Can ball pythons eat eggs?

Ball pythons can eat one egg or two in the wild. But others eat only eggs. They can be from birds, reptiles, insects, or fish. The snakes will use their flexible jaw to open their mouth wide enough to take in the egg. Avoid it unless there is an egg-eating snake.

How often do ball pythons eat?

In the wild, the ball python doesn’t have any time schedule for meals. They eat when they either find prey or a prey animal walks by them once every week or two in the wild. Most feed their pet once every week and others twice per week. Make sure to monitor your snake’s weight to ensure you are providing an appropriate amount of food.


There are varieties of ball pythons. They could be raised in different regions and have different food habits. It is good to learn earlier what type and regional pet you got. Feeding the ball python won’t be an issue once you learn about them.

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