Thinking about getting a ball python

Whats a good setup for a complete newbie? Whats a good starter ball? what books should I read, what resources should I look into? Anything in particular I should know? I know they eat mice, does it always have to be live?

I am a total newbie, and very interested. Any info is greatly appreciated.

I will be going to the Reptile and exotics show in Valdosta Georgia this Saturday, and looking around.

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You can look at my care guide I provide new owners.


I will check it out now, thanks!

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They will eat rats as adults. Usually you can get them to switch over to frozen/thawed rats which are generally safer for the snake. I would steer clear of glass enclosures especially screen top ones. PVC is a good choice for caging

Great guide. Definitely better and more accurate than most care sheets found online. Fyi your MM link has a typo - I tried to check out what snakes you have for sale but couldn’t get through. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I like wooden vivs as they keep the heat in more and allow for room to move about and climb, it gets cold in UK.

Feeding live is not good and dependant on where you live it might be illegal, but also damaging to your snake if not don’t properly. I’d suggest getting a snake that is already on frozen/thawed.

@steelserpents your guide is great. There is so much misleading info out there, this must help a lot of people.


When you buy your ball python ask the seller everything about how He keeps the snake your buying. If He feeds it live, keeps it in a rack then do exactly what He has done. The snake is use to that. He won’t be happy in anything else. I found that out with my 2 Ball Pythons. I put them back in a rack that I built and now they eat consistently and are doing better than they have since I purchased them. Some people won’t agree. But the temperature stays more consistent in a rack than a glass terrarium. Terrarium looks awesome, but my BP didn’t do well in it.
It’s totally up to you though.
Food: I have an adult ball python that eats small live rats and my young BP eats small live mice. I watch and make sure the rat or mouse doesn’t bite my snakes. If it does try, I put the tongs in it’s mouth to keep him from biting.

Thank you I will fix that

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thanks for the responses everyone, much appreciated, I will take all responses into consideration when purchasing my equipment and such. I am sure I will have more questions as things progress.