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Posted by chrish on April 17, 2003 at 01:17:27:
In Reply to: Re: Why dosn't any one like balls? posted by Coldth1 on April 16, 2003 at 21:44:24:
I am one of the reasonably experienced people here who doesn't believe ball pythons make a good beginner snake. I have kept captive bred and born ball pythons and wild caught ball pythons over the years.
If you get a guaranteed captive bred and born that is eating f/t mice, you will have a great pet (I have one like that right now and it eats like a pig, every time I offer food). Males may occasionally miss a meal if it is breeding season, but otherwise they are easy to feed.
If you buy a wild caught or farm bred (hatched from a wild caught female) snake, you are likely to have problems. I would hate to imagine how many baby ball pythons suffer agonizing deaths in this country every year from these baby farms.
How do you tell?
Buy a Ball Python from a reputable breeder who will guarantee it is captive bred and born and that it is eating f/t mice. However, many beginners end up with baby ball pythons from Petco or some other pet chain that was farm hatched, shipped across the country, crammed in a cage full of other babies, and offered live adult mice as food. BTW - those baby BPs in Petco, Petsmart, local pet stores, etc that retail for $79.99 or even on sale at $49.99 wholesale for $6 each if you buy 20.
Go to an expo or find a reputable breeder and buy a captive bred snake and your experience will be great. Buy a petco special, and you will be one of the dozens of folks posting their problems on the ball forum every month.
And feeding is only part of the problem. Ball Pythons have more rigorous husbandry requirements than say, a corn snake. Many newbies don't fully appreciate the temperature requirements of ball pythons and get horrendous advice from a local pet store and end up having trouble because of poor husbandry.
Most beginners aren't aware of these things, get bad advice from pet stores (and assume the baby balls in the pet store are captive bred) and end up disappointed. That's why many of us don't recommend BPs for beginners.