Ball Python Yawning
Most of the ball pythons sold in pet stores are wild-collected. Babies are often exported from "ranches" where adult females are collected, kept in captivity until they lay eggs, and then the babies that hatch are exported to other countries. These "ranched" babies are often much cheaper to buy than ball pythons that were captive-bred and born in the United States and may be more difficult to get feeding. Wild-collected ball pythons are more likely to have parasites than true captive-bred and born ball pythons.
There are now many different color morphs of ball pythons. Some of them, such as piebald and albinos, may sell for thousands of dollars.
All ball pythons need escape-proof cages. There are many nice glass cages with sliding tops that lock securely. A young ball python will do well in a 10-gallon size cage, around 12" wide by 20" long, while an adult ball python can live its whole life in a 20- to 30-gallon size cage, around 15" wide by 36" long. Bigger is not always better, at least for babies, since some ball pythons feel more secure in smaller cages. Many breeders keep their ball pythons in plastic sweater boxes in large rack systems. All ball pythons need hide boxes in their cages to feel secure. The hide box should be about the same height as the ball python so it feels the top of the box touching its back when it crawls inside. It should also be fairly compact so the ball python almost completely fills it up when coiled. It is a good idea to have two hide boxes, one at the warm end of the cage and one at the cool end of the cage, so the ball python can hide where it wants without having to choose protection over warmth.
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