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Reptiles/My ball python isn't growing.


I've had a female ball python for about a year and seven months. She's only shed once and hasn't grown since I got her as a baby from a breeder at a reptile expo. She lives in a sizable cage, but doesn't eat very often. I offer her fuzzie-sized mice roughly once a week, and she either eats two or refuses them all together. Her refusing food can go on for months. Once, she stopped eating for almost a year. I didn't think much of it, since I have a corn snake who regularly refuses food. Albeit, the corn snake is an adult. Otherwise, she acts healthy; she drinks regularly and her tongue is quite active. However, she seems to prefer sleeping under her cold water dish and not under her log over the heat pad.
Could it be she simply isn't eating enough? I thought ball pythons were supposed to reach adult-size at roughly 14 months of age. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Hello Allie,

Do you have any pictures of her?  They do grow very slowly, but she should have grown some in the amount of time you have had her.  It usually takes up to 3-4 years before they are full grown.  Of course, some can grow more rapidly than others can, depending on genetics.
What are the temperatures for her in the tank, do you have a warmer area on one end of her tank for her?
The fuzzies are probably too small, possibly.  It is likely she isn't eating enough but something might be off in her set up to keep her from having the proper appetite.
I have an adult male ball python who can get quite stubborn on his eating too, but as you mentioned, the adults don't tend to eat much.
Do you think she is big enough to eat a small rat?  Do you feed frozen/thawed or live fuzzies?

Let me know how she is doing.



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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