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How Fast Do Baby Ball Pythons Grow? | VenomousSnake

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How Fast Do Baby Ball Pythons Grow? These enchanting serpents, also known as royal pythons, captivate enthusiasts with their striking patterns and gentle demeanor. As we embark on this informative journey, prepare to be amazed by the extraordinary growth rate that these tiny wonders undergo during their early stages of life. From adorable hatchlings to impressive juveniles, the metamorphosis of baby ball pythons is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Join us as we delve into the depths of their development, exploring the marvels of evolution and uncovering the secrets of their speedy growth!

How Fast Do Baby Ball Pythons Grow?

How Fast Do Baby Ball Pythons Grow?

During the first year of life, baby Ball Pythons undergo remarkable changes, doubling in size with sheer enthusiasm. At birth, these little serpents emerge at around 10 to 17 inches (25 to 43 cm) in length, but their zest for life knows no bounds. Within just a few months, they’ll astound you by reaching the 2-foot milestone, boasting a lush, intricate pattern of earthy colors, captivating even the most seasoned reptile enthusiast.

But hold onto your hats, dear reader, because the enchantment doesn’t stop there! With each passing month, these voracious eaters savor every meal, indulging in a diet of appropriately-sized rodents, promoting an impressive growth spurt. By their first birthday, these pint-sized pythons can measure an awe-inspiring 3 to 4 feet (91 to 122 cm) long, making you gasp in sheer awe at the growth they’ve accomplished in such a short span.

As nature’s canvas unfurls before our very eyes, the beauty of these baby Ball Pythons lies not only in their physical growth but in their enchanting personalities as well. With an inquisitive and amiable demeanor, they’ll charm their way into your heart, leaving an indelible mark on your soul.

To support their magical journey, ensure their habitat is a cozy haven, adorned with all the essentials for proper growth. A well-maintained enclosure, warm basking spots, and regular feeding schedule will undoubtedly nurture their exuberance and health, while allowing you to witness their vibrant growth firsthand.

How big do ball pythons get?

Ball pythons are one of most popular snake breeds to possess. Their compact size, stunning transformations and docile demeanor make them an attractive breed for both experts and novices.

Compared to other pythons, such as the reticulated python, ball pythons are small. They average 4 feet in length. Males of the species are typically smaller than females, which can sometimes grow up to 5 feet long. Sexual dimorphism, where the female is larger than the male, is normal in snakes.

On rare occasions, ball pythons can reach up to 6 feet in length. As with any species, smaller than average or runt specimens may occur. There are factors, besides genetics, that can influence how big and fast a ball python will grow. THE Journal of Animal Ecology found that growth rates are strongly influenced by food availability and environmental factors.

Ball Python Growth Rate

Ball Python Growth Rate

Healthy ball pythons they usually reach their full adult size by 3 years of age. However, there are multiple factors that can affect their growth rate.

THE Journal of Comparative Physiology found that juvenile ball pythons quadrupled in size during their first year. This is typical of multiple snake breeds. The table below offers a comparison of the time it takes for different snake species to reach their adult size in captivity.

Note: average adult size is determined when they become sexually mature in most circles. Therefore, females often take longer to reach adult size and mass, which can skew the means.

Species It’s time to reach adult size Average size + weight
Ball python: 3 years 3-5 feet, 3-5 lbs
Corn Snake: 2 years 4-5 feet, 1.9 lbs
bull snake: 2 years 4-6 feet, 4-8 lbs
Stimson’s python: 3 years 3.6 feet, 0.8 lbs
Red Tailed Boa: 3-5 years 8-10 feet, 50 lbs

What are the effects on the growth of Baby Ball Python?

What are the effects on the growth of Baby Ball Python?

Genetics don’t affect growth rate as much as people might believe. The three main things that can affect your Baby Python’s growth are diet, health, and the environment.


Your ball python’s growth rate will suffer diet. This is in relation to the quality of the food and how often it is fed. Essentially, the more calories your snake consumes, the faster it will grow. Overfeeding (electric feeding) is not good for the animal’s health.

Each snake has its own habits and preferred feeding schedule. However, there is a rough schedule you can use to guide feedings. Refer to the table below and make your changes.

Stage of life Power frequency
Cub Every 5 days (first 2-5 feedings only)
One year Every 7 days
Sub-adult (juvenile) Every 10-14 days
Adult Every 14-21 days

Choose food of an appropriate size for your snake. For example, an average sized adult ball python would need to eat an average sized rat twice a month. Choosing the right size of food is crucial to providing adequate meals.

Temperature and Humidity: Baby Ball Pythons require a warm and humid environment to thrive. The temperature gradient in their enclosure is essential, with a hot spot ranging between 88°F to 92°F (31°C to 33°C) and a cooler side around 78°F to 82°F (25°C to 28°C). Maintaining the appropriate humidity level, usually around 50% to 60%, is crucial for healthy skin shedding and overall growth.

Enclosure Size

The size of the enclosure should be adequate for a baby Ball Python to move comfortably without being too large, as that might cause stress. A baby python can start in a smaller enclosure and then gradually transition to a larger one as it grows.


Providing fresh water at all times is crucial for baby Ball Pythons to remain hydrated and aid in digestion. It also helps maintain the required humidity level in their enclosure.


While handling your baby Ball Python can help with socialization and reducing stress, it’s essential to handle them with care and avoid excessive handling, especially during feeding or shedding periods.


As baby Ball Pythons grow, they shed their skin periodically to accommodate their increasing size. Proper humidity levels in the enclosure help facilitate smooth shedding, preventing any complications or retained skin.


The genetics of the baby Ball Python can also play a role in its growth rate. Some genetic traits may affect growth patterns and coloration, but all healthy baby Ball Pythons should grow at a steady rate with proper care.


Regular health checks by a reptile veterinarian and prompt treatment of any illnesses or health issues are vital for a baby Ball Python’s growth and well-being.

Does a snake’s gender affect growth rates?

Females tend to be larger and may take longer to reach their full size due to their need to carry and produce eggs. In contrast, males may reach sexual maturity and their full size earlier as they prioritize breeding at a younger age. However, other factors like environment and care also play a significant role in a snake’s growth, regardless of their gender.

Do ball pythons stop growing?

All snakes are indeterminate cultivators. Any animal classified as an indeterminate grower, as defined in The ecology of indeterminate growth in animalshe is an individual who never stops growing.

Ball pythons grow rapidly until they reach adulthood. Once they have reached this stage in their lives, as with all snakes, their growth will slow to a crawl. However, they will continue to grow throughout their life. Considering that the lifespan of a ball python can reach double digits, this means that they can grow to larger sizes than expected.

Is My Ball Python Underweight or Overweight?

  • Body Shape: A healthy ball python should have a well-rounded body shape, with a noticeable taper towards the tail. If the snake appears too thin with prominent spine and ribs, it might be underweight. Conversely, if the snake appears too round and bulging, it might be overweight.
  • Weight-to-Length Ratio: The weight-to-length ratio can give you an idea of your ball python’s overall health. Generally, a ball python is considered healthy if it weighs about 10-15% of its length. For example, a 3-foot long ball python should weigh around 170-255 grams.
  • Muscle Tone: An ideal ball python should have good muscle tone along its body. If the snake feels weak and flabby to the touch, it could be overweight. If it feels bony and lacks muscle, it might be underweight.
  • Feeding Habits: Evaluate the feeding habits of your ball python. If it consistently refuses to eat and loses weight over time, it might be underweight. Conversely, if it overeats frequently or has trouble digesting food, it could be overweight.
  • Behavior: Observe the snake’s behavior. An underweight ball python may become lethargic, weak, and show little interest in its surroundings. An overweight ball python may have difficulty moving or become less active.
  • Veterinary Checkup: If you’re uncertain about your ball python’s weight or health, it’s always best to seek advice from a reptile veterinarian. They can examine your snake and provide professional guidance tailored to its specific needs.

Providing Proper Care for Baby Ball Pythons

Housing and Enclosure: Select an appropriately sized enclosure for your baby ball python. A 20-gallon tank is suitable for a young snake, but be prepared to upgrade as it grows. The enclosure should have a secure lid to prevent escapes. Provide plenty of hiding spots using branches, rocks, and artificial plants. A warm hide and a cool hide should be available to allow the snake to regulate its body temperature.

Temperature and Lighting: Maintaining the correct temperature is crucial for a ball python’s health. The warm side of the enclosure should be around 88-92°F (31-33°C), while the cool side should be around 78-82°F (25-28°C). Use an under-tank heating pad or a heat lamp with a thermostat to ensure proper temperature regulation. Ball pythons are nocturnal, so they do not require UV lighting.

Humidity: Proper humidity is essential for your snake’s health, shedding, and respiratory well-being. Aim for a humidity level of 50-60% in the enclosure. You can maintain humidity by misting the enclosure with water regularly and providing a large water bowl. Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels.

Feeding: Baby ball pythons have specific dietary requirements. Offer appropriately-sized frozen and thawed mice or rats every 5-7 days. The food size should be no larger than the snake’s thickest part of the body. Always feed your snake in a separate feeding container to avoid them ingesting substrate or accidentally consuming their enclosure. Remember to wash your hands before and after handling food to avoid any potential health risks.

Handling and Interaction: Handle your baby ball python regularly to get it accustomed to human interaction. Start with short sessions to prevent stress and gradually increase the duration. Avoid handling the snake for 48 hours after feeding to prevent regurgitation. Always support the snake’s body when handling, and be gentle and patient.

Hydration: Ensure that your snake has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Check the water bowl daily and refill as needed. Keeping your snake hydrated is vital for its overall health.

Health and Veterinary Care: Regularly monitor your baby ball python for any signs of illness or abnormal behavior. If you notice any changes in eating habits, shedding problems, or other health issues, consult a reptile veterinarian immediately. Regular check-ups are also essential to maintain your snake’s health.


How quickly do baby ball pythons grow?

The growth rate of baby ball pythons can vary, but on average, they experience significant growth during the first year of life. Typically, they can grow anywhere between 10 to 18 inches in their first year.

What factors influence the growth rate of baby ball pythons?

Several factors can influence how fast a baby ball python grows. These factors include genetics, feeding schedule, diet, environmental conditions (temperature and humidity), and overall health.

How often should I feed my baby ball python to support healthy growth?

Baby ball pythons should be fed once every 5 to 7 days during their first year. It’s essential to provide appropriately sized prey items to avoid overfeeding or underfeeding, which can affect their growth.


In conclusion, the captivating world of baby ball pythons unveils a mesmerizing journey of rapid growth and wonder. These enchanting serpents, bursting with energy and enthusiasm, embark on a remarkable transformation from tiny hatchlings to formidable young adults in just a matter of months. Witnessing their growth is akin to observing a living masterpiece, with each passing day revealing new colors, patterns, and behaviors that leave us in awe.

So, dear readers and fellow enthusiasts, I implore you to delve deeper into the magical realm of baby ball pythons. Embrace their enthusiasm, appreciate their resilience, and marvel at their rapid growth. For there is no better teacher than nature itself, and through the eyes of these captivating serpents, we are reminded of the wonder that surrounds us every day.

With that, I invite you to explore further into the enchanting world of reptiles and wildlife through the captivating stories on our Venomous blog. Let us continue to appreciate the beauty of our natural world and ensure that these magnificent creatures thrive for generations to come. Together, we can safeguard their habitats and celebrate the extraordinary growth and existence of baby ball pythons and all the remarkable creatures that share this planet with us. Happy reading!