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Old 10-23-18, 07:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Male size to age??

So I bought my first/only male ball python in March at an expo. The breeder said he was about 4-5 months old, which at the time seemed fine. Since Zhang is my only and first snake I didn't really question it. But his size now seems to be confusing me... He is 32 inches long and 604 grams (measured on September 26th). I found a chart done where people studied 15 ball pythons (The gender is not given), where they measured their weights each month. His weight puts him at month 13! Which is just over a year! His "supposed" birth month is December, which would mean right now he is about 10 months old. But somehow 32 inches long, 604 grams seems like he is too big to be that young! Is he actually older than what the breeder said, or is he just a fast grower? Or is this completely normal for a male ball python?
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Old 10-23-18, 11:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Male size to age??

My female ball python, Nagini, is 34-ish inches and 501 grams and she's 11-13 months old. How much and how often are you feeding him? And are you positive that he's a male?
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Old 10-23-18, 12:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Male size to age??

It's impossible to tell the age of a snake by their size. There are just far too many variables to consider.

What type and size prey are you feeding and how often?
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Old 10-23-18, 06:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Male size to age??

I’ve never actually had him sexed, he was sold as a male... he’s on medium rats, one every 7 to 9 days
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Old 10-23-18, 07:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Male size to age??

That explains the fast growth! Most males never need anything more than a small rat every 7 days. And once they hit a certain size a small rat every 10-14 days is often enough.

There are 2 basic rules of thumb for feeding juvenile BPs
1) the prey item should be about the same width around as the snake at its largest point
2 ) the prey item should weigh between 10-15% of the snakes weight.
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Old 10-24-18, 05:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Male size to age??

The rats are as big as his width, and are 60-90 grams. Which is 10-15% of his body weight? I only just started him on the medium rats. He was eating small rats once a week, but his weight and size grew up to the next size rats... should I sex him or have him sexed?
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Old 10-24-18, 06:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Male size to age??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah844 View Post
The rats are as big as his width, and are 60-90 grams. Which is 10-15% of his body weight? I only just started him on the medium rats. He was eating small rats once a week, but his weight and size grew up to the next size rats... should I sex him or have him sexed?

There's a lot of literature out there on the problem of obesity in captive snakes. After a lot of reading, I decided to keep Nagini's meals closer to 10% of her body weight and I feed her every 9-10 days. If I were you, I'd space out his feedings a little more and keep them closer to 60 grams (a small rat by most feeder size charts) than 90. Gender is also a factor in how big BPs get: females get substantially larger and heavier than males so having your snake sexed would give you an idea of whether or not it still has growing to do.
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Old 10-24-18, 06:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Male size to age??

At 600 grams a small rat every 7-10 days is plenty. There's definitelyno need to feed a medium at that size.
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Old 10-24-18, 07:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Male size to age??

Oh ok. I thankfully did not buy a large supply of medium rats, heíll be done with them soon, and Iíll switch him back to smalls. In the meantime Iíll feed him less often, maybe once every 10-11 days?
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Old 10-25-18, 07:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Male size to age??

A small rat every 10 days would suffice. Ball pythons, like most snakes, have evolved to really not need a ton of food.
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