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Old 10-12-12, 11:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Multiple balls in one cage??

So I have had my ball python Lucy for a couple years now and she is quite big.. well big ish I guess. I've seen bigger.

I aquired another ball about a year and a half ago from a friends friend who was looking to get rid of his, because my sister was interested in getting into the snake game. I took care of him for about 6-8 months before she was ready to take him. He is considerably smaller than my ball Lucy, and recently she has moved into my basement, ball python included

We've had them both out at the same time so they could explore each other and have had no issues.. but recently I have thought about housing them in the same cage and wanted to get some opinions on this. The local pet store I go to has had a pair of ball pythons housed together for awhile and everything seemed to be fine. They are now split off, I dont know if they were for sale or employees pets.

My mine concern is whether or not ball pythons con co-habiiat together peacefully.. these two were housed together for one night while I owned them both, and in the morning both were found in seperate cages with poop covering the other cage. There were only two hideouts in that cage (one hot, one cold side).

The cage I would like to put them in is 90 gallons, there isn't enough room to have 2 separate hot and cold hideouts for each of them so I basically would like to get some input from others who have gone through this and judge whether its a good idea or not.

For the record I *believe* my snake Lucy is a female and my sisters Leo is a male, although I have never had them sexed by someone who knows what they are doing.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-13-12, 12:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Multiple balls in one cage??

There are several threads where people ask about this, and often people get some heated or angry remarks from members.

I wont deliver an angry remark though. I will tell you simply; NO.

Alessia will no doubt come on eventually and provide the example that will deter any owner( and i mean owner, not store or shop) from housing more than one bp for anything other than breeding.

The smaller or weaker of the two will be eaten. No doubt about it, it will happen. They are solitary animals and the only time they should be housed together is between one male and one female, and only for breeding. Other than this they will compete for space and eventually one will be swallowed to "resolve the issue" of whose territory is whose.

Not angry at you i promise. Just dont want your snakes, and you, to suffer that sort of event.
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Old 10-13-12, 12:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Multiple balls in one cage??

I agree with not housing them together also, but The chances of your Ball eating his cage mate is slim. If the snakes are fed properly they will not generally try to eat each other. I know cannibalism has happen between Balls, but it is not common. As was pointed out snakes are generally solitary creatures and become stressed when housed together. Also transferring diseases between the two snakes is possible. At feeding time you would have to separate the two, to prevent fighting over the same food item. It just is not a good idea to keep them together, although some people do it with no issues.
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Old 10-13-12, 03:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Multiple balls in one cage??

Not the best idea to co habit a lot of species.. I won't go over the same points as above, but here's a couple I've seen myself from a friend co-habiting corn snakes.

He would tell me that they loved to curl up together and lie together.. Well there was only2 hides, one hot and one cold. So there wasn't really a choice if they needed heat. This to me looks like a dominance display as the bigger corn's head was usually on top.

He also refused to separate at feeding time. This led the bigger corn eating hers faster than usual and getting the smaller corn's head in her mouth after attempting to eat his mouse aswell. This is when I convinced him to give them up as he'd lost interest and didn't really care.

It can be done successfully but you've got to be careful and provide the right enclosure including lots of different hides with multiple warm spots. Just my opinion, hope this helps.
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Old 10-13-12, 06:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Multiple balls in one cage??

Ball pythons are solitary creatures and do not share territories with other ball pythons. You must only house ONE ball python PER enclosure. Co-habitation of ball pythons can be dangerous and even fatal. The only time 2 ball pythons should ever be in the same enclosure at the same time is if you're attempting to breed a male and female together- which you should only do if you are experienced and both the snakes are ready and healthy to do so. Breeding ball pythons is not for beginners.

If you house two ball pythons together, it may appear as if they are "cuddling." To think that snakes "cuddle" is a human projection. Two snakes seen wrapped up together are competing for the same space. Co-habitation can stress one or both of the snake out, leading them to miss meals, get sick, or become overly stressed. Eventually, one ball python may eat the other to resolve the issue. The risk simply isn't worthwhile.

One ball python that ate another when they were housed together:

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Old 10-13-12, 08:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Multiple balls in one cage??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaetlinv View Post
The smaller or weaker of the two will be eaten. No doubt about it, it will happen. They are solitary animals and the only time they should be housed together is between one male and one female, and only for breeding.
It is absolutely untrue that "the smaller or weaker of the two will be eaten. No doubt about it". It is possible, but highly unlikely.

It is true that snakes are solitary animals, and are best off housed alone

The picture above (being 2 ball pythons) is of a rare occurrence.
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Old 10-13-12, 08:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Multiple balls in one cage??

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Originally Posted by MoreliAddict View Post
It is absolutely untrue that "the smaller or weaker of the two will be eaten. No doubt about it". It is possible, but highly unlikely.

It is true that snakes are solitary animals, and are best off housed alone

The picture above (being 2 ball pythons) is of a rare occurrence.
Yup. Which is why I said " one ball python may eat the other to resolve the issue"
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Old 10-13-12, 11:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Multiple balls in one cage??

I apologize for my statement, then. I meant in a long-term situation (as in months or years), not a short term (days or weeks).

This is why I try and say (which I failed to do in my first post here, oops) to listen to alessia or the other ball python experts above my word. Sorry for not saying such; I was sleepy when I posted it last night.
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Old 10-13-12, 11:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Multiple balls in one cage??

Besides, the chance of it happening should be enough to deter a good owner.
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Old 10-13-12, 12:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Multiple balls in one cage??

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Originally Posted by alessia55 View Post
Besides, the chance of it happening should be enough to deter a good owner.

You would think that but so many people take chances on lives that aren't their own for the sake of simplifying things for themselves.
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Old 10-13-12, 12:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Multiple balls in one cage??

Ok thanks a bunch for the input, I have always been wary of having the two snakes even near each other as I wasn't sure how they would react. And after seeing the two at the pet store in one cage I figured it must be ok because they seem to have a pretty knowledgeable staff there. Now that I think about though, they were actually Demerul Boas (I think I spelt that wrong) that were housed together.

This settles it though, seperate housing for sure, there is NO way I would take a chance on harming either mine or my sisters ball python, however slight the chance of cannibalism may be. Nor do I wish to add any uneeded stress to their lives.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 10-13-12, 02:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Multiple balls in one cage??

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Originally Posted by C5Chris View Post
Ok thanks a bunch for the input, I have always been wary of having the two snakes even near each other as I wasn't sure how they would react. And after seeing the two at the pet store in one cage I figured it must be ok because they seem to have a pretty knowledgeable staff there. Now that I think about though, they were actually Demerul Boas (I think I spelt that wrong) that were housed together.

This settles it though, seperate housing for sure, there is NO way I would take a chance on harming either mine or my sisters ball python, however slight the chance of cannibalism may be. Nor do I wish to add any uneeded stress to their lives.

Thanks for the replies.
I'm glad you've decided not to have them share an enclosure. No matter how knowledgeable the staff may come off, it is seldom a good idea to assume a pet store is doing the right thing and not the convenient thing.
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