How often do Ball Pythons shed? People who own ball pythons as a pet have this question in their minds. Ball Pythons are relatively hard to care for. They face many health problems, one of which is shedding.
Like all other snakes, Ball Pythons shed their skin in one piece if they are healthy. However, a beneficial Ball Python sheds their skin after every 4 to 6 weeks. The shedding process can take up to 10 to 14 days. The shedding process is called ecdysis and occurs regularly in healthy snakes.
Why Do Ball Pythons Shed?
All snakes shed their skin, which also includes the ball pythons. Ball pythons shed their skin to make way for new, fresh, and healthy skin underneath. Researchers have found that adult ball pythons shed their skin less frequently than juvenile ball pythons.
How Often Do Ball Pythons Shed
Adult and healthy ball pythons are usually shed after every 4 to 6 weeks. Their shedding depends on their age, health, and species type. Juvenile ball pythons are energetic and at their peak growth rate, which makes them shed much faster than adult snakes. For example, adult ball pythons shed after every 4 to 6 weeks, whereas, Juvenile ball pythons shed after every 2 to 3 weeks. However, ball pythons’ shedding rate slows when they reach maturity.
How to Know When Ball Pythons Start To Shed?
Ball pythons become moody and require a specific environment. They need additional care and become aggressive and stressed when their shedding season starts. However, it is very important to know when your ball python starts to shed so you can take good care of your snake. Here are three signs for which you should look:
- Your snake’s belly would slightly turn pink from the original color.
- Your snake’s skin might not look smooth and fresh. It could be muted and dull.
- Their eyes will look blue and milky.
Snakes go through the blue phase process when their shedding starts, in which they become blind and their eyes become milky or blue. This is one of the easiest ways to identify whether your snake is in the shedding process. They shed within the next 36 to 72 hours when their eyes become clear and they can see again.
How Long Do Ball Pythons Take To Shed
The complete snake-shedding process takes at least 1 to 2 weeks. There’s a pre-shedding process in which the ball python’s belly turns pink, its eyes may turn blue, and its skin starts to become dull. However, when their eyes are normal again, they may take 36 to 72 hours to start shedding.
Should I Feed My Ball Python While Shedding?
Snakes eat all types of animals. It can be birds, rabbits, insects, rodents, and snakes. But, most snakes will refuse food during shedding. They sometimes throw up if fed during their shedding period, so it’s better not to provide your ball pythons during their shedding season because you will be simply wasting the food. Don’t live your snake, either. It might cause critical health problems for your snake.
After How Long Should I Feed My Ball Pythons When Shedding Is Over?
Snakes can be fed instantly after their shedding. They are very hungry and looking for food. You can give your snake a good meal and regular access to water. If snakes are not fed well after their shedding, they might face mild health problems. Things that you can provide your ball pythons after their shedding.
- Eggs (Depends on species)
Is Shedding Painful For Ball Pythons?
No, ball pythons or other snakes do not feel pain when shedding. A lubricating layer is formed between the new and old skin, which helps snakes not feel pain. They do feel irritation because the coating can’t prevent that. Handling them during shedding would be a mistake. First, your snake might get critical health problems. Second, your snake might bite you because they become sensitive and sometimes aggressive.
Why Does My Ball Python Not Shed in One Piece?
There are multiple reasons your ball python is not shedding in one piece
- The temperature was not normal.
- The humidity level was different from their requirements.
- The snake might have skin conditions.
- Handling during their shedding period.
- Snakes need to have a proper diet.
When you identify that your ball python shedding has started, make sure to give the exact humidity level, which should be at least 50% to 70%, and the temperature should be at least 70°F to 80°F on the cooler side and at least 75°F to 90°F on the warmer side. Please don’t increase the humidity or temperature to the exact figures. It might cause skin issues for your snake.
When snakes do not shed in one piece, gently remove them with your hand. If it still does not come off, try putting that part of your snake in a bowl of slightly warm water and then remove it with your hand.
Caring Guide For Your Ball Python When It’s Shedding
Shedding is a stressful time for your snake. Your snake needs special care to complete the shedding process successfully.
Here are a few things that might help you take care of your ball python.
1 – Humidity
Snakes require high humidity levels when their shedding period starts. To check the humidity level of your snake tank, you should place a hygrometer on the top of your snake tank. The humidity level of your snake tank should be at least 50% to 70%. If the humidity level is low inside, place a large bowl of warm water and cover the tank from the top, increasing the humidity level of the snake tank. However, if the humidity level is higher than 70% and your snake is in the tank for a long time, it may get skin problems, so make sure that the humidity level is between 50% to 70%
2 – More Space
When snakes start to shed, they feel irritated and awkward. They get stressed and aggressive during their shedding period. Providing them with a big space and the correct environment helps them shed quickly and are observed to be healthier.
3 – Mist The Snake
Get an empty spray bottle, fill it with luke water, and then spray it on your snake a few times so that when your snake sheds, it can easily take off the older skin. However, not all snakes allow you to mist directly on them, so if this is a problem, you can mist the snake tank from the inside.
4 – Add A Bowl Of Water
Add a large bowl of water or a large basin where your snake can fit easily. The bowl should have enough water to wet the snake completely so that your snake can soak itself in the water and easily take off its old skin. Add another small water bowl from which your snake can drink.
5 – Don’t Handle Your Snake
Snakes become very stressed and aggressive when their shedding starts. Holding them would be a mistake. They might attack you for doing this. Shedding is very awkward for snakes, so it is best to leave them alone during this period.
6 – Don’t Feed Your Snake
All snakes do not eat while they are in the shedding period. They tend to keep their bellies empty for quick shedding. If they are offered food while shedding, they will reduce it; if they eat it, they might throw up. However, you can give your snake food right after the shedding period because snakes are hungry after shedding.
7 – Clean The Snake Tank
Once your snake is done shedding, make sure you clean the snake tank. There will be small transparent pieces of your snake’s old skin. Remember to use gloves while cleaning the snake tank.
Can I handle my ball python while shedding?
It is best not to handle your snake while shedding. Snakes feel awkward and sensitive while shedding, so it’s best to leave them alone.
How do I know when my ball python is going to shed?
There are things to note on a snake to confirm they are about to shed. Check if the snake’s belly is pink, then check its eyes, if they are blue or if your snake’s skin is becoming dull.
How to remove old skin from snakes after shedding?
Most snakes remove their skin in one piece. Some that do not shed their asking in one piece have some old skin left which can be removed by putting your snake in a water basin and removing it with your hands.
Ball pythons often shed their skin after every 4 to 6 weeks. However, juvenile ball pythons shed skin more often than adult ball pythons. Snakes start to shed their skin when they reach their maturity level, which happens when they get between 3 and 6 years of age. Snakes feel awkward and sensitive while shedding and sometimes become aggressive and may result in biting you if you try to be held. In this article, we have also discussed the caring guide for your ball python.