Ball Python

What Type of Substrate Is Best for Ball Python?

What Type of Substrate Is Best for Ball Python?

Ball python is one of the most popular pet among the python family. The owner provides best food, best environment and also best bedding for ball pythons to make their pet more comfortable. The ball python usually found on the tropical areas of western and central Africa, and it appears at different colours and shades. The main reason for choosing ball python as their pet is because of its friendly nature and its size. Size of the python may vary from hatchlings to adult male and female. Approximately the size of  hatchlings will be 10 inches, adult male python will be 2 to 3 feet in length and female adult will be little larger than others, it ranges from 3 to 5 feet long. The lifetime of python will be maximum 30 years that too if you maintain it in a healthier way.

If you are decided to own a ball python as your pet, the main thing you have to concentrate is you need to provide better environment for your ball python. In that providing best substrate as its bedding plays a major role in its comfortable environment. The best substrate will not allow the cage from getting damp, so that the python can find the best place to play well inside its cage.

Importance of furnishing cage for ball python:

What Type of Substrate Is Best for Ball Python?

Python is little shy so if it sees anyone suddenly it will go deeply under the cage to hide its body from others. For this you have to provide good furnishing and best bedding for ball pythons to hide. Next mandatory thing for ball python is you have to set some climbing areas, so that it can stay in rolled position for some time. Substrates and furnishings you are adding should retain moisture inside the cage, so do according to that.

The bad substrates to avoid for ball python cage:

What Type of Substrate Is Best for Ball Python?

There are many good substrates and also bad substrates, so be aware of good and bad one. Here are some of the of bad substrates, this will give you a clear idea for buying substrates;

  • Sand: sand is not highly recommended, because it will often get dusty. Apart from this it will not allow humidity to stay for long time.
  • Pine shavings: not only for ball python for all reptiles this pine shavings is not recommended. The reason for this is, these substrates have oil and that may cause some neuro damage to the pets.
  • Care fresh: this substrate can get dust easily and also it cannot keep the cage with needed humidity.
  • Reptile carpets: look of this substrate will be good but it is very heavy to carry. Cleaning becomes tuff one for this substrate.

So while buying substrates you have to keep in mind about the safety. Substrates you are buying should not make any harm to pets. Pick according to that and build a best substrate that makes your pet feel comfortable.

How to build a cage for ball python?

What Type of Substrate Is Best for Ball Python?

Try to build the cage as simple as possible because if you elaborate the cage with lot of things you have to clean and maintain it properly. Many enclosures will suits well for ball pythons. Use glass than plastic for enclosures and tanks. The main disadvantage of using glass is it can’t maintain the standard humidity on the top of the screen. Size is also a prominent thing for pythons, because small pythons enjoy well in small enclosure but large pythons feel more stressed in small enclosure. The main thing you have to include inside the cage is “hidden box”. You can place one or two hidden box in the cage to make python happy.

Heating and lighting process: the enclosure should maintain both hotspot and cold spot on both of its end. Measure the temperature with digital thermometer for indoor and outdoor areas by sticking thermometer on the cool place and placing probe on the heat end. Set 88 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit for basking spot and 78 to 80 degrees as ambient temperature.

There should not be continuous lighting for ball pythons, it should works on the ratio of 12/12 which means 12 hours on and 12 hours off. The reason behind this is continuous lighting will make stress to python. Heat lamps, heating pads, ceramic heat emitters, basking bulbs etc., helps to maintain proper humidity inside the enclosure. Avoid hot rocks it may produce heat unevenly inside the enclosure and can cause serious damage to snakes.  Good humidity maintenance helps ball python to survive properly.

Food and water for ball python: At initial stage python likes rat for their food. Later it grows up you can feed it with pre killed or frozen rodents. Most advisable thing is don’t give live rodent, because it may cause injury to the python. Give food for every 10 to 14 days for ball python and for adults feed once in every 1 to 2 weeks. Monitor the weight of ball python regularly if any abnormalities in its weight then do some proper remedy for that. Usually in shed cycles the pythons will not eat generally.

The depth of the water dish should have maximum 1inch depth, it should not be more than that. Python usually enjoys by soaking inside the water, if it is too deep it will not comfortable for it. Change the water daily and also clean the dish once in every week with disinfectant.

How to handle ball python?

What Type of Substrate Is Best for Ball Python?

Most of the time ball python will be in a hidden state until you become familiar to it. Better handle it when it feels comfortable with you otherwise due to excessive fear some may hide and some may bite you. Another important thing is handle it after feeding if its hungry it may attack you with anger.

Handle it in a proper way and also provide best bedding for ball pythons, better food, water and proper lighting etc., to make it more comfortable and happier.

Hank's Story

But, I’m Innocent . . .

But, I'm Innocent . . .

My first hearing was June 19 before Judge Buzzard in Lewis County District Court in Chehalis, Washington.  

Even though Judge Buzzard could  have set me free with the new county ordinance, he didn’t.  He also ignored all the new evidence presented, which included a video, because he said he didn’t believe us.  He ordered  me put to death in 48 hours.  

My attorney had to appeal!  My second hearing was before Judge Edwards of Grays Harbor County Superior Court on September 8.  He said it wasn’t his job to second guess a lower court.  I just couldn’t catch a break.

Adam Karp filed new pleadings and on October 18 at 11 a.m. with my whole family (Jann, Gary, Jason, and Buddy) in court, the Honorable Judge John C.  Skinder ruled that equity, at least for my hearing, counted.  

He ordered me immediately released and my death sentence rescinded.  I could go home, but that wasn’t the end.  The preliminary injunction was only temporary.

On December 8 Lewis County requested mediation in order to resolve my case.  A contingent agreement was reached, and on December 18, Buzzard’s and Edwards’ rulings were vacated, and I became a free dog!  

Hank's Story

I Almost Had A Good Life . . .

I Almost Had A Good Life . . .

On May 9, 2017, detectives from the Sheriff’s Department came seized me without an explanation.  My family begged the detectives not to take me, but they said they had to take me.  It was the law.

My new family didn’t know when they adopted me and no one told them that on April 1, 2016, my mom and I had gotten out of the house through a slider that hadn’t been properly closed.  

I was a very young dog. At first, I was playing with one of the goats, but then my mom ran up and chased the goat.  They ran, so I ran.  My mom wasn’t playing, and before I knew, the goat was dead. My mom had also attacked another goat. In the end, two goats were dead and a little pony was hurt.  

Ever since I was six weeks old, I lived in California on 3 acres with goats and chickens.  Goats weren’t a meal; goats were family — that’s what I knew. Thing is, I couldn’t prove that I didn’t kill the goats or hurt the pony.    

In Lewis County dogs that kill livestock are put to death.  My mom managed to escape justice by going to another state, but I got left behind.  I ended up getting blamed for something I didn’t do.  

I was locked up and labeled a dangerous dog and that label carried a stiff sentence — death. 

Hank's Story

This Is How It All Began . . .

This Is How It All Began . . .

This is Hank’s Story. On January 17, 2017, I was adopted from the Lewis County Animal Shelter in Centralia, Washington.

I was adopted to be a pal for Bruce Almighty.  I liked Bruce, but Bruce didn’t really like me.  He sulked a lot, but mostly he ignored me.  

The nice couple who adopted me didn’t want Bruce to be sad, but they knew they would never take me back to the animal shelter.  Jason, the son, and my pal Buddy, the grandson, were the perfect answer,  and they jumped at the chance to have me for their very first pet.

I was so happy.  I went everywhere with Jason and Buddy.  Buddy fed me, played with me, taught me dog stuff, and at night we slept side by side.  

We  still went to see Bruce almost every night for dinner.  After our walk in the evening, I would climb into a lap while they watched TV, lick their face, and everyone would laugh.


Adam P. Karp, Esq.

Adam Karp

Adam P. Karp, Esq., a lawyer from Bellingham, Washington, represented Jann Propp-Estimo and Hank.

Adam, a successful lawyer focusing on the practice of animal law, came to Centralia, Washington, to Help Save Hank.

Facebook Group Page

A Facebook Group page, “Hank Off Death Row,” was created for open discussion.  Filings, pleadings, as well as results of court hearings, were posted for everyone to review.   

You can reach Hank Off Death Row Facebook page here.

Case Highlights

December 20 — The honorable Judge John C. Skinder signed the Order of Stipulation and Agreed Order of Dismissal making Hank a free dog with no restrictions, and his history wiped clean from everything before December 8, 2017.

December 8 — Lewis County requested the matter be resolved through mediation.  A contingent agreement was reached.  All contingencies were satisfied as of December 18.

October 18 — Judge Skinder granted the Preliminary Injunction and ordered Hank be immediately released, and he rescinded and voided Judge Buzzard’s kill order.