Care Sheet: Burmese Python Size
They are typically available from captive breeders or reptile shop online . Snakes of this size, however, are unusual and do not reach these proportions quickly or by accident.
Growth is rapid initially, but slows considerably after about 10 feet. After all, subsequent requirements are less important once the snake has disappeared into that hole in the wall behind the washing machine because you forgot to properly secure it.
The size of the enclosure should be large enough to allow the snake a reasonable amount of movement, yet small enough to permit accurate temperature and humidity control. Burmese pythons are terrestrial snakes that spend most of their time on the ground, so the floor space of their enclosure will be more important to the animal than the height of the cage.I recommend the enclosure have roughly the floor space equal to four to six times the area of the snake itself when it’s in a flat coil.
The cage should also have a door that allows easy access and that can be closed securely. Heat and humidity are easily lost through vents, especially through those on the top of the enclosure. Small vents located on the sides of the cage will permit adequate air exchange. Wood, plastic and glass are all acceptable materials for cage construction. All corners and edges are rounded, leaving no difficult-to-clean areas.
A quicky of the typical behavior of a baby burmese python vs an adult…..
The cages are lightweight, have large tempered glass viewing areas and, best of all, someone else has made them already. Regular and spot cleanings are required with proper reptile cleaning supplies . It is virtually impossible to provide a naturalistic vivarium for a large python, unless only the sturdiest of materials are used. Substrates are generally selected for utility rather than aesthetics.
Newspaper is absorbent, fairly sterile and readily available. Various woods, shavings and shredded substrate products are acceptable, too, although they tend to foul in moist environments.
Slightly cooler temperatures are allowable at night.
This heat can be provided in several ways.
Heat pads or undertank heaters are available in many pet shops that stock reptile supplies.
They provide safe, even heating for smaller enclosures.
Heat tape is also available and serves the same purpose, although it allows more flexibility in heating larger areas more economically. Various types of snake heat lamps are also available and effective, as well.
There are many types of reptile heat lamps and fixtures you can choose from. It is important, though, to give the snake some choice in determining its own temperature. In the wild, the animal would be able to thermoregulate by freely moving between warmer or cooler areas.
These choices are limited in captivity, but by proper heater placement, it is possible to give the snake some control over its own temperature.
The maximum thermal gradient can be obtained by placing the heater at one end of the enclosure rather than in the center. It will be warmer nearer the heater and cooler as the distance from the heater increases.
This will give the snake a wider range of choices in regulating its own temperature.
The heater, it should be noted, serves two purposes.
It provides a warm area so the snake can increase its body temperature, yet it also provides the heat that increases the ambient temperature of the enclosure. Depending on the type, size and construction of the cage, heat loss from the cage and the temperature of the air outside the cage, the heater may need to be much warmer than the average temperature of the enclosure itself. Always be certain, however, that the snake can retreat to a cooler area as it sees fit. In the first and most primitive way, the temperature can be controlled by initially selecting a heater with an output that provides the acceptable amount of heat.
If ambient conditions outside the enclosure are constant and the heater output remains the same, then the temperature inside the cage should remain constant, as well. It is difficult to select a heater with exactly the heat output necessary, and constant conditions outside the cage are not always as constant as they might be. Because a thermostat monitors the temperature of the enclosure and activates the heater to add heat when appropriate, it is by far the best method for controlling cage temperature.
There are two types of thermostats on the market for use in herp-related applications.
The thermostat continuously monitors the temperature and makes slight adjustments in the electrical current to the heater. In this type, the heat is always on, but only at the level necessary to maintain the set temperature. Proportional thermostats eliminate the fluctuations caused by the on/off cycle of conventional-type thermostats and provide a continuous warmth from the heat source. Adding heat to the enclosure can dry it out and provisions must be made to retain moisture. A tightly constructed cage with a water bowl and minimal air vents should keep the relative humidity above 60 percent or so. Wooden cages should be painted and sealed. Aquariums with screen tops are difficult to regulate. Heat rises and escapes through the top, requiring additional heat to maintain the appropriate temperature, which further dries out the enclosure. Aquariums should be used with tops that restrict heat and moisture loss.
I feed an appropriately sized meal whenever the snake is hungry. Several sensory systems are operating in a feeding python. Second, the food item must move in the manner of a potential meal. And third, the food item must be warmer than its surroundings.
Burmese pythons eat only warm-blooded prey and have sensory organs (pits) to detect the slight amount of heat generated by the body of a potential food item. A combination of these factors seems to be important in eliciting a feeding response in newborn pythons.
Once a baby python has had its first few meals, it is possible for it to learn behaviors that allow it to recognize and eat prekilled food items, or even chicken parts or processed snake foods.
Burmese Python Growth Rate
It is sometimes recommended that snakes be fed only dead food items to avoid potential injury that could be inflicted by the struggling prey item. It is important to remember, though, that nearly every meal taken by a python in the history of the species has been living. Nature has prepared them well to deal with the possible associated problems.
As the snake grows, it will require more food, of course. Soon, though, the snake will require more than one mouse at each feeding. When the snake is regularly eating several mice per feeding, try offering it a small rat instead.
There is a young rabbit that’s equivalent in mass to a very large rat; substitute one of these as the snake grows, and increase the size of the rabbits as the snake increases in size. It is not necessary for the snakes to be able to submerge themselves in the water dish. Snakes have only a limited ability to reason. Believe me, that statement is quite generous.If the snake is handled infrequently and most of its interaction with its keeper occurs during feeding time, this conditioning is reinforced. With large snakes, especially, it is important that the snake learn to differentiate feeding time from other times, and you from its dinner. It will make little difference to you what thought processes have led to your current situation as your snake’s mouth latches onto your forearm. What this means is that it’s a very good idea to be aware of your snake’s location and orientation when feeding or when servicing its cage. It’s also best not to house more than one snake per cage, and it’s essential not to feed more than one snake in a cage at the same time. For some reason, the data did not load properly.
Baby Burmese Python Vs Adult
Dave Palumbo showcases his albino burmese python“Penelope” and discusses what it takes to be able to legally own and breed …
Burmese pythons are also among the heaviest of the giant snakes.
Burmese can achieve a weight of more than 200 pounds! There are considerable requirements that need to be satisfied before purchasing a giant snake. For instance, does your lifestyle lend itself to owning a giant constrictor? Will you be able to handle the adult snake when it grows to be in excess of 100 pounds? Many giant snakes require two people or more to be present when caring for, cleaning, and feeding the snake. Whatever you do for feeding, cutting back on the feeding schedule as the snake’s growth slows is the best way to prevent the risk of obesity. For rabbits, the best method is to ask your supplier to kill the rabbits at the time of purchase. Burmese pythons, as well as every other kind of large snake for that matter, love to eat fowl of any kind. If you want to purchase food in quantity, you can buy pre-killed frozen prey and store them in your freezer.
The frozen prey will need to be thawed slowly before feeding your python. But there is one essential husbandry practice that can make the difference between life and death, and that’s heat provision. Burmese will continue to thrive in mildly sub-standard heat with otherwise good care, but a chronic or dramatic lack of heat will suppress their immune systems, making them vulnerable to a host of health issues.Most cases of reptile respiratory disease are caused by inadequate heat gradients in the snake’s enclosure. Early stages of respiratory disease will cause snakes to wheeze as they breathe, or they may elevate their heads.
If caught early, successful treatment could be as simple as providing a proper heat gradient. If caught late, your pet may need reptile-safe antibiotics and a full veterinary work-up. It is not contagious to people but is to other snakes.
Affected snakes should be immediately and strictly quarantined, and euthanasia should be considered. Blister disease primarily occurs due to severely inadequate hygiene, and scale rot is caused by a breakdown of the immune system. Snake scale infections can have symptoms that range from mild hemorrhage to severe blistering and ulceration.
The result looks almost like a chemical burn in the form of blisters and can take several weeks to heal. As far as substrates go, easy-to-replace is the main goal. As long as there’s a basking area available you should be able to avoid all the health issues associated with temps that are too cool. No matter what heat option you choose, take special care to ensure there aren’t any exposed heat elements that could burn your snake. Listed below are some of your heat source options.
They are large, rigid plastic-enclosed units that emit high surface heat over broad areas.
Pig blankets must be controlled with appropriate thermostats.
Plastic sockets with cardboard liners will burn after just a few hours.
Like every other heat source, using rheostats or thermostats is crucial. Incandescent bulbs must always be on the outside of the enclosure where the light can’t burn the snake. Take special care to not let these overheat. Just be careful as it takes a while for a snake to realize that it is on a hot rock. In that time, the hot rock can cause a burn or ulcer on the snake’s body. Burmese pythons may seem sluggish in the wild, waiting alongside game trails and rainforest watering holes to grab their prey, but they’re far from helpless.
Burmese are actually excellent tree climbers and like to swim and bathe (the water supports their body weight). Burmese pythons used to be the standard prop of every self-respecting snake charmer, but these days they reside mostly in zoos, nature centers, and on display at pet shops.
On the opposite extreme, pythons have been highly sought and hunted for centuries to be used as food, for their prized skins, and for use in various local medical remedies.
Unfortunately these potentially huge constrictors are often poorly cared for and are frequently released into the wild. Attacks on handlers, sometimes deadly, are not uncommon.
They are capable of reaching 23 feet or more in length and weighing up to 200 pounds with a girth as big as a telephone pole. However, as they mature and their size and weight make tree climbing unwieldy, they transition to mainly ground-dwelling.
They have poor eyesight, and stalk prey using chemical receptors in their tongues and heat-sensors along the jaws.
They kill by constriction, grasping a victim with their sharp teeth, coiling their bodies around the animal, and squeezing until it suffocates.
They have stretchy ligaments in their jaws that allow them to swallow all their food whole. Females lay clutches of up to 100 eggs, which they incubate for two to three months.
Burmese pythons grow quickly while young, but like most snakes, this rapid growth diminishes sharply once adulthood is reached. At the beginning of the study, a subset of snakes measured approximately 3 feet in length at 9 months of age. At the end of the study, approximately 2 1/2 years later, the snakes measured about 10 feet.
The snakes increased in mass an average of almost 2 pounds per 100 days, or about seven pounds per year.
The snakes in the study were fed prey of varying size, at intervals of 12 to 125 days.
Through the desire to have a large pet and the entertainment value of watching a snake eat, many captives eat much more often than their wild brethren. Additionally, captive pythons are typically provided with access to constant heat and digest food more quickly than wild snakes.
Well-fed, captive hatchlings can double their size in a matter of weeks, reaching 6 feet in length before they are 6 months old. Lower metabolic rates allow for quicker growth, but feeding frequency and prey size had little to no effect on growth rate as long as a similar overall food quantity was provided.
This animal, as with many other old captive snakes, was very overweight, tipping the scales at 400 pounds.