Is It Okay to Feed My Ball Python Live Mice?

Is It Okay to Feed My Ball Python

Novice keepers are frequently overwhelmed by the information available on “is it okay to feed my ball python live mice? How many mice should they feed their ball python?.” Due to this misconception, their ball pythons may occasionally be fed excessively or insufficiently, or they may not receive the proper nutrition for survival.

Although it’s general knowledge that mice are a ball python’s preferred meal, how many should you give your pet ball python?

Adult ball pythons should be fed 2 to 5 adult feeder mice every two weeks. Juvenile snakes (less than a year old) should have one adult mouse weekly, whereas small ball pythons or hatchlings should have 1 to 4 pinkies every 5 to 7 days.

This article will go through “is it okay to feed my ball python live mice, how many mice can you provide a ball python at once, what size of mice should I feed, and how frequently should I feed my ball python so on.

How Many Mice Should I Feed My Ball Python?

Generally speaking, juvenile ball pythons cannot eat more than one mouse at once. This is because they are not long enough to comfortably fit over one mouse inside their digestive tract. Pinkies would be better for juvenile ball pythons than one adult mouse. However, 2 to 5 adult feeder mice must simultaneously be given to adult ball pythons. This is highly dependent on the adult snake’s size and appetite. Many average-sized adult ball pythons can handle three mice at once.

What Size of Mice Should I Feed?

When considering how many mice to give your ball python, two factors are taken into account: the size of the mice and the age of your ball python. The youngest and smallest ones typically consume little frozen feeder rats or mice. Larger rats or mice are often eaten by larger ball pythons. selecting prey for a ball snake. 

Generally speaking, you should choose a rodent that is 1 to 1.25 times the size of your snake’s midsection. 

Juvenile ball pythons prefer pinkies because they are more likely to choke or regurgitate on food that is broader than their bodies. Adult ball pythons also adhere to this rule. Never feed them prey that is larger in diameter than they are. However, this makes it simple for caretakers to give their adult ball pythons full-grown mice to eat.

How Do You Feed A Ball Python Live Mice?

One option you may choose to feed your ball python is live mice. To prevent transmitting any contaminants, it is important to acquire your live mice from a reliable supplier. A reliable supplier will have fed the mouse appropriately as well. You run the danger of giving your snake parasites or anything dangerous if you offer your ball python a mouse you capture in or around your house. Choosing the right size of live mice is the first step in feeding live mice to your ball python. The size of the meal is crucial; else, your ball python can have some issues. Your ball python can regurgitate the mice if the meal is too large. Ball Pythons experience discomfort during this phase, which may result in internal problems. The mice could potentially get stuck in the snake’s mouth or oesophagus. You must remove the mouse stuck in your pet ball python if this occurs. 

One mouse every feeding is the ideal amount to give your ball python. The snake will find it more difficult to capture more than one mouse at once, particularly with live mice. Feeding live mice already has the possibility that the predator will become the prey or, at the least, inflicts harm on your pet snake.

Pink Ball Python

Once the proper size has been determined, you must feed your mouse, put it in the cage, and wait for the ball snake to see it and strike. Don’t try to make your ball python an easy meal by holding the mouse in your hands. This is a definite method to get your hand bitten, and your ball snake will start to link your hand with the meal. Keep an eye on the situation to ensure your ball python doesn’t suffer any harm and get rid of the mice if the snake doesn’t try to eat them.


  1. Choose a rat whose girth is less than that of your ball python.
  2. Ensure the rat or mice is free of parasites and injuries.
  3. Lift the rat by the tail using gentle tongs.
  4. Open the lid of the food container for your ball python or the cage and hang the rat from it.
  5. Your pet snake should strike in response to the rodent’s motions and smell.
  6. Never let the rat loose in your python’s cage or drop it on the snake.

How Much Time Does a Ball Python Need to Digest a Mouse?

Depending on the number and size of mice fed to a ball python, digestion at optimal conditions might take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. If the temperature in the cage varies from the optimal range, this time might be prolonged to more than five days. It is also highly dependent upon snakes.

Most snake keepers know that a snake should defecate shortly after it has finished digesting its meal. The situation is different with ball pythons. After being eaten, some could poop more than a week later. If they have not passed any stool for two weeks after eating, it should not be a problem. There is no need to be concerned about this.

It is not necessary to wait for your ball snake to defecate before feeding it again. Feeding must be done regularly as long as the ball python looks healthy. You can be confident that by day six, the mice have been digested, and the only reason your ball python has not pooped is likely because it has given in to one of its many quirks.

Alternatives To Live Prey

If you are concerned about feeding your ball python live prey out of safety for your ball python, you can consider utilizing frozen or pre-killed prey. Mice that have been frozen can be easily purchased and delivered right to your doorstep. The diversity of frozen prey available is one of its many great features.

You could buy frozen mice in various sizes to fit your snake as it grows or any additional snakes you might have in different sizes. These frozen rats and mice come in a variety of sizes. Buy pinkies, baby mice with no fur, or fuzzies, somewhat older mice with a little fuzz that has just begun to develop.

You may also acquire adult mice and rats in the size you require, ranging from small to extra-large. The mice must be thawed before being fed to your ball python because they can’t consume frozen mice.

They are cold-blooded and need a warm environment for their bodies to function properly, which will harm your pet and slow down their physiological activities. Use a pair of tongs to wiggle the frozen rodent you’re feeding your ball python in front of the snake to make it more appetizing. To get the ball python to eat, cut open the frozen mouse’s head and expose the animal’s brain.

Like a live mouse, never feed the snake directly with your hands. The snake will become confused and believe your hands are food. You will be bitten if you handle the ball python regularly because they associate hands with food.

Your ball python will be far keener on live prey than frozen prey, so frozen mice aren’t as attractive to them. Again, this is a much more natural alternative for them, but with enough conditioning and training, your snake may get acclimated to pre-killed mice.

Frozen or Live Mice?

Frozen mice are your best choice if you want to feed a ball python or any other medium-sized snake. It will be parasite-free and safer to use frozen mice. It might be difficult to provide freshly dead mice because you have to store a fresh supply and raise them with your pet snake.

Last but not least, live mice could harm your snake. Therefore, this is not a good choice for hatchlings. But you can do this effectively once your ball python is an adult.

Is It Okay to Feed My Ball Python Live Mice

Feeding your pet ball snake live prey is the most natural way to teach your ball python to eat. When giving live prey to your pet, there are a few things to be careful of. It would help if you remembered that animals, whether they are mice, rats, or even gerbils, will make every effort to survive. This implies that when you put the ball python in the enclosure with your pet snake for eating, it will struggle for its life, putting your snake in danger. 

The mouse or other rodents may hurt your pet while they struggle for their lives by biting, scratching, or injuring them in various ways. You will have to pay significant vet fees and worry about your pet’s well-being. At worst, your pet ball python may be killed as the prey battles for its life.

Therefore, it’s best to avoid feeding your ball python live prey. Live mice might bite your pet snake if they are frightened. Even little rodent bites have the potential to spread an infection that may harm your ball python.

Why Isn’t My Ball Python Eating?

Stress is an often neglected factor in snake refusal to eat. Your ball python may become stressed out and stop eating if the enclosure is new, there are other snakes in the enclosure, or it has been handled excessively. A picky ball python will also quit feeding if the prey is different. While species like the ball python may live up to two years without a meal, smaller snakes often eat more frequently than bigger ones.

A python about to shed its skin could stop eating for a while. It is best to wait this time, as it is normal. After the shedding, you may try feeding it. Additionally, you may try altering the tank’s accessories or the cage’s temperature and humidity levels. If the temperature isn’t right, your ball pythons can freeze or overheat. It could be reluctant to eat as a result.

Invest in a reliable thermometer to monitor the temperature and humidity in your tank for pythons. It would be best to get expert guidance when dealing with other issues, such as digestive problems.


Ball pythons of all ages make excellent low-maintenance pets. They can survive for extended periods without food, don’t require complex feeding schedules, and are mostly content to eat rats and mice. Feeding live mice to your ball python is a great approach to provide it with the nutrition it requires. If your snake is a picky eater, this is also a good thing to try, but be sure you’re aware of the potential risks of feeding live prey. Consult your vet to find out what will be most beneficial for you and your ball python if you’re still concerned about your snake’s feeding habits. We hope this article helped you better understand whether it is okay to feed my ball python live mice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the ball python like mice?

Larger rats or mice are often eaten by larger ball pythons. Choosing prey for a ball snake. Generally speaking, you should choose a rodent that is 1 to 1.25 times the size of your ball python’s midsection. Smaller prey is acceptable, but avoid consuming too much food.

Can ball pythons spend their whole life on mice?

When they become big enough, adult ball pythons will consume rats and mice. Some hobbyists of ball pythons strongly believe that you should not give your ball python any insects or mice and should only feed it various life stages of rats.

How frequently do ball pythons eat?

A ball python doesn’t require feeding daily. Larger ball pythons often eat once per week or two, but younger or smaller ones typically need to eat every five days. They require fewer feedings as they become older because you feed them more at once.

Should I give my ball python frozen or live mice?

The most frequent feeding issue keepers have is their snake’s reluctance to bite and consume pre-killed prey, such as rats and mice. For the protection of the snake, it is recommended to offer pre-killed prey, whether it is fresh or earlier frozen. However, there are occasions when your ball python resists eating pre-killed prey.

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