Ball Python Weight By Age: Everything You should Know For Both Sexes

Ball pythons can have a varying growth rate depending on the frequency of feeding, pet care, genetics, and general health condition. Owners of ball pythons often wonder if their pet is growing sufficiently and accordingly. 

This article will provide basic information on the growth rate and expectations for ball pythons depending on age and other factors based on physical observation or examination. If you suspect unusual growth, weight gain, or loss, then keep on reading so you will be able to tell when to bring your python to the vet.

Cute Reptiles as Pets x
Cute Reptiles as Pets

Ball Python Weight By Age: Details Of Females And Males

Although all ball pythons may vary depending on multiple internal and external factors, the following numbers are the most observed and recorded measurements among males and females. These are based on the average weight. 

Age of a ball pythonWeight of a male ball pythonWeight of a female ball python
Hatchling 1.6 – 2.8 oz1.76 – 2.8 oz
1 month2.5 – 3.5 oz2.8 – 3.7 oz
6 months9.7 – 12.69 oz10.58-12.69 oz
9 months14.10 – 15.8715.87 oz – 1 lb 
1 year1.10 – 1.76 lbs 1.4 – 1.76 lbs
1 ½ years1.32 – 1.98 lbs2.2 – 3.08 lbs
2 years1.76 – 2.42 lbs2.64 – 3.96 lbs
3 years1.98 – 2.64 lbs2.64 – 4.40 lbs
4+ years1.98 – 2.64 lbs4.40 – 6.61 lbs
Ball python weight by age and sex

Weight is not chiefly associated with age, especially since all ball pythons vary in size which depends on various factors. However, an estimate of the age based on the average weight and vice versa is also possible to be obtained.

Ball Python Weight By Age
Adult ball python

4 Factors Affecting The Weight Of The Ball Python

Because of their weight, ball pythons have a hefty, plump body form. Multiple components might influence the growth and development rate and bodily condition of your ball python. The common four factors affecting the weight of the ball python include gender, size of the enclosure, diet, and age.

It is critical to weigh and measure your snake regularly to ensure that it is within the specified parameters.

Gender

Upon hatching, males and females have the same weight and size. They grow at the same rate for the first half of the year. However, after that, regardless of the birth weight, females grow almost twice as quickly as males and they can grow longer. This is because of sexual dimorphism.

Females have a genetically accelerated development rate. They have a fuller, more rounded physique. This physical state is closely related to their capacity to lay eggs. On average, they grow from four to five feet. However, they can still grow up to 6.5 feet. Their usual weight is five up to seven pounds.

Adult males are leaner and weigh between two and three pounds. By the age of three, males grow up to 2.5 to 3.5 feet long. They usually weigh three pounds.

The lengthiest recorded measurement was 4.5 feet, which was also considered infrequent to occur. The shortest, on the other hand, was two feet long.

Additionally, this particular factor is often favored by pet owners as it makes caretaking more controllable. 

Enclosure Size

It is quite crucial and difficult to generate a temperature gradient and provide an adequate amount of space for your pet ball python to exercise without an appropriately sized enclosure.

A 20-gallon tank will be good enough for juveniles, but adults will require at least 40 gallons. 

Some ball pythons become stressed when placed in a tank that is either too large or too tiny. However, if the enclosure is too small, the snake will not have enough room for growth as it will be too restricting, especially in terms of movement.

The size of a tank should be enlarged as it develops to give sufficient space for exercising and moving around.

captive ball python in tank
The size of your cage can affects the the growth and size of your pet ball python. The smaller the cage, the more your pet will have to squeeze itself to fit in the cage. Ball pythons are fast growers and within two years they will outgrow their tank and will need a new cage.

Diet

A feeding regimen is also essential, regardless of whether you start with rats or mice. Feeding mice to your ball python at an early age may reduce its development pace, but it will help it maintain a healthy weight. 

Feeding baby rats to your snake will help it grow swiftly at an early age. If the ball python does not eat enough, it will not be able to acquire adequate amounts of energy and nutrients. They will become undernourished and unhealthy.

It will also take them a generally longer time to grow to their full-size. Overfeeding can cause obesity. It is unhealthy for the snake as they become predisposed to weight-related problems. 

ball python eating
Ball pythons eat their food base on age. if you feed undersize rats/mouse to your ball python it may affects its growth rate

Age

The same with weight ratios, there is no particular length at which your ball python should be when it reaches a specific age. It varies in ball pythons and is influenced by both internal and environmental causes.

Ball python hatchlings typically range in size from 8 to 18 inches (20 to 46 cm). Ball pythons attain 16 to 27 inches in length by two to six months of life (40.6 to 67cm). A ball python may grow to reach 20 to 40 inches (51 to 102 cm) in length between the ages of six and 15 months.

Adult ball pythons over the age of three can grow to be three to five feet long (91 to 152 cm). Females will be bigger than men in general. Smaller males may only grow to be 2 to 2.5 feet (61 to 76 cm) in length.

How Long Does It Take For A Ball Python To Grow To Adult Size?

The majority of ball pythons attain their full size at three years of age when they are considered adults. However, those that were not adequately and sufficiently fed and nourished may not attain this milestone until they are four or five years old. The reason for this is that they are growing slowly.

Adult ball pythons can grow from three to five feet in length. They are also expected to weigh from 1,200 to 2,500 grams. They will continue growing, however, changes will not be easily discernible. 

Signs Of A Ball Python Is A Healthy Weight, Overweight or Underweight?

Physically examining your ball python is one of the most reliable techniques to determine if your ball python is healthy. 

It is important to pinpoint early emerging risks to prevent them from developing into serious health complications. Regarding weight, there are three conditions: healthy weight, overweight, and underweight.

Signs Of A Ball Python Is A Healthy Weight

A ball python with a healthy weight would have a normal appearance – a slim, triangular body. No fat deposits or rolls will be observed, thus, the body will be appearing round. The spine is also visible. The size of the head is also proportional to the body, it is not bigger.

Signs Of A Ball Python Is Overweight And How To Lose Weight

To determine if your ball python is overweight, examine its body and pay careful attention to the belly and neck.

Signs Of A Ball Python Is Overweight

There is not a specific weight to tell if your ball python is overweight because they are different morphs in captivity! However, if you notice rolls or skin folds when it is folded up, they are an indication of excess weight. 

If it appears overly round and not symmetrical from head to tail, feels soft when held in the hands, has more fat around the vent or cloaca, and has sunken or not visible spine, it is overweight. Moreover, if the head appears to be smaller than the body, it is likely to have excess fat. 

Cause Ball Python Overweight

The most common cause of overweight in ball pythons is excessive food. Overfeeding is usually the factor for gaining excess fat. 

If the enclosure is too small for the snake to move around or is too restricting that it limits the physical activity, the ball python will not be able to burn many calories. The lack of exercise is also the reason for this.

An overweight ball python
An overweight ball python

How To Lose Weight for Ball Python 

Once you have determined if your ball python is overweight, you should first reconsider the type and amount of foods given. When doing so, the frequency of feeding and the size of the prey should be modified as these also contribute to its weight. 

Remember that it will grow when given just the right amount of food. It is not recommended for it to be fed forcefully. It is enough to feed your pet once every two weeks especially if it has reached 12 months.

You can also allow it to roam around so it could burn some energy and grow more muscle. The size of the enclosure should allow such activities so you have to ensure that it has enough space. You can also position decors that allow it to climb in the enclosure. 

Signs Of A Ball Python Is Underweight And How To Gain Weight

If you suspect that your ball python is underweight, you would also have to examine its physical appearance. Appropriate action will be decided when the condition is certain. 

Signs Of A Ball Python Is Underweight

There is not a specific weight to tell if your ball python is underweight. An underweight ball python will appear thin. Its wrinkly neck, concave or depressed belly, and loose skin will be apparent. 

This can also happen when the snake has inadequate hydration. The spine will also be evident as if poking out from the skin. The size of the head will be bigger than the body.

Cause Ball Python Underweight

The reasons for being underweight in ball pythons are too little food, internal parasites, and dehydration. If it does not receive enough food, it will not be well-nourished which is required for safe and healthy growth. 

It has to receive adequate amounts of energy and nutrients. If something is also causing it to lose appetite or eat less, then this is also a contributing factor.

How To Gain Weight for Ball Python 

You may bring your ball python up to weight gradually. You must still remember not to feed it too much too fast as this will only make your pet unwell. It can also result in regurgitation and hunger strikes. 

Do not feed them heavy or large prey for rapid improvement in weight. Instead, what you can do is only provide the amount that can easily be consumed and add more little by little in each feeding.

If your ball python is extremely ill or underweight, you have to take it to the vet for proper assessment. You can also avail an internal parasite check-up.

For worst-case scenarios, consider assisted or force-feeding to nourish your pet with adequate amounts of energy and nutrients needed for survival and good health.

How To Properly Weigh A Ball Python?

Get a box large enough for your snake and place it on the scale without the snake inside. Then, tare the scale, or you can also record the actual weight of the box beforehand. Place the ball python in the box and measure as shown on the scale. 

FAQs for Ball Python Weight By Age

How much should a year old ball python weigh?

While there is not a specific ideal weight for ball pythons, knowing the usual measurement would help in tracking the health status and condition of your pet.

On average, an adult ball python would weigh between three to five pounds. 

They would also measure three to five feet long. Do note that males commonly appear smaller as compared to females.

How much should a 6-month-old ball python weigh?

A 6-month-old ball python would normally weigh around 300 to 360 grams or 0.66 to 0.79 pounds.

How old is a 120-gram ball python?

A ball python that weighs 120 grams is two months old.

Conclusion

Always make sure that your pet stays healthy by checking its size whether overweight or underweight. Then make adjustments as needed until its ideal weight is reached or maintained.

Hope the information in this article will help you take good care of your pet.