Are you looking for the cheapest to the average cost of getting a ball python as a pet? After looking at some popular pet sellers and speaking to people with years of experience in keeping ball pythons we have come up with the potential cost of having a ball python as a pet.
However, this can vary depending on where you shop. It will depend on where you buy them, what type (commonly referred to as a morph) you get, and where you would buy the equipment to house them. The equipment would include the size of the enclosure.
As well as how to set it up with lighting, decorations, substrates, and thermometers. Another cost is food and if need be medicine.
The prices range for a ball python will be anywhere between about 250 USD (with a normal/ wild ball python and the cheaper equipment) to 11 000 USD (with the most expensive morphs, and breeder)
The prices all depend on where and when (look out for sales) you go shopping.
How Much Are Ball Python Morphs?
A morph is a species of a breed of snake. Morphs are when the appearance of certain snakes look different from each other. This is often due to a type of genetic mutation that brings about certain colors, and patterns.
The ball python has about 26 morphs in its family, some are two genes while others are one gene. The rarer the morph the more expensive the ball python is.
However, the cost can depend on where they are brought as well as how in demand they are. The more in demand a morph is, the higher the price tag. And what morphs are “in” can also determine their price. The prices below are an estimate. Here are some of our favorites:
Before going to the list of prices for ball python morphs. All the credit to these awesome website for the cute photos of the morphs.
BEL Morph: 300- 800 USD
The cost of this morph is representing the majority for the cost of a ball python.
BEL morphs (Blue Eyed Leucistic) are still fairly rare to find. They would take a collection of other morphs such as Mojaves, Butters, Lessers, and Phantoms morphs.
Butter Morph: 90 USD
It is a mixture of Phantom, Lesser, Russo, and Mojave giving it over four genes, making it difficult to be bred.
Bumblebee Morph: 170 USD
Not easy to find. Will take a pastel morph breeding with a spider morph to create.
Mojave Morph: 200 to 4000 USD
A common snake but it is also very much in demand. Breeders love this morph because they can create so many other morphs from it. Hence, the price range.
Lesser Morph: 100 to 2000 USD
Used to create other morphs due to its colors and ease with brushing. Not a common snake to come by, but depending on size can be in demand.
Phantom Morph: 125 to 150 USD
Used to breed with other snakes to create interesting morphs. They are in demand, but seem easier to come by.
Pastel: 50 to 100 USD
This is a common one that is easy to find. Breeders often use them to create other morphs for their colors.
Axanthic Morph: Over 300 USD
It also has a recessive mutation, making their color look like that of a black and white photo. Difficult to come by and to create.
Champagne Morph: 250 USD
A co-dominant morph that breeders will use to test for others like it. And to breed them. However, it is not too common but fairly in demand.
Cinnamon Morph: 70 USD
A co-dominant gene snake that is common to come by. Not as in demand since it is not as popular among breeders.
Coral Glow Morph: 350 USD
Known to only produce males, and they are co-dominant genes. Rare to find might be in demand due to their unusual color for breeders.
Fire Ball Morph: 400 USD
Rare to find, and difficult to breed making it have a high price.
Ghost Morph: 80 to 100 USD
It has a recessive mutation causing its color to hazy. Not popular among breeders and therefore, most likely no demand for it.
GHI (Gotta Have It) Morph: 3000 to 10000 USD
A brand new morph, making it a rare find due to having just been created. It is also codominant.
Cost Of Accessories
Once you figured out which morph of ball python you would like to get, you can then decide what enclosure you should buy. However, it is a good idea to get the enclosure and all the accessories before you get your pet snake.
You will need a place to home them. Plus, you can always add to the enclosure after a while once you see what your snake needs.
You can go for the already made glass enclosure or a huge plastic Sterilite bin. The latter would require you to drill holes in it to allow for air circulation and that the water does not become still. The price for this can be about 15 USD and it is the cheaper opinion.
The former is more expensive. A glass tank of 40 gallons could cost about 45 USD. However, for a glass tank, you would need a lid that can go for about 23 USD as well as a lock (about four of them) going for 8 USD.
The total cost would be about 76 USD. You should also consider blacking out the back or sides of the glass enclosure to give them more privacy. This can be about 2 USD for tape and printed paper.
The cost for substrate will depend on what type you want and what your snake will need to shed. The cheapest would be eco-earth which is 4 USD per brick (but it is known to dry out quickly). While the more expensive one can go for 13 USD per bag (such as Cypress Mulch).
However, you would need more than one bag/ brick (at least two) for the enclosure. A mixture of substrates could work best and you would be looking at about 8 USD to 26 USD depending on what you get.
But this can be a monthly cost since you should change it. Some substrates are said to be reusable but you would need to see how it goes with you and your snake.
Ball pythons are shy creatures, and they like to hide. Therefore, you should have caves/ hides from them to chill in. One on the spot and the other on the cold one. You can make them yourself or go from store-bought ones.
The price can go from 0 USD to 40 USD depending on what you decide to do. You can also add more decorations such as branches, rocks, etc. These can be found around the garden (make sure you sanitize them before you place them) or from stores that put them on sale.
You could end up paying at least, maybe 2 USD. Or you can go crazy and spend however much you want. But do not crowd the tank, your snake does need to move around.
Thermostats are used to measure and regulate heat along with heating pads to heat the tank so that your snake can function well. Heating helps them digest their food better.
Heat pads can go for about 21 USD per item while a good thermostat can go for 18 USD. Bring the total cost to 39 USD.
Thermostats are necessary to make sure your snake does not overheat and burn themselves.
You can use a kitchen thermostat to check the hot spots, cold, spot, and substrates inside the tank to get a more accurate reading just to double-check that all is well inside your snake’s house.
Some snakes sleep during the day and move in the night. Ball pythons are one of these types known as nocturnal. They do not necessarily need a light in their tank but you can get one to help create a day/ night cycle.
There are little ones that can go for about 10 USD. But generally, if you have constant light in the room, or the tank is close to a window then an extra light is not needed.
Ball pythons like to drink. They can drink a lot, especially after a meal. A water bowl can go from about 5 USD (a dog bowl or any plastic container can work) to 30 USD for the fancy looking ones that bend into the decorations.
The same can apply to food bowls. Therefore, you would be looking at 10 to 60 USD.
Cost Of Food
Ball pythons can eat frozen rats and if they are babies you can feed them small birds. The amount of food and the size of the rats will depend on the size of your ball python. Ball pythons can eat about twice to three times a month.
Depending on where you get your rats they can be from 1 USD to 5 USD per rat. This is a monthly fee meaning you could be looking at 10 to 15 USD. But you should check with your vet first on how much and often feed them. Baby snakes eat more than adults.
Plus, you may want to invest in a long tong (about 6 USD) to place the food in the bowl or to feed your snake. This is so that they do not accidentally bite you.
Cost Of Healthcare
The cost of healthcare when it comes to owning a ball python can vary depending on what type of medical issues they may have. It is suggested that a pet snake should have a physical examination twice a year, six months apart.
Common illnesses (medical disorders) that ball pythons may get are anorexia mouth rot (infection in their mouth), respiratory infection, retained shedding, parasites or ticks or mites, prey-induced trauma, and if they get burned.
You would be looking at about 50 USD per visit. Regarding vitamins, if they are fed well and healthy food (even if frozen) they will not need any additional vitamins. However, it is also best to check with your vet and an expert to make sure.
If you wish to breed ball pythons then you would have to invest in an incubator that can house their eggs. You can build one using a shoebox or go online to see what there is. Ball pythons can lie up to about three to 11 eggs yearly, usually about six eggs on average.
A store-bought incubator can range from about 11 USD to about 500 USD depending on where you go, how big it is, and what brand it is. Plus, what other features (like LED screen, thermometer, etc.) you can get.
Are ball pythons friendly?
They are known for being calm and friendly. They should be handled once a day to get used to you and to be shown some love. But do not get in between them and their food, this is a common animal trait not specific to ball pythons.
Can a ball python kill you?
Ball pythons are not venomous or poisonous. But the likelihood of a person getting attacked and killed by a ball python is extremely rare. They must be absolutely famished to even go after a person.
People are not part of their diets. Therefore, there is no need to kill them.
How much does a ball python eat?
This depends on the size of the ball python. Adults can typically eat about two to three large rats a month. While babies can eat smaller ones about every week.
What is the cheapest snake to buy?
The cheapest ball python to buy would be the normal/ wild one that is not a morph. Coming in at about 50 USD (or under depending on where you go). However, the cheapest snake ever would currently be the Corn Snake (20 to 50 USD).
The price of a ball python depends on what morph it is, where you buy it, and how much you are willing to spend on the items. If you are a beginner, they make a great pet snake. However, maybe start with a normal/ wild ball python to get your head around it.