How Often Do Ball Pythons Shed?

Whether youre a new ball python pet owner or a seasoned snake keeper, its essential to know how often ball pythons shed to better care for your snake during its shedding process.

When ball pythons shed, they require a specific environment, may grow agitated and stressed, and need additional care (more on these things later). Keep in mind; these signs are not overly obvious or noticeable, so youll need to be attentive and observant to see them.

Interestingly, during this blue phase, ball pythons are virtually blind (no wonder they get a little grumpy and reclusive! Once its eyes clear up, expect your ball python to shed within the next 36 to 72 hours. Again these indicators are not striking or pronounced, so make sure youre carefully observing your snake so you know when its about to shed.

Contrary to what some people may think, shedding isnt typically painful for a ball python. As they shed, a layer of lubricating moisture forms between the old and new skin, ensuring the process is relatively pain-free. If your snakes enclosure measures less than 50 percent humidity, add a large water dish to its cage, use a humidity-holding substrate like orchid bark substrate, or cover the top of its enclosure to keep more humidity inside.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. This will still increase humidity levels and support your snakes shedding process. As your snake begins to shed, you may want to place a basin of water inside its enclosure to soak.

One of the ways snakes shed their skin in the wild is by rubbing against coarse objects like stones, tree branches, and other rough materials. Recreate this natural process by adding bits of tree bark, a few branches, pine cones, and other outdoor materials to its enclosure. So if you attempt to pick up and handle your snake during shedding, it may be extra sensitive or even aggressive.

Bally pythons often drink large amounts of water after shedding, so pay close attention to your snakes water levels throughout the shedding process so youre ready to refill when necessary. Its important to remove these excess piles of skin after your snake finishes shedding so its enclosure is clean and fresh. Snakes will often defecate after shedding, so use gloves to clean all fecal matter and excess skin.

During this time, youll notice its skin will become dull and darker, its belly will turn pink, and finally, its eyes will get milky and opaque (this is the blue phase. While ball pythons typically shed their skin just fine on their own, they sometimes encounter problems and may need additional help. If your ball python doesnt entirely shed its skin around certain areas like its eyes, it can impair its vision and cause stress and health problems, so its crucial to make sure all the skin sheds.

If your ball python sheds incompletely, start by soaking it in shallow water. One way to soak your snake in water is to place it in a large pillowcase and tie a knot at the top so it stays in the case. Then place your snake (still in the pillowcase) inside a large dish tub filled with 1 inch of warm water.

Leave the pillowcase and snake immersed in the shallow water for about 20 minutes once a day. As the snake crawls around in the wet bag, the leftover skin will start to flake off. The friction of the motion combined with the damp towels should help loosen and remove the incomplete shed.

A veterinarian can help remove the excess skin, but they will also examine your snake to make sure no other health issues are going on to cause the shedding problem. If youve been wondering how often a ball python sheds, we hope this article answered your question.

Why is my ball python constantly shedding?

There are numerous factors that may lead to dysecdysis, or abnormal shedding in snakes. Two of the most commonly seen reasons include malnutrition and humidity levels being too high or too low for the species of snake. One of the main reasons snakes shed their skin is to remove any parasites or collected bacteria.

Can I handle my ball python while shedding?

Ball pythons feel vulnerable when they’re going through a shed cycle. … That’s why it’s so important to keep your ball python well hydrated — it helps them shed properly, all in one piece. You can handle the ball python anytime after a shed. Just leave it alone when it’s going into the shed.

How often should my snake shed?

The interval between sheds depends on several factors, including the age of the snake as well as its growth rate and environment. Young snakes that are growing rapidly shed frequently— every few weeks —while adult snakes shed less often, sometimes only a few times a year or less.

Ball pythons are one of the most popular snakes kept in captivity worldwide. Keeping them can be very rewarding and on the whole, is not too difficult.

It is always important to check the snake after it has shed to ensure that there is no skin remaining on the tip of its tail, and that the eye caps have been completely removed. The humidity in the cage can be increased by simply moving the snakes water bowl on top of the heat source.

This way when you put your hand inside of the snakes primary enclosure, you will not trigger a feeding response and get bit. For the younger ball pythons who are stubborn eaters, methods such as cup feeding can quickly solve your problem. However, when purchasing a baby ball python, the breeder you bought it from will (typically) ensure the snake is eating well before selling it to you.

If you find that your baby snake is giving you problems, make sure your husbandry requirements are being met to the tee. There are also a plethora of forums online where people are very keen to help new snake keepers and posting your feeding (or other) problems can often lead to finding a quick solution.

The frequency at which ball pythons shed depends on the snakes individual metabolism and how fast it is growing. Young ball pythons shed approximately every three to four weeks, and adult ball pythons shed about every four to six weeks. Sometimes other events, like infection or trauma, can cause ball pythons to shed more frequently. If a snake is not growing or is not eating well, it may shed as infrequently as two to three times per year.

The first signs of an impending shed are foggy, blue-ish eyes, dull coloration of the skin, and a pinkish tinge on the belly. Providing a covered bowl with a lid and a hole cut out allows the snake to soak and can help hasten the shedding process.

i have an assumed female ball python of 9 or 10 months old and she shed about three weeks ago, the first time since i brought her home. im wondering how often do they generally shed at this age? ive read that they grow about 3 feet in the first 3 years of life and grow slower after that so im just curious as to how often she will most likely shed at this age!

BPnet Veteran Every 4-6 weeks on average, but the amount of food that they eat will control how often they shed. 0.1 Normal Ball Python (BHB Reptiles) 0.1 BCI 0.0.2 Cornsnakes 0.0.1 Kingsnake 0.0.2 Firebelly Toads 0.1 Chocolate Labrador (1998-2013)

Why Do Ball Pythons Shed

Ball pythons shed their skin so they can grow.Essentially, the old outer skin is removed to make way for the newer, larger skin underneath.This is why juvenile ball pythons shed much more frequently than older ball pythons.

How Often Does a Ball Python Shed

Ball pythons typically shed every 4 to 6 weeks.However, as mentioned earlier, juvenile ball pythons are at the peak of their growth rate, so they generally shed their skin much faster than older ball pythons.For example, young ball pythons may shed as often as every 30 days, whereas adult ball pythons may only shed every 45 to 60 days.Ball pythons usually reach maturity at around 3 to 5 years of age, at which point both their growth rate and shedding frequency slows.

Is Shedding Painful For a Ball Python

When ball pythons shed, they require a specific environment, may grow agitated and stressed, and need additional care (more on these things later).So it’s essential to know the signs and recognize when your ball python is about to shed to better take care of it during the shedding process.Three main signs are indicating your ball python is going to shed.Keep in mind; these signs are not overly obvious or noticeable, so you’ll need to be attentive and observant to see them.This is called the blue phase or “being in blue” because its eyes look milky and blueish.Interestingly, during this blue phase, ball pythons are virtually blind (no wonder they get a little grumpy and reclusive!).Once its eyes clear up, expect your ball python to shed within the next 36 to 72 hours.Again these indicators are not striking or pronounced, so make sure you’re carefully observing your snake so you know when it’s about to shed.

Create a Shedding Box

To shed properly, snakes require high humidity levels, so one of the most important things to do for your snake while shedding is to maintain its enclosure’s humidity levels.Ideally, aim for a cage humidity of between 50 and 70 percent humidity.One of the easiest ways to regulate cage humidity is to use a hygrometer (or humidity gauge).If your snake’s enclosure measures less than 50 percent humidity, add a large water dish to its cage, use a humidity-holding substrate like orchid bark substrate, or cover the top of its enclosure to keep more humidity inside.Learn more about how to keep the humidity up in a ball python tank by reading our dedicated guide.

Mist Your Snake

Another way to help your snake shed is to mist it before it starts shedding.Fill a clean spray bottle with lukewarm water and spray it a few times near your snake.However, some snakes may not allow you to mist it directly, so you may need to mist its cage instead.This will still increase humidity levels and support your snake’s shedding process.

Add a Basin of Water

As your snake begins to shed, you may want to place a basin of water inside its enclosure to soak.When it bathes in the water, its skin will start to come off more easily.Make sure to pick a basin large enough to hold your ball python’s entire body, filling it with just enough water to get wet completely, but not so much water it’s entirely emerged.Another way to help is to bathe your ball python; our how-to post helps you figure out how to do this safely.

Include Coarse Objects

One of the ways snakes shed their skin in the wild is by rubbing against coarse objects like stones, tree branches, and other rough materials.Recreate this natural process by adding bits of tree bark, a few branches, pine cones, and other outdoor materials to its enclosure.

Don’t Handle

Another way to support your ball python while it sheds is not to handle it.As we mentioned before, shedding is an awkward and even stressful time for a snake.So if you attempt to pick up and handle your snake during shedding, it may be extra sensitive or even aggressive.The best thing is to leave it alone and let it shed in peace.

Provide Plenty of Water

Bally pythons often drink large amounts of water after shedding, so pay close attention to your snake’s water levels throughout the shedding process so you’re ready to refill when necessary.After it sheds, you’ll probably need to refill its water dish much more often than you usually do.

Clean the Cage

Once your ball python sheds its skin, you’ll notice piles of excess skin in its enclosure.It’s important to remove these excess piles of skin after your snake finishes shedding so its enclosure is clean and fresh.Snakes will often defecate after shedding, so use gloves to clean all fecal matter and excess skin.We’ve partnered with XYZ Reptiles to bring you an excellent selection of pet reptiles and the supplies you need to keep them healthy.

How to Help Your Ball Python Shed

While ball pythons typically shed their skin just fine on their own, they sometimes encounter problems and may need additional help.A few problem areas to look out for are the tips of their tails and around their eye caps.If your ball python sheds incompletely (meaning most of the skin has shed, but some remains), you’ll need to help it out.Why? If your ball python doesn’t entirely shed its skin around certain areas like its eyes, it can impair its vision and cause stress and health problems, so it’s crucial to make sure all the skin sheds.Here are some things to try if your ball python needs help shedding.Please keep in mind; you should never try to peel off your snake’s excess skin yourself, especially the skin around its eyes or mouth.

Soak It

If your ball python sheds incompletely, start by soaking it in shallow water.One way to soak your snake in water is to place it in a large pillowcase and tie a knot at the top so it stays in the case.Then place your snake (still in the pillowcase) inside a large dish tub filled with 1″ inch of warm water.Leave the pillowcase and snake immersed in the shallow water for about 20 minutes once a day.As the snake crawls around in the wet bag, the leftover skin will start to flake off.

Use Paper Towels

Another way to help your ball python shed its skin is to dampen several layers of paper towels and place your snake between the layers.Allow it to crawl and squirm between the towels for several minutes.The friction of the motion combined with the damp towels should help loosen and remove the incomplete shed.

See a Vet

If you’ve tried at-home remedies to help your snake shed its skin, but after one to two weeks, it still has excess skin hanging on, it’s time to take it to the vet.A veterinarian can help remove the excess skin, but they will also examine your snake to make sure no other health issues are going on to cause the shedding problem.

How Often Do Ball Pythons Shed?

The frequency at which ball pythons shed depends on the snake’s individual metabolism and how fast it is growing. Young ball pythons shed approximately every three to four weeks, and adult ball pythons shed about every four to six weeks. Sometimes other events, like infection or trauma, can cause ball pythons to shed more frequently. If a snake is not growing or is not eating well, it may shed as infrequently as two to three times per year.Shedding is a natural process in a healthy ball python. Snake skin does not grow with the body as it does in other animals. Instead, snakes and other reptiles go through a process called ecdysis, where the old skin is shed as the animal grows to reveal fresh, new skin underneath.The most common reason that ball pythons shed is in response to rapid growth. A newborn python will have its first shedding of skin within a week or so after birth. As each shedding lasts seven to 14 days and the snake may shed as often as every three weeks, a young ball python may seem to be continuously shedding. As a young python grows into adulthood, its shedding may gradually slow. On average, an adult may still shed every 45 to 60 days.Other reasons that ball pythons shed include response to trauma, dirty conditions, or injury. Overhandling can cause stress and lead to more frequent shedding. On the contrary, a snake that does not feed well may not shed as frequently as a healthier snake because it may stop growing.A ball python snake should always shed its skin in one piece, starting at the head. This process can be likened to a sock slipped over the arm up to the elbow and peeled off so that the sock is inside out once removed. The first signs of an impending shed are foggy, blue-ish eyes, dull coloration of the skin, and a pinkish tinge on the belly. Within five to six days, the eyes will clear and the ball python will seek a rough surface to rub against. The entire shedding process will take about a week or two.Shedding problems can develop in response to humidity levels less than 50 percent. Optimal humidity levels for the shedding period are 60 to 70 percent. The presence of mites or bacterial infection can also interfere with the shedding process. Providing a covered bowl with a lid and a hole cut out allows the snake to soak and can help hasten the shedding process.While shedding, ball pythons may be skittish or aggressive and should be disturbed as little as possible. Ball pythons cannot see very well when the spectacle area is shedding and may feel vulnerable. They should not be fed or handled until the shedding is complete.