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Not JUST A “Pet Rock” | Ball Python Enrichment Ideas

Not JUST A “Pet Rock” | Ball Python Enrichment Ideas

Ball Python Enrichment Ideas | Zen Habitats

Ball pythons have been regarded as “pet rocks” by many in the reptile industry. While they may be low-maintenance and less active than other snakes, they still crave some excitement in their enclosures and will utilize enrichment opportunities! Who wants to stare at the same four walls (or hides) all day? Luckily, there are plenty of ways to spice up your snake's life. Here are some tips to create an enrichment plentiful oasis for your snake:

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Become a Jungle Gym Architect:

Ball pythons are surprisingly good climbers! Male ball pythons are especially agile and are even found in trees hunting birds in the wild! Adding sturdy branches, cork rounds, or even PVC tubes at different heights in the enclosure allows your snake to utilize all of the height their enclosure has to offer. Just make sure everything is secure and allows for safe climbing!

Hide and Seek Champion:

Snakes love to feel secure, and ball pythons are no exception! In the wild, they are found taking refuge in termite mounds. Add several hides of different sizes and textures throughout the enclosure. You can even experiment with making your own buried hide to replicate their instinct to burrow into termite mounds! 

Scent-sitive Stimulation:

Snakes have a keen sense of smell, and rely on this sense to map out their surroundings. By spreading different organic items like leaves, moss, wood, and other organic matter, you can enrich your snake’s olfactory system through new scents. 

Make Feeding Fun:

Food shouldn't be easy! Try stimulating your snakes foraging and hunting response by feeding them in different areas around their enclosure and encouraging them to follow their prey to “hunt”. 

This works best with snakes that are engaged at mealtimes, reliably on frozen thawed prey, and not picky or shy at mealtimes. To learn more about engaging your snake at mealtime, check out our article on How to Add Variety to Your Snake’s Diet.

For help on switching your snake from live to frozen thawed, check out our article here. 

The Great Enclosure Shuffle:

Every few weeks, rearrange the decor (hides, branches, etc.) in your enclosure. This creates a whole new world for your ball python to explore, keeping them curious about their surroundings and engaged.

If you notice your snake having trouble eating or exploring less after rearranging, take renovations a few steps back and try leaving hides in their familiar spots but moving a branch, or adding/swapping an item to keep things familiar but still creating a novel experience for your snake. 

Bonus Tip: Supervised Exploration

Under careful supervision, let your ball python explore a safe, snake-proofed area outside their enclosure. This supervised playtime provides a chance for them to stretch their bodies and experience new sights and smells. You can even make a Snake Enrichment Board for them to climb!

Remember, a happy snake is a healthy snake! By incorporating these enrichment techniques, you can create a stimulating environment that keeps your ball python engaged and thriving! 

The start of a thriving, stimulated reptile is a size appropriate, spacious reptile enclosure. Here at Zen Habitats, we specialize in providing you with large custom ball python enclosure that can be stacked, expanded, and rearranged to create the enclosure of your dreams! Available in multiple colors to fit the aesthetic of your space, and designed to last the lifetime of your animal. Check out our ball python enclosures here.

For more information on ball pythons and reptile enrichment, check out our other articles here!

New to ball pythons or want to up your knowledge? Check out our Ultimate Zen Guide on Ball Pythons! Over 90 pages of curated research and advanced keeper knowledge in one handy guide, all about ball pythons!

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