Have you noticed an absence of poop in your snake’s life?
Chances are, it’s perfectly fine.
Snakes go a long time between bowel movements. We’ll cover the reasons for that below.
But if you notice a change in the frequency of poops, there may be something wrong.
So how often do ball pythons poop on average?
And what should you look for to see if there is a problem?
Keep reading to learn exactly how often ball pythons should poop, how to recognize a problem, and what the problem might be.
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How Often Do Ball Pythons Poop?
On average, ball pythons poop once every 10 to 14 days. They eat once every 10 to 14 days (in captivity) and they tend to poop about one week after eating.
Of course, this can vary from one python to the next. It depends on factors such as your snake’s environment, the enclosure temperature, and the food your snake has eaten.
Ball pythons don’t eat often and they have slow digestive systems. They also absorb a much larger percentage of the nutrients they consume than mammals do, which means less material to poop out.
Ball Python Digestion
A snake’s digestive system isn’t the same as other animals. A ball python will only excrete 9% of its ingested food. The rest is absorbed into the snake’s body. They are incredibly efficient at using all the nutrients their meal offers.
If you ever find yourself wondering why your snake hasn’t pooped in a while and you are worried it may be constipated, chances are everything is fine. There just isn’t anything that is ready to come out yet.
Such efficient digestion needs peace and quiet. You should always do your best to avoid disturbing your python while it is digesting food.
Snakes need to preserve as much energy in their system as possible for digestion, so you should let your snake curl up and digest in peace. Disturbing it will cause it to burn energy it needs and may even lead it to regurgitate its food.
A snake’s heart rate will start to increase during the digestive process, to push blood to the digestive system.
The blood then absorbs the nutrients that are extracted from the food, with the majority of the meal eventually being absorbed by the blood. Once the process is done, the snake will poop out the remaining 9%.
Make sure you keep an eye on your snake’s poop when it is excreted. The appearance of the poop can clue you in on your pet’s health. You want to make sure your snake is fit and healthy.
A ball python’s poop should be a light brown to black color. You should also keep track of when your snake poops, to ensure that it is on a regular schedule, i.e. more or less the same amount of time passes between eating and pooping every time.
Why Isn’t My Ball Python Pooping?
Have you noticed that your ball python isn’t pooping at all? That is not healthy for your pet and may necessitate a vet visit.
But remember, these animals go a long time between poops naturally, so it may not be something to worry about. What you should look for are changes in behavior.
For example, if your snake usually poops ten days after eating, but this time it has been 15 days and nothing, then you should consider a vet visit..
There are a few possible reasons for your snake not pooping. One of the most common reasons is the temperature in the snake’s enclosure.
If the temperature is too low, then this could cause digestive issues or even cause your snake to regurgitate. You should ensure the temperature is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a basking spot at around 90 to 95 degrees.
Your snake may also just have a slower metabolism, especially if it is an older snake. Snakes that are 15 to 20 years old tend to have slower metabolisms and this can cause them to poop much less frequently than younger snakes. Again, look for changes in the regular pattern.
Amount Of Food
The size of prey can affect your snake’s pooping schedule. You want to make sure your ball python isn’t eating too much or too little. The larger the prey, the longer it will take for it to come out the other end.
Make sure you know how many mice you should be feeding your ball python. The same goes if you feed it other things like rats, or even fish.
Stress can also affect your snake’s digestive system and cause constipation, just as it can for us humans. So you will want to make sure that your ball python isn’t stressed.
In order to be able to properly digest food, a snake needs to feel comfortable and safe.
To try and make your snake as comfortable as possible, you should ensure that there are no bright lights shining into your snake’s tank, you should keep it in a quiet area of your house, and you should leave it alone and not try not to handle it when it is digesting.
Snakes are solitary creatures and they like to keep to themselves. Handling your snake can cause it stress, especially when it is trying to digest food.
How Often Ball Pythons Poop: Final Thoughts
Ball pythons poop around 5 to 7 days after a meal. And they eat ever 10 to 14 days, so they also poop every 10 to 14 days. Usually, this means they end up pooping about midway between one feeding and the next.
If your pet poops on a different schedule, that is probably fine. These are averages and every snake is different. When you need to worry is if you notice a difference in frequency from one bowel movement to the next. A change in the regular pattern could indicate a problem.