If you are a snake lover who is planning to raise one as a pet, then carpet python is one of the ideal choices. These snakes are said to have a docile nature and are considered as low maintenance pets. There are various subspecies of carpet snakes with a wide range of morphs.
Carpet pythons are small to medium-sized and are nonvenomous. These semi-arboreal snakes are highly adaptable with a lifespan of around 25 years in captivity. With all these positive aspects, there is no doubt why these serpents are popular as pets. Though, they are hardy, you have to make sure that their basic requirements are met with.
How to Take Care of a Carpet Python?
So, these pythons are gentle creatures, though the younger ones (including the hatchlings) can be nippy. Some of the basic steps of carpet python care are to provide them with proper shelter with right temperature and humidity settings, proper food, etc.
Enclosures for Carpet Pythons
You may come across various types of aquariums, tubs, plastic cages and racks that are used for housing carpet pythons as pets. The most popular among them are timber enclosures with their front part covered with glass, Plexiglas or clear plastic. The cage must have a minimum height of one meter and a width of at least half of a meter.
While a juvenile carpet python can be kept in a ten gallon aquarium, an adult may require larger ones with a size of 20 to 40 gallons. The size of the cage must be decided as per the size of the python. You must provide them with hiding spaces and branches for perching. The floor space can be covered with newspapers, corrugated cardboard or butcher's paper. Make sure that there is no space in the enclosure through which the snake can escape. The cage must also have proper ventilation.
Temperature and Humidity
Provide your pet carpet python with a basking point inside the cage. You may use a heat pad or ceramic heat globe in the cage. While the basking spot must have a temperature of 88 to 93°F, the general temperature of the cage must be maintained between 75 to 80°F. At any stage, temperature of the cage should not drop below 75°F.
It has to be noted that the temperature requirement may vary with different types of carpet pythons. Even the level of humidity may vary with different types. However, 50 to 60% relative humidity is said to be ideal for these pythons. Though ultraviolet bulbs are not considered to be a necessity for these snakes, it may be beneficial to provide them with eight to twelve hours of such light.
Carpet Python Food
These pythons are fed with mice and rats. While the hatchlings can be fed with hopper mice, adults need big-sized rats. In case of an adult carpet python, you have to provide it with a large rat, once a week and juveniles need food once in every seven to ten days.
If the snake is too large, you may also try baby rabbits as food. It is not advisable to provide them with live prey. Sometimes, it may happen that the prey may cause harm to the snake, especially those who are not interested in food. Nowadays, you will get frozen as well as thawed prey in the market. If the snake refuses food, you may try to starve it for at least a week before offering food the next time.
In such cases, you can also persuade the animal with live prey. Another method is to coat the prey with chicken broth, before offering it to the serpent. You must also provide the snake with fresh water that has to be replaced on a daily basis. The container must be big enough for the snake to soak in it.
Carpet Python Care Tips
- While handling these pythons, make sure to support their whole body. Over handling as well as squeezing can be stressful for them.
- The cage of a carpet python must be cleaned and disinfected once in every one or two months. Even the items used in the cage must be cleaned at that time. Make sure to use a reptile safe cleaner for this purpose.
- The covering used for the floor of the enclosure must be removed once a week. If you are using loose substrate like, cypress mulch or sand, replacement must be done every three months.
- Carpet python breeding season is from November to March. These snakes attain sexual maturity, as they reach four to five years of age. Both the male and female must be in good health during this condition.
- During breeding season, stop feeding these snakes. It will be beneficial to mist them as well as the cage, lightly. You may also try to lower the temperature as well as the photo period (exposure to light) slightly.
To conclude, raising a carpet python as a pet is not a difficult task, provided you know the right methods. This article is for informational purposes only. You have to gain a thorough knowledge about carpet python care, before you bring them home. You can consult a vet for this purpose. Even the breeder can provide you with a basic idea about this subject.