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Royal Python Hatchling Care

This section of the website will give you all of the information needed to help get your hatchling Royal Pythons well established in captivity. Whether you're buying, or producing them yourself, this area of our site will offer all the information you need to know. This information is purely based on young specimens. For more information on caring for adult Royal Pythons, please see the Royal Python Care page.

If you've successfully bred Royal Pythons for the first time, this is where you'll find all of the answers in regards to caring for your hatchlings. We'll explain how to house them properly, and get them well established on frozen thawed rats or mice. Getting your baby snakes well established isn't particularly difficult, and this being a hardy species allows us to make minor errors without risk of losing them. Great care and attention should still be applied, but unlike some other species, Royal Pythons can be more forgiving so long as the mistakes made are rectified as soon as possible.

First Shed

Once your snakes have successfully left the eggs, roughly a week later they will go through their first shed cycle. Hatchlings can be left together until this process has finished. They must be removed from the incubator box, washed down to remove any incubation medium, and housed together until they have all shed out. Maintaining good humidity levels at this time is crucial to make sure all of the hatchlings have a complete first shed. Assisting a hatchling with their first shed due to poor humidity levels can be very stressful, and can cause difficulties getting them established.

Housing Your Hatchings

 Once all babies have shed out, this is a great time to sex them and identify their genetic make-up. Separate enclosures are now provided offering a small hide, bowl of water, and a hot spot of 32/33°C. Paper towels are best used as substrate to maintain good humidity levels. Small plastic tubs are recommended for housing hatchlings, as too much space can make them feel insecure, which can cause difficulties getting them established.

Hatchling Feeding

Now your hatchlings have shed out and have their own enclosures, feeding will be your next task, and this really can be challenging. Some hatchlings will feed immediately on frozen thawed mice or rats, but others can really take some work to get established.

We offer all of our newborn snakes frozen thawed rat pups or mouse fuzzies every 3-5 days. We have found that this is typically the ideal size and frequency for a hatchling ball python, and we only increase the size of their meals when were sure they are large enough. If a hatchling misses their first feeding, don't worry... try again in 3-5 days. If your royal python continues not eating for the next couple of weeks, offering a live rat pup or mouse fuzzy is your next step, generally getting a good feeding response in our experience. If this still hasn't worked, we will now begin assist feeding.

Assist feeding is the process of placing a rat pup or mouse fuzzy in the hatchlings mouth in an attempt to get it feeding. Gently grabbing the hatchling behind the head, and supporting the rest of the body, offer up your prey item to the mouth. Usually they will open up, but if not, you can gently open it with the end of the rat or mouse. Now the mouth is open, you can insert the prey item, and carefully latch it onto the teeth. If this is done correctly, your snake shouldn't be able to spit it out, therefor, eating it is the only option.  Effectively, you're teaching them that what you are offering is food, and this is how you eat it. We have found that hatchlings begin to understand after 3-4 assist feeds, and generally start strike feeding from thereon. It is important that you gain advice from an experienced keeper or breeder before attempting to assist feed, or better so, have someone show you how it's done!