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How to Choose the Right Cage for Your Ball Python

Updated on January 25, 2011

Breeders and hobbyists with large ball python collections favor rack systems for housing their snakes. They are the most space-efficient option.

When determining what type of cage you would like to use, take a few things into consideration. How many snakes do you wish to keep? How much space is available in your home for caging? What kind of caging do you prefer (functional, decorative, or a little of both)? Carefully review all of your options so that you will be better pre­pared to purchase the kind of cage or caging system that will work best for you and your situa­tion.

One more thing to consider before purchasing a cage is how warm or cold the room is where you plan on keeping your snake or snakes. This is important because if you are going to keep your snakes in a fairly warm area, you may be able to keep them in glass terrari-urns. If your snakes will live in a base­ment or other fairly cool area, then you may need to look at cages that offer better insulation. Open, screened terrar-iums also tend not to hold humidity very well. If you live in a climate where providing heat and humidity is not a problem, such as in Florida, then a screened, glass terrarium could be a suitable choice for you.

If you do not live in such a climate, you may need to evaluate other commercially available enclosed single cages. These come in many different sizes, from a number of different manufacturers. Many of these enclosed cages come with side air vents and have heating elements placed in the side, top, or bottom of the cage, depending on the manufacturer. Custom cages are also available, and many of these are suitable for use as a piece of furniture—they can make very interesting conversation pieces in a home. If you choose to purchase one of these custom-made cages, make sure that your budget is able to handle the cost.

If you decide that you wish to keep numerous ball pythons, a rack-style system may be for you. This type of system is also be referred to as a drawer system. Rack systems have a sup­porting frame on which the cages—usually plastic tubs without lids—slide back and forth like drawers to allow for ease of cleaning and feeding. The shelf above each drawer serves as the lid, preventing the snake from escaping. These enclosures are definitely functional in nature and not very showy, but rack systems allow you to keep numerous snakes in a fairly small area. There are several manufacturers of rack-style systems. These enclosures are made out of metal or ABS plastic. The metal rack systems are much sturdier than the ABS systems, but the ABS systems offer more affordability and some offer more versatility. Rack systems can be purchased as single levels or towers; it all depends upon which type of system will fit into the space you have available.

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