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Ball Python or Corn Snake

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by fleagirl, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. fleagirl

    fleagirl Member

    Hi. I really want to get a snake. I have never owned a snake before (or any reptile for that matter) but snakes have always fascinated me and I want to get a new pet. I have narrowed it down to two contenders: corn snakes and ball pythons. I want to get a ball python eventually (seriously they are adorable and breeding looks fascinating) but I want to know which snake to get first.

    So here is what I know so far:

    Corn snakes are supposedly easier to care for and are hardier.

    They are cheaper.

    They are squirmier then bps and are really really tiny and fragile when they are babies. And fast. I am afraid that I'll drop it and never see it again.

    They look like they are more high strung and more inclined to bite then bps. I don't know it could just be stupid people on youtube.

    Ball pythons are more chill. I would really like a snake that is happy to hang out on my arm while I blog or game.

    BPs are more expensive.

    They get bigger. Chunkier?

    They will go months without eating which seems really stressful from a pet parent perspective. And what do you do with the mouse or rat it doesn't eat? Can you save it?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I think a snake would make an amazing pet. I'm just not sure what snake to get. Cheers!
  2. CrazySnakeLady

    CrazySnakeLady Elite Member

    I have both and while there are stereotypes for the species, individuals can be very different.

    Corns snakes are definitely more prone to being more active. I think baby corn snakes may be a little more snappy due to their size. I would bite if I were that tiny! And you barely feel it, even a full grown male feels more like Velcro than seriously hurting. I believe they are more hardy, easier requirements, and spunky. As long as you tame it down when it's a baby, you shouldn't have a problem. You can start handling in the tank so if it does make a run for it, it is still contained. I was worried about the same thing! And even as a big boy he still crawls around constantly.

    Ball pythons can be a "lazy" snake. Some will sit with you for hours (especially when you're new), but once it knows you, they can start being more active. My ball has never missed a feeding day, even in deep shed! (But my corn snake will not even look at the mouse for a couple weeks around shedding.) Not eating can be signs of environmental issues. They tend to get bigger around than corns, but corns can get longer.

    When it comes to pricing, are you looking at a big chain pet store? Or breeder sites? This can have a big impact on pricing. ($150 at pet store is $20 with a breeder.)

    If food refusal is a problem, it's a big debate really on saving a previously thawed mouse/rat. I would not keep something that you've thawed twice. It can be unhealthy and cause explosion problems (not fun at all!).
  3. fleagirl

    fleagirl Member

    If (more like when lol) I do get a snake I'm probably going to buy from a breeder. Usually the safest bet. Is your corn snake still squirmy or do they mellow out as they age? And explosion? That sounds... Unpleasant.
  4. CrazySnakeLady

    CrazySnakeLady Elite Member

    He's less squirmy than he was, but he does explore and doesn't like to stop. Not like he's running away, just crawling. Especially in my hair! And oh yes, if you don't thaw it right (or bad product) guts and blood everywhere! Stinky, gross.
  5. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Hey there, fleagirl. There's a few reputable reptile shows out your way, you can findseveral corn snake morphs there and usually buy feeders as well. The shows section can be accessed above, in the rectangular bar that contains diseases, care sheets, shows ( which is what you want) and rescues. If you are willing to adopt, you can always find corns in need of homes from rescues.
  6. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    Sounds like you've got the pros and cons pretty well nailed down. Balls are basically the chillest snake you can find handling wise. A lot of my friends come see my collection and are very nervous at first, but within about 10 minutes have a BP in their lap and are totally in love.

    The only real comment I have is about the feeding thing. The majority of baby balls are extremely enthusiastic feeders. Every once in a while one will have problems, but a good breeder should be able to sell you a great feeder if you ask for it. The feeding breaks kick in around the time they hit adult size, and its really not a big deal. After a few years you'll know your snakes habits and wont think anything of it. Its actually a good thing, they manage their own weight so its almost impossible to get a BP obese. For example my big old girl Lucy will take her last meal for me somewhere between the middle of October and start of November. She will start eating again in april. Its like clockwork for us at this point and doesnt worry me at all anymore. Shes been on that schedule for close to 20 years now.

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