These are a very easy pythons to keep. It does not mean that you can just neglect them, but they are a very hardy species.
Keeping of any snakes requires setting proper environment and proper maintenance afterwards. They all only grow between 3-4 feet so they are a popular one for first time snake owners.
There are 3 commonly available species of Antaresia. We will refer to them all as Children's pythons for the purpose of this care sheet.
- Stimsons Python
- Spotted Python
- Childrens Python
As these pythons only grow quite small there is no need to have an over large enclosure for them and can cause problems if the cage is too big. Something around 2-3 feet is suitable with a height of a maximum of 2 feet. Juveniles will need to housed in a Click Clack style container for at least the first 6 months of their life, to ensure they do not escape and they are more likely to feed well being kept this way. Place the container inside your thermostatically controlled main cage and keep the temperature at around 28-30 celsius. You will need to place a thermometer in to make sure your temperatures are correct. Never use the temperature reading on the dial of your thermostat as an accurate measurement.
Childrens Pythons should be kept at daytime temperatures varying from 31 to 33 degrees Celsius at one end of the enclosure and 24 to 26 degrees Celsius at the other. This is known as a thermal gradient and will allow your python to choose its own desired temperature from within the range. Overall temperature can be allowed to drop 6 or 7 degrees at night. A thermal gradient for this snake can be achieved by heating only half of the enclosure, leaving the other half cool.
If you keep your Childrens Python in an aquarium or plastic storage box, a heat mat covering half the enclosure floor should supply the required temperatures. Heat mats can be connected to a thermostat in order to regulate temperatures and avoid overheating. Always follow the instructions that come with your heating equipment, as these can vary between manufacturers.
In a larger enclosure such as a wooden enclosure with sliding glass doors, its possible that extra heat may be necessary, especially in winter. A thermostat should be used at all times to maintain correct temperatures for your python. Infra red globes are the preferred choice, as you can have these on for as long as you like without your python seeing any light from them. Two thermometers can be used to monitor temperatures, one at each end of your pythons enclosure.
Lighting isn't a necessity for a Childrens Python kept in a well lit room, unless you need it for extra heat or want to use it to make the enclosure more attractive for viewing your snake. Lighting may be provided with a fluorescent tube or a low wattage bulb. Bulbs above 15 watts must be covered with a guard to prevent burns to your snake.
Special UV lighting is not necessary for the vast majority of snakes including Childrens Pythons, but a 5.0 UVB can be beneficial. Any lighting should be turned off at night. An inexpensive timer can be used to do the job for you. We have these available for purchase.
Adult Childrens Pythons can be fed on an appropriately sized mouse or rat once every 7-10 days. The food offered should be roughly 1 to 1.5 times the thickness of the snake at the centre of its length. Don't handle your python for at least 24 hours after feeding to avoid stress and possible regurgitation. Juvenile Childrens Pythons will need to be fed every 7 days to accommodate growth. Juveniles will eat pinkies and can progress to fuzzies then adult mice or weaner rats as they grow.
Like most snakes Childrens Pythons may occasionally fast for a few weeks when they have had enough food or are coming on to a shed. As long as they are a large and not losing a lot of weight, this is normal and nothing to be concerned about. We have a large range of frozen rodents available. Your Children's Python should be given fresh water at least twice weekly. A good maintenance and cleanliness regime is essential to ensure long term health for your python.
A popular snake due to their size and ease of care. It is not abnormal for them to be a little snappy as a juvenile, but generally quickly grow out of it. Childrens Pythons are generally suitable for regular handling and will actively explore. Contrary to the name, these aren't necessarily pythons for children but rather named after one-time zoological curator of the British museum called John George Children’. The Childrens Python will live 15 to 25 years in captivity, with the proper care.