Beginner’s Guide To Burmese Pythons: Care And Facts

Are you considering adding a new member to your reptile family? Perhaps you’re interested in the Burmese python, one of the largest snakes in the world. While these serpents are relatively docile, they require consistent care and attention, making them a long-term commitment.

But don’t let that deter you from exploring the possibilities of owning a Burmese python. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can provide a healthy and happy home for these magnificent creatures.

In this beginner’s guide to Burmese pythons, you’ll find everything you need to know about their care and facts, from their size and habitat requirements to their feeding habits and potential health issues. Whether you’re a first-time snake owner or an experienced reptile enthusiast, this guide will provide essential information to ensure that your Burmese python thrives under your care.

So, let’s dive into the world of Burmese pythons and discover what it takes to be a responsible snake owner.

Key Takeaways

  • Burmese pythons are one of the largest snakes in the world and native to southeast Asia but have become an invasive species in southern Florida.
  • They are relatively docile and common as pets but require consistent care and a clean enclosure with heating and lighting, a warm and humid environment, and access to fresh drinking water.
  • Proper handling is necessary, and cohabitation is not recommended. They are prone to respiratory infections and cardiovascular diseases and require veterinary care, particularly for female pythons during delivery.
  • While Burmese pythons can be suitable for beginners, they require a significant commitment and care requirements, including a large enclosure to keep them in and regular feeding with appropriate-sized prey. It’s recommended to buy a captive-bred python from a knowledgeable seller.

Size and Habitat Requirements

If you’re considering a Burmese python as a pet, keep in mind that they require a large enclosure of at least 5ft x 5ft x 10ft and are capable of growing up to 21 feet long and weighing nearly 200 pounds. The enclosure design should include hiding spots, logs, and branches for your python to rest and feel secure.

Burmese pythons are ground dwellers and enjoy burrowing, so make sure to provide a substrate that allows them to do so. A soaking dish and fresh drinking water should be available at all times, as they require a warm and humid environment to thrive.

Feeding habits should also be considered when caring for a Burmese python. They can eat food that is about the same width as themselves, and a regular Burmese python eats jumbo rats and accepts two each feeding. Cohabitation is not recommended, and they should be housed individually.

Proper handling is necessary, and when adult, they should be handled by at least two people. With consistent care and a clean enclosure, Burmese pythons can make great pets, but they’re not suitable for beginners due to their commitment and care requirements.

Care and Maintenance

To properly maintain your Burmese python, it’s essential to keep their enclosure clean and provide consistent heating and lighting to create a warm and humid environment for them to thrive in.

Here are some tips on how to care for your python:

  1. Enclosure setup: Baby pythons can be housed individually in a 20-gallon container, while adult pythons need a 5ft x 5ft x 10ft enclosure. Ground dwellers, they require logs and branches to hide, as well as a soaking dish and access to fresh drinking water. Make sure to maintain proper humidity levels by misting the enclosure regularly and using a substrate that holds moisture well, such as coconut fiber or cypress mulch.

  2. Feeding schedule: Burmese pythons only need to eat their weight each year to be healthy. Regular Burmese python eats jumbo rats and accepts 2 each feeding. Food should be about the same width as themselves. Cohabitation is not recommended, as they are sit-and-wait predators and may see other snakes as competition for food.

Handle with care, as they can become stressed easily and may refuse to eat if not comfortable. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your Burmese python stays healthy and happy for years to come.

Health and Breeding

Maintaining the overall health of your pet snake is crucial, so it’s important to provide them with regular veterinary care and attention. Burmese pythons are prone to respiratory infections and cardiovascular diseases, so it’s important to monitor their health closely. Signs of respiratory infections include wheezing, coughing, and mucus discharge from the nose or mouth. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take your snake to a veterinarian immediately. Cardiovascular diseases can be more difficult to identify, but symptoms may include lethargy, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing.

Breeding Burmese pythons can be a challenge, and it’s important to be well-informed before attempting to breed your snake. Female pythons require special attention during delivery, and may require a veterinarian’s assistance. It’s also important to note that temperature does not affect the sex of hatchlings, so it’s important to plan your breeding carefully if you have a specific goal in mind. While breeding can be a rewarding experience, it’s important to understand the risks and challenges involved before attempting to breed your Burmese python.

Health Risks Breeding Challenges
Respiratory infections Female pythons require special attention during delivery
Cardiovascular diseases Temperature does not affect the sex of hatchlings
Lethargy Planning breeding carefully
Lack of appetite
Difficulty breathing

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Burmese pythons legal to own as pets in all states?

Before getting a Burmese python, check your state’s legal restrictions. Ethical considerations should also be taken into account, as they are invasive in some areas. Always research and understand the rules.

How often should I handle my Burmese python?

Handle your Burmese python no more than once or twice a week, as they prefer to be left alone. Socialization opportunities are limited, but you can offer enrichment through hiding places and toys in their enclosure.

Can Burmese pythons cohabitate with other snakes or reptiles?

Burmese pythons should not be cohabitated with other snakes or reptiles due to their territorial nature. Safe feeding habits include providing prey that is about the same width as themselves. Common health issues include respiratory infections and cardiovascular diseases.

How do I know if my Burmese python is male or female?

Identifying your Burmese python’s gender can be tricky, but important for breeding considerations. Look for size differences, with females usually larger and males having narrower bodies and smaller heads.

What is the average lifespan of a Burmese python in captivity?

The average lifespan of a Burmese python in captivity is around 20-25 years, but can exceed 30 years with proper care. They require a large enclosure and a consistent feeding schedule, along with specific habitat requirements for temperature and humidity.


Congratulations, you’ve completed the beginner’s guide to Burmese pythons! Now that you have all the essential information on their care and facts, you can confidently decide whether a Burmese python is the right pet for you.

Owning a Burmese python can be a fulfilling experience, as they’re fascinating creatures with unique personalities. However, it’s crucial to remember that they require consistent care and commitment.

On one hand, caring for a Burmese python can be a rewarding experience, as they can live for up to 30 years, and with proper care, they can grow up to 23 feet long. On the other hand, it can be challenging to maintain their habitat, feeding habits, and potential health issues.

Overall, owning a Burmese python can be a fantastic experience, but it’s essential to be aware of the commitment and care requirements before making a decision. With the information provided in this guide, you can confidently take care of your Burmese python and provide them with a happy and healthy life.

Alain Grant

I'm Alain, a passionate reptile enthusiast and the creator Reptilebehavior.com. A blog sharing my 15 years of hands-on experience in caring for reptiles, my goal is to provide valuable insights, practical tips, and reliable information to fellow reptile lovers. Contact me at alain@reptilebehavior.com for assistance.

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