Among the many species I have kept, the Children’s Python (Antaresia childreni) holds a special place. A question I frequently encounter is: Do Children’s Pythons make good pets? To address this query, I’m thrilled to share my first-hand experiences with this fantastic species.
Children’s Pythons are a small, hardy, easy-to-keep species. They don’t have any particularly complicated needs with regards to diet, humidity, or anything else.
So, for us snake keepers, the question is an easy one: Children’s Pythons make great pets! If you’re considering one as your first pet reptile, however, the question might be whether a snake in general is a good pet for you…
Why Consider a Children’s Python?
Children’s Pythons are a fascinating species, and for several reasons, they have earned a reputation as an excellent pet choice. Here are some of the qualities that make these pythons great companions:
- Manageable Size: Children’s Pythons are a smaller species, with adults typically reaching lengths of 3 to 3.5 feet. This manageable size makes them a suitable choice for those with limited space.
- Friendly Temperament: These pythons are generally known for their docile nature and tolerance to handling. I’ve found that they rarely display aggression, making interactions a pleasant experience.
- Ease of Care: The care requirements of Children’s Pythons are relatively straightforward compared to some larger or more exotic species. This makes them a good choice for both novice and experienced snake keepers.
- Long Lifespan: With proper care, Children’s Pythons can live for up to 20-30 years. This offers a long-term bond between the owner and pet.
Children’s Pythons as Pets
As someone who has kept multiple Children’s Pythons, I can confidently state that they make fantastic pets. To illustrate this, let’s delve into some specifics:
Temperament and Behavior
My experience with Children’s Pythons has been overwhelmingly positive. They generally exhibit a friendly disposition and are tolerant to handling, contributing to their appeal as pets. Of course, individual temperament can vary, but the overall demeanor of this species is mild and manageable.
Housing and Environmental Requirements
Children’s Pythons, due to their smaller size of roughly 2-3ft (60-90cm), do not require large or complex enclosures. A secure, adequately-sized enclosure with a warm basking area, a cooler area, hiding spots, and clean water is typically sufficient. Here’s a basic setup I’ve used for my Children’s Pythons:
|Enclosure Size||Minimum 20-30 gallons for adults|
|Basking Temperature||88-92°F (31-33°C)|
|Cool Side Temperature||70-75°F (21-24°C)|
|Humidity||50-60%, higher during shedding|
It’s important to monitor and maintain these parameters to ensure the health and comfort of your python.
Children’s Pythons are generally good eaters, and their dietary needs are relatively simple to meet. They primarily feed on small rodents, with a feeding schedule typically ranging from once a week for adults to every 5 days for younger pythons.
Health and Longevity
With appropriate care, Children’s Pythons are hardy and can enjoy a long lifespan. Regular health checks, proper hygiene, and swift veterinary care if issues arise are key to ensuring a healthy life for your python.
The Challenges of Keeping a Children’s Python
While Children’s Pythons are generally easy to care for and handle, it’s important to be aware of the challenges you may encounter:
- Long-term Commitment: These pythons have a long lifespan. Ensuring their health and happiness requires consistent care and commitment over several decades.
- Feeding Live or Frozen Prey: Feeding can be a challenge for those squeamish about handling mice or rats, whether live or frozen.
- Potential Health Issues: As with any pet, there’s a possibility of health issues. Regular check-ups and swift action in response to any signs of ill-health are essential.
- Not a ‘Cuddly’ Pet: While they tolerate handling, snakes are not like dogs or cats. They don’t seek out interaction or show affection in the way furry pets do. It’s important to understand and respect their nature.
Do Children’s Pythons make good pet? Final thoughts…
In conclusion, my personal experiences with Children’s Pythons have led me to view them as excellent pets. They are hardy and incredibly docile. They also eat well, without the annoying periods of fasting that some other species go through.
All-in-all, I personally think this species is a great first pet snake. Just get the temperature, humidity, and hiding places right and you can’t go wrong (more on this in my Children’s Python care guide).
Really, the only drawback is that this species is less common in North America and Europe than many others. This can make it slightly harder to find.
The reason for this is probably that the Children’s Python is from central Australia, a country that banned the export of its native reptiles years ago. The result is that more of them are kept and bred over there, and that is still where the most diverse morphs (color variations) are found to this day.
Don’t get me wrong – you can find them for sale over here, you just need to do a little more searching. I recommend heading over to Morphmarket.com if you’re interested in getting one.
FAQ relating to Children’s Pythons as pets:
Do Childrens Python bites hurt?
Children’s Python bites don’t hurt. They are extremely quick little nips that cause minimal bleeding. More to the point, they are docile, mild-mannered snakes. The only time where a bite is possible is during feeding, given that they do sometimes get a little over-excited. The best way to stay safe is to always feed them with feeding tongs. These should be at least 12in (30cm) in length.
Are baby pythons good pets?
Baby pythons are great pets. The problem is that they grow up into full-grown pythons! Pythons are hardy, docile snakes that are generally very easy to keep. If you want one, without dealing with a future giant, then I suggest choosing a small species like the Children’s Python, or its close relative, the Spotted Python.
What is the lifespan of a Children’s Python?
Generally, a healthy Children’s Python should live 15 to 20 years. Though this varies a lot, it would be considered unusual for one not to reach at least 12 years of age. If you want your pet to live a long time, remember that hygiene and temperature both play a huge role in how its immune system functions. If it is too cold or dirty, then it will be much more likely to get sick.