Housing: Modex36 for a baby and extend as required. Modex 36 main body + two extension modules for an adult is minimum size for a Burmese up to 10-12foot though bigger is always better.
Lighting: Lighting is not essential as long as the room where it is kept has a window but not in the direct sunlight. If lighting is required then a suitable fluorescent light fitting and tube are best.
See ValueAquatics options on our reptile lighting section.
Heating: Ceramic heaters are the best way to go. Use a ceramic for the size of vivarium see our Reptile heating page for options. Always use a ceramic heater safety cage with ceramic heaters. Use with a Pulse Proportional Thermostat like the Habistat.
Another option is the Microclimate AHS heating system the AHS500 this will do you right up to the 9foot vivarium where it might need the addition of a ceramic heater on a thermostat as above.
Décor: Water bowl big enough for the snake to get into completely as they like to bathe especially when in shed. When young large ceramic dog water bowls are excellent up to washing up bowls upwards. Just make sure they are secure and cannot be easily tipped over.
Hides give youngsters three or four dotted around the vivarium again easy options when young, when larger to adult plastic dog beds turned upside down are excellent.
Substrate: Newspaper is best used for youngsters at last until they are big enough that ingestion of the odd bit of substrate is not a problem (the 3-4’ snake) Then Aspen is ideal and use it deep enough that the snake can burrow through it.
Beech chippings is also a good choice.
Albino Burmese Python
If you are set on getting one of these big snakes make sure you know what you are letting yourself into Read everything you can and get plenty of information. These snakes have the potential to kill an adult human.
Name: Burmese Python Python molurus bivittatus
Size: Burmese Python males are generally smaller than the females around 10 to 12ft. Females growing to from 15 to 18ft.
Life Span: Burmese can live for 20+ years
Origin: Native throughout Southeast Asia including Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, southern China, Indonesia and are now to be found in Florida USA through escapes and people releasing them as they get too big to look after.
Temperament: Burmese python babies are generally very nippy, Though with regular handling the tame down extremely well, Though they should never be fully trusted, they are a very large and very powerful snake that does have the ability to kill a human. They usually have an extremely strong feeding response and can stay in feeding mode for hours after being fed and they should be treated with a great deal of respect and caution when 9foot+, and only handled when there are at least two people present. Remember the old adage my dog doesn’t bite.
Housing: A 9’ long x 3’ deep x 3’ high wooden vivarium is a good Vivarium for all but the largest Burmese. For the big snakes the bigger the housing the better.Baby Burmese can be kept in smaller really useful boxes, or other similar Plastic Storage box, as these are more secure which will reduce the risk of the baby snake escaping and will make the snake feel safer in a smaller space. These can be heated with a heat mat and thermostat. Do not use heat mats with the larger heavy bodied snakes as thermal burning can occur due to the size of their bodies absorbing all the heat from a mat, this goes for Royal Pythons as well. Okay when youngsters.
Substrate: There are many substrates that can be used for Burmese Pythons, It really depends on you.
· Is a widely available reptile shops and outlets
· it looks natural
· Easy to spot clean
· Absorbs unpleasant odours
· Allows the snake to burrow
Beech Wood chips
· Widely available
· Looks natural
· Easy to spot clean
· Allow the snake to burrow.
· Easy to replace
· Easy for cleaning roll up throw away.
· Safer to feed on especially for youngsters
Hides: Burmese Pythons as babies should be provided with several hides, one on the warm side of the viv, and another on the cool side and one in the middle so that the snake can thermo regulate and still feel safe under a hide. Natural hides can be bought from your local reptile shop, bits of bark etc that would fit in nicely in a naturalistic set up or hides could be simpler anything from cardboard toilet roll holders for babies to cereal boxes or any cardboard box of a suitable size. There are not that many hides available that will fit an adult Burmese but plastic dog beds/baskets turned upside down work very well. Being plastic they are easy to clean and can also be used as a humid hide when the Burmese is going into shed.For smaller Burmese plastic boxes with a whole cut in can be used as a moss box.
Water: A large water bowl should be provided, bowls can be bought from reptile shops or dog or cat ceramic water bowls can also be used. The water should be changed daily or every other day. It should be changed immediately if the snake defecates in it. Some people also choose to bath their Burmese, to aid in shedding and allow them to exercise.
Heating: Burmese Pythons like all reptiles are cold blooded and it’s up to the owner of the snake to provide the correct heating gradient that it needs. The temperature in the vivarium should be about 75°F at the cool end and about 90°F at the hot end. This can be achieved by using a Ceramic heater or heaters. These need to be used with a pulse Proportional Thermostat and the ceramic will need to be guarded with a bulb guard to stop the snake from being able to come into direct contact with the hot bulb. Also make sure a ceramic light fitting is used.
A lot of people are now using the Microclimate AHS500 heating system these have the advantage of heating thermostatically all in one unit. The down side is once the vivarium is over 7’ you will probably have to supplement the heating with some secondary heating like a ceramic bulb and thermostat etc. The AHS still requires a guard the case can get quite hot.
Feeding: Hatchling Burmese Pythons should be fed on rat pups every 7-5 days, and gradually increase the size of the prey item. Then move to 14 day feeding on larger food when adult, or monthly feeding if on bigger prey items like rabbits etc. Burmese should be fed on frozen thawed rodents, that can be purchased online or from local reptile shops. These should be thawed out to room temperature and offered to your snake, Most Burmese will actively strike and constrict the food item, where some prefer to eat the item if it’s left in with them. Adults will take anything from adult rabbits to piglets. Refrain from feeding chickens as there is an enzyme in the feathers that may be linked to aggression. Okay as a treat just not too often.
Shedding: Snakes shed (Ecdysis) their skin as they grow, the first signs of this process include a duller overall appearance and the snakes eyes turn to a milky blue colouration. The snake will usually shed its skin within seven to ten days after showing these first signs. A day or two before shedding the snake will appear normal, and look as if it has shed, however this is normal and the snake will shed a few days after appearing normal.
When a snake is in shed it is not uncommon for them stop feeding, this is nothing to worry about, and the snake will normally resume feeding once it has shed.
Sexing: There are two reliable ways to sex your snake, however both of these should not be done by anyone that does not have experience in sexing snakes, as if done incorrectly can be very dangerous. These two methods are called probing for adult snakes, and popping for hatchlings. It is worth noting that both methods can be inaccurate, male snakes can clench up during probing and probe as females, however both these methods are recognised as the most accurate way to determine your snakes’ sex.