Can Ball Pythons Eat Chicken? [What You Must Know]

Can Ball Pythons Eat Chicken

Can ball pythons eat chicken and other poultry meat? They are carnivorous animals, so you wonder if you can add poultry to your reptile’s diet instead of only feeding them rodents.

The short answer is yes; ball pythons can eat chickens. However, you shouldn’t regularly feed your snake with chicken alone as poultry meat doesn’t carry sufficient nutrients that your scaly friend needs. Rodents are still the best food option, and you must also remember some vital points when feeding your pet.

Keeping these guides in mind helps maintain your ball python’s well-being in good condition.

Can Ball Pythons Eat Chicken and Other Poultry Meat?

Ball pythons can technically eat chicken if it’s available for them to consume, like when you include it in their meal. Remember that snakes are carnivorous, and their regular diet depends on the animals they can find in their habitat.

However, poultry should not replace rodents in your scaly pet’s diet, as chickens don’t contain all the nutrients ball pythons need.

Why Chicken Meat Cannot Provide Enough Nutrients for Pet Snakes?

Poultry meat cannot meet a ball python’s nutrient requirement, as you can only feed chicken filet to your pet. You should remove the feathers and bones because bone splinters can harm your pet’s digestive tract. And you have to remove the chicken’s blood and internal organs to remove its bones.

The thing is that snakes need the nutrients and water found in their prey’s fresh blood, organs, and bones. These nutrients keep the reptile in good health and maintain its bodily functions.

Now, rodents, like mice, rats, and hamsters, have softer bones that won’t harm a ball python’s digestive tract. Your slithering friend can thus swallow a whole rodent along with all the prey’s nutrients.

How to Feed a Chicken to a Ball Python?

While chicken cannot provide enough nutrients for ball pythons, you may still consider it an alternative food source. However, you have to remember these points when feeding poultry meat to your scaly friend:

1. Only Feed Poultry Meat to Your Snake Occasionally

You may want to serve chicken to your ball python to add variation to its diet.

However, as mentioned above, rodents are the best food source to meet these snakes’ nutrient requirements. So, only feed them poultry meat once every few months while keeping their primarily rodent diet plan.

2. Prepare the Poultry Meat Properly

Remove a chicken’s feathers and bones before feeding it to your reptile. Remember that the hard bones could break and splinter into pieces and injure your pet’s digestive tract. You can only let your snake swallow whole small chicks or ducks since these baby birds have soft bones.

Can Ball Pythons Eat Chicken 1

Moreover, remember that snakes only eat raw meat. So, never cook their meals and don’t add preservatives like salt.

3. Consider that Your Pet may Not Eat Poultry Meat

Snakes are picky eaters, so there’s a chance that your slithering friend won’t eat the poultry meat you prepare. In that case, stick with your reptile’s usual diet plan.

Also, remove the unconsumed chicken immediately from your pet’s enclosure to avoid bacterial accumulation that could infect the snake. Remember that poultry meat contains different bacteria, like salmonella.

How to Feed Rodents to Ball Pythons?

It’s easy to feed rodents to ball pythons, as it’s their natural prey even in the wild. You only have to select the correct rodent for your reptile’s meal and feed it to them on the proper schedule.

Hatchlings and young snakes should only eat baby mice every five to seven days. Once they grow, they can consume larger mice, rats, and hamsters every one or two weeks. And full-grown ball pythons only have to eat once every month.

You may also buy frozen feeders in pet stores or pre-killed rodents that you can store in your fridge for a few days or weeks. You only have to thaw them up when it’s time for your slithering friend to eat.

Can Ball Pythons Eat Other Types of Meat?

You can feed other types of meat to your ball python, like pork, beef, and even fish.

However, you should only consider them as occasional food options and not as your pet’s primary meal. These food options also won’t fulfill the reptile’s nutrient requirements, similar to chicken filet.

Moreover, remember that snakes may reject meals they don’t commonly consume. So, watch over your pet when feeding different types of meat and immediately remove unconsumed food from the enclosure.

Ball Python eating chicken here in this video.

How to Improve Your Snake’s Appetite?

As mentioned above, snakes are picky eaters and may reject particular food items. However, other factors can also reduce their appetite and make them reject any food you offer, especially when they feel stressed.

In that case, you should remember some steps to improve their appetite:

You might be interested in Do Snakes Eat Squirrels?

1. Make Their Enclosure Comfortable

Make sure your slithering friend’s enclosure is comfortable enough for them to live in to help them avoid stress. It should also be spacious enough for the reptile to move and has heaters to maintain suitable temperatures.

2. Carefully Plan Their Diet

Always feed the best food options to your snake, like mice, rats, and hamsters. Also, try other types of meat occasionally, like poultry, pork, and fish, to determine the different food your scaly pet would love.

Moreover, determine the proper meal scheduling for your pet depending on their size.

3. Consult the Vet

Always call the veterinarian if you notice your slithering friend has a persistent poor appetite. An expert can recommend the best diet plan for your reptile or spot a hidden ailment that requires medical attention.


So, can ball pythons eat chicken and other poultry meat?

Yes, ball pythons can eat chickens, but poultry meat shouldn’t replace rodents as their primary food source. Moreover, remember to properly prepare a chicken before feeding it to your scaly pet.

You should also pay attention to your slithering friend’s appetite and remember some steps if he refuses to eat any food item. Consult the vet if your pet keeps on refusing to eat any food.



I'm Jennifer Mecham, worked for 7 years in an animal shelter in New York. I created this blog to educate people about these amazing creatures and to show them that reptiles can make great pets. Join me on this journey as we explore the world of reptiles.

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