When you imagine snakes as pets, you might begin to think about those 10-foot long constrictors that take up a ton of space to the point that you probably don’t know where to properly house them.
That said, there are actually snakes that aren’t large enough that you would find it difficult to take care of them.
The African House Snake is one of them. But how big do African House Snakes grow to when kept in captivity?
An African House Snake can grow up to 3 feet long but mostly stay somewhere close to 2 feet long when kept in captivity. Meanwhile, females can be much bigger as they can grow to about 4 feet long in captivity. Of course, African House Snakes in the wild are smaller due to the lack of available food.
So, as you can see African House Snakes are not really big snakes that will take up a ton of space. In fact, they are actually on the smaller side when it comes to snakes as they won’t actually make it difficult for you to take care of them.
That said, let us get to know more about the African House Snake and what influences its size when it is kept under captive care.
Everything you need to know about caring for African house snakes in captivity:
Read our African House Snake Care Sheet (Complete Guide)
How big do African House Snakes get in captivity?
One of the misconceptions that people often have when it comes to keeping snakes as pets is that these reptiles can grow to sizes that are so huge that it can be difficult for them to properly take care of these snakes.
After all, we almost always think about the python when it comes to pet snakes.
And it would take a ton of space for you to properly take care of a big snake and, of course, a lot of food for you to make sure the snake is healthy.
However, that is merely a misconception because there are actually pet snakes that are naturally on the smaller side of things regardless of whether they are kept in captivity or are living in the wild.
When a snake is on the smaller side, it becomes easier to take care of it because of the very fact that it doesn’t need a very large enclosure to serve as its living space and due to how you don’t have to feed it a ton of food.
Meanwhile, another thing that makes these smaller nonvenomous snakes easy to take care of is the fact that they are usually docile primarily due to how small they are.
And when it comes to such snakes, the African House Snake is one of the smaller snakes that are ideal as pets.
But while the African House Snake is supposed to be one of the smaller snakes that you can safely keep as a pet, exactly how small is this snake? How big do African House Snakes get when you keep them under captive care?
So, on average, an adult male African House Snakes are about at least 2 feet long at the minimum and can grow up to 3 feet long at the maximum.
Meanwhile, similar to how most other snakes or reptiles have females that are larger than their male counterparts, female African House Snakes are larger than males. As such, female African House Snakes are usually about at least 3 feet long at the minimum but can be as long as 4 feet at the max. As such, you can see how females are much bigger than males when it comes to the African House Snake.
Meanwhile, at birth, most African House Snakes are somewhere between 8 to 12 inches long and will continue to steadily grow from there. At birth, an African House Snake will already be big enough to eat a pinky mouse.
Of course, African House Snakes that live in the wild are usually smaller than their captive care counterparts. And the primary reason for such is that wild African House Snakes don’t have the same access to readily available food as the ones that are kept under captive care. Of course, there are also other factors (such as shorter lifespans) that contribute to how and why wild African House Snakes are smaller than their captive care cousins.
How long do African House Snakes get to live?
Speaking of lifespan, it is important to take note of how long African House Snakes get to live. The reason for that is because of how most, if not all, snakes will continue to grow indefinitely until the day they die.
That is why snakes will constantly shed their skin throughout their entire life as they need to grow new skin that would accommodate their larger bodies.
As such, African House Snakes that are older are generally larger than their younger counterparts even though the latter are also adults already.
That said, African House Snakes generally live up to 20 years but most of them live somewhere between 10 and 15 years. So, in that case, a 20-year old African House Snake is most likely going to be bigger than its 10-year old counterpart. This is also one of the reasons why captive-care African House Snakes are usually bigger than their wild cousins as the latter snakes don’t always get to live long lives.
What factors can affect the size of an African House Snake?
Now that we have discussed that age is one of the factors that can affect the size of an African House Snake, what are the other factors that can make it grow bigger?
- Enclosure size
Snakes will never outgrow the size of their enclosure. No matter how big a snake species should be, it will only be able to grow to a size that is big enough for its enclosure to handle.
So, if you keep your African House Snake in a small enclosure, expect it to be quite small. However, keeping it in a tank that is about 10 gallons big will be good enough to allow it to grow to its maximum size.
The diet of a snake will also affect its size because this is where they get the energy to grow. So, if you don’t feed your African House Snake properly, it might not be able to grow fast enough to reach an ideal size.
That’s why you need to make sure that you are following the correct feeding schedule and the right kind of diet for your African House Snake. The good news is that these snakes can already do well on a diet primarily composed of domesticated mice and other similar rodents.
An often-overlooked factor that can affect the size of an African House Snake is its breeder because only the best breeders can actually breed snakes that are healthy enough to grow to large sizes.
So, in your case, it is best to go find a reputable African House Snake breeder if you want to get a snake that can grow up to reach its maximum size. Otherwise, you might end up with an unhealthy and undersized African House Snake that came from equally unhealthy and undersized parents due to how its breeder did not do a good job at taking care of and breeding the snakes.
- Overall care
Aside from giving your African House Snake the right kind of environment and food, it is also good to take good care of it when you want it to grow properly.
This means that you should keep its enclosure clean and sanitary and that you are providing enough heat and light for it to grow up happy and healthy. Provide it with enough water and make sure to keep it away from any bacteria, parasites, and other similar diseases that can adversely affect its overall health. The healthier and happier a snake is, the less likely it will end up becoming undersized.