Breeding Ball Pythons

How to Successfully Breed Ball Pythons

When breeding ball pythons morphs make sure the Ball Pythons have reached maturity before breeding. It is important that the reptiles you intend to breed are old enough and large enough. A male ball python typically needs to weigh over 400 grams and be at least one year old. While females as small as 1200 grams have been successfully bred, we recommend that female ball pythons be at least 2 years old and 1800 grams in order to breed. The process is too demanding on smaller snakes to produce a viable clutch of eggs for incubation.

Determine the sex

It is best to be sure of the sex of the Ball Pythons you intend to breed. “Popping” and “Probing” are two ways that can help in determining the genders. Caution: Only an experienced veterinarian or breeder should do popping or probing.

Provide a cool-off period

In order to become fertile, a cool-off period is required. The ambient air temperature needs to be in the lower 70’s (F) for a period of about two weeks. The basking spot in the cage should be reduced to 82 degrees.

Warm up again

After the cool spell, the temperatures can be returned to normal. Try to keep room temps around 75 degrees. Too hot will result in slug out.

Offer a meal

Be sure to offer your snakes a meal before breeding and after breeding. Ball Python females tend to feed heavily during breeding season. Don’t be afraid to offer an extra rat to a female who is breeding.

Introduce the male to the female

Placing a male in the cage of the female.

Leave them alone

Try not to disturb them. Leave them together for three weeks. After three weeks rest the male for a week and repeat the process from October until February.

How often can you safely breed your female Ball Python?

You can safely breed many times in a year, but most Ball Pythons only lay eggs once a year. Sometimes a female will give herself a year off if she feels her body isn’t ready.

When do Ball Pythons begin breeding season and lay eggs?

Breeding season occurs September-December, followed by gestation of up to 55 days. Eggs are usually laid in February-March, followed by an incubation period of 60-65 days. However this is not set in stone it really depends on climate.

What is brooding?

Females brood their eggs by coiling around so tightly that the clutch is hidden.

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