Breeding Ball Pythons

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 20, 2006
Messages
279
My ball python female is so beautiful, it would be a shame to not breed her. So the pet store I work at, we get lots of balls. So I went through a bunch and picked out a beautiful baby male, already had a meal. Havent brought him home yet, but I will :D

My female is a bit over three feet long. The male is still a baby, but I heard they can breed at about six months old? So by this season he should be good enough I'm hoping.

What I'm wondering about is keeping them together. I know some people who keep several ball pythons together, of different sizes, and they do fine, and they do fine as babies together at the pet store. I'm just curious if it has any effect on breeding... will they be more likely to get "in the mood" if they are kept separate and then introduced at the right time, or should they be fine kept together? I'd prefer to be able to keep them together and not have to get another setup.

I'm excited at the prospect of possibly making babies, hehe. And my boyfriend has always wanted to raise a ball python from an egg.

Here is my big girl, Bijou...
 

Avic_Addict

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Messages
84
Hi there,

The general rules for breeding from female royals is that they must be at least 3 foot long, at least 3 years old and at least 1.5Kg in wieght. If your female matches up to these specs then she should be fine to breed next season (you will need to brumate (cool) her over the winter first).

Males can breed at as young as 8 months but it not a good idea to allow them contact with females until they are at least a year old, as the stress and exitement of mating often causes them to stop eating. For big old males this isn't much of a problem, but for a diddy youngster it can lead to rapid loss of weight and condition, and getting them to start eating again can be a real nightmare!

As for keeping them together - I personally would advise very strongly against it. All snake species are opportunistic feeders, and if your big female gets a bit peckish she may just well chose your new male as her next meal. Sounds crazy I know, but it does happen and is more common than people may think - there are only occasional reports of it because, well, if one of your snakes ate its cagemate because you were stupid enough to house them together, you're not going to go and tell everyone about it are you? I have worked in practice for many years and have conducted a number of autopsies on royals and other snakes that have died of toxicity poisoning as a result of eating a sibling or cagemate. Believe me its not pretty!

Having said that, its is down to your individual choice as to whether you house them together. If you do decide to house them together, be sure that you are aware of the risks first, and do not introduce them to each other until the male has been in quarantine for at least a month.
 

jr47

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
598
i never cooled mine and i also kept them together almost year round. but im sure some have had problems with them eating each other. i just never did.
i always put 2 males in with the female. seemed to have better luck with breeding that way. they do their little courtship battles and such. its really kind of interesting to watch. but its not nesasary with bp's to use two males.
good luck with it.
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 20, 2006
Messages
279
Thanks for the tips. I know people have lots of different opinions and different levels of success... my female will definitely be ready. The male will be about 7 months when it's time to start breeding, and it's ok if he's not quite ready or doesnt want to breed, I could always leave conditions the same and wait until next year to set the mood.

I'll definitely keep a close eye on them once I put them together and give them different places to hide... I realize there are risks, but as I've heard they can also be kept together peacefully, I think I'd be willing to take that chance... my female is completely unaggressive and always well fed. Although I think I'll keep him separated for a few months so I can fatten him up so she doesnt just accidentally crush him :rolleyes:
 
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