Ball Python Babies
Are you a beginner to ball python breeding? Have you had trouble with successful hatch rates incubating your eggs artificially? Are you curious about maternal incubation, and what’s involved to allow your female to successfully incubate her own eggs? Then read on, and hopefully this article will help you on the path to successfully allowing your female to incubate her own eggs!
Before letting your ball python (or any snake species, for that matter) incubate her own eggs, you should prepare for this long before breeding even takes place. I would not recommend allowing small or young females to maternally incubate, as they may not feed during this time and the extended period of non-feeding may be too much for them. I generally only allow my females that are over 4 years old, and over 1800 grams (preferably in the 2, 000 gram range) to maternally incubate their eggs. Prep your girls by simply feeding them well and getting them into the best condition possible, with nice complete sheds and solid, good weight to them. You want your girls as chunky as possible going into the breeding season, because again, they may or may not eat once they start incubating their eggs, and you don’t want the incubation process to drain them too severely.
One of the author’s fat, healthy female ball pythons in the process of “building” prior to ovulating
Once you’ve selected the females that will be maternally incubating, proceed through the breeding process like usual. For more information on this part, please refer to the numerous online caresheets, forums, and books currently available on the subject. The only additional thing to consider is that if your female loses too much weight during the breeding season prior to ovulating, do not allow her to maternally incubate. It is important that the female is in good condition throughout the entire process.