1600 gram Female ball Python

I have a Female BP and she’s around 1500 -1600 grams I got her about 3 months ago and she’s never been bred and when I got her she was eating like a beast every week she was eating her small rat soon as it was offered, now she’s been a month and has not ate at all and she seems interested but then pulls back and goes the other way and she eats Frozen Thawed, just needing some Tips and help if this is normal and if this is maybe breeding behavior. My male he wasn’t eating and now all of a sudden he’s smashing food every time so is this breeding behavior or what do u all think

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Could be breeding behavior, but I would see if you observe any others. Such as coiling around her water bowl, and staying on the cool end of her cage. Mine usually don’t start any breeding behavior until end of October at the earliest, but they can breed year round so it is possible. Another possibility is she just decided frozen/thawed aren’t good enough anymore and she wants live. I can’t tell you how many great f/t eaters suddenly get picky and won’t eat till I give them a live. Some go back and forth, and some don’t. I would offer live and see what happens.

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Ball pythons can and will go off feed. As far as breeding behavior if she was building follicles she would be hammering food not refusing.


This. 100%.
Unless she goes off feed for months and months, starts losing weight, looking bad, etc. No need to worry.
They do this from time to time. Just watch her behavior, so many keepers, especially new ones, stress about just the feeding. Watch all the behaviors, these guys are remarkably tough and complex, you have to familiarize yourself. You will be surprised by the range of variance in the collection. It’s part of what makes them so fun to keep!
You can offer different foods, but keep the same feeding schedule, she will learn when it’s feeding time.
And don’t forget, never leave live prey in with your non-feeding snake too long unattended. If she’s really off feed, you run the risk of her being injured, so keep an eye on things. If she doesn’t make a strike in a few minutes, it’s time to take the prey out and try again later.

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I’ve had 3 of my females go off of food and then immediately resume feeding after being paired with a male. 2 were during 2020 and they both laid eggs for me.

My albino female has actually done this twice now — I put off pairing her a second time for about 2 months rather than a monthly pairing, and she eventually went off food again.

Paired her up again last week, and next feeding day she was suddenly at the front of her tub waiting for food… which is fairly unusual for her in general. She took her rat and ate it though!

If OP’s female is in breeding mode, I would try pairing ONCE and then see how her feeding response is after that, especially if a visual lock is witnessed. If she resumes feeding, then I’d say it’s a safe bet she’s wanting to breed.


I wouldn’t personally considering she just got it three months ago I wouldn’t consider it an established feeder. So me I wouldn’t feel comfortable breeding that female yet. Again this is my opinion. Would definitely want her more established in my collection before I bred her.

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Fair enough — I didn’t catch that part, but I still wanted to share my experience at least.

I suppose trying live would be a good start, considering she seems interested but isn’t taking. If all options are exhausted and she still hasn’t resumed feeding, I’d still try the single pairing just in case.

Also OP should make sure not to offer too often, just offer on the regular feeding schedule as not to stress her out.


You have a good point about triggering feeding mode by breeding.

That said, she’s new and only 1600g, I’m with @saleengrinch on this, I’d like her feeding reliably and maybe abit heavier before breeding.

So far, my experience has been, yes you can breed at 1500g or even less, but you get more, bigger, healthier eggs and babies if mommy is bigger and has more reserves. And she goes back on feed and recovers better too.

Case in point from this year.
Big hetLav girl 2600+g at breeding. 8 big eggs, 8 big babies all doing well. 3 months after laying, she’s back above prebred weight, eating like a monster and doesn’t even look like she was bred this year.

Smaller first time pastel pied girl, 1400+g at breeding. 5 eggs, 2 were slugs, 2 never developed veins, 1 full term baby hatched thin small and weak, never ate on her own and failed to thrive, just passed. Mommy went back on feed only after 2 weeks, eats well, is just now, after 3 months, breaking prebred weight, still looks a little thin. I may not breed her next season and just let her keep growing. I admit, I rushed her :pensive:. Mea culpa.


Yeah, I get that — everyone does things differently and I totally understand wanting your females to be a bit bigger before pairing.
Mine are all at least 1500 grams or more, most are 1700-2000+ grams actually.
I like to see them at 1200-1300 at the very least before I’ll even consider trying to pair. Females won’t lay a clutch if they don’t feel they can handle it, hence why they will absorb developing follicles, and also why females will skip years even if you pair them.

My butter female actually did this, her follicles got pretty big, and I was sure she was gonna go… but then she just absorbed them. Went back on food, she got her jaw abscess surgery done again, and now she’s back to eating again as of a couple weeks ago.
Somehow isn’t phased by getting her injections and actually hasn’t regurgitated her food even though I’m having to give her antibiotics once a day for a 90 day period.

Oddly enough I paired a female that was around 1400 grams before pairing, and she laid 3 huge good eggs and 1 slug. Those 3 babies hatched out healthy, one I had to assist feed for a long time but she’s been eating on her own quite aggressively after she figured it out.

That same female did not lay for me this season, she decided to take the year off along with my other females, but is now pushing 2000 grams empty. She’s gotten huge! Hoping she’ll breed this coming season and will hopefully give me a better clutch this time around.

I have zero issues breeding a female that is that size. As long as I know she’s done growing for the most part. I used to breed whenever they got to that size. But I have found I have better long term success with females if I give them another “season” to grow.

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