An Incubation Query

We have a confirmed breeder female ball python. She was entered into a “breeding program” at the pet store we bought her from. The way they explained it to us -to give us an idea of what we could do in case we decided to breed her with our adult male: once her eggs were laid, they’d take the eggs and place them in an incubation rack system. She never got a chance to coil around them. If we decide to breed her with our male, will she instinctively coil (i don’t recall the term, i think it’s burmate) (??) around her clutch, warming and taking care of her egg pile even if she’s never been able to do so before?

We don’t have an incubation rack set-up right now; i was just curious if we should be working on setting up an incubation rack system. We would prefer to allow her to be a mom, you know… She’s more than a “breeder” to us.

Thank you.


Females will always instinctively coil around their eggs, as far as I’m aware. As long as you give them proper humidity and temps you should be perfectly fine with doing maternal incubation.

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Oh, thank the gods.

That…is…good news. Thank you!

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@trnreptiles is correct. They will always coil if given the chance.
Freedom Breeder has a good video on maternal incubation. Check that out for some helpful tips.

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Both the above comments are correct, though there is more to your question.

I think you may be confused with the word “brumate”. Brumation can be thought of as similar to hibernation with the exception of the animal being awake during the process. This isn’t a necessity with captive snakes as due to a constant heat source all year round, they have no need to regulate their metabolism to that degree. Though some breeders do put their animals through the process to try and encourage breeding, it isn’t a standard in the hobby.

I would try and find out what she was last paired too. If she has retained sperm and produces a clutch, it would be handy to know the pairing.

Maternal incubation is fine, a lot of people have documented their animals producing healthy clutches.
Assisted incubation (us taking the eggs from her) just reduces the chance for errors. Knocks, tears, crushing… Etc and makes sure temperatures and humidity are kept precise.

If you have the incubator, I would recommend using it over maternal incubation, but it’s your animals and your experience. Good luck either way :blush:


While the majority of females will coil around their entire clutches they may kick one , two or three eggs out of it as well, and it does not always mean the egg is bad (sometime it is), you can place back the eggs kicked out of the clutch back in but they will not always accept them back,

I have also experience a female that did not coil around her clutch at all, she actually wanted nothing to do with it and almost acted fearful of it, relocating on the opposite side of the enclosure as far as she could.

So while what I mention is most likely not gonna happen, it can. (the most likely will be to kick one or two eggs out)