Ball python breeding question

This may be a stupid question or one with no one answer, but It’s pretty important. I’ll be purchasing a breeder ready female ball python at a reptile expo on november 6th and quarantining it for about a month, so after the quarantine, how long would you wait before breeding her?

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I would quarantine a lot longer than a month, especially if it’s coming from an expo


That’s a question with a lot of facets. First, I wouldn’t suggest any less than 45 days of quarantine. Even a 60-90 day QT doesn’t guarantee your safe from things like Nido Virus or Crypto. I personally QT new snakes for 60 days, but with the conditions; that I’ve seen them defecate multiple times (to ensure digestive health insofar as I can observe) and during that time they must shed. I also treat them for mites immediately upon bringing them home.

As far as when to breed her, that will depend mostly on her. You’ll need to know if she’s dropped eggs within the last 12 months. You don’t want to pair her if she’s laid recently. She will need to have sufficient fat reserves to support follicular development. If she doesn’t you’ll first have to feed her up to a healthy body condition (be careful not to make her obese), and of course pair her within the window her body is receptive to growing follicles. I suggest checking out this breeding pictorial from Markus Jayne, it’s maybe the simplest formula for success.

The monkey wrench in this whole thing is going to be her temperament. If she’s a nervous or finicky animal she may not breed for a year or more after changing hands as an adult. I’ve probably brought in around a dozen adult females over the years. Results have been mixed, but generally it takes a year or so for them acclimate. I’ve had a genetic stripe female that came from a close friend for 3 years now and she still hasn’t settled in to regular feeding for me let alone thinking about breeding her.


I plan to quarantine any of my animals for at least four months. I think somewhere t_h_wyman said that he does six months.


That’s a good plan. You really can’t overdo it on the quarantine period!