I have several inquiries related to ball python breeding that I’m seeking answers to. Although I have some time before I engage in breeding, I aim to gather as much knowledge as possible. Regarding the breeding process, there’s a common practice of separating the ball pythons for 3 days and then reintroducing them. I’m curious about the recommended duration before placing them back together. Additionally, I’ve heard it’s essential to feed the female without power feeding after removing the male on the third day. Could someone provide a detailed feeding schedule for ball pythons after removing the male, perhaps in a simplified manner akin to a “DIY for Dummies” guide? Your assistance would be greatly valued.
Picture for tax my newest boy
Props to you for wanting to learn before breeding. Many people jump in just figuring it out as they go, so respect to you for aiming to ask lots of questions. Another thing I would recommend highly to learn is genetics and IDing.
Ball pythons really only need to be paired once a month or so. Their reproductive cycle includes creating follicles and slowly growing those follicles, then ovulation, then pre-lay shed, and then laying, and that whole process can easily take 4-7 months. It’s important to give males breaks too, as males can and will breed themselves to death. So I pair my girls once per month, leave them together for three days or until I see a visual lock, and then separate them for a good 3-4 weeks.
As for feeding, I personally think there’s a lot of unnecessary feeding that happens in the hobby. In the wild these snakes would be coming across meals anywhere from a couple of days to a month or more after their last meal. None of my girls are paired before they turn 3 regardless of their weight, so I’m not rushing to get them to breeding “size.” The schedule I use is as follows:
Hatchlings below 300g: feed every 7-8 days
Juveniles 300g-800g: feed every 9-10 days
Subadults 800-1400g: feed every 12 days
Adult females: feed every 16-18 days (I bump down to every 14 days if they are actively being paired).
As for feeding right after the male is separated, it’s not too much of a big deal. If you have them separated for at least a couple weeks, there will be PLENTY of time for both the female and the male to get a good meal in. As long as the female is getting a meal every two weeks or so and the male has a meal between pairings, it really doesn’t matter when exactly you feed - I just wouldn’t pair immediately the day after you feed.
This schedule has worked great for me and given me animals with good body condition and good reserves that recover well after laying, without the issues that come with them being overweight. I will feed females who have just laid once per week for a few weeks after, and then they go back to the every 14 days schedule.
@inspirationexotics had some good advice.
For what you are asking about, some leave together for around 3 days (if locked, then when finished).
Remove the male for at least a week. During this time feed both and let rest.
Reintroduce a few days after they eat.
Now the week not together, is not set in stone. As the male may not eat and you will need to wait until he does. This could easily be 2 weeks (as stated above).
I would not use the male again until he does eat. As stated he can mate till death.
Feeding and rested is the most important part. If they are not healthy, it can be deadly.