Body condition of breeding males

Hello forum,

When do you decide to pull a male from the breeding rotation?

I’m helping with a collection and some of the males eat well, and others just stopped eating or were inconsistent even before breeding. All males were above 600g before breeding. I have pulled 1 male because his body condition was pretty poor. Some of the male’s spines are pretty prominent and I’m worried about them and wondering when to pull them from breeding.

How do you decide to pull a male for the season?


I’m a bit gun shy and male heavy. So if I notice any visible loss of weight or if they seem in the least bit sluggish . I also never bred my males to more than 3 females. And I never breed them more than two years in a row. I always wait until at least there second winter! I aim for a lock a month until females lose interest. So my males don’t spend a huge amount of time with females.


Thank you for sharing your experience.

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No problem happy to help!

My male BP still will not eat. Had his last rat on Dec. 2nd. If I go ahead and get an adult female and let him breed her, will He start eating again?
I have read on here in other post that females will start eating after breeding. He use to be a breeder before I got him. I purchased him in, I think November of 2019.

That’s roughly two months ago. To us that seems like a very long time. For a ball python it’s really not that long. They are notorious for going long stretches without eating. This was the biggest adjustment for me when I switched my breeding focus from blood pythons to ball pythons. You will have to get used to the fact they can and will go on long fasts. If you didn’t have any intentions of breeding him I wouldn’t do it just to get him to eat. Most of my males go off the feed when they are breeding. At this point if he still appears healthy I wouldn’t be concerned. Just keep an eye on him but I think at this point odds are he is just fine.


I don’t have plans to breed him now. But I will later on when I get all my ducks in a row. I just hate to see him not eating. Its disturbing. I will keep on
offering him a rat every week until he finally will eat it. Thanks for the reassurance.

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It’s always hard and frustrating I agree. But I would recommend maybe giving him 2 or 3 weeks in between offerings. This can sometimes stimulate them into eating.

Do I leave him alone completely or can I get him out and handle him like I have been. I try to a couple times a week.

I honestly don’t think handling him is a problem. I just won’t do it so often that it stresses him out.