So I’m curious to like how often people breed their snakes, I hear some people breed once give a year off or some people breed every year at the same time. And I’ve only heard a few times but also people will pair their snakes every 9 months, what do you guys think?
I personally do a 2/3 rule. I will not breed my females more than two years in a row. If a female produces eggs for two years in a row, she automatically gets the next year off, no pairing, no nothing. If she is paired for a year but doesn’t ovulate and lay a clutch, then I’ll pair her again the following year. Many people breed females continuously and often you’ll hear people say that the females will decide when they need the time off, and that is somewhat true, but I’m not interested in pushing my females to their limits. Two years on to a year off, always, for me personally.
Do you think it a ball python lays in September she’s ready to breed again in the summer? If she’s back up to weight (not power feed and fat but healthy)
I feel that if the female is ready she (her body) will choose. Some breeders pair every season some don’t. Either case, it is always up to the snakes if anything happens or not. (besides us putting them together).
I’ve decided to stick with every one year (one year on, one year off) at most. Laying is pretty hard on their bodies and I’m more interested in the long term health and longevity of my animals
It should be looked at from an individual animal basis. Not all females bounce back as quickly, and some hardly need a bounce back. I have females that easily produce healthy follicles every single year and other that might produce a clutch every 2-4 years. No two animals or situations are the same.
It’s going to depend largely on your female, go by her body condition and her behavior. As a general rule, I want my females to fully recover from laying a clutch and be at their pre-lay body condition for at least 6 months before I start pairing again.
I’ll always play it safe. So many people treat these animals like egg machines and I’m just not interested in doing that. It’s the same reason I wait the full three years to ever start pairing them, regardless of their weight.
**Im with @osbornereptiles **
I agree with this sentiment, some of my girls will look like they never laid, others look deflated and skinny.
I’ve also had females I never intended to breed decide they want to build follicles anyways, why not allow them to breed if they are showing the signs and putting energy into building follicles? Just something I think about a bit.
I also have one female who has consistently laid every other year for the past 4 years of breeding her. So while she didn’t go this year, she will very likely go next year if she continues her pattern.
I have a female that has consistently laid every year since before she was 3. She is now 11 years old and she just ovulated.
I also have some females that are now 5 years old, some near 3000g, and no sign of a follicle ever.
Sometimes these animals do what they do regardless of what influences we think we have on them.