Females breeding too early

I’ve been offered a banana female. She only weighs about 1000 grams but the guy went ahead and put his male in. They locked multiple times and he has pictures to prove it. I’ve never heard of anyone breeding that small and was wondering if it even be worth buying. I guess she is already bred, but I’m worried about the snake itself. Need experienced options

Personally, I would shy away for a couple reasons. Because she was bred, IF she happens to ovulate, then you will likely end up with slugs or an egg bound female. She definitely will not lay a huge healthy clutch. The other reason I shy away from females that someone else bred, how do you know the male he used will fit in with your plans? And lastly, I feel that breeding females too early leads to smaller clutches over the life of that female. While you can breed a female at the 1500 gram mark, if you waited until the 2000 to 2500 grams, you would see much bigger clutches over the life of the female. Good luck


I have no experience in breeding ball pythons. I want to start next year so I honestly can not give a first hand advice in it. I can only judge based on the information I gathered because of my own breeding plans. The thing that comes in my mind is what motivated the guy to even put a male with her at that size? I have two girls around the 1000 gram range and one at 1450 grams and just over two years but even though I have breeding plans I don’t put a man with them because I want to let them mature more. I am to worried that it will affect their health or maybe even cost their lives. Did they live in one enclosure together? Then why didn’t he separate them when he saw them lock to prevent more locks? How does the snake look further, is she in healthy shape? How old is she and does the weight sound normal to the age? I always learned they have to be at least 1500 gram or went though two winters. 1000 sounds so small.

I’m by far not an expert but I honestly don’t think I would buy the snake, just like I shy away from buying a snake from the guys I saw at expo’s who had snakes who were two years old and look smaller than my own snake at 7 months old, or from that guy who, at every expo I see him his snakes almost all have severe shedding problem. I would worry to much about the general care the snake got and it’s health. Unless of course, you want to adopt as a rescue snake because then you are already prepared for problems. And then I would feed her as long as she is still eating as much food as she wants hoping she would gain some extra weight before laying eggs.

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@stewart_reptiles can offer some advise on this subject. She made some really good points in a previous thread, but I can’t seem to locate the thread and quote what she said beforehand.


Well if I was offered a 1000 grams female that has been bred I would pass regardless of the criteria I recently mentioned here Breeding size help?

Either he breeds his animals carelessly at a size far from being optimum which as Lee mentioned will not likely result in good outcomes (extremely small clutch or slugs being the most likely) which means the animal would have to get the following season off and not be bred by you before 2022 (might better off getting a sub adult now to do that).

Or he breeds an animal on the very small side that is older than 4 years and do so because she has the age but not the size however this is usually the result of an animal being a finicky eater if barely around a 1000 grams at 4 years or more which may or not be solved once she lays. Sometime it kickstart their appetite and they start eating normally and catch up but sometime they don’t that’s a huge gamble.


I’m with @hinglesherps on this one. You don’t want to buy a snake that could end up being an issue for you in the long term. Could everything be alright? Sure, but is it a risk you are willing to take? If you’re looking for an adult female, buy a PROVEN female from a reputable breeder.


Heads up… Wrong link :grin:.

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1000g at 4 years old is not impossible or insurmountable but it is concerning. As previously pointed out he’s either underfeeding and you have potential issues associated with starvation/anorexia or you have a problem feeder. I have had problem feeders go on to do just fine. I have a 5yo Lesser Ghost female who barely tips the scales at 1300g and she gave me a small, healthy clutch last year and will go again this year. Smaller females recover weight faster than bigger girls…but they also give smaller clutches (3 eggs last year). That being said, many trouble feeders stay that way and will give you grief for as long as you own them. It’s a gamble.


As @stewart_reptiles and @hinglesherps explained dont get it because it may end just being a bigger problem for you. I have a 2 year old female that is barely 1k grams so I’m going to wait a long while before I even consider breeding. And here’s another point to this, would you rather get a crappy clutch from a small female or a big healthy clutch from a nice big female? To me the answer would be pretty obvious what I’d choose

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For us, 1800 grams is the minimum weight I will pair a female. But when considering this I let age and maturity and snake overall health and build be a deciding factor. We prefer that they are past the 3rd winter and 2000+ grams in weight. And they get skipped a year or 2 after clutch. Again weight and overall health play a factor in this decision. Personally I wouldn’t want a snake that was bred at such a small size. Its terribly detrimental to the snake.
Sure it may happen in the wild, but we’re not there to see the outcome.
Professional ethical breeders have given a tried and true outcome as to why you should not pair under a certain weight. Anyone ignoring what the forefathers learned from trial and error, well it seems they are either over excited and anxious to get that new morph, or make back that investment money (greed).
To me this gives the hobby a bad name.
Patience is key. Slow grown usually gives a good clutch over the rush jobs.


Hmm too small. I think thought we put too much into it all, if a female is a good eater, and 1400 grams, lots of fat. I will breed her. Females tend to eat very well in the building phase and I would expect her to get to 1500 grams before she ovulates. If I had a female, not a great eater 1400 grams and good fat stores, and 5 years old. no I will not breed her. In the wild they don’t have scales. So we look at the big picture. Is a 1400 gram female pounding food? Is she gaining weight well? My Cappicino (Mojave het. pied) is 1000 grams, I couldn’t imagine her successfully doing it. She doesn’t even have alot of fat stores.

Since I just purchased a virgin breeding snake at 1350 grams I’m in the same boat as to when to breed her. I don’t plan on breeding her when she hits that magic 1400 grams. I do want to get her to 1700 - 2000 grams before I try. Everyone is saying the older and heavier a female is the better chance for a large and healthy clutch. I’m more interested in a healthy snake right now at the moment.

I had another random thought pop into my head as I was typing this about clutches and baby snakes finally coming and all that fun jazz - when do sex baby snakes? If anyone would rather send me a PM instead of answering in here that’s okay too. I didn’t want to change the subject of this thread


I usually wait to pop until after their first shed and will double check after 2nd shed.

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@annakirby I wait until after the baby’s first shed.

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I’d definitely be up for seeing a breeding blog from you like @sunfishexotics Here when you finally get to that stage.

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Short Answer: No.

Ask yourself, what motive does this person have for selling this snake?
My understanding is that this snake was either maltreated, or is inferior breeding stock.

Consider these two scenarios-

Why would you consider buying a snake from someone who bred it underage, and is willing to ship a possibly gravid female?

What if the snake in question is actually 4-5 years old, never truly having thrived, and unlikely to ever thrive in the future?

I would add a caution also. I have a female, that just didn’t seem to put the weight on. At 5 years she just hit 1200 grams and I went ahead and bred her. Got 5 eggs, and then bam, this last year she went food wild and wouldn’t you know it she is big and heatlhy like she never was before. I don’t know what changed, maybe the breeding, but it turned her around. I had the luxury of working with her from baby on though, so I knew why she was smaller. If she had been older I wouldn’t have know. And that could have been a problem.