Help wanted in identifying my female’s morph

Hi there! I’m looking to breed balls for the first time and I have a pair picked out, but I also wanted to look into breeding my very first ball. She is an 11 yr old breeder who’s been a pet for a few years now. But the problem is that I don’t remember whether she’s a black pastel or a cinnamon so I was hoping to get some help identifying her.


I also can’t tell if she has something visual going on? Or just a unique normal pattern (This last one is a grungy photo but I feel like you can see her pattern best)

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Looks black pastel

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Being this age she may not be a ideal breeder for your first breeding.

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Definitely Cinnamon. BlkPastels have “eyebrow” marks inside the alien heads and your girl shows none of those.
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I am actually a little inclined to disagree with you here. If she has been “fallow” for the past few years then she should be perfectly fine to breed, these animals can easily hit three decades so she is still in the prime of her life. If you were to try breeding her, I might bulk her up a little before doing so to make sure that she has the reserves needed for the process

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If she was a breeder in the past then became a pet I’m inclined to believe there was most likely a reason for it. Most healthy adult female ball pythons don’t go from being breeders to pets unless there was a reason.

She was being sold as a breeder but I bought her as a pet as she was my first and I was younger. Im not sure if that makes it any better since she’s been off for a few years

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Awesome! Thank you for that info I definitely learned something today :relaxed:

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She’s cinnamon but also very underweight. Did she lay last year? She doesn’t have her weight back up to support a clutch this year.

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I wouldn’t say very underweight if being kept as a pet. Could maybe use an extra rat, but it isn’t like she is skin and bones. If breeding her then yes she would need more weight, but very underweight would mean you could see ribs and the like.

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Nah, if you could see ribs she’d be emaciated. Underweight just means she’s not where she should be at that age. Regardless of breeding condition, a ball python should never look deflated like this. If she was just purchased she probably laid this past season and that’s why she’s underweight. It’s easy enough to solve and I wasn’t judging anyone, but she is certainly underweight for her age and size.

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Here is a good image to tell ideal weight of a BP.
liam-jo-wulfe

Obtained from this site:

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She has been refusing lately so yes I am trying to get her weight up more before even thinking about breeding her, whether that be this year sometime or in the future

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This animal is not underweight at all, she is pretty much what a normal weight animal straight out of the bush would look like. The hobby is so prone to overfeeding animals that the normal physiology of a ball looks completely foreign people

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Out of curiosity then, what do you consider, personally, to be a healthy average weight vs a breeding weight for females?

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That’s not a question with a ‘correct’ answer. It would be the same as saying all human women are fit to bear children if they weigh “X”

They all have unique individual physiology. For example I have an 8 year old female that has produced 2 clutches that is 3.5’ long and weighs about 1700g. I have another 8 year old female that’s over 5’ long and weighs 4300g. A healthy physique is what you’re after not a target weight.

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So you’re pretty much looking for your snake to be filled out but not overly so where you’re getting wrinkles. But that can all depend on the snake itself. Is that a correct statement?

Pretty much. Keep em lean and mean.

@t_h_wyman couldn’t have said it better

I don’t feed any of my pythons or boas more frequently than every 10 days at any age. Adult boas only once a month if not breeding. The only difference from one to the next is meal size. I never feed ball pythons anything larger than a medium rat.

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Good to know! Thank you for the input! It’s much appreciated :+1:

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Spot on @ballornothing

There is no real way to perfectly describe what this looks like other than to say it just looks “right”. But, as I noted above, what the hobby tends to think of as “right” is skewed by the majority of overweight animals we have in the hobby.

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