How old should a female be to breed or does it not matter much?

So I was always taught to wait until the females were roughly 3 years of age and around 1600-1800g. Recently though 2 of my females (1.5 year old Fire at 1200g, and a 2 year old Bumblebee leopard at 1400g) have started wrapping around their bowls and don’t go towards their heat side as often (unless it’s the day they eat, I’ve only seen them around the bowls).

Humidity and heat are the same as it’s always been, (87-89 hot side, 75 cool side with 50% humidity at mot times unless shedding) and nothing else has changed for them either. But I had this happen last year to my adult normal, bred her, got some eggs 2 months after pairing. Could they be developing follicles or are they just looking for the cool side for some reason? I know they’re not shedding because they both started this a few weeks ago (Fire had shed a day after starting bowl wrapping, bumblebee started doing this a week or so after shedding)

I wouldn’t want to breed them early too early because they’re young, but what are your takes on this? I’ve heard some people say it depends on the snake, and depends on weight, but I don’t have as much experience breeding yet to just eyeball it. I plan to breed my adults around October-November this coming year, so they would have more weight on by then but still I’m not sure if I should?

I used to breed them younger but have stopped. I wait until they are at least into there third winter. I feel if you breed them earlier you stunt there growing. I find it’s better for clutch size and the females overall health to wait. This is my personal preference based on my personal experiences.

I personally wouldn’t pair these two. I would give them another year before I bred them.


I believe the Fire’s 3rd winter would be 2022 (she’s a summer of 2020 baby) but I’m not sure if people count the winter they were born in? I’ve never really understood how the winters work when it comes to breeding age, I normally count from their birth month?

I’m not breeding any of my 2020 holdbacks. And I’m waiting on a couple of my 2019 holdbacks that are in the 1200 to 1400 gram range.

Some females stay smaller but I’m guessing your gals still have a little growing to do. I don’t like breeding females unless I feel they are for the most part done growing.

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What do you think on a 2019 female that’s about 1700g? I planned on breeding her in 2022

It’s tough for me to say. I judge a lot based on the individual snake. A lot of factors come into play for me. But as a general consensus I would say I would be comfortable breeding that snake personally.

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Good to know. Thank you!

I agree with the advice here. But…
I have mated younger, or a bit less weight. Not to produce eggs, but to get an animal to feed after a 9 month fast. It worked and no eggs were produced. I did try everything else first.
I await and respect contradiction from those that know better.

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Honestly I feel it is up to personal choice when you breed your females. As long as the female is healthy and has a good body condition, and is a reasonable age/size to breed, I don’t see the harm in pairing them.

If you want to wait and let her grow some more, I don’t see the harm in doing that either.

@ascended I have heard of people pairing just to get their females back on food, even if it isn’t necessarily to get eggs. I don’t see an issue with that either.


See if they were a lean 1400g, I wouldn’t, but if they’re a chunky 1400g female that’s only 2-3 years old, I wouldn’t see much harm in it if they’re of good condition. My only concern is long term health if I did breed the younger females? Like I wouldn’t want to risk anything by breeding them a year too early and give them life long issues with eggs

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More than likely you will get a smaller clutch and they won’t breed the following year. And will have constantly smaller clutches. And they probably won’t reach as big of adult size than if you waited. This is just my observations from my personal experiences.


I think I’ll stick to waiting til they’re a nice 3 year old with plenty of weight on them then! I’ll only pair them younger if the female goes off feed for too long and won’t respond to other methods (Which worked on my older female who went off feed during winter, she actually was successful after 1 single lock though and I ended up with eggs)