I'm coming clean...eggs

This is going to be long
So this is a doozy. A pretty far-fetched sounding story, at that. But true. I’ve been sitting on some completely unexpected news for about a month. I am posting now because I just want to deal with it and stop worrying about what others think so much. The anxiety I have about it is making me feel horrible because I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite on here.

I’ve intentionally not bred any of my ball pythons because not only is the market wayyyy oversaturated but also because we are still learning about breeding and how to identify morphs and understanding genetics. I know I’ve mentioned on here before that my daughter has been adamant since she turned 8 years old (she’s almost 11 now) that she wants to have her own snake breeding business. I knew it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, if at all. I figured she’d lose interest or change her mind by the time I felt we were knowledgeable enough and when or if the market oversaturation corrected to breed bps (spoiler: she has not changed her mind).

Our girl Sol dropped eggs while I was on vacation last month. It was a complete surprise. We got her at 3 years old in October of 2021 from a breeder. My daughter picked her out because she loves pieds. She was then only around 1300g. The breeder did say that she was paired once to a mahogany but there were no confirmed locks. We didn’t think much of it because it had been 10 months since the pairing when we bought her. Out of curiosity, I asked her for a photo of her mahogany. I loved how dark he was. Just for giggles I went to MM to see what mahogany pieds looked like and at some point I saw a Suma and that blew me away. So my obsession with the dark morphs, and especially the Suma morph, began. I started being more intentional in my purchases as I figured if we were at some point in the future going to consider breeding then it would be nice to buy morphs that would fit into a singular project. So I bought a male mahogany het pied with the thought of him as part of a hypothetical project to make mahogany pieds and, if the market got right, eventually Suma Pieds.

So I’m now sort of a hypocrite in saying I’m strictly a keeper. I have 4 eggs. The far-fetched part is that the sire could only have been the mahogany unless it would somehow be a partho clutch. And now I have a mahogany het pied. I’m kind of upset that I wasn’t the one who bred our pied girl because I didn’t get to watch her progress through the gravid stages. Yes, I knew that females could retain sperm for a long time but the odds of her being gravid seemed so low to me. In our normal interactions with her, I didn’t notice any super obvious signs like bowl wrapping, inverted laying, etc. She absolutely did eat while gravid.

With that said, we absolutely do have the space, income and intentions of keeping the babies as our pets. My husband called me in a panic while my daughter and I were away on vacation and I sent him some youtube videos of how to make a homemade incubator and it was up and running with steady temps and humidity. So there was 5 healthy eggs although they were being maternally incubated for a few days until the incubator was holding steady.

Fingers crossed that all goes well. Laid 7-31-23



First off, I’d hardly call you a hypocrite, since you didn’t actually pair your female. You’re not a breeder (yet, anyway), you’re just a keeper who purchased a snake who was paired before you got her, and whom you had every reason to believe was probably not gravid. I’ll bet your daughter is excited, though. :grin:

That’s super cool that your daughter wants to be a snake breeder! Though as you said, breeding ball pythons is a bit problematic at the moment. Has she/you considered perhaps trying to get into a species other than ball pythons in the future? Balls are great, and I know they give you more genetic options to work with (by a huge margin), but there are so many other species that are also wonderful, many of which also offer quite a variety of morphs to work with. I know you’ve already invested some time, love, and money into balls, but a species with a less saturated market might be a more viable option for your daughter long-term.

Regardless of what direction your family goes in the future, I hope the clutch of eggs you have cooking right now hatches out healthy and beautiful!


Thank you for the kind words. I accidentally hit the post button so had to add the photos and finish my post. I absolutely don’t want to be a part of the problem and I’m grateful that we have the resources to keep them.
I have really always liked western hognose snakes and have put some time into educating myself about them and how to care for them. I think that is a wonderful idea you have. It’s very much a possibility. I know my kiddo thinks they’re so funny and adorable. Once the babies hatch and start growing I will pose the idea to her. If she is interested in taking this route she will already have a decent understanding of morphs, so it wouldn’t be too much more for her to learn about brumating, species, genus, etc. Luckily she’s just totally focused on learning about the hatching process and overall care of these babies for now :smile:


@gina5678 You are definitely not a hypocrite, as @jawramik stated, for the reason she stated. You certainly did not breed Sol. Actually you guys got a bargain! 6 for one price!

Seriously though don’t ever feel apologetic to post something like this! This over saturation thing has really affected so many small breeders and it’s a real shame because even mentioning breeding of ball pythons has become taboo and results in posts like this by people like you who have done nothing wrong in cases like this.

The fact that you guys are willing and able to give these little incubating soon to be noodles out of the egg a loving home as pets is outstanding! However you are not taking into consideration that you may have people step up and want to adopt them!

This is also going to be a great opportunity for your daughter to learn how to care for the new babies! As @jawramik pointed out, there are a lot more breeding options out there other than ball pythons for young up and coming breeders to choose from!

So chin up @gina5678! You and your family are totally doing the right thing by Sol and her babies! It’s a good thing she ended up with you because who knows what could have happened to those babies! :pray::heart::+1::blush:


You are so sweet @caron ! You and @jawramik really made me feel much better about this whole thing! The whole community has been so kind to me and I love that as a community we are able to learn and grow with each other. I do learn something new every day by reading posts here on MRC. I stressed about this whole situation so much that it took me almost a whole month to post this, much like it took me about 2 years of lurking here to even make my first post.


I’m like you! I have learned so much here! There is just so much knowledge, experience and expertise in this community! It’s very refreshing to participate in a place where people lift each other up instead of tearing each other down! Here’s to the MM Community! :+1::blush:


Oh, and here’s the mockup she drew and then the logo that the artist designed for her:



@gina5678 I LOVE that! It’s very eye catching! And her name is Carlita? My sister’s name was Carleen. I love the name Carlita btw!


I just took the Hognose plunge myself. They are fun/goofy little guys


Hognoses would be a great species to work with! They’re in high demand, and their market doesn’t seem to be so over-saturated. You might also explore some other species. Corn snakes are wonderful and have many beautiful morphs to work with. Milk snakes are also great, though I don’t think there are as many mutations as corns. African house snakes seem to be growing in popularity, and while there aren’t a ton of morphs (yet), there are many different species and localities to choose from. Short-tailed pythons have some really beautiful morphs, especially bloods and Borneos, and their care isn’t all that different from balls. Boas could be fun too, and they’d be a bit different since they’re live-bearers. If an average BCI is too big, you could always look into something like sand or rosy boas, or a dwarf locality of boa constrictor.

Point being, there are a lot of different directions your daughter could go, depending on where her tastes and interests lie. I kinda suspect that some of the above-mentioned species might really take off in popularity in the coming years, as more and more breeders start to experience the negative effects of the over-saturated ball python market and start looking for new, more financially viable projects. There’s a whole big, wide world full of snakes other than ball pythons. She may even decide she wants to work with multiple species (that’s definitely allowed!).


You’re fine. I know people on here have switched to hate on people for breeding ball pythons, but as long as you have the means to care for and place in good homes then you’re not part of a problem. So take it slow, be intentional about what you breed, considering what supply/demand is out there already of your potential offspring.

Basic advice imo is if there’s more than a small handful of a particular combo listed on MM, you’re actually better off both financially and time wise to just buy it vs breed up to it. Even for the $1000+ snakes, you’ll end up spending more than that to raise/breed/hatch/establish, plus putting in many many hours of work, and waiting for years to hopefully hit your odds.

So personally these days every pairing I do, I’m looking for a specific combo to hold back, I set it up so I have >70% chance to hit that combo in the year, and that combo or something comparable is not available to buy anywhere.

There’s plenty of other cool species too if your passion takes you that way. However you go, best of luck to you!


Also over saturated or not, breeding snakes like bps with all there morphs and watching the eggs hatch and seeing the babies is fun and can be very personally rewarding if that’s what your family is into! Sounds like you are going to keep all or have the means to take care of them until whenever, so go ahead have fun!:grin:


Yep totally agree Nathan! The very best part of this situation is that these babies are going to have a stable home. And young Carlita is going to have the time of her life watching this miracle of nature happen before her very eyes!

Sometimes life is so grand! :grinning::pray:


How are the eggs? should be just a few more weeks. did you candle them?


Well, I am not sure. We’re at day 50. I actually looked up a previous thread where I remembered reading that around day 48 you check them every day and allow circulation of air. I’m not sure if this is what some people do because they prefer to start pushing air around and putting ventilation holes in the bin or if it’s an essential step to prevent a disaster. So I was typing up my comment when I decided to go take a few photos of my setup and eggs to post here on MRC. When I opened up the incubator I was shocked to see 2 moldy eggs. I elaborate, er - RAMBLE on further in the post below.

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