Hey, hopefully some of you can help me with this.
Sorry its a long one but i want to be as detailed as i can to get to the bottom of this.
I’ve been breeding ball pythons for 4+ years now. And never had any real issues with slugs.
However this year has been awful so far so spmething must be going on which i cant seem to figure out.
I moved to a new home around 18 months ago now in the december of 2021. The season after that ( last year) was terrible. From 30 or so females that could have laid only 1 did with just 2 good eggs in that clutch.
I expected a bad year from the stress of moving, that was a lot worth than i thought.
However these things happen.
So i’ve been looking forward to this season. So far i’ve had 53 eggs laid and only 19 of them were good with the rest being slugs.
Some females slugged out completely. Some just laid 3-4 good or just 1 on occaision and only 1 so far has laid a good clutch of 8 fertile eggs.
I’m wondering whats going on so any help would be appreciated.
Most of the females that have laid so far are first timers this year. But even the ones that aren’t have laid some slugs.
The ambient room temperature tends to sit between 78-80f without any heat unless its the winter. But the heater does click on if it goes below 76f
Meausured with a heat gun.
The tubs hot spot is 88-90f
Cool end on the floor is afound 78-80f
Ambient in middle of the tub is 84-85f
Humidity is around 60% in the tubs
Would the possible cause still be a knock of effect from moving even though it was 18 months ago?
I did try this year pairing the males twice a week at one point (to different females) so fit everyone in as i’m a bit low on males due to the poor season last year which if it was decent i was planning to purchase more with the money.
I’m no longer pairing twice a week just once per week for 2-3 days like normal now and have been for atleast 6 weeks but still getting some slugs.
Could that have even been a reason for slugs due to the males sperm not having a chance to regenerate?
All snakes are eating well until just before they ovulate, plenty of locks for each pairing etc.
I never had any issues before moving home.
Again sorry for the long post but hopefully someone can help me with this before my whole season slugs out.
How many males and females are we talking here?
Are the males proven?
Are these snakes all up to a good size/age? You said a lot of them were first timers.
I would definitely be sure to take a look back in breeding records and see if there’s a pattern. Which pairings slugged out entirely and which ones had at least one good egg.
I do believe that scaling back how often you’re pairing may be best. The stress being caused by constant shuffling could be an issue.
Thanks for the reply.
This is from 7 females so far with another about to lay which has already popped put 2 slugs, hopefully some good eggs to follow though
The males are all proven
All the snakes were around the 2kg mark before they laid. Most of them are around 4 years of age the youngest being from 2019
Even the ones that have laid a couple of times before for me and are 6 years old or so. Laid only 3-4 good eggs when previous times have been perfect clutches.
I have already gone back to just pairing once per week. Each female sees a male once every 4-6 weeks or so. Which worked for me before
I have just checked again in the tubs. While the cool end on the floor is 80f. The ambient there sits around 82.5f.
Could this be a little too hot maybe?
You are right to assume too high temps do affect both the males and females, and it definitely seems like you are getting plenty of eggs but not very many fertile. So for sure a fertility issue, but none of these temps seems to high to me. You could adjust the hotspot perhaps a couple degrees cooler to see if it helps, but your temps seem right on. I am wondering if it has to do with stress still from the move even after 18 months. The problem with that assumption is you would think they would go off feed, reabsorb or not attempt to breed-if they were still under stress. So I am not sure exactly why. The only other thing is overbreeding? I know you said there are some first time females, but do you breed the rest every year? I wouldn’t think so but I can’t think of anything else that could possibly effect the fertility of eggs. Sorry, that’s a tough season! Hopefully someone can help figure this out for you! Good luck, keep us posted if you find anything out!
It is very odd that i am getting alot of eggs still. Which is why i’m not sure about whether the move is still an issue. As like you’ve mentioned, they would if anything reabsorb them etc.
It seems as though they just arent getting fertilised for some reason. But the temps dont seem excessive.
I have thought about lowering the hot spot slightly, but i dont want to then face an issue of them all going off food or even getting respiratory infections.
I normally do pair them every year unless they haven’t made weight. But last season due to the move only 1 female laid for me anyway.
Thank you for your help