My first clutch from an imported ball python (outback reptiles)

Hey everyone! Here to share my experience and also get some feedback. I picked up two adult african imports from outback reptiles back in Nov. I was having trouble getting them to eat and figured maybe it was a combination of stress and the environment but after a while I started to notice that both of the girls were thickening up. I looked at outback reptiles website again and noticed some of the girls that were still available had been updated as “gravid,” which made me pretty sure they were carrying eggs and would explain them not eating.
The first clutch dropped on St Patrick’s day and the second dropped on Easter. Blessed with holiday babies :call_me_hand:t3::call_me_hand:t3:. I didn’t catch the first clutch until a day late. She dropped 8 eggs with 1 a clear dud. I did my best to gently move her away from the eggs and gently move them into a incubator that was setup a week ahead of time with humidity hovering around 99% and thermostat at 90’. Over the course of the first couple weeks, 2 of the eggs completely deflated, leaving me with 5. Fast forward to Friday, 5/7. The top egg in the cluster (didn’t pull the 5 apart that were in the cluster) started to mildew and yellow. I decided to pip the egg (watched and read alot of videos beforehand to make sure I didn’t damage the baby) and found a rotten jelly like embryo. Clearly went bad some point along the line. I cut out the bad egg and was left with 4. There was a window in one of the bottom eggs and I pipped it open out of fear that I may lose another one. Thankfully the baby just poked it’s head out yesterday and moving around a little more today. Excited and keeping an eye out on the remaining 3 eggs. They look healthy and I’ll pop tomorrow if they don’t open up.
7/8 of the second clutch look really healthy and. 7 are in a cluster and the one by itself has sunk in a bit. I’m not sure if there is room in there for an embryo but wait and see how it goes.
I have not gotten the mothers to eat yet and I’ve been stressed about it. I’ve cleaned them and the enclosures three times and the last time I completely swapped tubs. That was about 2 weeks ago. Tried feeding live mice yesterday with no luck. All in all I’ve tried: live adult mice, rat hoppers, mediums rats and f/t mice and adult rats. I keep all my bps on a heat mat with thermostats and humidity fluctuates around 65-75%. They all have hides and I only handle the ones that are eating well. I have only handled the imports since dropping clutches to clean them and their enclosures. Any suggestions? Maybe they will start feeding once all the eggs hatch?
The second clutch 55th day is May 29th. Really looking forward to it as the mother is a high gold and looks awesome. I attached a pic of

the baby that just popped it’s head out a couple days ago


I’m not an expert by any means, but I have heard people have had a lot of success getting troublesome eaters back on food using African soft furred rats if that’s a food source available to you. Congratulations on the babies, best of luck with getting the adults back eating :slight_smile:

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Thanks! I usually pick up from rodentpro but I don’t remember them offering those. I’ll double check. Does anyone know of any other sources? I live in bay area, california.

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Import animals are notorious for being difficult to establish.

ASF are not legal in CA so it might be hard to come by them locally. You can probably get frozen from one of the major online vendors though.

Gerbils are often cited as a good way to get them started, but be ready to use them as a regular feed source because sometimes animals will just not want to convert over.


Don’t stress , some get back on food quicker than others, make sure containers completely cleaned , clean substrate , maybe even move tub to a different position in rack,

Had one take a month or so before coming back on but they will, I give mine live rats to get going again

A couple people suggested moving them into smaller tubs and waiting a week or two and then offering hopper mice. Going to try that out today and hopefully it goes well. I’ll also shift them to a different spot on the rack. I found AFM on a couple sites but they don’t ship to California, even though they are frozen and already dead. I found some AFM scent juice online. Not sure how effective that is to transition them but if they don’t take some food down in a couple weeks I’ll try it out. Only $20 so I figure its worth a shot.

Update: Baby came out today. 2 of the remaining 3 eggs went bad at some point and became hard. The last good egg pipped yesterday. So 2/7 of the first clutch. Kind of crummy but I learned alot along the way and know what to look for when I start breeding this year.
The second clutch looks great. There is one spotty looking egg of 8, so worst case scenario I should get 7/8 high gold babies