Hi there, I’m a new breeder and I’m looking for some help from experienced breeders about the breeding process. (I did look for another thread that might have this information but came up empty, so I made my own)
I’ve done a lot of research on breeding pythons, and I thought I had a good understanding. But then when my female failed to lay around the time we expected, I went back to the drawing board and did more research. The problem is, the more research I do into breeding Ball Pythons the more confused I become.
So many sources conflict, and I have absolutely no idea which sources to believe. Now I feel the best way to understand breeding is to ask those with personal experience! I understand (from research at least) that it can be hard to really understand the process until you’ve been through it a few times. I’m just trying to understand the process enough to get my incubator set-up on time and ensure the best care for my female and male during the breeding season.
Okay, so I guess providing some information on my breeding pair should be a good idea:
I have a five year old male (950g) and a four year old female (1500g). They are both proven and provided their previous owners with a clutch a year prior to us receiving them (the eggs were never hatched).
They first locked back in August, just before we picked them up. Previous owners told us from their experience we could expect the female to lay in September. Factoring in the change and move, we didn’t really expect her to lay so soon.
The male and female were originally kept together (as the previous owners had them) but as soon as my new terrarium arrived I separated them. Since the first lock in August, there have been at least 7 confirmed locks, with many more possible locks. Our female shed back in September (back then I though it was pre-lay shed but now I realise at best it would be pre-ovulation shed, and was most likely just a normal shed).
I’ve read about feeling for follicles in a female, but I don’t know what I’m feeling for and my female is quite temperamental (most days she rather bite me than let me in her enclosure. Please note this is her personality and is a consistent behaviour).
At this point I have no idea if I should keep encouraging the two to lock, or if I’ve missed vital signs of ovulation in our female.
I’ve tried researching how often, for how long, and over what time period a male and female should be breeding, but I can’t find a solid answer! Some suggest breeding every 3 days (this seems excessive to me) but not for how long. Some suggest breeding once a month. When do I stop? I know males can die from over breeding, so I do keep a close eye on both their weights and both of them have only gained weight since we started breeding. But I’m very confused and desperate for some guidance!
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!