Older ball python breeding help

I just got a huge normal female ball python. I was told it was a rescue and is around 20 years old and is fed every other week. It seems really healthy.

Is 20 years old to old to breed?
How long should I wait to put a male with her?

I remember reading 60 days just to make sure the new snake isn’t sick but wondering if waiting just a few weeks is to soon.
Haven’t weighed her yet but I can already tell she’s well over 4,000 grams. She is much bigger than she appears in the pic. Processing: 9003CD4A-4AF5-465A-A74A-B098392A4D2F.jpeg…

I would wait longer, minimum of 3-4 months before even having her in the same room…

I’d also consider not breeding her. If she’s 20 years old, a rescue, and a normal. You’re likely to produce babies you might have a hard time finding a home for, and you don’t exactly know her history. Breeding rescues is typically not recommended for quite a few reasons. It’s better to get quality stock from breeders.


I second this! Sounds like she would be better off enjoying a nice relaxing retirement


I will echo the above suggestions on not breeding.

I can understand the enthusiasm people get when they see all the bazillion combos that are out there and they think they want to jump in and join the fray. And, within reason, I will encourage people to follow up on that. However, before they do I first think they need to become very familiar with actually keeping their animals. Wait a year, or three, or five (I had been keeping snakes for over two decades before I began breeding) to really learn and appreciate the animals for what they are and not look at them as a means to an end

Once you feel you really are ready to breed, then consider all the negatives that can come with it: Why exactly do you want to breed (quick tip, if your answer is “for money” then I have some terrible news for you)? If none of the babies sell for a year or two, or three, can you house and feed and care for them properly that whole time?

It is a very dirty “secret” that the idea that you have to breed to be in this hobby is pushed onto newer people by breeders. It is 100% fine to just keep these animals and never breed them. Most of the species I keep I have not and do not plan to breed.


Thanks. Yea I’ve owned snakes since 16 years old and have bred before but never a snake this old and not wanting to breed it so much for money but more so to keep a one or two from it to raise. Just curious if it being 20 years old would make it have a higher chance of getting egg bound or something like that.

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I bred my first morph ball python I ever had this season, not for money just to have some of her genetic material to hold back for me. She is 15+ and she has been bred a total of four times including this one, I did not need her pastel, granite genes so haven’t been breeding her much. So this season she was showing signs and did everything great but only layed 3 slugs for me. That is usually the main problem with older snakes. Less amount of eggs/viable eggs. She is very healthy and honestly I bred her to a unproven male so it may have been his fault as well. I wouldn’t breed a older snake unless you really needed the genetics or as in my case sentimental reasons, just not really worth it.


I believe that the oldest female ball to lay was something in the range of 68 years old. So I would say that a 20 year old animal is still in relatively the prime of her life