Should I breed my very bad eater?

I have a pastel pied male he’s now 4 years old. I bought him a little over a year ago. I was informed by the breeder that he is a seasonal eater and has never been bred. I had him for 8 months before he first took a meal with me and that was in the spring. He took five meals and hasn’t eaten since. Thankfully he keeps his weight on perfectly. I bought him to breed but have been trying to decide if I will. All of my animals health and well being will always come before breeding. And since he hasn’t bred before I’m not sure if breeding him could cause him to lose weight and not gain it back until he possibly goes back on food in the spring.

This is the picky guy in question, his name is Atlas.


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I say if you can get him up to weight yes but im not a bp guy, someone like @lumpy or @saleengrinch can help

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Do you know how many grams he is? And can you get a picture from the top of him? If he’s a good body weight I presume that it would be good to breed him. Ball pythons are notorious for taking fasts.

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He’s always stayed right in the high 900s to the low 1000s I’ve never seen him get below 985 grams
This is what he looks like right now.

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This is bigger than most of my adult males. Most of mine are 750 to 900. As long as your comfortable with his feeding routine I wouldn’t have a problem breeding him. I wouldn’t focus on weight as much as I would body condition.

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Yeah he looks very healthy! I would say go for it!

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Thank you to everyone who replied, I feel better about breeding him now. I’ll see how he does breeding this season and go from there!

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What are planning to pair with him?

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I have two females that are ready to breed. So either my enchi pastel lesser or my pastel disco haven’t decided yet. I do have a female pied but she’s still to small this year

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You could pair him to both

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ATM I’m leaning toward pairing him with my disco pastel and pairing my Enchi pastel lesser with my disco fire cinnamon

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Agreeing with @saleengrinch, that’s a pretty healthy weight for a male ball python, and if he’s still going through sheds well and passing his meals alright, I wouldn’t stress about it. Some people think that some males go off-feed like that because they’re around a female or maybe more than one, can smell them and they become more focused on breeding, so you never know, breeding him may actually help that regulate that, as most in that scenario will eat better after being able to pair. And feeding times, such as daytime or night, and also the enclosure/tub play a part in successful ball python meals. I say the enclosure/tub, mostly because if you’re keeping in tubs, they tend to eat well, but enclosure kept pythons can be a little different about how they eat, typically I can’t get enclosure fed ball pythons to eat well unless it’s early or late in the day, and they like when food “comes knocking”, feeders don’t last long at the entrance of hides, so if you’re the type that pulls the hide to let them eat, try something different out, you might see a difference. If this doesn’t apply to you, maybe someone else that has a problem with a “bad eater” maybe benefit from this, but that’s just my two cents.

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Thank you for your input! Ive heard the same thing before that breeding can help so hopefully it does. I’m housing him in I think a 36qt tub. I wish he was comfortable in something bigger, but he’s not. I’m sure it what he was used to before I bought him. I only feed them at night. I don’t remove their hides. All my other snakes take the food straight off the tongs as soon as it’s in front of the hides or even as soon as I open the lid. For him I usually place it part way into the opening of the hide. Every time he’s eaten it’s been that way.

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I have an ancient crystal and he refuses to live successfully in anything other than a 32 qt tub. He is also a terrible feeder. He will go without food for months all the time. With all this said he is one of my best breeders and I have no problem using him because I’m used to his crappy feeding routine lol

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32qt That’s what it was haha. I’ll see how he does breeding this year. If he does well that’s awesome, if he doesn’t I’ll keep him as a pet only. He’s a fantastic snake so either way it’s all good!

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I’d say breed him. He has great body composition and good weight. I’ve heard that sometimes snakes like this, once they start breeding, get a bit more hungry (for males). I know females get munchies, but it can have the same effect to males sometimes as well.

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