So I have a Pastave female I have been raising since she was a hatchling. Lately she has been bowl wrapping like crazy, basically every night I check on her she’s wrapped around her bowl. She’s a little over two and a half years old and 1450g, great body condition. I’m thinking about pairing her, she’s giving me obvious breeding signs, feeding heavily, bowl wrapping, etc. she’s gonna hit 1500g in the next few feedings. Good idea or bad idea pairing her because she’s not 1500g yet?
Unpopular advice, but advice I still give every time I see this type of question - You do not have to breed an animal just because it is there.
A HUGE part of this hobby seems to revolve around the MLM pyramid scheme that you have to breed to be in this hobby. Entirely too often I see people breeding “just because” rather than putting actual thought into what they are doing/working toward and what the repercussions will look like
There is nothing wrong with just keeping a snake for the sake of keeping a snake. There is nothing wrong with taking three or four or five years to grow animals up before breeding them.There is nothing wrong with waiting for the perfect animal to come along to complete a pair. As anyone who has been in this hobby for a while will tell you, it is a marathon and not a race
I appreciate the response even though I got nothing from it that pertained to my question. Guess I’ll just go ask around somewhere else from now on
While @t_h_wyman made some good points, he didn’t actually answer your question either.
In the end it’s up to you whether or not you breed your snakes.
Given the information even though she’s a little under 1500 grams you should still be good to pair her if you want to. It doesn’t have to be exactly 1500 grams.
I would personally wait. I’m sure she has quite a bit of growing left. I personally would allow her to grow another year. Instead of trying to squeeze a clutch out of her at the tail end of the season why not allow her to grow another year and pair at the beginning of next”season” so really it would only be around 6 months.
I can agree with this too, plus if you let her grow a bit bigger you’ll likely get a bigger clutch.
To answer your question if you’re interested in pairing her then you can go ahead and pair her at that weight. I always weight until my girls are 1400 - 1450 before I introduce a male, and I’ve never had an issue with any sort of clutches. These clutches you see that are 5+ eggs are not realistic in the wild. A nice small clutch is still a clutch and a small, large healthy clutch is > a large, small egg weight clutch in my opinion.
Have you had these females for years to see if they stay small as opposed to ones you let put on more weight? I can tell you the females I have bred at smaller weights stay smaller and there clutches stay smaller. I know first hand the females that I wait to get larger lay larger clutches when they do lay and they reach a bigger adult size. To me breeding anything before it’s fully grown is going to keep it from reaching there full potential.
To somewhat answer your question I just had a 2500 gram female lay 3 eggs this season, a 2600 gram female lay 9 eggs, and a 1700 gram female lay 10 eggs. I have found when I pair my females at that 1400 gram mark or higher that they’ll usually gain an additional 3 - 500 grams on weight before they lay. I’ve never had an issue with the size of clutches I’ve gotten.
One of my snakes from last season gave me 9 eggs for her first clutch at 1900 grams. This season she gave me 6 eggs and she was sitting at 2500 grams. I think it’s honestly just nature and the snake.
*Also want to note that I do not pair my females until they are 1400 grams and at least 2 years old
And your judging this by two seasons of breeding and snakes all under 5 years of age correct?
One thing I want to point out there is literally zero benefits for the female breeding earlier. The only one who benefits is us either finically or speeding up a project.
While this is my second year breeding I only have 2 snakes that are under the age of 5, and they are 3. My oldest snake is currently 11 years old that I purchased from OzzyBoids.
So you haven’t raised your own hatchlings that you produced to breeding size?
That would be correct. My first season was last year. I didn’t get into ball pythons until 2020. There would be no way I’d have hatchlings near breeding size. If I did I’d have bigger ethical issues towards myself.
Ok so you bought sub adults/adults and really have no experience on whether waiting an extra year has a affect or not. No judgements here I’m just saying I’ve done it both ways. And in my experiences waiting the extra year is greatly beneficial to the female imo
I would pair her for sure. As for size of clutch, i have a 2500 gram fire pinstripe. Her first clutch was 11 healthy eggs, 2nd clutch 1 viable egg (11 slugs). Cappacino ( 2k grams) gave me 7 on her first go around 5 the 2nd ( only 4 made it) i am personally ok with smaller clutches. I am not in this to make money, i never will make money doing this. We literally breed because the morph combos we want we cant afford but i can afford the ingredients and make them myself. I got incredibly lucky with getting my hands on a tristripe at an affordable price. I am perfectly ok with striking out and try again next time.
If your not trying to make money why not give her more time to grow? And my point wasn’t letting her grow for a bigger clutch. Let her grow for her own health. Laying eggs is super hard on a female the extra weight gained in that year can make a difference for her health when she does lay.
Once again I will point out the female snake has zero benefits to laying before she has finished growing. The only one who benefits is us either in making money or advancing our projects.
I let my girls get to 1500 at least. If they are close and will cross over and have good fat stores i will do it sooner. Most it does take 3+ years. I have one that this winter is the 4th winter and still isnt big enough. It depends on the animal. 1400 grams can look very different on each snake. The OP did not post a photo so just basing my opinion on the weight i would breed her. If he posted a photo and she is a lean 1400 grams absolutely will not do it and she gets more time. If she isnt ready she wont lay.
This is wrong snakes don’t have human emotions she will sometimes lay even if it isn’t In her best interests health wise.Just like some males will literally breed themselves to death if you allow them to. That’s why it’s the keepers responsibility to do what’s in the best interest of the animals health.
That is straight truth
Was it really not pertinent? Or was it just that the info I gave did not fit with the answer that you wanted?