UK Ball/ Royal Python Breeding & First Feeding

Hello all,
My partner and I have been keeping Ball/Royal pythons for a number of years now and have decided that we would like to get into breeding. If we decide that we are adequately prepared and that our snakes are up to weight, we may begin toward the later part of this year, else we will likely start next year.

During my research and preparation I have encountered two main issues that I would like to discuss.
First, I would like to move towards using a rack system for my adults so that I don’t need to worry too much about expanding my collection. However I am not comfortable keeping my royals, particularly big females, in the 33"x13" tubs that seem to be the standard. For clarity, I am not opposed to their use in general but it is not what I want. I would be grateful to hear about larger alternatives, DIY or commercial.

Second, when breeding I will inevitably need to tackle the first feeding. In the UK, live feeding is heavily frowned upon and is a legal grey area. In light of this, and given my own strong aversion to live feeding, I will endeavour to only feed frozen/thawed prey items. I have seen that with patience and time, it is possible to start royals on FT with a high success rate. I would like to hear from people that have experience starting with FT, what size/type of prey do you find the most success with? And, when a hatchling simply will not feed on FT, at what point do you try live and how do you source them? or do you try assist feeding? Any additional tips, comments or advice is welcome!

I look forward to reading responses. Thanks


Up to you, there are bigger tubs.:slight_smile:

Frowned upon yes but not illegal if the snakes well being depends on it.
Never needed it personally, even with adults purchased as live feeders. just my experience.
OK. try so many options, dry heated, wet heated etc, different prey even chicks, also trick feeding (two prey items then swop the prefered for a rat before strike)
For hatchlings that dont feed, maybe teese or assist feed, (hook it in their mouth) and drop and let nature take its course or even scented. Worked for me with many species of snake.
For live at a last resort, many pet shops in the UK will give you those, quietly. Just ask.
If your near london, I can Private Message you places if you ask. But I have not needed it for many species and even wild caught back in the day. its not a cat or other mammal that needs nutrition fast and often, there is no rush with cold blooded. Give it time.


I agree on the tubs for breeder females. I made a custom built rack using 60qt under-bed sweater totes that are about 34"x18"x7" which seem just right size to me. I don’t know what all is available in UK, but in the US most of these have wheels built in that I preferred to pop off to use in the rack.

I’m sure there’s larger tubs/racks built with reptiles in mind as well.


We have all yours in the UK and others too.
We are first world trading partners after all :wink:

I used to use your contico tubs, and still have many in purpose built rakks (don’t think they are made any more or at least not available here now). Now I can only get your ‘what is listed here as’ really useful boxes, but there are others.

50 liter RUB about 60 US quarts. But for me it would be a rely big ball python that I would o us e these for.

over 33ltrs is not a problem to acquire or specialist rack tubs.
Personally I prefer to make my own racks so I can be creative and I can use the tub sizes i choose.