Undersized BP

Hey all,
I got a female pinstripe supposedly het pied and hypo off MM in July. I was pretty newb to the game, and if I knew then what I knew now I probably would have passed on her.
I got her July 2nd and she weighed 205G when I got her. Now the breeder actually told me she was a July 2018 hatchling that had gotten off to a slower start but ate well so I just didn’t really think it through as well as I should. 205G at a year I now know is tiny. Now she has eaten very well for me, just weighed in at over 500 grams yesterday but obviously she has nowhere near caught up with my other 2018 hatchlings, in fact the gap between them has widened.
As you can see she looks healthy…she’s just…small.
I’m just concerned with an eye on the future what’s my realistic situation here? She’s 500 grams at 17 months. Did I just get a lemon here? Should I expect her to eventually catch up and be breedable?
Also I have not taken her to a vet but to rule out any kind of parasite issue stunting her growth should I have taken a fecal sample in to one by now? I just did not realize at the time how undersized she was and the breeder made it seem like it was no big deal and she would catch up no problem. If this is normalish and no big deal that’s fine but if there’s a big chance she never grows to an appropriate breeding size I wonder if I should consider getting her over to someone who would keep her as a pet only. Anyone with experience with slow starters or having had a similar experience please feel free to weigh in! I feel like I might have gotten okeydoked a bit but I don’t wanna judge prematurely.


The breeder I bought her from told me when he moved last year to a different state his rodent supplier had a fire, so he was on survival feed for several months with his collection. I just took him at his word.
Also if it helps I did not know enough at the time to ask what size she had been hatched at, he just said she was behind but ate well.

Also also I have noticed she does poop/pee more frequently than my other snakes, not sure how much we know about digestive issues in snakes but possibly she could have some kind of condition where she doesn’t get as much out of food? Nitpicking but just all the details about her that I have observed in 6 months.

Is she a mouser?

Nope. Takes f/t rats, usually takes 2 30-35G weaned per week. Has only missed I think 2 meals from being in shed otherwise has eaten every Saturday since I got her.

Was she on the smaller size at a year? Yes but it’s not something I would worry about as she looks good. I have said it before and I will just copy and paste from a previous post, a lot comes into play.

She will be just fine and will catch up keep in mind that they are also not all programmed to be 3000/4000 grams animals and some will max out at 2000/2500 grams

Pay less attention to weight and more to body proportion, weight can vary greatly from single to double and a lot comes into play

Weight when they hatch the average while being 55/75 grams does not mean they all weigh that, 40 grams or even 90 grams are not uncommon and obviously those animal would not get started the same way either.

Pre size.

Feeding frequency.

How fast they get started, some will eat the next day after their first shed some may take up to 6 weeks

Skip meals, fast.

Genetics, some are predisposed to be bigger.

So don’t try to compare the size of your snake with others just make sure you are feeding it appropriately and make sure it has good proportions.


I got her at a year and that’s when she was 205G. Now she is 17 months (5 with me) and is just over 500.

If it takes her longer to get there naturally that is fine, I just don’t want to keep her as a breeder if she will not realistically get where I need her to be.

1 Like

She will I had animals like that slow starter, poor feeder, most extreme was a female barely 1200 grams at 4+ years old and when bred it actually kickstart her appetite and even at 1200 grams she laid 6 good eggs (importance of age + weight). She went on to max out at 2000 grams quite rapidly after her first clutch.

The main issue in this industry people feed a lot, fast to get those animal bigger faster and producing sooner when in reality breeding at 3, 4 or even 5 years is not a bad thing.


Ok. Well I like her a lot I think she’s a great example of a single gene pin, if the gets proved out lots of potential there obviously. I’ll just keep feeding her steadily and hopefully she will catch up.
I without a doubt overpaid but live and learn.

More general question I’ve never taken a fecal sample in to a vet/lab for any of my snakes is that something you would recommend as a cross off the box type of thing for all new animals when you get them or only if there are symptoms of illness etc

I don’t however I would if something strange would show up in the stool or if I had an animal feeding well and not putting on weight.

This can be done via your local vet or via labs online which is more cost effective for large collection, if you are in the US here is a great lab that does all kind of tests http://www.vetdna.com/test-type/reptiles


Growth rate can be variable. I’ve raised most of mine from hatchlings. Most grew steadily, some faster than others even if they are on the exact same feeding schedule. I have seen rapid growth spurts as well as some that stalled out at a certain weight for a while before growth resumed.

I’m not convinced that a BP’s growth will be stunted by a temporary lack of nutrition. I rescued a male years ago that was very undersized for his age (estimated 3 years old but about the size of a yearling) and literally skeletal when I got him due to years of poor care by his previous owner. I didn’t think he would survive, but he did. It took a while but he eventually got up to a proper weight for his size and continued to grow. Now he is indistinguishable from any of my other adult males as far as size and weight. He’s not my largest but not my smallest either. Keep in mind that these snakes can live 40+ years. They don’t reach full maturity within the first couple of years.

I’m recording basically everything in a database. 2 years ago i’ve made some statistics about the growth rate of my snakes, maybe this gives some basic orientation. If there is any interest i can do them again with a larger sample size :wink:

Age ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| Snakes      | Average weight     | Max weight
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍3 months | 49 ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| 0,096kg ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| 0,252kg
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍6 months | 44 ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| 0,257kg ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| 0,648kg
12 months | 23 ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| 0,661kg ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| 1,254kg
18 months | 24 ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| 1,019kg ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| 2,036kg
24 months | 21 ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| 1,236kg ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| 2,411kg
36 months | 15 ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| 1,490kg ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍| 2,885kg

I’m feeding every 7 days f/t rats. Hatchlings often start with 2-3 mices until i switch them to rats.


1 Like

I’d be interested in this a lot.

Especially if you added a few extra columns eg: sex, morph, time of year, how many feedings during the period, total weight of prey items during period, are they breeding during this period, and so on.

I’m sure the more you add the more chance you have of noticing something linked to something else that we haven’t noticed before.

1 Like

This is great. I track everything myself it will just be years and years before I have a large sample size to draw from

1 Like

Looks like she’s doing just fine to me. Ball pythons can shit down for months sometimes, so are very picky about how they eat and what they eat. My…

Caramel Female 2017: 750g
She shut down for about 6-7 months after being on a live rat diet, now all she wants is a few mice in between the rats to keep her happy.

Leopard Spider 2018: recently started skipping live rat meals and now only wants live mice.

Mystic Female 2017: 1200g was always a picky eat from the beginning and now will eat only pre-killed rats and only if I tease her.

Butter Female 2017: 2nd year breeding will only eat live rats as long as I leave them for her overnight, she likes privacy

GHI Ivory 2019 produced by me: love live rat pups but if I’m in the room and she sees me she won’t eat after killing. So she gets her meal last out of the bunch and then I leave for her to eat.

Try different things, bigger meals, smaller meals, different ways of feeding and you will get to know her and how she wants to live her life! Trust me it makes a world of difference when you test them.