Unlocking mating ball python pair

Relatively new to breeding. Occasionally I have a male that stays locked up for many days and normally this is great but I have some where I need to spread the genes around to other females. What is the procedure to unlock them? I am too afraid to cause damage by just picking one up and I can find nothing with google searches on this subject.


I don’t believe you should ever physically pull them apart. It’s just part of it. You let them do their thing and then you can separate. Otherwise you run the risk of seriously injuring them, specifically the male.


I would not try to forcibly separate them, that could cause an injury. Let them separate on their own when they’re done. Since it sounds like you’re just moving the male from female to female, I’d also recommend prioritizing time for him to eat, rest and recover. There’s no cross worth injuring your animals over, their health and wellbeing needs to be a priority


I agree with the above - there’s nothing to do, you just let them stay locked until they separate on their own. Females really don’t need to be paired more often than once a month, so even if he’s staying locked for 3-4 days there should still be plenty of time for him to rest, eat, and breed other girls.


Never unlock them, let them unlock themselves. Give him a week or so to eat, rest and relax. Males will breed themselves to death. It is vital he gets a break.


As everyone has already stated, you don’t. Here’s the reasoning as to why:

When a male locks with a female, the hemipenis being used is engorged with blood, physically keeping them tied together. If the male were to be removed at this time, you’d risk injury to both animals. For example, cloacal tearing and bleeding in a female, as well as possible injury or prolapse to the male. Either of these can cause infection, scarring, and in the case of a prolapse, possible need for amputation on the affected side.

If you’ve got one male who needs to service several females, it’s best to schedule pairings with breaks in between. That way the male has enough time to do his business and recover before the next breeding.


As the other have stated you can injure him. I’ve seen a male get startled and rip one of his hemipenes open.

As @chesterhf mentioned, food and rest is imperative between females. Most of us do 3 days breeding, remove for at least 3 days to feed and rest. I’ve killed a male before overbreeding him.


Thank you everyone. I know most of this already and confirms my fear of touching them. Was hoping more of something like, just bother them a little and they will let go, or spray them with water, tap on the enclosure or some unknown magic.


So you know the old saying, “Let nature take its course” has a lot of truth to it. Even if you have to literally “regroup” by adding another male or to two to help the “Lone Ranger”, and altering your breeding plans…… :thinking:


Do not disturb except a quick check once a day. Even spooking them like that can cause serious injury. You have to let them do their thing. How many girls are you putting him to ? You may want to consider getting another male to spread it out some. They are not machines, they need rest and food.


I would really try to avoid bothering them at all. As a couple of others mentioned, they can get really injured during breeding with what you’d think would be the smallest risks, but they happen. I had an OD superstripe het pied male in late 2022 that I wanted to breed. The female I put him with was very defensive around humans, so one time when I opened the bin to look at them she spooked and jerked, and hurt him. When they did separate his cloaca was covered in blood and he ended up with an injury which ended up infected and ended up killing him. I try not to even check on snakes when they’re locked now.


I have 19 breeding males i’m using and about 60+rtb females, so the ratio isn’t all that bad, however they don’t just pair up 3:1 equally, some go more, some only to a single female or 2 for side projects. got a few that really like each other and every time i look they still hooked up like for a week and its time for them both to eat again and i would like to get him fed, rested and onto the next one next week. I’m not sure if they locked all the time or just at it again when i peek in usually once a day but they mostly seem to be in the same position best i can remember. FYI my procedure has been putting to one female until unlocked, then right into the next female, (normally this is a few days with each) then back to his cage for about a week until he has eaten, if they don’t eat i just wait until they do. Most eat just fine. Seems to work for me but im open to suggestions. I don’t have a large enough selection to just substitute a different male and stay within my plans.