When to cut BP eggs?

So I have a ball python clutch and it’s on day 50 so what day should I cut them? Or should I not cut at all?


You will get varying opinions everything from don’t at all to not until they pip.

Some have as early as 48 days although not advised

If you do cut at 50 there are some risks , but also doesn’t mean they are all going to die per say either , some could but it’s a gamble. If you do cut the key is to make sure not to cut veins and to carefully cut but being your first time I would personally wait until about 55 if going to cut

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I leave them be what are you really gaining by cutting? Plenty of things can go wrong.


I agree with not cutting at all, there is a larger risk and the only benefit to cutting is if the animal is too weak or unable to come out on its own in which you are hurting the genetics of the species in captivity by spreading that gene.


My personal experience only-
I cut after one pips… It has always been day 54 when they do for my clutches. I only cut a small slit across the top, not a huge hole. Is it necessary - probably not. Is there any harm- not that I have seen with my clutches.

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Ok I’ll wait and see

I don’t advocate cutting. If you wish to cut after the first two pip on their own, then that shouldn’t be an issue. I say two because with one, you don’t know if it is an anomaly. To say it’s day 50, should I cut, I couldn’t begin to answer. You haven’t provided enough information. What temperature are you incubating at? Were the eggs average in size, large, or small? Have you had any fluctuations in your incubating temps during the time. I incubate at 87.5 degrees so I have a clutch that is currently on day 59 and I am not worried because I don’t look for anything before day 60 and if they still aren’t pipping by day 63, I won’t be too anxious. You have already intervened the best way you can and that is to incubate in a controlled environment. So just let nature do it’s thing, and best of luck to you.


You are also forcing them out early when they could still be in the egg developing.


it’s really refreshing to hear this. I’ve been trying to understand why breeders cut eggs. I don’t know any hognose breeder that does this. My opinion is that if they don’t hatch, they weren’t meant to thrive.


When I started long ago I cut eggs as well. But I quit some time ago. You can always tell when eggs are cut to early super skinny necks. In my experiences allowing the eggs to start piping on there own results in bigger and healthier hatchlings. There is honestly zero reason to cut eggs besides to see what you got. To me that isn’t enough reason to not give the hatchlings there full terms in the eggs.


I didn’t mean I was going to cut the eggs at day 50, I would never consider doing so.This is my first clutch and I wanted experienced breeders opinions. The eggs are a tad small and I’m incubating them at 88.6. Also there were no temp fluctuations that I’m aware of.

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I’d personally wait until at least 1-2 pips before considering cutting.

I cut my eggs last season, though I think I’ll try waiting it out instead. I feel that’ll be more exciting seeing what all comes out as they come out on their own!

Just remember, they are your eggs in the end, so only you can decide what you want to do with them!

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I had my first clutch this year and everyone said cut after one pips. I let 8 out of 9 pip on their own and the last girl was taking a little longer so I put a tiny slit in the egg and she popped her head out right away. She ended up being one the biggest and best feeders. So give them time and dont rush them. If you have an egg or two that doesnt pip on their own then cut if you want. But they are born knowing how to get out!

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Sorry guys but I strongly recommend cutting. Use the pinch and roll method with scissors and there is no chance of hurting any babies. I started years ago by letting the first one pip then cutting. I lost all but the one that cut first and it was only day 58 so not super long. After I started cutting I found the rest couldn’t get out, thick shell or weak egg tooth? Who knows I just felt bad that if I cut I could have saved them all. You never know, all clutches and babies are different, why risk some if you don’t have to. I use the same incubator and cut always on day 56 never had any die in a fertile egg again! Bottom line is the reason we incubate is it gives them a better chance of hatching, why not give them all the best chance to live? This ain’t the wild we’re only the strong/lucky ones survive!


I definitely agree that we should be giving them the best chances we can to live and thrive in captivity.

Letting them unnecessarily die because “survival of the fittest” is honestly cruel sounding to me. If you can save them, why not try?

Most likely I’ll develop a different method where I’ll wait ~24 hours after the first ones start pipping, then cut small slits if there’s any left that haven’t pipped on their own. I’ll have to think it over for sure.


How exactly did you know they couldn’t get out? They will sit in eggs that are cut open long periods without coming out.

Your creating far more risk cutting than you are saving.

Just by cutting your are forcing them out before they felt ready to start coming out on there own. In my opinion this is hurting them by not allowing the full term in the egg and stopping there development.

Whether you cut is a personal choice but I wish people would quit acting like your saving snakes all the time cutting eggs. We are not , people cut to see what they are getting. Once again personal choice but why not just say that’s why you cut to see what you got when that is the reason.

A lot of people don’t realize they are having issues with there hatchlings caused by cutting early.


In theory that sounds good but if everybody did this for animals that can’t get out of the egg then over time ball pythons as a species will not be able to get out of the egg. And since they are all going to pip at different times then you are likely only prematuring their hatch, which can be dangerous or even deadly. They haven’t survived millions of years by having humans cut their eggs for them. In fact, they evolved for that not to happen. Very few, if any wouldn’t hatch because of natural processes.

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Well I’m going to do what I feel is safest and perhaps consult a book next time bc of the controversy around the subject. Thanks for the answers and concerns.

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I don’t recommend cutting but if you do decide to cut then wait until after the second one pips. Don’t cut immediately after the first one pips because it may have pipped early and you don’t want to cut them prematurely.

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I seriously doubt you would of saved them. Just because they were fully developed and didn’t stink doesn’t mean they hadn’t been dead in the egg a long while. You are judging your whole theory on you would of saved them but you honestly don’t know if you would of or not.

Your literally cutting a hole in the protective environment how exactly is this not pushing them towards coming out earlier than they intended?

Didnt hurt my feelings! We are here to learn from each other and share experiences. And like I pointed out I used to cut eggs. I just realize now it’s totally not worth it and I was letting impatience win the day at the potiential expense of the hatchlings health.