Pairing my first Ball Pythons. I only have two females ready out of the seven.
Banana X Pinstripe
Banana Pied X Fire 100% Het Pied
The way I understand is leave them together for two days and check on them every couple of hours to confirm a lock, and if no lock after the two days separate for three days and repeat until I get a confirmed lock.
Do you feed them while pairing? I know not together but during the separation time or wait until after a lock?
That sounds like a decent plan! I wouldn’t disturb them every few hours though, maybe check once in morning and once at night. Don’t want to chance stressing them out. I pair Sunday and take them out on Wednesday. Feed on Friday, and some males will eat some won’t. Females start acting like there starving early on then will likely go off. I offer food weekly, a lot of people don’t though. Look for laying inverted, signs like that as well as a lock. Usually locks last for hours so you will probably not miss them either. Good luck! Keep us posted!
My typical plan is three days on and then wait until the next shed cycle for the female. If you pair them at least once every shed cycle, until she goes (ovulates), that will be sufficient. Feed them if they’ll eat. Females usually feed even stronger as they are building follicles. Males will often go off feed, so just feed them until they choose to go off feed, then they’ll have as much stored calories as they’re going to get.
As Bane stated, just checking once or twice a day is plenty. When they lock, they can stay locked from a couple of hours all the way up to 40 hours. Even if you miss it, it doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t happen. Another tip is to take advantage of weather changes. If there are storms predicted and I have plans to pair something, I will put them together before the storms come into range. There is something about low pressure systems that gets them pretty frisky, so to speak.
I separated them Wednesday night and plan on feeding later today. I didn’t see a lock, and most of the time they would stay on opposite sides of each other. One female every once in a while would be laying on top of the male but I could see clearly that they weren’t locked, unless they snuck some action in there in between me checking . I will putting them back together and trying again on Sunday.
No worries! Still plenty of time for a lock! I’ve had some females seem more interested earlier in the season while others have no interest whatsoever till later in the season. It’s all up to them. Keep doing what your doing, if they are ready and your husbandry’s on point you should see some locks! Oh and if either one is in shed I would just give them that week “off” I haven’t had any lock for me in shed before. Best of luck!
Second love session complete. still not sure about a lock.
Every time I check on them they are either on top of each other or on opposite sides. Today while checking on my females my Pinstripe was on her back near the water and quickly turned right side up when I opened her tub. She has never done that before. I know that can be a sign of being gravid but if she got pregnant at the beginning of last week or this week would she start doing that this early? or do they do this when building follicles as well?
Here’s some pictures I snapped before removing the males(don’t mind the urates they were removes )
When they are on top of one another I can’t tell if the deed is being done so I just close it back and hope for the best
Ball python females usually lay inverted or sideways right before ovulation during ovulation and even after ovulation. It’s a great sign for your pinstripe. I know you have been checking on them a lot so you may see her ovulate. Think huge meal lump lower down lasts for about day, but sometimes you can miss it. Sounds like she is in the earlier stages to me. Your other snakes may just not be quite ready to breed yet, but don’t worry she will not crush your banana. The only time to really worry is if they were thrashing and wrestling a lot, that would mean you accidentally put 2 ready to breed males together! Just keep pairing, if they become receptive it should happen. Sounds like your pinstripe will go for you though. There is always a small chance she can re-absorbe her follicles, but not after ovulation. Good luck!
I separate after the first lock, regardless of how soon, (for my horney ones I might let them have another go) but wait up to 3 days if no action. Its taken that long for mine sometimes. Bare in mind you may not see the lock if your asleep or working, also bare in mind what he said
So you might well put them off if checking too often and if not you might well miss it. (which is prefrable)
I do and they have eaten well until the follicles get too big. Sometimes a first lock has even started a female feeding after a fast for me.
An update on the breeding-
My fire usually will take a meal every 3-4 weeks but ever since the first pairing she has taken one every week the day after I separate them. This should be a sign she is building follicles correct?
Same with feeding my pinstripe but she only fed once after the first pairing and now refusing food and likes to hang out by the water slightly on her side. This could be ovulation?
Not necessarily a female lunging out the tub for food is a good sign.
You will be able to visibly see an ovulation it’s tough to miss if your checking daily.
If you read Marcus Jayne’s guide that will help you a lot. It really is a good idea to understand the whole reproductive cycle before breeding will help you know where your at and what is going on and what to do.
Considering you haven’t seen a visual lock think your pretty far off. One thing to keep in mind is your females may not be receptive yet which is what it appears you have going on.
One thing to also keep in mind most pairs stay locked for over a day odds are you will NOT miss them pairing.
Finally got my incubator in the mail! I set it up with 50/50 vermiculite and perlite with close to equal parts water. Letting it run a few days even though i have no visible lock but want to make sure all is good. Temp seems to go from 88.2 to 88.5 about every 15min and humidity up to 98.7.
I’m pretty sure the directions with the hot box say to use foil tape to tape the probe to the back of the incubator, that’s where mine is and I have the 24”. If you haven’t already make sure that hole is sealed up where the probe went through the back of the incubator. How much are your temps fluctuating exactly?
Correct me if I’m wrong but I didn’t want to thermostat to adjust based on the readings it got from the back of the box where the heat tape is at versus air around the tubs.
I sealed the whole off with the tape they provided.
They are fluctuating maybe a degree if that.
It has been about two months now of trying with no visual locks or changes in behavior other then what I’ve mentioned before. How long should I go before trying a different method?
Currently I’m not adjusting temps per suggesting of a few local breeders. I’ve been told by several people they have done it like this with success. I have given them some time off every once in a while so it hasn’t been 2 months straight.