The Ballpython (Python regius)
origin: west- to zentral africa
size: the most animals are grown at a size of 120 to 150cm
feeding: the most animals accept mice, rats and other rodents
Additional I need to say that the most animals won‘t accept frozen food if they don‘t know it from the beginning!
It‘s absoutely normal that a ball python will refuse food for some month, especially at a size close to the fertility about 1kg.
Don‘t worry, this is the normal behaviour of ballpythons and you don‘t need to do anything except when they loss a lot of weight.
fertility: with good feeding females are ready to breed with 2 years, males often at an age of one year
keeping: You should keep them alone or as a couple. But the males are ealier fertile, so you should take care that they are seperated if the female is not ready yet to avoid stress for the female.
As bedding you can use Repti Bark, or any bedding for rodents.
The temperature at the day should be between 29° und 32°C, under the spot they can be up to 40°C.
breeding: The breeding time starts in autumn.
for a successful breeding the right age, weight and condition of the animals, especially the females are the most important things. Females should a least weigh 1400g and eat strong that they have a good base to build eggs. The males are already ready with 600g, some even earlier.
To get the animals in breeding mode, you can cool them down a little bit in the night and increase air humidity. This imitates the change of seasons in nature and means breedingtime. The egg and sperm cells are also growing by this. Now it‘s normal when some animals refuse food, now they benefit from the strong eating they did before.
About 3 weeks after the reduction of temperature you can start the first try to get them breeding. So you put the male to the female. This can take some time. I put them together in the evening and have a first look at the next morning. Some are breeding then, others need more time. If they breed wait after they‘re finished and seperate them. if they dind‘t try again after some days. But don‘t forget the offer food within these cycles!
If the female stops eating that could mean she will lay eggs. If that‘s the case you might see an ovulation, thats when the growing, still unfertilized eggs migrate into the uterus. Thats a big swelling in the posterior third for about 24 hours (looks like they ate a big rat).
Now you can stop breeding and keep them at normal temperatures.
The next shed of the female is important. Because about 30 days after that she will lay her eggs. Depending on age, size and condition that will be 4 to 10 eggs normally.
Remove the eggs from the snake (don‘t rotate!) and transfer them to an incubator at constat 31,5°C for 55-60 days. Use vermiculite as bedding for the eggs.