Ball pythons lay eggs

Python royale

The hatching of the first own offspring is, so to speak, the culmination
of successful care.
Fortunately, the ball python can be reproduced relatively easily, giving it a sense of achievement
with good posture nothing stands in the way.

With good feeding, male ball pythons can reach within 1 ½ to 2 years
sexual maturity, females, however, often need a year longer.
The weight of a fertile male is usually around 1000g,
however, there are reports of animals that have already given rise to offspring with 400g.
For females a minimum weight of 1400 g is recommended, so that the animal has enough reserves
for the production and storage of the eggs.

With good care, the females can provide a clutch every year,
However, you should also take a break from time to time to allow the animals a recovery phase.

To put the ball python in the mood for mating, one imitates the change of seasons,
by lowering the temperatures by a few degrees, the lighting duration is reduced a little
and the humidity increased a little at night.

The climate values ​​from the distribution area of ​​the Python regius serve as a model.
It is therefore completely unnecessary to cool the animals down to 20 ° C, since such values ​​occur in nature
cannot be achieved. Rather, it is enough if the temperature at night is 2 degrees
is lowered, which automatically increases the humidity.
The lighting time is reduced from 12 to 8-10 hours for the time
in which the pairs are put together for breeding.

Through this fake winter the males begin
Show interest in the females and the production of semen is increased.
In order to increase the interest in the opposite sex, one should keep the animals throughout the year
keep separate and put together only after lowering the temperature.

With animals ready to mate, you can often start advertising after a short time
recognize the male. Here the male lies down parallel to the female and
stimulates the tail of the female with its anal spurs,
at which the egg follicles begin to grow.

If the female is willing to mate, she lifts her tail so that the male can take his
can slide underneath. Next, the male turns out one of his two hemipenes
and introduces it into the female's cesspool to deposit the sperm there.

Mating can take several hours to days - during this time you should keep the animals
absolutely leave them alone and in no case try to separate them from each other!
Over the next few months you will be able to observe copulations again and again.

In the breaks in between, the animals should be offered food, especially the females
can use any reserve right now. But not infrequently do the males for
the entire mating season and some females refuse to eat
Beginning with every food intake. However, if food is accepted, this should be the case
feed for a long time until the animals refuse.
In females, this usually happens just before ovulation.

The female stores the sperm for a few months if necessary,
until fertile egg cells are available during ovulation / ovulation.
From this point on, the presence of a male is no longer required.
fertilization of the eggs has taken place.
For the attentive keeper, ovulation is easily swollen temporarily
the rear half of the body of the female can be recognized.

After ovulation, the so-called postovulatory moulting takes place every 2-3 weeks.
Now you can calculate the probable egg-laying date,
which is usually 30-45 days after this last moult.

The normal hiding place of the female is now equipped with moist sphagnum moss,
to serve as a storage space.
The temperatures at this storage area should be around 30 degrees,
to provide an optimal environment for the eggs.

Egg-laying usually begins in the late evening hours and is a drag
depending on the number of eggs into the morning. A well-fed female sets in the cut
5 to 6 eggs, but it can be up to 15 eggs in experienced females.
In the case of slightly underweight or quite young females, on the other hand, the clutch can
sometimes only consist of 2 or 3 eggs.

While being laid, the eggs have a soft, leathery consistency,
so that the female can wean them off easily. Then harden shortly after storage
the shells a little so that they are less sensitive to environmental influences.

The female now wraps her clutch to incubate it.
Since incubation by the mother harbors many risks for the clutch,
the eggs should now be transferred to a machine incubator.
It should be noted that the eggs must never be turned,
because a change in the position of the embryo inside can die.
To prevent unwanted turning, mark the eggs before removing them
each top gently with a soft pencil.

Yellow, waxy eggs - so-called wax eggs - do not need to be incubated,
since they are not fertilized. All other eggs are moistened in vermiculite
or another newspaper substrate and transferred to the incubator.

It doesn't matter which type of incubator you choose, but you should pay attention to the following:
The device must have good insulation,
to keep the temperature inside constant.

A safe heating source must be installed inside the incubator
which is controlled by a thermostat. The eggs are in plastic cans with moistened
The substrate is embedded and the thermostat's sensor is positioned in it so that it reaches the
Temperature decreases directly at the level of the eggs. The can is closed with a lid,
in which a few small holes allow air to be exchanged.
Packaged in this way, the eggs receive the necessary humidity and temperature and are
to the outside against short-term changes caused by
e.g. opening the incubator, protected.

If the incubator is equipped with several clutches, it must be ensured that
that the heated air reaches all containers equally.
This is achieved by installing small fans (e.g. PC fans),
that circulate the air inside.

Equipped in this way, the laying of the clutch runs smoothly.
During the waiting time that follows you have to watch out for rotting eggs and if necessary these
remove immediately from the incubator to protect the remaining eggs from mold.
If the infestation is only slight, the egg can also be further incubated in a separate box,
because healthy ball pythons have already hatched from bad-looking eggs.

In order to find out whether the egg is fertilized, you can shine a light on it with a bright lamp
- if veins can be seen, life arises in the egg. However, the content is clear
the egg is unfertilized and does not need to be incubated.

A constant temperature of 31-31.5 ° C is recommended for the development of the embryo.
The longevity is then in the range of 56-63 days on average.
At lower temperatures, the incubation extends as it extends
shortened at higher temperatures. However, temperatures are over 32 ° C
or below 30 ° C not recommended as they damage the embryos
and can lead to deformities.

The imminent slip is announced a few days in advance by the dent
of the previously plump eggs. This is triggered by the release of enzymes by the fetus,
which now soften the eggshell and thus allow the fetus to hatch.

Often the eggs also begin to sweat, as the increased metabolism of the young snakes leads to an increase in temperature.

As soon as the animals have now taken in the remaining yolk in the egg,
start the shells with an extension called an egg tooth at the tip of the snout
to slit open the eggs. If several eggs are stuck together, it is advisable to
to separate them carefully before hatching so that the hatching snakes do not
accidentally cut into a neighboring egg and drown in its liquid.

If the eggs are slit, it can still take a few hours to days
until the young snakes venture out. Often an entire clutch hatches in quick succession,
however, it can also happen that individual animals need significantly longer to
have used up the yolk and dare to hatch.

If one egg takes significantly longer than the others, you can to be on the safe side
Carefully cut into the shell and see if the snake is doing well inside.
This gives you the chance to intervene in the event of problems and save the animal's life,
which otherwise would not have come out of the egg on its own.

Once the offspring have hatched, they are carefully placed in a rearing box
transferred to damp kitchen paper, which offers you the same constant warmth,
like the incubator before. Instead of moving to a damp environment
you can also wash the snakes carefully with lukewarm water and
then put on dry kitchen towels.

It is important that there is a shallow bowl with water in the box and plenty of it
There are hiding places so that the little ones can relax from their stress.

The first moult takes place within the next 10 days, so that it runs smoothly
Procedure you should pack some damp sphagnum moss in the rearing boxes.

A few days after the first molt you can try the young snakes
to offer live mouse jumpers. If the little ball pythons show no interest,
should the rodent be removed after a few minutes,
so as not to cause too much stress. The next feeding attempt can then be made for a few days
start later. In animals that have enough yolk remains in their stomachs,
it may take several weeks before they start feeding.