We got home last weekend from our trip to Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, just in time for our latest clutch of eggs to hatch! This one is a clutch containing a very popular morph (and if you’re into ball pythons, we’re sure you can guess what it is… rhymes with True Spied Juicy!) so before the new babies are on our website, we’ll be notifying our general mailing list and notification list about them. Our mailing list and notification list always hear about new ball pythons first (and thus get first crack at them!) so if there’s a morph you’re interested in, we invite you to sign up!
In other news, our little Lavender Albino baby still isn’t taking food on their own. We’ll never give up on any of our animals though, so we’ve continued the routine of assist feeding (putting a F/T mouse into his mouth and allowing him to swallow) and once a month offering a live mouse. He is slowly putting on weight and is otherwise a great little guy. Many folks at ball-pythons.net were very helpful and encouraging when we felt down and worried about him. One person even said they have had had snakes take a year to eat on their own, so to keep at it! It was very reassuring to hear. If you ever have questions or would like feedback from a group of experienced people about anything related to ball pythons, their forum is an excellent resource.
We also have more eggs due to be laid soon! Fingers crossed that this time next week, when we post the new babies, we’ll also be announcing the arrival of a new clutch!
Remember our previous post about the egg with half veins from our Lavender Albino clutch? Well that baby sure knows how to keep us on our toes. Months after hatching, they still have not begun eating well! We’ve kept a close eye on the baby’s weight to ensure they didn’t starve, but after exhausting all other options, had to do the last straw: force feeding. We have seen some progress though, as they are now accepting assist fed food! Every hatchling is worth helping if we can, so we will continue working on this baby for as long as it takes for them to start taking food. Hopefully we’ll have good news about them soon!
note: Force feeding and assist feeding should only be done by breeders or vets to hatchlings when all other methods of encouraging the snake to accept food have been exhausted.
It should never be done to a ball python who has previously accepted food on their own and is just in a fast. Fasting snakes is a major cause for anxiety among snake owners, but it is completely normal-we have a male for fasts 7-8 months straight every year and is perfectly healthy!
We’ll have a table at the upcoming BC Reptile Club Expo in Abbotsford on April 27th and 28th. Come say hi and chat with us! We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about ball pythons, their husbandry, and breeding*. Our table will be along the front wall, to the left of the entrance.
If you’ve seen our instagram or availability page, you know we’re currently sold out of snakes until our 2019 babies are ready for new homes, so unfortunately, our lovely, tired faces will be the only thing you see at our booth! Aside from answering general ball python questions though, we will gladly tell you all about our upcoming clutches and projects that we have on the go!
*And if you really wanna keep up occupied, feel free to chat with us about what you think is going to happen in Game of Thrones or who you think is gonna snatch the crown on Drag Race!
Empress, our Enchi Pastave female, appears to be gravid! She was paired with Hartfors, our Clown male. Hartfors (right top) is an exemplary Clown with very crisp, clean, elegant markings. Empress (right bottom) had her pre-lay shed on March 3rd and now has the telltale V spine, plus has been laying in a coil in the hot side of her enclosure.
Chantel, our Champagne female, is currently deep in shed. This is very likely a pre-lay shed because maaaaan is she huge and miserable looking! Chantel was paired with Vader (Black Pastel) and Apollo (Coral Glow het Pied). Nuala, our Mojave female, who was paired with Ansel, our BEL, is showing signs of ovulation as well. A full list of all ball pythons currently being paired can be found here!
Our lone egg from our Lavender Albino x Het Lavender Albino clutch is due to hatch in approximately three week as well! Fingers crossed, next month we’ll be updating you with news about a healthy baby python and a new clutch in the incubator from Empress/Hartfors!
Our first clutch of the season has been laid, and while it isn’t quite the news we were hoping to have, some good news is better than nothing but bad news! Our het Lavender Albino, Mrs. Bucket, laid on February 1st, from our Lavender Albino, Buttercup. Unfortunately, we only got one egg out of it, and the reason we’ve taken some time before announcing it is that we wanted to make sure the egg was viable enough to make it through the first week, because it only has half veins.
While it is a little disappointing, we’re still very happy to have even one egg! Mrs. Bucket is 7 years old, and this was her fourth year being paired, however this was the first year she has actually conceived. Buttercup is a proven breeder (and a very good one at that! We always see so many locks from him!) so we knew Mrs. Bucket was the one having troubles. We started breeding them a few months earlier this year to see if it made a difference, and it did!
Mrs. Bucket’s pregnancy wasn’t smooth, so only getting one viable egg wasn’t a huge surprise. She had already passed approximately 5 teeny tiny slugs on two occasions before her due date (two immediately after her pre-lay shed, and another three a couple weeks later) and she laid 2 days early. She ended up laying 1 egg and 8 slugs on February 1st, so had the pregnancy gone well, we’d have had a whopping 14 egg clutch! It’s not uncommon for first clutches to have some slugs, so fingers crossed that next year, we will have better luck.
The egg is now over a week old and looking fine. We know there’s still no guarantee it will make it to term, but we remain hopeful!!
Update: The egg made it, and a beautiful 56g lavender albino emerged about 2 months later!