Our Ball Python Breeding Facility
We take great pride in our breeding facility here in San Antonio, Texas. Early on we decided to invest in professional grade breeding racks and equipment to house and maintain our ball python morphs. We are confident that this investment has been realized in the production of the highest quality ball pythons.
Ball Python Breeding Rooms
Our ball python breeding rooms are temperature controlled by Johnson Controls thermostats and Mitsubishi split duct air conditioners. We recently moved solely to housing our ball pythons in Freedom Breeder rack systems. The heat panels on these ball python breeding racks are controlled by Vivarium Electronics or Spyder Robotics Herpstat thermostats. Additionally we have installed redundant security systems so that we can monitor the temperature, humidity, and safety/security of our ball pythons when not working.
Due to the lack of humidity here in Texas, we have switched to a Reptichip premium coconut substrate. This substrate absorbs water and keeps the humidity very high for our ball pythons. Males and females start off in Freedom Breeder ball python hatchling racks until they reach 900 grams. They then graduate to a medium size tub where the males will spend the rest of their lives. Once females reach 1600 grams (approximately), they are moved to a CB70 sized rack where they enter the breeding rotation. All animals are offered fresh water (via Fabri-Kal deli cups) twice a week, and their tubs are spot cleaned daily. All tubs are washed weekly with F10 disinfectant, and each tubs liner is replaced weekly (regardless if it looks clean or not).
We breed our own rodents here at our San Antonio facility. Though rodent breeding isn’t our passion, we’ve found that controlling our own feeder production is enormously beneficial to our ball pythons growth and well being. Breeding our own rodents allows us to ensure that we are giving the highest quality food to our animals, and allows us to always have the appropriately sized prey item for our pythons. We breed Norway Rats and Swiss Webster mice. We keep our rodents in a temperature controlled room that has several exhaust fans and good air flow (ventilation is key in rodent production). All rodent bedding is replaced once a week and the animals have access to fresh, clean water at all times. Rodents are only fed a diet of Mazuri 6F 5M30 lab block.
We use many different items of equipment in our daily maintenance and upkeep. One of our most valuable tools is the ultrasound machine. This instrument is no replacement for understanding breeding behavior, but it allows us to see precisely where a female ball python is in her follicular development. This helps us determine when to best introduce a male for breeding. We use a CTS 3300V Broadband Ultrasound with a linear 5 – 10 Mhz probe.
During our ball python breeding season, we keep our walk-in incubator at 88 degrees. This is controlled by an oil filled radiator, several fans, and a Johnson Controls thermostat. We stock our incubator with our egg tubs so that they are the appropriate temperature when a gravid female has laid her clutch. Once this happens, we gently remove the female from her eggs ensuring that none “roll on their own”. Once secure we place the eggs into an incubation box, and cover them with Glad Press ‘N’ Seal. We prefer the substrate less method for incubation, so the eggs sit directly on top of an egg crate that has wet Perlite underneath it. After that the egg tub goes into the incubator. We check our egg boxes weekly by opening the Press ‘N’ Seal and allowing fresh oxygen exchange into the tub. By incubating at 88 degrees we have noticed that we hatch larger, more robust hatchlings than we had when we were incubating at higher temperatures. Hatchlings usually emerge in 58 days.