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  1. #1
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    my BP laid eggs after 11 years. help?

    Hi, I've had this snake for 11 years. She came from a petstore, I did not buy her but an ex of mine did, he never cared for her and when we broke up a long, long time ago she stayed with me instead of him. I've always made sure she's totally take care of. You can probably see I have a history of some questions on this account from a long time ago.

    Anyway, today I went to check on her and she laid eggs. I've been googling like crazy and watching videos for the past 2 hours before I do anything. I didn't move her off the eggs but the one I can see looks big and white. It's not really likely this is a viable egg... right? Like I said, she came from a petstore, she was about the size of my pointer finger when she was purchased. She's been a big 4.5 ft girl for a long time. What do I do, just freeze the eggs? Is there actually a possibility they will produce snakes? I know I need to take her off the eggs and wash her and the enclosure at least. Any advice before I take any action, I'd really appreciate. Thank you.

  2. #2
    BPnet Senior Member Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: my BP laid eggs after 11 years. help?

    Sometimes they can be viable.

    You have two choices:

    1. Carefully move the female aside and take the eggs and freeze them. (I wash the female with water only-no need to deal with soap) If you have a big water bowl: throw her in there to deter the maternal reflex.
    2. Leave the eggs with the snake and mark your calendar for 80 days: If they have not hatched by 80 days then remove the eggs and throw them away.

    If you choose option 2 there is a small chance that you may have a clutch of hatchlings to deal with...so be prepared.
    *.* TNTC

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  4. #3
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    It's entirely possible that any eggs that look "good" (white, not deformed or slimy) may be viable. It's unlikely from mating (back in the pet store she was likely in with other snakes, but that's a long time ago), rather it's more likely parthenogenetic eggs ("partho" for short), accomplished solely by the mom snake & prone to defects, even if they hatch.

    Your call if you want to try incubating them- I've done that before, & I currently have a couple snakes that are laying a bunch of eggs- they do this every year. Most are obvious slugs, but I've hatched 3 of them in the past. These snakes are now about 16 years old, & as they get older, fewer of their eggs look any good, but every year for the last 10 or so, they've each done double clutches- these girls are determined to reproduce! BTW, mine are Florida rat snakes (Yellow x Gulf Hammock x Everglades).

    If you don't wish to incubate any, just freeze them all for a while to make sure they're non-viable before discarding. You might watch them for a while first, if you want- "good" eggs will develop veins that you can see when you candle them...it's pretty cool. But then it gets REALLY tempting to go all the way & see if they'll hatch- fair warning, lol.

    BTW, in the past, I have deliberately bred various kinds of snakes & successfully hatched many offspring (not BPs). I strongly suggest that IF you want to incubate the eggs, that you separate them very gently & only keep the good ones. When freshly laid, they separate much easier- you have to keep the same orientation (don't turn or roll them); if you drip just a drop of water on the point of contact between eggs, it's much easier to separate them, but go slow. If all the eggs are left in a clump, the bad ones start to stink & draw flies, which can also affect any good ones.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 07-01-2024 at 01:43 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  6. #4
    BPnet Senior Member Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: my BP laid eggs after 11 years. help?

    Oh, and I suppose I should add that if you have a true viable clutch from parthenogenesis: any genetic issues from the mother will be amplified in the offspring.
    Rumor has it that partho ball pythons also have a vastly decreased lifespan and reproductive issues at maturity, but, I cannot confirm.

    Just FYI...
    *.* TNTC

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    I agree with Lord Sorril ^ ^ ^ and you're truly better off just freezing all the eggs. Any resulting offspring can have both visible & internal defects, & in the long run, you'll probably regret incubating them.

    Years back I unintentionally got into breeding rosy boas after I was given one that had a single live partho baby neonate with multiple defects (one eye, bent neck, spinal bumps). I called the tiny snake "Long Shot" & she fed vigorously with a little help (from tongs) & shed about 8 times on her own, but then suddenly passed away around 8 mos. of age. From who knows what internal issue? After that, I paired up the "mom" with an unrelated male so she wouldn't make any more such babies, & she had many robust offspring (with never any defects) for a number of years thereafter.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  10. #6
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    Re: my BP laid eggs after 11 years. help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    It's entirely possible that any eggs that look "good" (white, not deformed or slimy) may be viable. It's unlikely from mating (back in the pet store she was likely in with other snakes, but that's a long time ago), rather it's more likely parthenogenetic eggs ("partho" for short), accomplished solely by the mom snake & prone to defects, even if they hatch.

    Your call if you want to try incubating them- I've done that before, & I currently have a couple snakes that are laying a bunch of eggs- they do this every year. Most are obvious slugs, but I've hatched 3 of them in the past. These snakes are now about 16 years old, & as they get older, fewer of their eggs look any good, but every year for the last 10 or so, they've each done double clutches- these girls are determined to reproduce! BTW, mine are Florida rat snakes (Yellow x Gulf Hammock x Everglades).

    If you don't wish to incubate any, just freeze them all for a while to make sure they're non-viable before discarding. You might watch them for a while first, if you want- "good" eggs will develop veins that you can see when you candle them...it's pretty cool. But then it gets REALLY tempting to go all the way & see if they'll hatch- fair warning, lol.

    BTW, in the past, I have deliberately bred various kinds of snakes & successfully hatched many offspring (not BPs). I strongly suggest that IF you want to incubate the eggs, that you separate them very gently & only keep the good ones. When freshly laid, they separate much easier- you have to keep the same orientation (don't turn or roll them); if you drip just a drop of water on the point of contact between eggs, it's much easier to separate them, but go slow. If all the eggs are left in a clump, the bad ones start to stink & draw flies, which can also affect any good ones.
    I appreciate your advice (and all the advice in here, so quickly-- this forum rocks)

    I got so scared when she wasn't eating for such a long time, right before I saw the eggs I was googling reptile vets in my area. So my #1 priority is the snake I have, I did take her out, wash the entire enclosure, wash everything in it and air dry outside, and finally I just finished washing her (hissing at me the whole time, which she never does) and I'm letting her relax for awhile in a bin before I put her back in the enclosure. I didn't want to risk her not eating for longer.

    From your advice above, I did end up separating the eggs (while gritting my teeth and with one eye cracked open, terrified to burst them open) and somehow I got them all separate without doing any visible damage and while keeping them in the same position they were in. Out of 9 eggs, 6 were definitely not good so I put them in a plastic bag in the freezer and I'll throw them out tomorrow. 2 of the eggs are big and white, and they go pink with lots of visible veins in the dark. The last one is like half white, with lots of visible veins/pink in the dark. I kept these 3. I put them in something I built quickly from stuff from Home Depot and Walmart which I got the instructions from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X67w_JWnsQ

    So, I do understand that most likely nothing will happen with these eggs. Or, maybe they will hatch but not live. But weirdly, I also became a mother not too long ago for the first time in my life. And this snake stopped eating around the same time. So maybe if I didn't recently have a baby, I would have froze them all and been done with it, but I'm feeling a little too close to this one. If they pass away I don't think I'll come back and post about it, but if any of them live I'll let you know. If nothing happens, I cut the eggs in 60 days?

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  12. #7
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    Day 60 is pretty average if you incubate at around 88-89F. They can sometimes take a little longer than 60 days to pip.
    You can wait until one of them starts trying to cut out of the egg before you cut into it. If you do want to give the little ones a chance and see how they do, either just wait for that first little pip in one egg or cut on day 60.

    You could also just wait and see what happens... but after day 68 if they haven't cut themselves out, they probably won't.

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    I hope you'll let us know the outcome, either way. Congratulations on your little one too- your feelings make total sense to me. FYI- once they start peeking out at you, you're "doomed"!

    Good job separating the eggs, btw! I've separated many clutches successfully, never broke one, truly. Along with the drip of water just on the contact point, I slightly rock them towards each other, then away, until the contact point loosens. That's probably what you did just by instinct.

    (I'm not an egg-cutter, unless others hatch out & one seems stuck- then I would. But that's me- you do you. )

    And you mentioned searching for a herp vet- are you aware of this site? https://members.arav.org/search/custom.asp?id=3661
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 07-01-2024 at 05:42 PM.
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    Re: my BP laid eggs after 11 years. help?

    My partho clutch adventure. Two babies out of eight eggs. Both are eating so we'll see how things work out for them.

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...m-for-a-Decade

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  18. #10
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    There are currently 12 alleged partho pythons (BPs, except for one retic) advertised on one of the big herp classifieds. Three of them are four years old. Six of the others are claimed to be clutchmates. Just interesting, I guess.

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