I wrote this many years ago, but am now bringing it over to The Ball Street Journal for posterity. The hatching of this clutch was such a critical step that took me from a hobbyist to full on Ball Python addicted! ~ Justin K.
About 9pm on Sept. 28, 2007 I carefully poked the tip of the surgical scissors into the top of the large white egg. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but somehow I knew something special would be in this clutch, even though it was only Pastel X Normal. After lots of day counting I had decided to pip the first egg on the very top of the 8 eggs to see if my expectation was completely crazy.
My first Impression: “White.” Well I figured that I was looking at a pastel belly. I moved the clutch to better light and realized that I was looking at the back of the animal. WOW.
After my heart began beating again, I needed to know EXACTLY what was going on. A few snips later I discovered the animal had a patterned head and also had a classic pied saddle on the body. That’s when I knew I had produced a Piebald out of the clear blue! Well not exactly clear blue. Like I said I just knew something special would come from this clutch.
Here’s the backstory:
In spring of 2002 I purchased a female farm hatched ball python. I liked its pattern and figured it would make a nice future breeder. In 2005 I bred her to my NERD line pastel male, producing pastels and normals.
I noticed that these pastels had a different look to them. So I kept a pair of them back and sold the rest. The male that I held back was particularly cool.
The original female did not produce in 2006 and then in the 2007 breeding season I used her pastel son to produce all my pastel clutches. (Pastels were still big deal back then!) I also bred him back to her – it was something I wanted to try, but didn’t expect much from it. Here’s her first clutch for me:
When the first couple clutches from the pastel son bred to other females started to hatch, there was something really unique about the hatchlings! Here’s what I documented at the time.
More specifically, I was seeing the flames on the animals and their striped bellies were looking just like their dad’s and their grandmother’s. At this point it was becoming very difficult to wait until my clutch from the pastel back to his mom came to term!
The final count from the clutch:
- 1.0 Pastel Pied
- 0.1 Piebald
- 1.2 Pastel 66% Het Pied
- 1.2 66% Het Pied