How Long Does it Take Eggs to Hatch: Maternal vs. Artificial

Posted: July 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

<<<<——–Hey guys make sure to click on the follow button on the left so you can stay updated with everything that is going on! Thanks, Peter vonLehe Ruegner 


This year I did something a little differently in regards to my ball python egg incubation. I’ve done both maternal and artificial incubation but never both simultaneously. This year, I have done both and found interesting results. I also did the less used “third option”.

With maternal incubation, it takes as long as 75 days until the eggs pip. Watching the mother incubating her eggs is a really neat experience. There are a lot of myths regarding maternal incubation. The main ones are that the females will not eat for 2 months and will not be ready to breed again in the fall.

That is categorically false.

As you can see in this video, the females do eat. In fact, they eat very well. I have never had a female who has refused food while she was incubating eggs. I have hatched nearly 40 maternal clutches since 2013.

The female in the above video had eggs this year as well as last year. I fully expect her to breed this fall and produce another 8 eggs next spring. Another myth is that the females are super aggressive. That is not the case either.

All of my maternally incubating females allow me to examine the eggs whenever I want and they do not strike or try to bite.

They act calm as they always have. With maternal incubation there is no cutting prior to pipping. It is very likely that you will kill them if you cut them early.

The female in this photo was curious as to what my tablet was and she was examining it.

If you don’t have patience, then artificial incubation is the way to go.  It only takes 55 to 60 days for artificially incubated eggs to hatch. With eggs in the incubator, I use 6 quart tubs with perlite and light diffuser panels. My incubator is set to 89 degrees. I don’t cut eggs prior to hatching and do not recommend cutting AI eggs.

Still yet, there is a third option. This option is not normally done and is usually considered controversial. Why though, I am not sure. Basically, this third option is just setting the eggs up in a nest box and then placing the egg box on top of the snake rack. The eggs incubate at room temperature.

My snake building stays between 82 and 90 degrees year round. Think about it….if the snakes can thrive in that environment why wouldn’t their eggs thrive and hatch in the same room? To think they would not hatch, would not be logical.  I set these eggs up just like I set my hatchling ball pythons up. I incubate the eggs on cypress and as you can see from the pic below, it works well. These eggs took 66 days to hatch. Like MI, there is no cutting prior to pipping.

Once all my eggs hatch, I will post an update to this post that highlights how many clutches I incubated with each method. Stay tuned for the updates!

Thanks for reading, Peter vonLehe Ruegner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s