Bloodlines by Rich Macias News & Blog

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Yuppers!


That time of the year again!
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So kool! Just walked into my snake room & a female that laid while we were on vacation in Mexico, maternally incubated her own clutch & saw little heads sticking out of there eggs today! 

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Amazing, how much influence the pinstripe has over the lavender gene!

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Mmm... I just love that new baby smell!

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Hi friends, sorry for no replies on all those messages. I have been out of the country for 10 days (with no internet access) and just got back late last night. After a bit of rest & recovery, will get back with everyone! Website will be fired up again and I hatched a pretty cool double recessive, stay tuned! Thanks & sorry again, Rich Macias

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Why I use the non-substrate method for incubating ball python eggs:


In the past few years I have finally settled on an incubating method I really like. The non-substrate method can be intimidating at first, but now I'm confident it gives my hatchling a better chance to survive the egg developmental stage.


First the container, I use some 10+ year old Rubbermaid shoe boxes that I purchased back in the 90's lol. They have air hole drilled in them, however I tape them all up with electric tape to avoid moisture depletion. I live in Las Vegas and everything dehydrates within hours around here. Next, I layer the bottom of the boxes with 2 bone dry pieces of paper towels, next a piece of light diffuser grid, and then a piece of craft vinyl grid used for crocheting home sweet home granny decorations, he he...I like the vinyl grid because the smaller squares distribute the eggs weight evenly & during incubation the egg bottoms will flatten so you don't have to worry about egg rolling after a while. Its always a good idea to mark the top of each egg with a pen or pencil as well. My biggest problem with substrate incubation was the that sometimes the buried section of the eggs would get some excess moisture & funky fungus, thus creating a weakened calcification section which I believe depletes healthy gas exchange, similar to the horrid windows & sweating over-saturated clutches obtain. These weekend areas also attract small flys like magnets which will lay eggs very quickly in the substrate, & attack any weekend part of the non-calcified section of the eggs, thus resulting in egg death rapidly. The non-substrate method decreases all these problems because no eggs are in direct contact to excessive moistened substrate spots, also 100% of the calcified portion of the egg is able to do it's job properly.


Next I place a 16oz deli cup 3/4 filled with tap water, this helps stabilize the proper amount of low humidity in the box. Way better to error on the lower humidity side than the excessive humidity side, but so many people dis-agree with me on this, I just laugh to my self and wish them all luck... I will be the first to say this method does shrivel up a percentage of the eggs slightly, which I have seen some beautiful hatchling come out of perfectly fine, with no kinking or problems that I have noticed other than hatching on the little smaller side. I would much rather hatch a few smaller babies, than no babies at all.


The maximum number of eggs I place in a shoebox is 7ish depending how large the individual egga are, so any clutches greater than this get split up accordingly. Yes this takes more work, however the reason for this is during the last week or so of developing, larger clutches create more heat due to quicker gas exchange, this the potential for cooking eggs in clutch does exist. This is another reason for your unknown egg deaths so many get puzzled about. I've heard it a hundred times, it developed perfectly in the egg, then just died before hatching, I can't figure it out!?


Temps are also a serious consideration when using this method, be absolutely certain that you can maintain and control a steady temperature of 87-89F.

I'm not saying this method is the best way to incubate ball python eggs, as every breeder has unique factors which need to be addressed to maximize their own successful hatch rates. What I am saying, this method has been the best and most reliable for my own desert climate, room location, & available resources at this time. Not looking to start a large blown up debate over this topic, as I would much rather spend my time caring for my animals than defending my proven egg incubation techniques over and over again. So if you have found something that gives you 90%+ hatch rate, I would suggest don't change a thing. If not, give this non-substrate method some consideration & make the proper adjustments for your locality until you achieve that 90%+ consistent healthy hatch rate.


Have a great day!
Rich Macias

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Sooo... Excited right now! Waiting on a clutch to finish laying from a Double Het Lavender Clown! looks like 10 eggs so far!... prepping egg boxes & pacing the house like an expecting dad in the labor room!

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Stay tuned, this summer all my available ball pythons will be listed by their year instead of sex and price on this site. It may take a couple of months to move them all over as they are posted the same time my kingsnake adds expire as to simplify the process. Check back often, have a great day!

Rich Macias

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