What type of racks do you keep your snakes in?

We are now pretty much using ARS Racking Systems for our ball pythons as well as some Sentec Cages for our bigger boas. We still have a few hold-over racks constructed out of melamine. We use 5 different professional rack models.

Ball Pythons

  • Adults – ARS 7030 and 7010
  • Juveniles – ARS 5040 with Built-in Hide
  • Hatchlings – ARS 7030

Boa Constrictors

  • Adult – Sentec Caging 8 X 2 and 6 X 2
  • Sub Adult – ARS 8018
  • Hatchlings – ARS 7030

What do you feed your snakes?

For the most part we feed all our snakes live rats. Mice are only used in extreme circumstances when new hatchlings refuse to start to eat.  Once started we switch them back over to rats. We start the vast majority of our hatchlings on young, live, fuzzy rats and they never look back.

What size prey do you feed?

We try to match the girth of the snake with the size of the prey. The following is our feeding schedule:

Adults – 1 to 3 four-week-old rats every 7-10 days

Sub-Adults – 1 to 2 three-week-old rats every 7-10 days

Hatchlings – appropriate-sized rat every 5-7 days

If adults are on a feeding binge prior to the breeding season, we will offer them up to 3 rats per feed.

Where do you buy your rodents?

We raise our own rodents to ensure the highest quality of feed that our snakes receive. We feed only the finest quality feed to our rats – Purina Rat Chow. Many people feed dog food because it is cheaper. We feel that it is a short cut to poor quality rodents. We only offer the best here at MJBP.

What is your breeding recipe?

Check out our Breeding page.

How long have you been breeding snakes?

We got started in 1999. Our first breeding season was 2002. See our About Us page for more information on how we started.

Do non-reptile people think you’re weird?

Weird… strange… cool! I’ve been described as many things. Who cares! I love what I’m doing!!!!

When people ask me what I do for living, I tell them I work with snakes and rats. They then ask what corporation I work for.

Is there a lot of work involved in being a full-time snake breeder?

More than you can imagine! It amazes me just how many hours go into doing what I do. Then again, I like to stay very organized and I keep meticulous records. Organization is the key to success!

We clean once a week – rats and snakes.

Why would you recommend a ball python or boa as a pet?

Ball pythons and boas now come in many different morphs that are very affordable. You no longer have to settle for a normal specimen as a pet. Ball pythons probably have more morphs than any other snake today. They are gentle, non-aggressive snake that have personalities that are endearing. They like to be held and very rarely try to get away.

They are quiet and with water can be left while going on vacation without a problem. They can be fed every 7-14 days without any negative effects and they only relieve themselves based on the frequency of meals.

Some ball pythons have been known to be problem feeders. This I believe is as a result of hatchlings being started poorly on food. If you are planning on purchasing a ball python, I would strongly suggest purchasing one from a reputable breeder who has quality stock. There are some specialty reptile pet stores that sell quality stock, but most that dabble in all kinds of pets are not a good choice.

Are ball pythons and boas slimy?

No. For some reason the general public think all snakes are slimy. That’s what Hollywood wants you to believe. If they had it their way they would also want you to believe that all snakes are venomous and killers too!

They are dry to the touch and they are basically odorless as well.

What is your favorite morph?

It doesn’t matter what I like. It’s what you like that matters. I’m very partial to the Lightning Piebald but my list has grown over the years. Heck… I like them all!

What breeders have helped you get started?

Greg Graziani probably gave me the most guidance. We’ve become the best of friends.

What Internet reptile forums would you recommend?

See my Get Connected page

What type of housing should I use?

There are many answers to that question. We keep all our snakes in professional enclosures ranging from racking systems to large display cases.

What kind of substrate do you use?

I have used everything from shredded aspen, cypress mulch, pine shavings to paper. I now use coconut husk in small chips and have doing so for several years now. If you’re lucky you can source it at local nurseries. It is easy to spot clean once a week and I’ve never has a problem with it. I do start all my hatchlings on as well.

Do I need a hide box?

I don’t own a hide box, although I would strongly recommend one if you are keeping your ball in an aquarium. Two are actually preferred with one on the warm side and one on the cool side.

What temperatures and humidity do you recommend?

An ambient temp of 80 is good with a hot spot of 90-92 F is recommended. Ball pythons and boas need heat in order to properly digest their food. A basking light or under tank heat pad can provide a good hot spot. Try to purchase all your equipment from a specialty reptile pet store. They sell products that are specifically made for these purposes.

A humidity level of 60% is recommended.

Can you please explain genetics?

You will note that we have started to use the term ‘Incomplete Dominant‘ in place of ‘Codominant. This is a more accurate term. It was best described by a contributor to one of my videos this way.

“Spider and Pinstripe are dominant genes. Incomplete dominant means it has a super form visually different from its single form. codominant genes do not exist in ball pythons. Codominant refers to for example: A white flower pollinates a red flower. the resulting flower for example would be white with red spots. Incomplete Dominant would result in for example a pink flower because the colors blend.”

For a full explanation of genetics please refer to our Genetics page.

What got you into this and is this all you do?

See our About Us page.

To whom do you sell your snakes?

The most interesting people all over the world! We sell them as pets and to private collectors and to other breeders. They are living pieces of art that are treasured all over the world.