What, or Who, is NWReptiles.com? (Northwest Reptiles)
My name is Tom (or sometimes Thomas,) and I am a ball python breeder in Vancouver Washington, just north of Portland Oregon. I must say I am not any sort of pioneer to this field/hobby, nor have I been breeding for a long time. I can also tell you in the short time I have been raising and breeding ball pythons I have learned a LOT of information, which I hope to share via this blog site.
My good friend Shaun R. is also very involved in these projects. He helps care for the reptiles, and keeps many of his own animals in my facility. We have several projects that work together, and many that are completely separate going different directions.
As of this update, I’m in the middle of my fifth hatching season, Spring of 2014. In five years I’ve had several clutches, and currently the incubator, and hatchling racks are currently filling up again. We also hope to have many years ahead of us.
There is still much more to learn, and we hope to share what we continue to learn, with you as we go.
I am 49 years old, and my background is in computers, computer networking, web hosting, and programming. I do not have a flair for the written word, or computer graphics. I wish I had more time to dedicate to this site, but one has to earn a living.
I have always loved animals, and have taught the same love and respect for animals to my children, and am now doing so with my granddaughter as well. I’ve had many animals through my life, including dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, a turtle, lots of fish, and now snakes.
I seem to have fewer house guests (especially family,) than I did before my first snake…. But at the same time couple of my own kids, who are grown, have snakes now too.
Snakes and rodent habitats are cleaned and disinfected a minimum of twice a week. This helps with the smell, and makes for healthier, happier, animals.
Ball pythons are a gentile animal, that is very timid. They will never strike in anger, and are very non-confrontational (like me.) They are also non-venomous.
I’ve been bit a few times but it was always either a very young snake, a feeding mistake (I was mistaken for a rat,) or I moved too quickly and startled the snake. If I had this many dogs, I would get bit sometimes too.
Ball pythons have very sharp, small teeth that help them grab food, before they coil around it, trying to suffocate the pray before they eat it.
The year (winter of 2012) we bred about 40 females, resulting in 26 clutches of eggs. This last year we did a lot fewer. Most of these females were normals, meaning they are not morphs. The normal ball python, (sometimes called “Classic” is the standard camouflage snake as would be found in the wild. A good example of a morph, would be an albino, which is a tyrosinase-negative snake, which lacks all color pigments except white and yellow.
A morph is a throwback or abnormality to the standard genetic pool. By working with oddball ball pythons, breeders have discovered that many of these abnormalities are genetic, and can be passed on through selective breeding. Where it gets real fun, is the combination of genetic traits to make designer morphs.
Every female we bred, normal or morph, was bred to a morph male. We are hoping to expand our collection of morph males and females so we can experiment in new combinations. This coming year we will produce nothing new that hasn’t been produced by someone else already, but a few things that are very rare.
Last year’s most interesting breeding projects resulted in proving the Cafe is genetic, as well as a Cafe-Mojave mix we call the Barista, a couple of leopard mixes, and a few super mojaves. I’d love to tell you what projects are in the works, but I must keep to the space I have available.
We have been selecting some very fine animals, and have been arranging a couple of joint projects with others, so our projects will certainly produce some outstanding morphs in the years to come.
With this site, we will be showing some of our breeding projects, and breeder animals. We will create a library of various morphs and morph combinations, and we plan to share how we care for our animals in case you too have one or more ball pythons sharing your life. We can also showcase animals that we have for sale/adoption.
Join us on our journey, feel free to make comments about existing posts, or contact us if you are interested in becoming a contributor to the site with your own articles.