Ball python egg incubation
The Sutherlands use a Styrofoam shipping container as an egg box. The Styrofoam provides insulation against any minor fluctuations in the temperature in the incubator. A sheet of thick glass serves as a top for the egg box, allowing the eggs to easily be monitored during the incubation period without opening the container.
They use a mixture of one part perlite to two parts of vermiculite. To this they add one part of water to five parts of the vermiculite/perlite mixture. All of these ratios are by volume. In the amounts they use for each egg container, it is 10 cups of dry perlite, 20 cups of dry vermiculite, and 6 cups of water. This is thoroughly mixed and placed in the incubator at least a few days before egg laying, to allow the entire contents of the box to come up to temperature.
The incubator you use will vary based on your individual needs. The basic design of any incubator should fulfill the following requirements:
1. It should prevent excess heat and humidity loss.
2. It should have a constant and reliable heat source.
3. It needs to have a thermostat to control the temperatures.
You should also put the eggs in a secondary container. If you build an incubator yourself, be certain that the heat is evenly distributed throughout. Placing the heat element at the bottom of the incubator can facilitate the even distribution of heat. Alternately a fan can be used to prevent the air from layering, but the air movement caused by a fan can desiccate the eggs if the egg boxes are ventilated.
Any incubator that is appropriate for reptile eggs will work for ball python eggs, as long as it is large enough to hold the number of eggs you anticipate producing. If you only have a single clutch of eggs, something as simple as a Havabator will do fine. A Havabator is a small, economical Styrofoam incubator that is available from numerous sources including local feeders.
ONE IMPORTANT THING LEFT OUT IS THE TEMPS, IT SHOULD BE AROUND 89-90 F.