BALL PYTHON EGG VARIATIONS:
Fertile eggs are normally large, white, and plump. However,
several variations in the outward appearance of the eggs can be seen. Most of
these minor differences don’t seem to pose a threat to the survival of the egg.
Weird eggs often yield normal babies. Sometimes the hatchlings are smaller,
especially if the egg was on the small side; it usually doesn’t affect the
adult size of the animal.
Sometimes eggs have “windows”. These are spots where the
shell is not fully developed. The windows are not the same color as the rest of
the egg; rather they are yellow spots. The shell may be thin enough to see
through. Windows are among the more common of egg variations and don’t pose
much of a risk.
Another variation occurs when the shape of the egg is
transformed. These eggs may have a bump or cone shape at one end. This
deformity is usually coupled with an odd color – similar to that of a slug.
This variation seems to be more debilitating but healthy babies have hatched
from these types of eggs.
So what should you do when your snake lays a weird egg? When
in doubt, incubate it. Candling can help determine if an egg is fertile or not.
The only eggs you shouldn’t incubate are slugs. When your snake lays a slug
it’s pretty obvious. If the egg goes bad, remove it. What happens if the dying
/rotten egg is stuck to the clutch and you can’t remove it? Just leave them
attached to the pile. Your incubator may smell and the egg gets moldy but the
others don’t seem to be affected by it. If the whole clutch goes bad, then it
is usually one of two things: an error on the part of the keeper, or the clutch
was doomed from the start.
Remember: when in doubt, incubate it. You will
find ball python eggs very hardy, even the weird ones usually hatch! it is always better to err on the side of caution. :-)