Ball Pythons are one of the most popular reptile species kept as pets in America. They can get quite large, are fun to watch, and can sometimes live for 30 years. Although you can often find them at the pet store, many owners choose to use a breeder instead because you can get more interesting color patterns, and you have a better chance of receiving a healthy pet with a long lifespan. Finding a breeder can be challenging, especially if you haven’t done it before, so we’ve created a list of nine of the best for you to look over and choose one to create your next pet. We’ve also created a sort-of buyer’s guide to help you know what to look for if you choose a breeder that isn’t on this list. Keep reading while we look at delivery, payment plans, time in business, quality of snakes, and much more to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||XYZ Reptiles||
|Best Value||Wilbanks Captive Bred Reptiles||
|Premium Choice||CB Reptiles||
|New England Reptile Distributors||
The 9 Best Ball Python Breeders:
1. XYZ Reptiles – Best Overall
XYZ Reptiles is a breeder from Palmetto Bay, Florida, and they are our pick as the best overall. This breeder has been in business for more than 30 years. They guarantee that your animals will arrive alive and provide overnight shipping. You can order either male or female, and their website comes with a comprehensive guide to help you raise your ball python. It covers feeding, care, and environmental needs so you can get the maximum lifespan out of your snake. You can also purchase your cage, lighting, and other supplies right from their store, and they also include a payment plan.
The only downside to using XYZ reptiles is that they only ship to the continental US, so you cannot get these pythons in Hawaii or Alaska, and there is no return policy. All live animal sales are final.
2. Wilbanks Captive Bred Reptiles – Best Value
Willbanks Captive Bred Reptiles is the company we chose as the best ball python breeder for the money. They have a huge selection of ball pythons to choose from, and you can purchase rare colorful breeds for top dollar or buy a beginner snake at a reasonable price. It’s been in business close to 40 years, and all of the animals are captive-bred. They have friendly customer service representatives, and you can set up a payment plan or even reserve an animal with a small down payment. They also stand behind their animals and will replace them if they are too aggressive.
We enjoy using Wilbanks and feel they are a great breeder. The only negative thing we could say is that their website doesn’t contain as much information about caring for your ball python as some of the others.
3. CB Reptiles – Premium Choice
CB Reptiles is our premium choice breeder with a large selection of rare snakes. It’s a family-owned business that sells a wide variety of reptiles online, including ball pythons, iguanas, geckos, turtles, and more. They have an on-site biologist to oversee breeding programs and help answer any of your questions, and all of their animals are guaranteed captive-bred, so you don’t need to worry about them being wild-caught. You can purchase all of your supplies from them, and any animals ordered should arrive the next morning. They have a seven-day health guarantee and will replace any animal that dies during that time.
CB Reptiles has a huge selection of ball pythons to choose from, and the only downside is that some of the breeds can get quite expensive. However, there are plenty of animals to choose from, and there is a good chance you’ll find one you like in your budget.
4. New England Reptile Distributors
New England Reptile Distributors have one of the largest selections of reptiles on this list and have been in business for more than 25 years. Besides ball pythons, you can also purchase other types of snakes, geckos, monitors, caiman, and more. They even sell tarantulas. The wide selection means they likely have a snake to fit your budget, and they have several payment-plans available that let you settle your purchase over 30 or 60 days. All bets are guaranteed to arrive alive with next-day shipping.
The downside to NERD is that there is no home delivery due to Covid 19. All shipments occur Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, and your pet will arrive at the central hub closest to your home, and you will need to pick it up there. They will not ship your pet until they contact you and confirm that you can make it to the hub, and outside arriving alive, they offer no guarantee the pet will live or be healthy.
5. BHB Reptiles
BHB Reptiles have a large selection of snakes, including the ball python, corn snake, boa constrictors, and other varieties. They also sell geckos. They have been in business for more than 30 years, and their website has extensive information you can use to keep your pet healthy. Your pet comes with a 48-hour health guarantee, and it will arrive the next day. They have an extensive assortment of Ball Pythons that give you a nice selection and helps keep the cost down.
The downside to BHB reptiles is that they can be slightly more challenging to order from than some of the other breeders. They need to make sure someone is home to sign for the snake, so they will not ship it until they talk with you to confirm an arrival date and time. We recommend calling them to place your order instead of using the website to avoid confusion. Another problem is that they only ship Monday through Wednesday due to high shipping volumes, so you will need to receive the shipment on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
6. Royal Constrictor Designs
Royal Constrictor Designs is a Wisconsin-based company that primarily breeds ball pythons and has several varieties available. They are smaller than many of the other breeders on this list, so they can focus on creating healthy snakes with good genes. They are flexible with payment plans and have friendly customer service representatives that will help you choose the right snake for your home. It’s been in business for nearly 20 years, and the owner still works closely with the animals to make sure you get a fantastic pet.
The only real downside to Royal Constrictor Designs is that there isn’t as much of a selection due to the company’s small size, and the snakes tend to be a little more expensive. You will also need to set up delivery on Tuesday or Wednesday and be there to receive it the next day.
7. Dynasty Reptiles
Dynasty Reptiles was started in the early 2000s by a man with a passion for reptiles. His small business grew into a larger business and eventually became Dynasty Reptiles. They currently have more than 500 males and 118 females to choose from in several varieties, and you can join their newsletter to learn about any new pets available immediately.
The biggest downside to Dynasty Reptiles is that they are still a smaller operation, and many of their snakes are quite expensive. If you have a smaller budget, you will find the selection limited. However, if your budget is more substantial, you will find a larger selection of attractive snakes.
8. JD Constriction
JD Constriction is another smaller company, and the owner does most of the breeding. It’s been around a little longer than 15 years and specializes in silver, black, and white Axanthic gene ball pythons. All animals have a live arrival and health guarantee so you can be sure that you will have healthy animals when they arrive, and each animal has a unique ID number that you can use to learn more information about your snake.
The downside to JD Constriction is that these snakes are a bit more expensive than the bigger companies, and the selection is limited to the Axanthic type of ball pythons.
9. Northwest Reptiles
Northwest Reptiles is one of the smaller breeders on our list, and most of the ball pythons for sale are bred and kept by one owner. They offer reservations for a small fee, and there is a live arrival guarantee on all of their animals, but you must contact them within 30 minutes of arrival, so they know it arrived safely.
The biggest problem with Northwest Reptiles is the small size of the company. There is less selection because it’s so small, and buyers on the east coast may need to pay additional shipping.
Let’s look at a few of the things you should consider before selecting your next ball python.
While most of us think of breeders as a single person breeding one type of animal, in reality, breeders can be large companies with a wide selection of animals. Many people prefer smaller companies because they are supporting small businesses. Smaller companies usually work closer to the customer, and you can often get exactly the pet you want instead of choosing one from a selection. Small breeders can give each snake their undivided attention, so you have a better chance of receiving a healthy pet. However, smaller companies often have long waiting lists and small selections, with many breeders choosing to specialize in a single breed. Their animals are usually more expensive, have fewer guarantees, and fewer shipping options.
Larger companies are purchasing everything in bulk, so the savings are often passed on to the customer. The large staff often has more experience and can answer your questions and solve problems a single breeder could not. They often offer extensive guarantees and usually have a large selection. Waiting time is usually minimal, and there are more options for shipping. Some breeders even have extensive websites with volumes of information about caring for your ball python, so you have a better chance of keeping them healthy.
The downside to larger companies is that you usually don’t get to speak with the owner, and while you have a better chance of finding a skilled employee, it’s also more likely that you’ll find someone just working a job that doesn’t care much for the animals. The larger the selection, the harder it is to give each animal the attention they need, especially when the store offers more than just ball pythons.
Time In Business
No matter what size the company, the length of time in business is an important metric. The Small Business Association of America states that as many as 50% of new companies go out of business in the first five years, so we recommend choosing a breeder at least twice that old, and we tried to keep to that in our list of reviews. Newer companies will be spending a lot more time learning how to keep the business open than an older company that has everything ironed out, and it can affect everything from the health of your pet to the guarantee that comes with it. Older companies have experience solving the problems that put the other 50% out of business.
If you have a specific kind of ball python in mind that you are looking to purchase, the selection isn’t too important. However, if you are a new buyer and aren’t sure which kind you want, a breeder with a large selection will have a better chance of having something that catches your eye. More choices can also clue you into the skill of the breeder and the size of a company. It would take many skilled breeders and a profitable company to have the selection of animals offered by several breeders on this list.
The guarantee is especially important with ball pythons because you will need to ship your snake live in most cases, and you want to make sure it arrives that way. Most of the breeders on our list have a live arrival guarantee, and we recommend looking for it on any breeder you choose. Some breeders may offer additional protection to protect the snake from 24 hours to several weeks. Shipping can be extremely stressful to your snake, and it can result in health problems, so we recommend getting the best guarantee you can find, especially if it’s the first time you are purchasing from a specific breeder.
Since the snakes are alive, shipping is a big deal. Each company has its own process, but they usually require confirmation that you will be home when the pet arrives, so it’s not left in the cold or heat. You will need to speak with a customer service representative to confirm your details and arrival time. Due to increased shipping demands over the past few years, likely due to Covid 19, most breeders will only ship on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday when demand is at its lowest to increase safety and speed delivery. You will need to read over the instructions carefully when choosing your breeder and select one that can deliver when you are available.
All breeders on this list are selected because they provided the buyer with high-quality animals, and we’re sure you could find a ball python to suit your needs on this list. XYZ Reptiles is our pick for the best overall because they are a 30-year-old company with a large selection, friendly customer service, and a comprehensive website designed to answer every question you will ever have about your snake. Willbanks Captive Bred Reptiles is another great choice, and they have a wide variety of snakes for the budget concerned and offer several payment plans to make sure you can purchase your new pet while still offering a health guarantee and friendly customer service.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over these reviews and found the answers to your questions and a few breeders with a selection that interests you. If we have helped you select your next pet, please share this guide to the best ball python breeders on Facebook and Twitter.
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Featured Image Credit: Die_Sonja, Pixabay