There are several factors you should consider when choosing between ball python breeders, the first being whether or not a particular breeder will allow you to come into their home or breeding area to view the habitats, adult snakes, and juveniles. You should also carefully inspect all snakes individually to ensure that they are healthy and well cared-for. It's also a good idea to ask plenty of questions about a snake's lineage, potential size, colorings, and eating habits. Reputable breeders are generally happy to answer any questions you may have.
When choosing ball python breeders, you will want to go on-site to see each snake for yourself. This will include all actively breeding adults as well as young snakes you may be considering for purchase. If a breeder requests that you do not visit his or her breeding area and insists on bringing the snakes you are interested in to you directly, this could mean that he or she has something to hide. Breeders with poor habitats or unhealthy snakes may use this tactic, and they should be avoided.
As you check out ball python breeders' snakes, you should examine each animal closely to look for signs of health or possible illness. A healthy snake should have clear eyes and a clear mouth and vent. The skin should be bright and clear with no signs of lesions, dryness, or sores. Mucus around the face is a sign of illness.
There are additional factors you should consider when looking into ball python breeders as well. Look for breeders in your area first so that the snakes are accustomed to your weather conditions and humidity levels already. It is also sometimes useful if you have find breeders who give their snakes food which has been frozen and pre-killed because it lessens the chance that your snake will be a finicky eater. This is especially handy with ball pythons because they are pickier eaters than many other breeds to begin with.
If you are looking for a particular type of snake, such as a morph, then you will also need to ask in advance if a particular breeder has one with the colorings you desire. A morph snake is one with certain genetic defects which give it an unusual color pattern of appearance. They are worth more money than typical pythons, and only certain breeders carry specific morphs because they are rarer.