Hello! I figured I'd just ask this question here, even though it really could have to do with husbandry most of the issues could have to do with breeding.
There are a lot of things in the snake world that will say "only let someone experienced with ______ do this to your snake" ...Like popping, probing, assist feeding, etc.
As someone who hopes to one day have many more snakes and possibly breed at least once(just for the joy of hatching out my own 'dream' snake!) I know that I will have to eventually deal with these problems! I don't want to have to continue to go to a vet or someone else every single time something happens..I would like to get the experience so that I can be responsible and take care of my own animals myself. I also know that a friend of mine wants to breed snakes, and that he does not have these experiences either.
So...where do you start? (I feel like I'm on a job hunt and everywhere says "2 years experience"...Well where do I get those two years! )
I don't have any friends outside of forums who own reptiles. So.. For instance. Sexing. Specifically probing--I would love to be able to do this myself. But I don't want to hurt my snakes! How do I get experience so that I do not hurt them? I don't really have any friends in the real world who own reptiles, so it's not like I've been able to watch it in person. I do watch videos on it and research it as much as I can but.. Yikes! That would not be a fun procedure to mess up on!
Should i just continue my learning? Should I see if there are local breeders who would be willing to teach me? I am planning to go to the NARBC in February, maybe I could meet someone who could one day teach me there?
This goes for a lot of things.. I would like to feel like I can take care of any problem that could arise. If something were to come up where special care was needed I would like to be able to safely handle the snake myself instead of trusting a stranger! Especially when it comes to breeding. I know sometimes snakes aren't born quite right, I've seen the videos of snakes who stopped receiving nutrients from the egg because they were tangled in the cord! That's the kind of situation where you don't want to have to wait and search for someone to hopefully have time to come fix your problem. What if there was no one available? I don't like to think about that!
Now, not saying I'm about to up and start breeding, though I will say I love genetics and have been studying quite a bit on it. And right now, I am happy to go to those who are experienced and qualified to handle and take care of my snakes when there is a problem I simply do not know how to handle.
But one day I would like to be confident in my own skills. I would like to be able to help other people, if they need to come to me! And to know if a problem arose and I was the only one there..I could fix it!
First thing that comes to mind is offering to volunteer at a vet that deals with snakes. You could also look around for local breeders to visit, like you said, but they might be hesitant to allow a stranger to have access to their snakes. I know I'd never allow some random person to come to my house and handle my babies ;P
Personally, I've just been doing a lot of reading on here and other sites, as well as watching a buttload of youtube videos for experience. Then I slowly and carefully apply that knowledge to my own snakes. I still haven't tried probing any of them since that looks really dangerous.
Oh goodness, I didn't mean practicing on anyone else's snakes! I guess I more meant...I dunno, watching! Or being monitored my first time by someone experienced.
Lol! Like I said..I'm just trying to be careful about not jumping in to the serious stuff! I wouldn't like to do anything if i wasn't prepared for it! I would like to be a better snake owner who is prepared for anything these scaly children can throw at me!
As for gaining experience, do much researching if you don't have anyone experienced enough you can go to in person. Read lots of articles on what topic your looking into don't just read one page. Go through a few pages of the same subject because this is the internet make sure more than one page says or hints to the same thing.
The first thing I would do is try to find someone in your area. I live in Iowa and there are actually 2 breeders within an hour of me, there was three 6 months ago, 4 if you include me. I was already friends with 2 of the 3 breeders, and met the 3rd on here. I went out to lunch with him almost weekly to 'talk snake' with him. He was a new breeder when I met him, but talking to someone who is only a couple years ahead of you is a huge help. There is so much to learn and you will always learn new things with these creatures!!!
I would start by looking for people on here that are in your area, then see if your state has a herp society or something of the sort. Then you could look at the NARBC website for vendors and see if any are from your area. If you still have no luck, then you need to start talking with people at the NARBC show. Eventually you will find someone and most likely they will be happy to show you the ropes. That's the nice thing about this community, majority of the breeders are happy to tell you tips and tricks they follow. And like llovelace said, be really careful about going to people's homes. I would be leery of going to anyone's home or bringing anyone in my home. Make sure you really get to know the person first!
Last edited by SlitherinSisters; 01-15-2011 at 03:59 PM.