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  1. #1
    BPnet Senior Member jglass38's Avatar
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    Breeding Ball Pythons - Some things to consider...

    As Ball Pythons (and reptiles in general) explode in popularity, more and more people want to try their hand at breeding. Some do it because they love the animals and some believe it is going to make them rich. I figured I would take some time to point out some things from my experience that people may not think about before diving in to breeding. In the end, these are living, breathing creatures whose lives you are responsible for. Also, there is a tremendous amount of cost associated with keeping and breeding these animals. Some things to consider:

    1. Animals - One of the things that I live by when it comes to this hobby/business is, don't spend more than you can afford to lose. These are animals and your success in breeding them and making back what you have put into them is NOT guaranteed. They could die, they might not breed or you may not be able to sell offspring for what you planned to. Take this into account and be smart about your investment.

    Just like in any other business, the reptile industry has its share of scumbags. There are plenty of people out there who don't care about anything more than making a buck. They will sell you sick animals or misrepresent the animals that they are selling. Use caution, do your homework and buy your animals from reputable people. It doesn't take more than a few minutes of research to find out who the good guys are in this business. Sometimes it takes a little more time to weed out the bad guys. You'll need to make the ultimate decision about whether saving a few hundred bucks to buy from someone questionable is worth it to you.

    This is not to say that there aren't a ton of great small breeders out there who don't have a recognizable name yet. I have personally met and become friends with many of these folks and they are where the RDRs, NERDs and VPIs were one day. Quality people that have yet to become a household name. People who are committed to producing amazing animals and treating people the way they expect to be treated.

    2. Vet costs - Animals get sick, its a fact of life. If you don't have to ability to spend $200-$500 at the vet at any given time, then you shouldn't own or breed snakes.

    3. Feeding costs - Be prepared to buy a lot of feeders or breed your own. Make sure that you have a local place to buy an appropriate sized prey item and that you will be able to afford the feed bill each and every week. If you plan to breed your own rodents, make sure that you have the space, time and money that it takes to take care of them. Just because these animals are feeders doesn't mean they deserve any less respect than the animal that they will eventually be fed to.

    4. Caging and supplies
    - Make sure that you can afford to buy appropriate caging or that you have the skills/means necessary to build your own. I don't have the building skills so I have had to spend thousands of dollars in the last year on caging. Don't forget about all the necessary supplies that you will use. Disposable deli cups, cage liners, paper towels, disinfectants. This all adds up so be prepared.


    5. Time - This is an intangible but a very important one. Having the necessary time to make sure your animals are kept clean and fed and records are updated is paramount to your success as a reptile keeper and ultimately a breeder. I spend many hours per week cleaning and checking my snakes and feeders. Some weeks I don't want to deal with it but it absolutely has to be done. There is no room to say, I'll do it next week.


    Hope this helps!

    Jamie

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  3. #2
    BPnet Veteran SPJ's Avatar
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    Re: Breeding Ball Pythons - Some things to consider...


    2. Vet costs - Animals get sick, its a fact of life. If you don't have to ability to spend $200-$500 at the vet at any given time, then you shouldn't own or breed snakes.


    This part is often overlooked. I spent almost $600 between vet visits and lab work recently and that was on ONE snake.
    There are many extra expenses you may not think of and when you have a bunch of babies, it can get get very costly. Don't fool yourself thinking breeding is a quick money making thing.

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  5. #3
    BPnet Veteran SPJ's Avatar
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    Re: Breeding Ball Pythons - Some things to consider...


    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to jglass38 again.
    Man, I hate seeing that little box. LOL.

  6. #4
    Steel Magnolia rabernet's Avatar
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    Re: Breeding Ball Pythons - Some things to consider...

    A most excellent post, Jamie!

  7. #5
    BPnet Lifer muddoc's Avatar
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    Re: Breeding Ball Pythons - Some things to consider...

    Quote Originally Posted by jglass38
    5. Time - This is an intangible but a very important one. Having the necessary time to make sure your animals are kept clean and fed and records are updated is paramount to your success as a reptile keeper and ultimately a breeder. I spend many hours per week cleaning and checking my snakes and feeders. Some weeks I don't want to deal with it but it absolutely has to be done. There is no room to say, I'll do it next week. Jamie
    Jamie,
    What an excellent post. I think #5 above may be one of the more overlooked aspects of keeping and breeding these animals. I have what I consider to be a modest collection, and I put at minimum 12 hours a week into my collection, and I might add, that I do not take care of the rats. Monica probably spends about 6-8 hours a week in the rodent room.

    So often I read about people who think they are going to make a fortune off of theses animals, but I believe that most of your stated considerations have not been thought of. First and foremost, I believe, to be successful is a true love of the animals. To this day I enjoy going out on cleaaning day and interacting with my collection, even though it is 7-8 hours of picking up poop.

    Very well thought out and stated post,
    Tim Bailey
    (A.K.A. MBM or Art Pimp)
    www.baileyreptiles.com
    The Blog

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  9. #6
    BPnet Lifer Kara's Avatar
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    Re: Breeding Ball Pythons - Some things to consider...

    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to jglass38 again.
    Fantastic post, Jamie! You are such an asset to both this site & this hobby!

    K~
    Kara L. Norris
    The Blood Cell - BloodPythons.com
    Selectively-bred bloods & short-tails &
    your online source for husbandry support.


  10. #7
    BPnet Senior Member jglass38's Avatar
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    Re: Breeding Ball Pythons - Some things to consider...

    Thanks Steve and Robin!

  11. #8
    BPnet Senior Member jglass38's Avatar
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    Re: Breeding Ball Pythons - Some things to consider...

    Quote Originally Posted by muddoc
    To this day I enjoy going out on cleaaning day and interacting with my collection, even though it is 7-8 hours of picking up poop.

    Thanks Tim! I think that is one of my favorite things. I love checking the snakes, seeing them grow and thinking about all the cool combos in the future. Of course not everything is fun. I despise keeping records. Its my least favorite part!

  12. #9
    BPnet Senior Member jglass38's Avatar
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    Re: Breeding Ball Pythons - Some things to consider...

    Quote Originally Posted by KLG
    Fantastic post, Jamie! You are such an asset to both this site & this hobby!

    K~
    I am only able to be that kind of asset because of Kevin and you and the other great breeders who have brought the Ball Python hobby to where it is today. You guys rock!

  13. #10
    BPnet Veteran aaajohnson's Avatar
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    Re: Breeding Ball Pythons - Some things to consider...

    Awesome post Jamie ... and I believe the things you listed are root cause of the ever popular "Selling my collection" ads on KS. Face it, its a lot of work, and if you do not enjoy every aspect of it, you won't last.


    Neil
    Bunch of BP's
    0.1 3 Toed Box Turtles (Thunderball)
    2.1 Labradoodles (Duke, Vinnie, Sophie)
    0.1 Awsome Wife - 1.2 Awesome Kids

    www.sunsetpythons.com



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