Hey MorphMarket family, as this year comes to a close. I have been highly considering in which the way I grow my breeding business and my collection in general. And this has begged the question, in what way am I going about this? I am not talking about purely monetary gain planning but rather the long term stability and viability of my business based off the number and what type of investments I make now. Personally, I have decided that I would like to prioritize buying babies over adults even if that means spending time and resources raising up the babies in question. This is not the only thing that I have decided to stand on but would love if you all share your experience and ways that you think about growth, progress, and planning.
I imagine you’re going to receive a plethora of varying information, which can be good and bad.
I’ll say what way I decided to go about keeping the animals this go around rather than my slap bang keeping of the past.
I decided I wanted to have particular morphs to work with as my base, for me they were Arabesque, jungle, sharp complex and then the Sigma stuff. I also only wanted to add neonates so I got to raise them how I wanted, and I’d know their particular nuances. I initially only intended to keep some 6 to 10 adults, keeping it completely for hobby/fun and hopefully paying for itself.
Of course it shifted and I’d like to supplement the household income with them now, so I’d like to be up to around 12 to 15 breeder females. I’ve managed to cover costs and add a few more things, which includes a rodent colony and flipping enclosures occasionally.
I imagine my .2 cents isn’t terribly helpful, hopefully those who’ve managed to build a profitable business will be able to provide good incite and advice.
I can’t offer any advice on this but I can wish you the very best of success in the coming New Year which ever way you choose to go!
Following this so i can read the advice for myself.
My current plan is to focus on a few specific morphs/combos for my Corn snakes, right now my other species are purely pets with (hopeful) plans further down the line.
But similarly to you, i wish to expand my collection, and would live to see how other have/would recomend.
As an example in 2023 I plan on buying a few more racks, getting bioactive enclosures going for my display animals, adding 3 (ONLY 3… hopefully…) more Corns to my collection, getting my reptile room finished, and getting my MM stuff organized/finished.
On one hand i feel this is alot, maybe too much, but on the other if I do it now I’ll have more freedom/structure in 2024+ to do other things (like buying a new species I’ve had my eye on/been researching since late 2021)
I hope this is kind of waht you are looking for.
Without knowing what you have now, current inventory, hardware, space, and time, the only thing I can throw out there is.
If you are going long term all in and starting with babies, I would get the hardware setup for them and ever more. You will need this to start with, but it will also come back in play when you start hatching.
Diring the time of filling and raising these bins, you can start building out your sub and adult setup. It will be ready when the grow and be used from there on out.
I know this is all basic info. Bust one that seems to get overlooked. You have 2 or 3 years to build up everything needed and have it paid off, before you even need it.
Each year you can add a couple new reptiles. Then you can start breeding year 2/3 and forward.
The amount you want to shoot for should depend on available space and funds. For a while you will have empty bins, but this is good. Once needed you will have them and no worrying or stressing on how to get it last minute.
Once breeding, you can always add more racks if you decide to expand. But do so the year or 2 before needed.
This is how we approached it. But we are using tubs and shelving units for babies/hatchings and racks for adults. We are only doing this because we already had it. From here on out, racks will be bought and eventually shelves will be replaced. This could happen sooner then later as our rats are starting to get out of hand. They will get the shelves. This is also another thing you will need to look into. It will save you lots in food and maybe even make some from them. Eventually you could be selling the extra and all your reptiles will be eating for free.
I hope you or anyone else can get something from this. Good luck to all.
Thought I’d add some more.
If you’ve had a chance to work with a specific housing type and have a preference (for example I love vision cages, they’re awesome) don’t settle for something you’ll be less happy with. I’ve replaced over the years different enclosures I had with vision cages when I had the chance. If possible I’d go back and stick with them from the get go.
Well, I currently have three boas and a corn snake. Two of my boas are breeders females. They are Willow ( 2021 Anery Sterling) and Sherbet ( 2022 Motley Junglow ). I keep in T8s from AP with VE 300x2s on reptilebasics 21” heat tape.
I personally have room for 3-4 more T8s and spare room for racks (neonate- 1 year and up to 2 years) But of course, that’s with my current room set up, which I could re-organize my room and be able to fit more T8s.
Personally, I think I really enjoy the T8s from Animal Plastics.
T8s are excellent. They’re what my 2 biggest males are in.
Right now, I would like to keep every breeder in a T8. I love how easy they are to put together. I might eventually put my males in racks but I haven’t really decided if I think there is enough room.
Also, when I have my own house I do plan on having a snake room/office and plan for the collection to be about 15.20. for the adult breeders plus neonates.
I have to say, @lumpy, I love that you’re actually making long term plans. I know you were doing that anyway, but I also love that this thread will be here as a resource for others thinking through the process. I’ve built/rebuilt my corn snake collection twice now, and it’s definitely a labor of love.
Lots of wisdom already given, excellent points made. I have only a penny’s worth to toss in, not even the proverbial two cents worth. Do make those long term plans and do plan to stick to them. Keep laser focused on your breeding goals when making purchases and planning crosses - but. Keep your eyes wide open within your collection for the unexpected. In the back of your mind, keep some space for a project you haven’t even considered yet. I don’t know what it will be, but it will happen. Trust me.
This is quite accurate. Inca and what I’d like to try with it is the one that was a no brainer for me.
I’m still fairly new into the business side of the hobby. I’m going into year 3(kind of) with BPs. This will be the first “big” season for me as far as having most of my collection mature and ready to breed. Realistically I started building my collection about 5 years ago and started slowly and did a tremendous amount of research on genes and combos that I thought worked well together and the traits in the genes I thought looked best. Then I used the “saved” list to store the individuals I really liked and when I was ready to add snakes I had already found what I wanted and could move forward with the purchase. But to start I picked projects that I reeaallly liked and then picked genes to add in(recessive base and codom add ons). I watched a video by Ozzy Boids awhile back and he said something I 100% agreed with which was if you work with stuff you like you won’t be disappointed if something doesn’t sell and you end up keeping it. I don’t have space currently for a really large collection, as I just have 1 snake room, so I already have plans of eventually cycling out some animals to keep the collection manageable but I also have multiple projects to work the genes into. I’m not planning on focusing on numbers, but higher quality animals and fine tuning my collection as I go. I’d like to get it to a point where it supports me and my family but I don’t have any need to be rich ha ha.
I also raise my own feeders and it is very helpful to not have that added expense if space permits. You also get to ensure their quality of life and diet and care which I can’t be convinced doesn’t matter. I have seen the difference in growth with self produced feeders vs lower quality “out-sourced” feeders. Sorry for the novel ha ha but maybe it will be useful
My 2 cents: Personally, as someone who was in the hobby 20+ years ago and started re-building my breeding collection in 2019, the single most important factor for me was “How many babies can I reasonably sell per year?”. That is to say, when next years babies start hatching, I don’t want to be stuck with unsold babies that are taking up space that the new babies need. Also, the animals we produce need homes so some consideration of the what the market will bear is applicable, IMO. So, despite the fact that I can think of at least 10 projects I’d like to be working on, I have limited myself to ~half that many to keep things manageable and responsible. Hope that is helpful
Valid points, Neil. All very true whether one hopes to produce animals who can at least pay their way, hopes to go all in and make a living with their animals, or hopes simply to produce some interesting creatures for the love doing so.
I think ignoring the last part of what you pointed out is where a bunch of people get into trouble.