Did I start out with the wrong stock?

When I originally got Kane, my first BP i got him because i LOVE pieds, his price was right, and his breeder was knowledgeable and had years of experience behind htem. I bought Kane primarily as a pet, but with the option of using him as a breeder. If i breed, I wanted to produce Pieds.

almost 3 years later, and Kane is up to weight, maturity, and i have acquired additional snakes - male and female.

I purchased a Leopard, pastel, yellowbelly, triple het pied, albino, clown female first. because multi-gene, and could potentially produce pieds, that will be marketable.

My next purchase was a female mojave blackhead female. I do want to add Mojave into the mix eventually. She was lovely and is a very sweet animal.

For a good long while i had only those three. They were going to be my starting group. With the plan of eventually breeding a daughter back to dad eventually for visual pieds. (at least in the case of breeding to the mojave).

This year I added three more - a Pastel mystic potion male (for a different project. BELs, mystic potions). He was admittedly an impulse purchase. I got him around the same time i ended up taking in a friend’s bp for rehab.

that bp is a banana, pastel, super enchi YB. His story is in a separate thread. I know his lineage (breeder is a friend), and she’s given me the go-ahead to breed him if I wanted to. he could eventually be used to get banana into the pied project. That will be a future project (multiple years in the future) as i don’t have any current visual female pieds.

Lastly i added a Pinstripe calico possible black pastel female to the group this last month. I’ve wanted to incorporate pinstripe and Calico into the mix, and i admittedly haven’t thought out WHO to pair her to. She’s a juvenile and i’ve got a few years before she’s up to weight/maturity. (okay maybe less time, but point being she’s not getting bred this year).

Thats what i’m currently working with, and I would LOVE the input of some experienced breeders ,and what YOU would do with these mixes. Who, if anyone, would you sell and what would you replace with? Did I start with the wrong animals; should i reconsider my approach?

I don’t want this to be my main job. This is a hobby that I want to enjoy. That said, i also don’t want to end up with animals i CANNOT sell, therefore becoming overwhelmed by the number of animals i have within a few seasons.

My biggest desire is to produce cool pieds. Whether they’re being marketed to other breeders, or pet homes isn’t really my main focus. my main focus is producing some cool/pretty animals.

Thanks for reading if you got this far!


So if you’re thinking of a pairing, go to a morph calculator and look at the possible genetics of the babies. Then search in MM for pictures of those combos. That’ll give you an idea of the visuals you could produce.

If you lower your price, everything is sellable. The catch is, if you’re just starting out you’ll be competing with established breeders that already have a good reputation. Who would you rather buy from, Kinova or someone that has 0 feedback? Well that’s why you lower your prices below Kinova to incentivize buyers. Once you get a reputation I would think you could creep your prices up to get back at market value. If you’re starting out you might have to sell outside of MM. Craigslist, Facebook, local mom and pop pet stores, they’re all viable. Give as much contact info to your buyers as you can, that way they might become repeat customers.

Any breeder worth their salt will tell you to breed what YOU like. That’s the only way you’ll stay interested in the hobby. I think it was Olympus Reptiles that once said the single piece of advice they can give anyone in this hobby is to remember why they got into the hobby in the first place.

For variety and keeping you interested in the hobby, I would pair up the most genes to the most genes. The challenge there is correctly ID the offspring, but for buyers they will want to know what genes are in there.

As for specific pairings with what you have, I can’t help you there. Just don’t make any combos that are known to have issues (fatal combos, kinky combos, etc.). Do your research there. Who knows you might stumble on a new combo that is visually spectacular and in high demand.


This is solid advice and really all you need.

That said, some cautions I will throw your way so you are well informed and better able to make your decision

BluEL complex genes and BlkPastel complex genes (with the exception of Enchi) tend to result in very high-/all-white Pieds. They also tend to dominate this effect when in combos.

Any superform in the BluEL complex when combined with Pied causes microphthalmia.


Definitely breeding what I like, and i did know SOME of the genetic issues with pieds. Altho i do admittedly need to do more research on the pairings. I will say that the mystic potion male will be a separate project entirely, and i do not plan on mixing those babies/breedings with the pied project.

Generally speaking I don’t want to undercut the market, and i’m not going to complete with a big, well known breeder like Kinova. I don’t WANT to really, as they’re a business, and i’m a hobbyist.

I want to produce what I want for my OWN collection, and sell the offspring i don’t plan on keeping. That said, i do want to make sure i can actually sell them. BEL’s seem to be popular in the pet trade and could potentially sell well. which would help fund (hopefully?) the collection. Is that even feasible or is that just throwing good money after bad?


Trying to have buyers lined up for future clutches is going to be next to impossible. Unless your friends and family are going to be your main target group.
Breed what you like but be prepared to raise the offspring and care for them for an extended period of time.
Keep in mind if you breed to produce a BEL , 1 out of 4 will be a BEL. So an 8 egg clutch could give you 2 BEL’s and 6 that are not .

Good luck with your endeavors.


Yes but you mentioned Mojave being in your future pied plans. And that can still cause eye issues because it’s a BEL gene.
Also… As someone who just sold a super mojo enchi possible citrus pastel, possible fire, possible het or visual Orange Ghost for $250? The selling game is not as easy as you think.


Fair! and good point. Still learning and researching. fortunately, my girls are a couple years off yet.


Competition is a healthy thing. It’s what drives sellers to produce quality goods and services for a fair price. Both good things for the market. That’s just basic economics. If it weren’t for competition, lavender albinos, bananas and heck even albinos and pastels would still be $10,000 and they may not look as good as some of them do today. “Undercutting the market” is what keeps sellers in check. Even if you consider yourself an hobbyist, once you sell you are a business, however small. And anytime you list on MM you are competing with other sellers on MM, even big breeders like Kinova, and that’s acceptable. I don’t know Justin or any of the big breeders personally, just what they choose to show me on YouTube, but he seems like a pretty smart guy that would agree competition with him is a healthy thing. Anyways, kind of off topic.

In the pet trade, I would think anything visually stunning would sell like hotcakes, BELs, bananas, even albinos. The run of the mill (maybe first time snake) pet owner is looking for something pretty they can display, and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as they are meeting the needs of the animal. Generally, it’s the serious hobbyist that is willing to shell out big bucks for the multi-gene combos. My point is, there is a market for all levels, you just gotta find it.

A hobby by my definition loses money, but you gain so much more in joy and personal satisfaction it doesn’t matter. I think you’re overthinking this a bit. Breed what you like, but be prepared to keep the babies for an extended period of time, just in case you can’t sell them immediately. If you love BELs, produce BELs, but doing it for the money won’t work in the long run. If your heart is not in what you do, you won’t be happy. The minute it starts being a chore (or a job) the fun and joy starts getting sucked out of it and you’re done. Mark Twain — ‘Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ It’s kind of like that. Pick some traits that you like and throw them together, as long as they are not lethal or defective. You’ll find a way to sell them when the time comes. We all totally understand your concern about not being able to sell the offspring and trying to recoup some of your expenses. What did Joel say, “Sometimes you just gotta say, ‘What the …’.”. Try not to overthink it.

I’m kind of all over the place today, but good luck and please share your successes, failures and, of course, pictures.


It’s still very hit or miss though. I spent 6 months trying to sell a BEL. Keeping her at the lowest market value on MM and eventually selling her at 250$ on CL.
The profit from that would be almost nothing if you take into account weekly feedings for her 11 month age at the time of sale.

If you do want to do it and recoup losses, it takes a lot of planning ahead of purchasing. I have a couple pairings I picked up with this in mind so I can never produce a normal/wt/classic. And I’ve started breeding my own feeders so I’m not paying retail or needing to save up for bulk shipments of Frozen.

In op’s case, a lot of the possible pairings can end up with some single visual genes or normal looking het pieds. Those can be a tough sell unless you look at wholesaling them.
It’s a great hobby. I’ve got two clutches incubating right now that aren’t anything high end. I may be loosing more money on them this year. But it’s because I wanted to breed a particular snake for love this year not for the money. (I want to keep an offspring from my first BP, who now has a tumor at 23yrs so I don’t know how long I have left with him).


I think you’re right in that i am overthinking this a little. I’ve been watching youtube and found a new channel. They talk about a lot of marketing and smart business practices, and i think i got anxious about setting myself up for failure. They breed on a small scale, but they’re still doing multiple clutches a season. I will likely only be doing one or two a season. You’re right, i should focus on doing this because i enjoy it, and not because it’ll make me money.


The “Olympus Reptiles” YouTube channel has a series of videos about the business side of things. Some one-liners from those videos are “It’s not your money!” and “Have an accountant do your taxes.”. They put out 2-3 videos a week and have been for 7 years. Obviously they are very prolific, but it’s really good content too. I believe they do hold back some gold nugget information for their Patreon, but still tons of valuable info on good old free YouTube. Patreon has a 7-day free trial going on now. I’m not sure how long that offer will exist, but I definitely need to check it out. Olympus Reptiles’ lowest tier is only $5 a month and you get access to information with it. Higher tiers get you swag and discounts on purchases and such. Yeah, I don’t work for them or anything. I just really enjoy their channel and $5 a month for access to even more detailed info from them is an excellent deal. That’s less than a fast-food meal! They’re very transparent and tell it like it is and don’t take guff from anyone. They’re kind of an acquired taste. I’ve heard some people have a real problem with them. Probably just haters.

I also enjoy “Snake Discovery”, “Green Room Pythons” and “Mutation Creation”. Four totally different styles, but very entertaining and lots of good info. If I ever met Emily I’d probably freak her out with a hug. Heck I’d probably hug Ed too!


Please don’t freak people out buy touching them. Ask before hand! Even though someone may seem sweet and friendly in a video with people they are comfortable with, they may have more of a personal bubble around strangers in public spaces.

I like to treat people with the same respect I would have if asking to handle an animal. No sudden movements unless absolutely necessary and only with permission.
I also frequent comic and anime cons where there is a saying, “Cosplay is not Consent” which is regarding people hugging or inappropriately behaving/touching at people because they’re in costume. It’s just polite.


I think this is an awesome start that could do well for a local market. Pet-owners love Pieds, BELs, and Bananas, and it looks like you are hitting all of those directions. Given the animals you have, I would try to build relationships with other local breeders and be prepared to vend local shows or see if you can vend with someone else when you get your first few clutches (this helps out with expenses as it can be costly to get all the stuff you need to vend a show).


Hey! Its you!! Lol i watch your youtube channel and one of your videos is what got me thinking about this topic. Thanks for chiming in. Ill be starting REAL slow with one or two clutches a season until i decide if the workload and cost is something i can handle.