How Many Species is Too Many?

So, a thought I had. Is there a “too many” when working with multiple different species of animal?
There are SO many snake species I absolutely love and would like to breed someday, but… how many is too many?

Currently I am breeding ball pythons and western hognoses.
I plan to work with blood pythons, Colombian rainbow boas, tricolor hognoses, and kingsnakes.
I’d love to breed boa constrictors and possibly garter snakes in the future.

I plan to personally stick entirely to snake species though, at least for now. My fiancé and I’s boyfriend (we’re in a poly relationship… another rather odd thing about me) LOVES lizards in particular, and also wants to help with the business when he eventually moves in with us. So he’ll be the “lizard guy” while I’m the “snake gal” :rofl:

He’s also from Florida so totally a Florida man. Our long term goal is to move to Florida, actually. It’s great.

Anyways, back on topic: Do you think breeders should only specialize in a few species of reptile, or is it acceptable for them to work with many different species?

I personally just LOVE all kinds of snakes, and am also doing it so I have a nice variety to offer when vending at shows and selling online. So what are your thoughts?


I think it’s a matter of personal preference. Work with the species that make you happy. As long as you can provide them with the best possible care, why the heck not?

Personally, I only work with westerns. But I have some ball pythons and a corn. I plan on getting some smaller boas in the future and maybe a blood. But I have zero desire to breed anything other than the westerns.


I think that the “too many” would come when all that you have aren’t getting the care and love that they should.


Too many I think if when it feels like it’s become a
‘Chore’. And it’s something you no longer love doing because of that.

Example, including hatchlings I have 49 Cresties here, so feeding them all takes a lot of time because there’s a lot of mouths to feed. So if it got to the point where I couldn’t be bothered to feed them (obviously won’t happen) but if I get that feeling one day of ‘Ugh this is going to take ages’. Then I know I have enough or too many too look after.
And no matter the species too, you have to love being being with them all. On top of the Cresties, I have 2 royals, dart frogs, Williamsi, mourning, southern toad, the 3 fatties, a giant African land snail, 4 Guineas, 2 quail and 3 dogs. (And a rescue burm and king).
Luckily I love them all and I have enough time on my hands. But if for whatever reason I couldn’t copes with everyone as it was too much, I know i need to stop with the Cresties (Since they’re my main reptile) :blush: (Though maybe I could just rehome the other half and daughter) :thinking::joy:


That’s totally fair! Remembering all the different care requirements and breeding methods might be a bit of an adventure, but luckily most seem pretty straightforward.

I absolutely love my snakes and enjoy caring for every single one them, so I think I’m doing pretty okay then.

I tried keeping other pets and even geckos, and found them to be more of a chore than something I enjoyed… so of course I ended up selling/rehoming all of them. I guess it does make sense that it’s not too many until you get “burnt out” on caring for them!

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How long is a piece of string?

The answer is going to be different for everyone in the hobby. Some people will be best suited to working with only one species while others may spread themselves across a score or more.

So long as each individual animal is getting the care it needs to thrive there should be no set “cap” number


That is true!

I think I had the thought because I had seen someone mention somewhere that they felt iffy towards breeders that worked with many different species instead of just a select few, and so thought I’d open a discussion on it to see what others think.

I do feel a bit better with me being obsessed with all sorts of snakes… it’s not THAT bad of a predicament then :rofl:

Part of this may boil down to biosecurity. Depending on what the people are working with, passage for potential pathogens between different species can be a scary consideration

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I agree that it depends how well they can be cared for. Additionally it depends how much they know about each species, can they identify a problem, health concerns, breeding behavior, etc in every animal they keep.
So far I have crested geckos and leopard geckos, they aren’t a chore but their near-daily maintenance could be a bit challenging if I get more. I’m not going to sell them but I’m going to decrease the amount that I’ll buy. Instead, I’ll put more resources into snakes that don’t require as much care and expense. I still care for them well but differently depending on species, even age for leopard geckos. My recent baby gecko needs essentially daily attention while my adult non-breeding male needs attention about every 3 days. However they’re all still getting good care so there isn’t a problem with it.

The only time I’ve ever felt put off by a breeder working with multiple species is when I’ve seen their expo table and they have like 99% ball pythons and then just one or two of another species. It makes me think they don’t really specialize in that other species and won’t really know the actual genetics or proper care for that species. I’m also a bit put off by breeders that have a specific species name in the name of their store or in their store description, they mention specializing in a specific species, but the name of the store and/or the description don’t even mention the species I’m looking at. Again, it raises a small red flag for me that they may not really know the genetics or care requirements. If they had something that interested me, I would still inquire and if they seemed knowledgeable and passionate, I would still be willing to buy from them, so it’s not a total deal breaker. However, someone working with a large variety of species doesn’t bother me.


I could totally get that!

That’s why I opted for “The Royal Nest Reptiles” as my business name — I mainly work with ball pythons (they consist of half of my collection) so the “Royal” part is a play on the common name, but as I expected to expand into other species I added “Reptiles” to the end.