If you had to restart your breeding stock of snakes what morphs would you start with?

As I research morphs there are so many morphs it gets overwhelming! If you guys had to go back into time with your current knowledge, which morphs would you start with first? Would you look for one that has three or four genes for diversity? I want to spend around $150 on my first one and want to get a good diverse combo. I love the lighter color morphs and pattern altering morphs such as spider and pinstripe. Thanks!

Clown. Pied, if it was me I’d do exactly what I did. Start in a recessive with a stable established market and something you enjoy.

(I’m starting with a pied project, the next thing I “buy into,” in a year or 2 will be clown.)

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In all honesty If my budget was $150 I would not be looking into breeding but looking into owning a pet.

In this market for this budget you are looking at something that is mass produced with a saturated market, which for you as a “breeder” will translate into monetary loss.

Now I know that not everyone wants to make money however I know one thing is that no one wants to work hard (because it is hard work) and continously loose money year after year and that’s what a $150 “investment” is.

If I had to do it again I would get a few female pied and a few female clown and in 18 months pick up a nice male for each group and build from there, not something that would have been possible when I started since Pied were $15000 at the time.

So while the prices have changed the interest for them has not.

I have said it before you can still be successful at any level from breaking even and have your animal paying for themselves to making an extra income to doing this for a living but it comes down to making some smart choices because those that don’t lose their passion and sell their collection within 3 to 5 years.


The only thing I wish I had done differently than I did is buy visual females and a het Male instead of the other way around. But either can be a viable path to a recessive project.

But yes it’s a long path to start a breeding project. I’m about halfway to breeding season 1 and I have a long way to go. Get a pet and save your money up.

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One im looking at is a pastel, enchi, 100% het piebald and 100% het ghost. I figured with four genes this might be a good one to produce a variety of offspring combos?

And yes, I don’t mind spending a few thousand on true breeder snakes once I know more on the topic. But I would like to get one now around the 150 area that will still be of value in the future when I am breeding if that makes sense!

If you can get a female like you described for that price that would be a steal.

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It is a male, not sure if that changes much

Under no circumstances get a male first if you’re planning on breeding someday. If you want a pet, sure.


why is that?

Because a male can breed at a year of age or less, females need between 2-3 years typically (it caries) to get to size. Never start with a male if you want to breed. Start with a few females and grow them up.

Are full grown females hard to come by/very expensive? I can see where you could charge more for mature females

Definitely more expensive than males.


An adult female Het Pied for example will run you about $300/$400 so yes they are more expensive because they are more valuable and give the buyer an immediate return in most cases.

So you have to decide between time and money as a hatchling female will take you about 3 years to raise before breeding and less face it some take 4 years some take 5 years before producing their first clutch.

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Interesting, thanks again for all the replies! Would it make sense to buy the male I was looking at (pastel each 100% het pinball 100% het ghost) then buying a full grown or near full grown female when I’m ready to breed? You all know more than me but that seems like a pretty packed full snake morph wise.

Not really because in a year or two if you buy a full grown female you will be able to purchase more genes for the money or buy the same genes but the animal will be even bigger, additionally what if you do not find the right female for that male.

Always start with female than find the right male for her.


Always females first.


Banana Clown
Banana Pied


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Why buy visual females? Because females gain more value over time?

@hannakessler Visual females do hold value better but it’s more because of the time you can save.

One goal of any recessive project obviously is to get to a place where you are pairing visual x visual. You’re going to know what to expect from your clutches, babies are worth more than hets, etc etc.

Let’s say we discover piebald BPs, fall in love, and want to breed them. We start on January 1 2020.
Two scenarios:

Scenario A: January 2020: We buy 4 het pied female hatchlings. We feed them for 2 years, they all grow to breeding size.
(Spring 2021: we get a visual male, he’s ready to go after 6 months of feeding.)

January 2022: Breeding season number 1. We start pairing. Let’s say we get 4 clutches sometime mid 2022. We hold back our 4 best visual females and start feeding them. We sell the hets and the rest of the babies.

January 2023: breeding season 2. Same pairings, same results
January 2024: breeding season 3. Same pairings, same results. Our original holdbacks are close but let’s just say they don’t quite make it to the size we wanted.

January 2025: breeding season 4. Our original visual female holdbacks are 2.5 years old now, they’re ready to go and we finally can start pairing visual x visual. We made it! But let’s look at the alternative…

Scenario B: January 2020 we get 4 visual pied females and start growing them. We pick up our het pied male spring 2021

January 2022: Breeding season 1. We hold back a couple visual females but we hold back the nicest visual MALE. He eats for a year and he’s ready to go

July 2023: Visual male ready to go, visual x visual pairings achieved sometime late in breeding year 2 or early year 3.

By 2025 we are 2 years into producing all visuals and selling them, we spent a little more up front on visual females but we made it back several times over and that went to expansion, new racks, maybe a different gene we want to dabble in, etc. Moral of the story we are way farther along than we would be in scenario A. Yes I realize there are a million variables but that’s the advice I would give a newbie that wants to get into a recessive project.

Long post, hopefully y’all followed it. Not saying every single time that’s the best way to do it but it’s just a faster way to start producing and selling the visuals you want out of your project.

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