Losing Passion/Overwhelmed?

I wish I could reply to each of you individually, but that would mean repeating myself quite a bit.

Once again, I really appreciate every single one of you for the taking the time to give advice, and even share your own personal experiences. It means the world to me!

Today I sent my favorite male, the hatchling I raised up and kept, to his new home. I didn’t want him to go first but when I put the ad up this morning (after taking an hour of waffling to hit the “post” button) these people inquired, seemed lovely, and had obviously done their research.
I was anxious, but the looks on their faces when they saw him put me at ease as they were thrilled!

One down, five to go. That’s including the babies. I’ll see how I feel once all the boys are settled into new homes. I’m hoping that by then, I am able to fully enjoy my remaining geckos without downsizing further but I will be keeping an open mind towards that.


Good for you, @nubs! And good for the male you rehomed and his new people as well. It’s a hard thing and a brave thing which you’ve done. I do understand the trepidation and the hesitation. A few years ago I had to pull way back and downsize my breeding operation due to health issues . It was sooooo haaarrrd. Doing it was the right thing, though. After time and healing, I was thankfully able to start growing the collection again. It’s a very mindful process, but it’s both manageable and enjoyable. I hope that you’ll get to a place with your animals after you’ve rehomed the males where you’re enjoying them fully once again.


I have posted on this before but I will repeat it here

The extremely dark side of this hobby/industry/community is the insidious message that is pushed on people that you have to be a breeder to be legitimate.

This is pure and unadulterated bovine excrement!!

There is nothing for you to feel embarrassed about. Anyone that tells you otherwise can pound sand. Period. End of discussion.
There is absolutely no shame in being a keeper and not a breeder. I purchased my first “real” snake when I was 14 (not counting all the garters and fence lizards and toads and salamanders I have been catching and keeping since the age of 5). He was my only herp for fifteen years. And once I started picking up more, none of them were animals I picked up for breeding. I had been a keeper for more than two decades before I ever started breeding. My intentional breeding right now is less about making money or five minutes of herp world fame and more about my personal mad scientist tendencies (I have wholesaled or traded at a loss more animals than I have ever sold). More than half of what I keep is for the keeper side of me (and if those species happen to breed I consider it a bonus more than anything because they are all species that are very under-represented in the hobby)

If you have lost the passion, the goal should be to do whatever it takes to get it back. If that means selling off all but your original pet animal and just enjoying him, then that is absolutely what you should do. If it means cutting back to just keeping and not breeding, then that is absolutely what you should do. If it means getting rid of everything and just taking a short- or long-term break from herps, then that is absolutely what you should do.

Whatever you do, do not let anyone make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself first and foremost. No one is living your life, so no one gets to tell you how you should live it.

And no matter what you decide, there are people here in this community, starting with me, that will always be here to support you


@t_h_wyman always has the best advice!!


Thanks, David. I appreciate that :+1:t4: :+1:t4:


Thank you for the long and very supportive reply. You didn’t have to take the time to type it out and post it, but you did! Thank you!

I was supposed to meet someone today to sell one of my higher end babies (a lavender bold stripe mack snow 50% pos het albino) but they ghosted me at the very last minute. On one hand, a relief, because he’s my favorite baby. On the other hand, a bummer because I thought I had one more moved along into what sounded like a great home…and finding ideal homes is hard.

I’m supposed to meet to sell a different baby on Monday so we’ll see if that actually happens.

I felt an urge to finally make those backgrounds for the geckos I end up keeping today after everyone else is gone. And surfed Facebook for used 36x18 Exo terras thinking they could use an upgrade…good signs, I think! Just wish I knew for sure how many I will keep. I don’t like not knowing but I can’t predict how I will feel either, so that’s that.

Just want to keep you all updated as you’ve been so helpful and kind!


You are a member of this community and I saw that you were struggling. Even with everything that had been said, I did need to add my voice because I, personally, am not going to let someone hurt if there is a way I can help.

Yes, a very good sign!!

And, if I may be a little presumptuous based on just this comment, I have a gut feeling that your loss of passion might be because of a disconnect from seeing the animals as the wee wild beasties they are.

If that is the case then pursuing the “wild” may be just the thing to help you get the excitement back. Go full crazy recreating a small piece of Pakistan to house one of your animals and then sit back and just watch how it behaves. If you doing that brings the zen back then consider building a second. Who knows, maybe in a few years what you will find out is that if you have a dozen or more animals, but each is in a cage that you have fully built out so that when you go into your herp room you are basically taking a mini-safari

Or you may make the first build and find that that was all you needed and so you stop there.

So long as you feel good, there is not wrong answer


THIS :point_up::point_up::point_up::point_up::point_up::point_up:!!


I think @t_h_wyman puts into words what we all feel in our hearts.
We want nothing but the best for you @nubs


Here’s a picture of my favorite baby for you guys!

Add images here


Amen! Just want to add my voice to that chorus.

You’re doing the right things. The hardest part can be deciding what to do. It’s fine to take those steps one at a time and take a much time as you need before deciding to take another, or not. And we are here, in your corner, because that’s what this community does.


And my male bold stripe, Sprite, for tax! He’s a handsome boy when he’s not trying to eat me. Lol


Super cute! Is that the lav bold stripe mack snow?

Honestly I wouldn’t mind keeping leos, but the bugs creep me out. Not so much the mealworms, I can do those just fine and my two mice love to snack on them, but their pupae specifically, and crickets. No thanks! lol


The baby is, yes!

The adult is a pure bold stripe, no other genetics.


I so appreciate this thread! I don’t think that anyone keeping/breeding reptiles beyond just a few hasn’t felt this exact same way at some point. Thank you Nubs for sharing your story, I’m grateful to everyone here for giving you the support you need to make the best decision for your Leo’s. We need more representation of the darker sides to keeping larger collections. The darker side to breeding. Discussions like this both serve to validate and offer support to keepers/breeders in the hobby that struggle with feelings like this currently, as well as offer new keepers looking to get into breeding/keeping large collections a raw perspective of what’s to inevitably come if and when they take that step themselves.

I only have 9 and one temp rescue awaiting placement atm, and sometimes I feel overwhelmed too. For me, it’s important to recognize these feelings as they come and take a step back to dig at the root of the cause. Most things are temporary stressors overwhelming me. Like how currently, i am finishing up a move to a new city. I have a snake room for the first time ever and it’s amazing! :star_struck: But the task of altering the room to prepare it for use with reptiles, while already having the reptiles in it, and not being able to set up one of their enclosures until all of the adjustments have been completed has left me feeling drained, guilty, (for keeping them in their emergency tubs for so long.) And overwhelmed while simultaneously dealing with every other stressor imaginable related to moving to a new area. I just set up three enclosures last night, i got a beautiful full shed from my juvenile bel bp. I had previously decided to do a collection-wide enclosure upgrade at the same time, including setting up my first ever PVC’s. Which in retrospect might have been biting off a bit more than i can chew. But i know that if i just keep going. Every enclosure i set up will be that much less i have to worry about. And if i keep it up, I’ll wake up one morning and it will all be done and everything will not only be right again, but it will be better than ever!

But then other times it isn’t so temporary… I had two crested geckos at one point that i loved to death and spoiled rotten. For the first handful of years it was awesome! Then after a while i started getting skilled enough in my husbandry to bring home a couple of my dream snakes. I slowly stopped giving them the attention like i was before. It didn’t bother me at first, because I don’t necessarily mind keeping animals I don’t interact with every day. But then their care started becoming something i hated on top of that. I hated the bugs. I had to travel across my city every week to buy new bugs because i couldn’t for the life of me establish a colony of anything. It took so much time and gas in comparison to my snakes, for which food showed up on my doorstep.
After a good couple of months and a few different failed methods to ease certain aspects of their care, i finally made the decision to let them go. The spark never came back for me. They were both happy and personable and sweet as a result of all of my love and care in their earlier years. I knew that they had the personality to be someone’s favorite herp in the future. It was hard, but i found a couple of ladies who checked all of the boxes. And tbh, looking back now, I don’t regret it. I might have done a couple things differently, but getting out of geckos was the right move for me. Having that experience taught me a lot about myself as a keeper. I’m a crazy snake lady. I love snakes. And while i may end up having one small spot in my heart for a single lizard waaay down the road, snakes are the far better choice for me and my lifestyle. I’ll never own a gecko again. And that’s okay.

This stuff is hard… I’m planning for my first breeding season in the next couple years as well. Who knows? It may not end up being for me either. But what’s important is that when you do it, you understand what your getting into, what the risks are, and you take the time to learn and do it responsibly. If you’ve done that, then you’ve done your part. Finding out it’s not right for you afterwards doesn’t make you a bad keeper. It makes you a better future keeper for all of your potential herps to come. Or not to come if you decide keeping is not for you after all.

I don’t mean to hijack your post with my story, i hope that in sharing my story you and anyone else who happens on this post and needs it can feel even more validated that you are not alone. As much as i also hope that in the future we all can feel a little bit more open to sharing our own stories. Because keeping reptiles, keeping LIVING ANIMALS in general, is a lot like being a parent. You are not always going to feel like the best reptile parent. Sometimes you might even feel like the worst. And despite all of the opinionated hot takes of every facebook-group-reptile-keyboard-warrior out there, this IS reptile keeping. If it were sunshine and daisies all the time and no one ever made any mistakes, or struggled at all in any way with their herps, everyone would have a reptile by now and USARK wouldn’t need to exist. But that’s just not realistic. (As nice as it would be for USARK to not have to exist.)

Take it easy reptile mama, you got this.


@auriea very well stated, ma’am. Thank you for sharing.


@nubs, if you need to talk or just share, there are people like Travis, myself, and others in this community that would listen without judgment. I think everyone of us here have felt the weight of the care of our animals. Please never think that you have to be silent and suffer alone. Heck, I am sure that some of us would even be up to giving you a call if you would like. There are enough things in this world to tear us down, our community and others shouldn’t be a source of that. You are in my prayers @nubs.


This is why I love and am proud to be a member of this community. By all means, DM/PM/text/call if you wish to. Here? Yes, we are here for the animals. We’re also here for their humans.


And another Amen for this here!! Im always around!


Hey there nubs! Welcome to our little family, and I’m glad you felt well enough to talk about how you’re feeling in relation to your geckos and just in general. I know from personal experience the struggle of having a small collection and wanting more, until once you’ve grown it seems like a mountain of work.

Personally, I’ve lost a lot of interest in ball pythons the past few months, the very species my entire breeding lineup is based around! I’ve had a very sick animal who requires a lot of extra care that has in turn pushed back a lot of my other projects. I still love all of my animals, but the outlook on the future seems to be draining. I get it. I’m so thankful I have wonderful friends in the hobby who are more than willing to lend a hand to me, especially when it comes to care. From simply being an extra set of hands when I do full substrate changes to babysitting some snakes when I need a break from everything, my friends have been so supportive and amazing. If you have the resources to, I would really recommend looking into having someone help out with your care, even if it’s just “the little things.” Sometimes having another person to break up the workload here and there can help you tremendously.

As far as your rehoming efforts go, I’m glad you are willing to look out for these guys in the long run as well. It can be hard to admit change is needed when you’re so attached to an animal, but I’m so proud of you for being able to speak about it and even make strides towards your, and their, long term success.

If you need a friend to talk to (about anything!) or if you’re stilling looking for homes for some of your kiddos, please feel free to send me a message. I have one leo who I currently adore and I’ve been kicking around the idea of a second for years now, but I’ve always wanted to help out one who’s in need, rather than buying from a breeder. I hope all ends well in this chapter of your journey and the love, excited, and general passion you felt for your animals returns for you soon.

Just remember, we’re all here rooting for you. :heart: