Pied breeding and choosing a good first investment

I’m glad I stumbled upon this my question is regardless of the research that everyone needs to be doing for their selves first off are pied ball pythons high in demands I know they hold their value because they’re considered a rarity in the ball python trade but what would be a good investment in the future when it comes to breeding my female to a male ball python I was thinking about a lemon blast, AXANTHIC, or another pied male to my pied female when shes of age she only 2 moths old. The breeder I got her from said she is a visual homozygous and maybe you can help me understand the genetic traits here from my research it says that 2 dominant genes have to be present in order to get a visual homozygous Offspring is that correct for my understanding? And in order to get more dominant traits you have to have a codominant which would be a better choice than any kind of recessive gene is that correct? Because it’ll be more of a expensive selling option when it comes to a choice of doing so?

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First off, they are not a rarity in the ball python market. Maybe besides Clown, Pieds are the most popular morph.
Solid investment for breeding even with a normal Pied.


If she is your pet imo keep her as a pet. Breeding snakes has its risks. Plus a clutch of baby snakes can be overwhelming for some. If your goal is to breed i would suggest another peid male with a dominant or co dominant trait. Like a banana pie or leopard pied.


I agree 100 pied are not rare at all.


There is a lot to unpack in that comment.

@mnroyals hit the nail on the head. Pied are actually the second most available on the market besides Pastels.

Piebald is a recessive gene, meaning both parents will need to be either visual piebald or het piebald.

Visual = 2 copies of the recessive gene, looks like a piebald.
Het = 1 copy of the recessive gene, doesn’t look like a piebald.

Dominant is the opposite to recessive, in that you only need one copy of the gene to pass it to offspring.

For example:

Piebald (rec) X Enchi (Dom) = Enchi het piebald (visual Enchi, non visual piebald)

This sentence confuses my brain :joy:. There are a few terms used incorrectly by the hobby that can lead to mass confusion. Here is a guide that will help you learn more about that … https://www.morphmarket.com/blog/2018/05/04/codominant-or-incomplete-dominant/

As for my personal opinion on what to breed her with, I would go for a Leopard Enchi Pied. But definitely do a lot more reading on here before you dive right in.


I am just going to repeat Deb here because everything you ask would be answered by:


This information is all correct on basic genetics. Spot on!


Pied are not rare however they are popular always have been and always will be they have that wow factor even among with non snake people, and as any recessive they hold their value better.

Before breeding you need to ask yourself the right questions and there are many that I have covered before.

The big first question is why do you want to breed? Do you simply make something you like but can’t afford, do you want a collection that pays for itself, do you want to make extra money (vacation, gifts etc) or do you want to make a living?

Regardless of what you want to do there is one common theme and it’s work with what YOU like because at the end of the day YOU will be caring for those animals, now that being said while it is all that matter if your goal is to only make something you really want and then stop if you want to have a collection that pays for itself or make extra money or make a living at it, what you like will have to me what is in demand and is selling, so getting a good grasp on the market among many other things will be essential.

Now this is from the market standpoint obviously before I would recommend anyone to understand the market I would first recommend them to get a good grasp on genetics (research, research, research)

People can still be successful in this industry (regardless of what they consider success) if they treat it seriously and understand what they need to do in order to remain successful in the long run, you constantly have to work at it, you can’t just buy two animals and think you will be successful for the next 15 years with the same 2 animals.

Now if you already have a female pied I would recommend (in a year) to look for a pied combo male, making more Pied is ok but why just do more of the same? Remember they are popular but there are plenty of them on the market as well. Pied Combos have come down in price and this is a great opportunity for new breeders. You can also work toward longer terms projects such as double recessive but it will take you years between making your own Double Het raising them and pairing them and selling what you don’t need when it comes to Double Hets or Hets is not easy when you are new.

So again it’s about what your goals are and what your market will be (local, shows, online), the key is to have a passion a goal and a vision and do a lot of research.


A post was split to a new topic: Newbie breeding question

My number one reason for me getting into the ball python trade and living community is because…

  1. besides having a normal day to day job that took hours every winter and treat you like a dog, I want more for myself it’s hard to save money with just that alone. my coworker had a 4-foot ball python ,male, normal that she didn’t want in her house anymore and she knew my love of animals to begin with, so I thought I would take a chance and try something new because I’ve done the fish, I’ve sold them and I wanted to stick my irons in different fires and see what else I could live my life for and discover and maybe reinvent the wheel.

(The big first question is why do you want to breed?)

Why- because I want to discover something new just like everybody else. I’ve always been fascinated with animals cats, dogs and now my new interest is that of reptiles a completely different direction from fish and cats and dogs and I love the genetics that I have seen so far and I want to see if I can be the first for something like many out there.

(Do you simply make something you like but can’t afford, do you want a collection that pays for itself?)

Right now if it can help me bring me above poverty level, as to haveing a day-to-day job so be it, I will do what I can to get myself out of this rut in order to have a collection that will eventually pay itself off and maybe come out with a new genetic discovery you won’t know unless you try.

…(do you want to make extra money (vacation, gifts etc) or do you want to make a living?)

Besides going into the massage field if I can have this under my belt as well and they can make me some decent money and help me with whatever living expenses that I need and want so be it, I’m right on board let’s go head fast and lets see what I can do!

Keep in mind that it is very challenging to make money immediately and you can’t count on it happening. It might cost thousands of dollars before you even make any money. The costs range from electricity to feeders to shipping and/or expo tables.


Took me 4 years before I had a return of investment on my breeding sales. And that was over 7 years ago.
Definitely not the business for a quick buck.


Let me share something with you, and I’m not here to be negative or rain on your parade. There is a certain level of startup investment cost that will be necessary to obtain the animals necessary for you to make a profit. Based on what you have said here, it doesn’t sound like you’ve got access to that kind of capital.

Don’t forget this either - there is a reputation to build. Let’s say that you acquire the right animals and do everything correctly from day one. You produce the first Super Blackhead Banana YB Pied. You literally are holding a $75k snake in your hands. If nobody knows who you are are, you probably are not going to be able to sell it.

Join a few of the FB groups that are specifically geared toward Ball Python beginners. There are discussions all the time on how the new folks decide on who are good breeders to buy from and who are breeders to avoid. The information is very, very enlightening.


While I agree with your point this snake isn’t a 75k snake. Stuff that fetches that kind of price is brand new genes. Like the first albino and piedball. Very rarely does anyone sell a snake for that price. But if you were the one who did have the first piedball or albino it wouldn’t matter who you are. That kind of stuff sells itself.


However keep in mind that new genes are mutations or line bred for possibly decades. You can’t expect or rely on getting that lucky immediately.
And as @projectpython said there is a lot of costs and I agree that it doesn’t sound like you could afford all of the


Breeding snakes
Heating elements
Water for cleaning and distilled/filtered water for the reptiles to drink
Money for an unexpected health issue
Shipping materials and/or tables at an expo unless you plan to sell your snakes by word of mouth (possible but takes longer) or have space to house the babies long term
and I’m sure there are many more that I missed

This is why it usually takes many years to even break even, let alone make a profit


There are other ways to go about this that I haven’t seen mentioned. Some breeders choose to stay out of the limelight and wholesale everything they produce. With that said, you could possibly buy a couple of clutches of Pieds wholesale (3.8 for example), raise them up. Produce 4-8 clutches a year, because some will not go every year, and wholesale your babies.

Back in the 80s and 90s there was a cornsnakes breeder from California, unknown to many, who produced 20k albino and snow corns every year. That’s all he produced and made $200k wholesale. Food for thought.


Thank you @osbornereptiles I feel like a lot of people consider wholesaling a bad word. A lot of breeders do very well that way.


I don’t see anything wrong with it and I’ve done it on occasion with animals that produce larger clutches. Most of the really big guys wholesale tons of animals every year.


I don’t either @osbornereptiles.


It does not need to take that long. But it requires more planning and discipline than most keepers care to do and have.

And to be fair it depends on the stock you start out with. Lots of variables. Good job IDing some of those “forgotten” costs, that some might not be remembering.