Preparation for Potential Breeding Project

Hey everyone! I’m a bit new here and to the hobby but I have experience in a few different species of lizards and snakes. I would very much like to start breeding in the near future (specifically sand boas and short-tailed pythons) and wondered if anyone has any advice they’d be willing to pass on! I won’t be able to actually start the project for a couple of years due to college, but are there any steps I can currently be taking to set myself up for the future?

Seems like a great community here y’all, excited to get to talk with all you guys who share the passion!



Ill comment a bit more in depth later, but for now, save money, research the animals and watch the market.


Quality in, quality out. This goes double for Bloods. Have contingencies in case you end up with mis-sexed animals, it’s pretty common with shorties. A pairing I had been working towards for this year might be a dud because of that.


Ok, that makes sense. I did not know that about bloods, thank you for that!


Ok, so i dont know about bloods or short tails specifically, however, i do know some about costs, genetics, and basic business principles.

For costs, youll need to look at how large scale are you going, and the quality of starter animals you are looking to get. If you buy cheap animals, expect low quality, this isnt a definite, but usually, you get what you pay for, the better looking the animal you produce, the easier itll be to sell. So figure out number and quality you want to start with and add up those costs.

Next, anticipate buying storage for all of your adults, depending on the number this could be hundreds, or this could be thousands. I have 28 snakes (carpets and balls) and my housing for them cost around 20k in enclosure costs, enrichment, substrate, etc.

Now, figure out electricity costs and food costs for the number of snakes / enclosures you will have. For me, its about 200-250$ a month for heating my tanks and about 100-150$ a month for food.

Again, do the math for your number, not mine, mine is just an example based on my 28 snakes, if you start with 4 (1 male, 3 females) then your costs wont be the same as mine. If you can accept these costs, then start looking nearby for exotic Vets, at some point you will likely need one, and knowing where they are and building a rapport with them will help you in the long run.

Now, research the animals, what care do they need, what is their clutch size, can you provide what they need, and can you handle the amount of young they will be putting out? If the answer is yes, now you need to factor in costs for storing the young until you are able to sell them, the cost of buying or making an incubator, and develop your plan for time management for taking care of the eggs.

Now its time for market research, what are the expected sell prices, what is the market saturation, what morphs sell well, and which ones sit around a long time. What morphs do you enjoy and would like to work with. Figure this out and now you are ready to put all the information together and do a cost analysis.

At this point you need to start saving up money, or plan to take out a loan to get you started, and unless you buy adults, plan for no income from this for the first 3 years, but you will still have expenses via electric, vet costs, substrate, and food.

If you can handle all of this, then once you are ready, get all your equipment, get it all set up, then once everything is ready, get your first breeder snakes and start your journey :). Remember that as you breed your collection will likely grow with holdbacks as you try to increase quality, and that snakes you have at first, you may end up rehoming to maintain space for the next generation depending on how serious you get into this. Care for your animals but if you are doing it to produce better quality, i dont suggest becoming attached. Give them the best care you can and enjoy them while you have them :slight_smile:


I think @verinium covered it before I could come along! Main thing is do your research on absolutely everything. Even things that are not at all related to breeding reptiles like where you are located (high population density/low population around you, distance from nearest freeway/highway, etc.) because chances are that you will not start shipping right off the bat. From my experience I believe you should gravitate towards doing local pickup at first to see what supply and demand is like in your area. (Also, if you are in an area that is generally isolated from larger cities/towns, shipping fees can be higher.)

Anyways, just do whatever you think would be ‘excessive’ research. Then you are ready :grinning:

EDIT: It is really not as scary as I just made it sound. 90% of costs, time, and ‘work’ will be preparation and getting everything set before you get them, and while you are getting started. After that it is mostly just fun :slight_smile:


Great point! I know my list was very long and had large numbers, but it wasnt me trying to scare you away from it. If you arent planning to start for a year or so you have more than enough time to do everything i listed and save up enough to start up a small scale breeding setup. I only went so in depth because the hobby is full of people who thought breeding was a get rich quick scheme, only to waste thousands of dollars and never see a penny in return because they werent prepared for the financial side of things. When it comes to husbandry and breeding of short tailed or bloods, i cant help much, but i thought i could at least give a good idea of what you should research to make you financially able to do what you want :slight_smile:


This is fantastic information, thank you so much! I am definitely not interested in breeding as a source of income, I just really enjoy snakes and would like to help produce quality reptiles for other people to enjoy and maybe at the very most the hobby will pay for itself. I will take all this info into consideration as I prepare over the next few years to take the leap. Thanks again guys!! If there’s anything else you think I should know, please don’t hesitate to share!


Wish i knew more about the specific breeds you were interested in so i could help there, i myself focus on carpet pythons and ball pythons and dabble in isopods, so sadly cant help much on the animal side of things :frowning: