Question on Investing into Breeding

Do you want to breed X snake or lizard? Maybe we can get some longer (+1 year) breeders to give some growth mindset about how to invest to breeding.
I mean personally I would like to breed boas in the future. What do you recommend, poss hets, hets, or visuals for starting a recessive project with a few codoms? My project that I plan to start, I will going strong on the recessive side of the available genes, and use codoms to reduce the chance of me producing a normal het X.
Or like how do time manage the cleaning, feeding, and other tasks that the snakes need? I know that most of us will eventually find our own rhythm about the whole thing, but it helps to see what others do.
Lastly I want to say thanks for the replies, these are not specific questions, but more or less a free-response kind of topic. Hope you have a wonderful day :heart:

Ps I want to say that I am nervous about trying breeding out. So hopefully this would help remove some of that.

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For someone wanting to eventually get into the breeding side of the hobby, I suggest identifying what morph or locality they wish to work with and get a female to start raising up.

If you have a recessive trait you are wishing to work with I’d look at getting a visual female if they aren’t terribly expensive, but if the morph you want is pricey I’d get a 100% het, raising up a female and breeding her with hopes for seeing a visual only to be for not is quite a kick in the pants.

Regarding the time involved, I don’t see a large amount of time being lost with the upkeep. I have 6 adults, and another 7 subadults. It takes like 10 minutes of actual time a day on average to check on them, give them fresh water etc. With maybe once or twice a week having an hour or so to clean up messes, and then about once a month where its a few hours doing full bedding changes, etc. Feeding is a cakewalk compared to keeping more picky species, so add in maybe 1-2 hours a week devoted to feeding which includes getting the feeders out to defrost. (No I don’t feed weekly, it’s averaging things out).

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Thanks for the reply @randall_turner_jr I think that puts a lot of my fears of getting way overwhelmed about upkeep to rest, because I am good at time management I just wanted like an estimate of how much time it really will require.

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My best advice, invest in what catches your eye, makes you smile. Whether that’s recessive or incomplete dominant projects. What matters the most is how your snakes and projects make you feel.

Sounds simple, but a few years back I paired an “arctic shadow” (hognose) with the same and produced no super arctics. My suspicion had been that the female was incorrectly identified by the breeder, and it was confirmed. It was a nice clutch, but I was disappointed to have missed producing super arctics… and if I’m being honest, they didn’t make me smile nearly as much as clutches where I achieved my goal. Last year, I produced het sunbursts (sable albino) and my absolute favourite from the clutch is a normal superconda. I absolutely adore the few that I held back; having that passion for the project (and animals) really makes all of the feeding and cleaning chores fly by.

With regards to visuals vs hets, recessives or incomplete dominant - recessives hold their value and visuals increase your odds. If you want a visual 100% het, save and work towards that :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the reply, definitely agree with making sure that I love what I produce. Thanks again :heart:

Things that I have learned over the years:

  • DO NOT follow trends - you do not become the next Kobylka by riding on his coattails

  • Set realistic goals for yourself

  • Expect failure

  • Expect failure (no, this is not an accidental typo, I am repeating it because it is worth repeating)

  • Invest wisely

  • Do not plan season to season, plan three to five seasons ahead.

  • There is no shame in walking away from a project that no longer inspires you. Do not keep slogging away at something that you no longer enjoy

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In the future I would like to try breeding quality Uromastyx so that they can have a better footing captive bred and stop being wild caught for the hobby so much.

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Agreed- work with what you like, recessives hold value better and expect failures, setbacks and adjustments to the “plan”. It all depends on what your end goal/desire is.

As for how long proper care takes is entirely based on how large of a collection you want to have. Size also affects your ability to continue to treat them like pets as the more you have the harder it is to take them out for extended handling so consider what type of interactions you want with your animals.

For myself- After having several reptiles as a teen/young adult I went about 20yrs w/o any, then my wife & kids surprised me w a Brazilian Rainbow Boa as a Bday gift. They had heard stories about my pets when younger and that I’d always talked about wanting a BRB. By the end of that year I had 6 “pets”, 1 of which was a large breeder BP (het gstripe) that I paired with a friends male pastel champagne and split the clutch. Care and handling were easy.

Now 7 years later and I have about 50 breeders plus holdbacks and grow ups. Producing 25-30 clutches/litters a year between BPs, Carpets, BCIs, BRB + 3yo Burm & Dumerils for next season. This obviously has an impact on how long cleaning/care take and how much individual “pet” time each one gets. I’m usually approx 45mins-1hr most days with increases for larger cleaning, feeding and baby season. This does not include expos, posting, responding to emails or shipping.

As for investment, I didn’t have a large chunk of $ to “invest” in being a “breeder” nor do I recommend doing it that way. I did a little bit each year and used those babies to sell, trade, “reinvest” in higher end animals (visuals/multi gene) & equipment. If you’re going recessives(expensive) I recommend getting a het female to grow up, in the time it takes for her to be ready the price of visuals should decrease and you can get a visual male that you can then put to multiple females for guaranteed hets going forward. Doing it this way I’ve just about doubled each season with the hopeful end goal of opening my own exotic pet store.

Although 2020 has certainly made me reconsider if a store front overhead is worth it. With the increase in online sales/shipping I’m considering just staying a “basement breeder” except I’m running out of room. I feel like my friends shop makes there business on the weekly flow of feeders (rodents/insects etc) and equipment. Selling an animal or 2 is nice but most people stop there and don’t usually buy dozens or the highest end/priced stuff. But no matter how few/many or expensive they were, they need food/equipment regularly and he’s always sold out within a few days.

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I love these points, I like to hear the true/hard points.

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Thanks for making this @lumpy, it was informative reading through the responses and I’m looking forward to more.

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I am also look forward to read more responses. I think I am one of those people that like to be over prepared before doing something, so it helps me to know others experiences, tips, tricks, and things that they would try different.

Same! I haven’t even got my first yet, don’t even know if I even like handling snakes as I’ve never had the opportunity, but I’m still cautiously planning for a breeding project lol

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Always start with what you enjoy! Your the one doing all the work so make sure it’s something you enjoy looking at everyday! I also agree don’t follow trends everything is hot at a certain point. Try to focus on a few projects don’t pull yourself in to many directions.

This is spot on! Don’t keep around stuff your never going to use.

The biggest point I say to keep in mind and it’s been brought up is to expect failure. You will have a lot of setbacks this is totally normal. You have to prepare yourself for that. If one bad season is going to make you want to quit then breeding reptiles probably isn’t for you.

Also better to start small and work your way up! Don’t want to suddenly realize you have taken on to much.

And it’s good to keep an open mind you never know who may share information that really helps you and your collection.

What makes the next big thing isn’t following trends it’s setting them.

Anybody can get a bunch of snakes and start making babies. But what sticks out whether your making pewters or 6 gene powerhouses is super high quality examples of them.

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@saleengrinch that is so encouraging, do plan to start small with my collection and slowly build into a few projects. Definitely when looking for advice on how to maintain a collection I would ask you

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I find the fact that you are so young and want to learn things and do things right encouraging. Gives me hope for the future of our hobby! Bravo Zulu to you Riley!

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Thanks for the compliment, I really want to do it right because I love the animals. Knowing that there are good breeders and ways to go about it makes me happy. I hope that I can start the process someday, but until then I am pleased to learn as much as possible, and even after I start, LOL :joy:

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This is good information from t_h_wyman. Could not have said it any better.

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BEFORE BREEDING: make sure you have room and resources to keep everything you produce because you might have to.

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Absolutely, it helps if you invest in to higher quality animals, and it also helps to have a community profile on here, you know how to prove that I’m not a scam

I started breeding corn snakes about 10 years ago. Started off with 2 females, 1 male, low end morphs. I now have 8 corns, some higher end, some mid range. I also started breeding crested geckos 2 years ago. This year I’ve got a small group of leopard geckos, and tomorrow I get my 1st male pygmy hedgehog to ‘try out’ before I then get a couple of females to start breeding. I love all my reptiles (not forgetting my dog!) And once u get a routine going for feeding, cleaning etc, it just becomes part of everyday life, like uve always been doing it. They really don’t take up as much time as what some people think. And as long as u have the time and the money to look after them like like u would ur own kids, then I say go for it!! I’ve never once looked back :blush:

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