What to do with retired breeders?

So I’ve been thinking about this for awhile and would like your guy’s suggestion and input. So my question to all of you is what have you done with your retired breeders? Did you rehome them or did you keep them as pets after they were done with their breeding careers? I ask because I want to know what to do with some of my older snakes in the future, they are by no means old but in 5 years time I could not see them breeding in that time. My oldest breeder is a 2010 female het clown and while she is not old she is definitely a good bit older then the majority of my other snakes but she is still a great eater and you would never know she is 10 years old. Thank you to all of you who take the time to respond!

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I have found homes for several of mine, that were too old or not needed in breeding plans, to make room. I try to be more picky about who they go to, because they are pets to me. A couple of times I have kind of regretted it though.

I’m actually currently worried about the same thing, I have several projects coming up that will require holding back a fair number of hets to advance the projects and I may need to make room. I have a few that are pet only quality or don’t really fit in for breeding but I’m having a hard time thinking about selling them.

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I have a 17 year old female het Pied laying 19 egg clutches. 10 years is just getting started with some.

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Since you are a experienced veteran in this industry then what would you say would be the maximum age to breed without interfering with their health? I know 10 years is nothing compared to how old some breeder females are still laying but I just want to know so in the future when the time comes I’ll be ready because as much as I wish I could keep a retired breeder I just dont think I could due to space restrictions and without it affecting the amount of babies I produce.

It’s probably not a set number you’re going to have to go by the individual I’m guessing.

Maybe a different question what factors lead you to know it’s retirement time? Do they just stop ovulating…I would certainly hope it’s not just standard practice to breed them until their health fails but I am with @nathan_e I’m curious to know how you make that call. Thanks!

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Well I heard that boas can breed until they die but wasn’t sure if that was the case for ball pythons.

In my case what will happen will be that I will retire before they do. :rofl:

Many breeders have females breeding well into their twenties. The oldest BP if I remember correctly laid eggs in it’s 40’s or late 30’s

As I upgrade my collection all the time my oldest female is only 10 years (that one is special and will never go anywhere) the rest of them are usually sold when they no longer fit in my project anywhere between age 4 to 8, and I plan on on retiering from breeding BP in 10 to 16 years depending on how things go with certain project I want to see come to terms.

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Admittedly I have not bred ball pythons myself, but it would seem to me that a snake who can live over 40 years should be breeding comfortably into their early 30’s as long as they are healthy and not over bred.

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This is a really fascinating thread. Thank you @nathan_e for asking about it. I’ve always wondered the age as well to “retire” a breeder. It’s something that’s never really discussed.

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Yeah thanks to @osbornereptiles and @stewart_reptiles I never would have thought they could breed as old as they do. Very fascinating and eye opening

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Ball pythons can live for a very long time. The St. Louis zoo had one imported as an adult in 1954. When I saw it in 2008 it looked as healthy as any of my considerably younger animals. That would have put that animal at nearly 60 years old at the time. Amazing creatures.

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Withdrew my post–it wasn’t about ball pythons, and I’m not a breeder. My corn snakes did produce fertile eggs but I never got any to hatch. I don’t have any other snakes.

Honestly, this is a personal decision. Depends on what room you have, the costs of these snakes, and whether or not you are attached. I have adopted out 2 retired breeders to a close friend, but have kept the rest. I personally don’t just get snakes to breed, they are my pets. If you don’t have an emotional attachment to your snake, then I think it is completely ok to adopt them out. My only advice here, is to be extremely picky when it comes to who you are allowing to take your snake. Make sure they know what they’re doing and care about the animal.

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Yes I completely agree with everything you said. I am emotionally attached to all my snakes but due to space restrictions I just cant keep everything. I really like the suggestion you made with adopting them out to friends or to be picky to who they go to and I can already think of a few people who would take care of any of my retired breeders in the future.

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Awesome, glad I could help! It is definitely hard to part with them, but makes it easier when they’re going to someone you trust!

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Could always sell them on MM proven breeder females will sell rather quick and could be helping an aspiring new breeder realize their dream faster :slight_smile:

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Have three 14 year old corns that are still producing just fine. In fact 2 of them triple cutch every year. Have two 11 year old ball pythons that breed just fine. An at least 10 year boa that breeds every other year. So far have yet to retire a breeder due to age.

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