Breeding ball pythons has been my dream for years. It’s finally becoming a reality, and I need some advice with deciding what market I should aim for with my first project.
Either I aim for the pet market and go with BEL’s and sell at local shows, or I aim for the breeder market and go with an Albino Clown Piebald project and sell online(handover at Hamm).
Is it a bad idea to jump straight into investing in a triple recessive project? Is it difficult to make it as a new seller with higher end snakes?
I’d love to work with the Albino Clown Pie project, I’m just worried the babies wouldn’t sell or I’d have to severely underprice just to get rid of them. (It’d be a couple years until I can produce a visual triple recessive, first it’d be double and single visual recessives with hets).
If you can only do one project, then the question to ask yourself is;
What do I want to produce? If there was no money to be made, what would you want to produce for you? What combo just gives you the chills? Whatever that is, then that is what you should produce, and then hope you can sell the offspring here later even if you have to discount them heavily to move them. This economy has made it so there is not much of a market regardless, unless you are producing the number #1 gene everybody is after. So what do you love? What do you want to see climb out of an egg. That and only that, should be the driving force in your decision.
The ball python market is incredibly oversaturated. Before you start breeding, know keeping and husbandry, know how to ID any genes you want to work with, know any gene issues, and be prepared to keep hatchlings long term - I’m talking a year or more - and/or reduce them HEAVILY to move them.
All of that aside, the best breeding project you can possibly choose is one you enjoy. Breed something you’re passionate about. Absolutely seconding what graysnake said - “What do you love? What do you want to see climb out of an egg?”
Thank you both, your replies have been truly helpful. Realizing it’s far too easy to get caught up in focusing purely on what buyers might want.
Anything pie or grey/dark has always had me head over heels, perhaps I’ll just start over there in my thinking. Blackhead, pie and axanthic could make for some amazing animals(wouldn’t mind keeping all those babies for myself!)
Firstly welcome to the forum
Cant say it better than @graysnake and @inspirationexotics
Do the morphs you love and what your prepared to keep if you cant sell them.
I would just add, I am sure things will pick up eventually.
The market will adjust. People will drop out of breeding who only want money and cant get right now, and the economy will eventual pick up. The economy always has picked up after a bust so far.
Maybe look a little longer term. Get something popular with a rarer het in it and hold back the babies for future breeding.
For example, I have some High contrast albinos het for genetic strip (I love albino high contrast genetic stripe.) Albino genetic stripe is rare where I live. let alone high contrast.
If I dont sell all of the hatchings I have future plans for them and will hold them back.
But that’s just what I like and what makes me happy.
Another thing I’ve learned over the last 6 years is if there’s a handful of a morph/combo available, you’re better off buying it than “breeding up” to it in almost every case. So whatever you go for, get in as far along in the project as you possibly can and you’ll be glad you did.
Regarding what’s good to work with - one of my main approaches is to mix a popular project with a couple of niche, rare genes that not many people work with or talk about, but that I think will shine in the future. The idea there is that the popular project is the hook so that I hopefully find wider demand. But with popularity comes a lot of supply, so in times with low overall demand the value of the really popular stuff craters the most. And with all these snakes selling for pennies, the amount of breeders out there producing that project without much investment to recover will probably keep the prices down for a long time. Instead, for now I can hold back my niche combos and work on them until the market restabilizes - and when it does they should have retained value a bit better from not being sold 10,000x over for rock bottom prices. Most people will still need to buy them if they want them.
I also try to think out 5-10 years where I’m trying to go with every breeding I do. And don’t forget about incomplete dominants
This is a really great idea and a really great way to see it. I personally do this with projects - one of my primary projects is desert ghost but I’m working on making hets for genes that haven’t been put with it yet - lace, nanny, darker genes with crypton, etc. Also working with monsoon but staying away from the commonly seen genes (mojave, special, pastel, cinnamon) and going for again lace, fire, het monsoon pied, etc.)
Welcome to the family @ragnarok! I am not a breeder but I still wanted to say Hey! You have most definitely come to the right place for advice! These people can and will help you with whatever you need!