Where to begin?

A buddy of mine wants to get into breeding and I will help give him pointers/advice while setting up his breeding operation. My question to all of you is what morphs and combos would be best to start out with for him? Just some basic combos and single gene combos that are affordable for him to start off so he can have a decent variety. I myself didnt want to tell him what to get because I was all over the place in terms of what project I wanted to do. Keep in mind he dosnt have a set idea or project. He just wants some nice variety in his collection.


Myself if I was to get into breeding right now would spend out on a piebald combo male (3-4 gene animal) and buy het pied of specific morphs I like (banana, lav, albino, clown, Ghi)

I don’t see piebald going anywhere soon, if anything they will bump up more in desire (not that they already aren’t) when we start seeing monsoon pieds and Pompeii pied and so on.

I know a lot of big breeders are breeding 4,5,6 gene animals to each other but they have been at this a long time and have a set “design” they are after. Without first building up and seeing what each morph can do you can’t really set yourself a plan in terms of what you want to work with.


If it were me I would get some clown combos
Maybe a pastel leopard clown male and a spotnose female with 2 other females of his Choosing
Some other great combos are highways
Super pastel butter
Banana spider calico
Super black pastel het pied and a black pastel pied as a pair.
Those are just my thoughts on some great animals
You could also go clown het pied and pied het clown


Im not saying I disagree completely… but I’ll present the other side of the coin.

Personally I’m always a fan of investing heavily into fewer animals that will put you a couple generations closer to producing those more unique animals and combos instead of just buying up a bunch of single gene animals and going from there.

There’s a trade off, sure, but I guess it really depends what a persons goals are. If you’re serious about wanting to build a viable business (or side business) you’re going to put yourself years and years behind producing your “dream animal,” by just buying some cheap hets/single genes.

If you just want the experience and that is what matters most to you, you’d rather learn that way even at the expense of what I mentioned above, or if you don’t have a long term “goal” of what animals you’re pursuing to produce, then I agree just get your feet wet and go from there.

But you CAN have a plan/vision of what you want to go for without spending your first 5 years producing single and 2 gene animals. It just requires you to spend significant time in a planning phase before you act.

Also in general with recessives I’m on the other side of that coin now too. Get visual females (single gene like pastel pied etc) and if you’re going to use a het get your 3-4 gene male as a het. You can cut your time almost in half to your first power crop of multi gene recessives by producing a visual male the first year and breeding him back to your females that you already raised up.

Interested to hear others perspectives. There is more than one road to the prize


I am all for going for what you like the most. I personally love VPI axanthic combos, as well as dark combos. Someday I plan to get into VPI lightning pieds. Your friend should do combos with whatever he likes the most. I recommend picking up some hets of some genes though, and maybe one visual. Like a couple het females and a visual male. Recessive genes are always fun to work with and in demand.


Also I agree with @tlindenmuth429 as far as clown and pied being good recessives to get into if he is interested. Both have more or less “bottomed out” in their market but still hold steady and no reason to think they’ll be any less valuable 3-5 years from now. Pieds have held steady for a long time now.

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Also last comment then I’ll shut up and watch everyone else discuss but everyone is quick with the old “you have to go with what you’re passionate about or you’ll lose interest” bit.
I agree…but if you don’t ALSO put equal thought into what is marketable and what will be viable to produce and sell, you won’t be able to grow into a sustainable business…or even a sustainable hobby. For most of us it’s not realistic to say I’m gonna be the next millionaire with Justin and Brian etc…but if you at least want your hobby to be self sustaining and not a lifelong drain on your personal finances you better not shy away from thinking and planning the business aspect.
Sometimes we seem to treat the business side like it should remain unspoken about and like money is a dirty word but if you don’t plan for that and you’re always pouring personal finances into it…well that’ll burn your “passion” out eventually.
So basically if you want to be in it for the long term you need to plan.


Thank you man @thecrawdfather

I have a few generally strong single genes (banana, butter/lesser, GHI) as they go nicely into a lot of combos, but the rest of my animals are ”powerhouses” (4+ genes). If one wants a larger, more varied and cheaper collection to start, smaller gene counts all the way. But I’ve found it rewarding to save up a bit, have less snakes, but more power in a few of them.

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Pieds and Clowns seem to have a grasp on the market as a whole. Our focus has been on Pied combos since 2005. I’ve always loved Pieds and we produce a few new Pied combos each season.

As a new breeder it could be difficult to move animals of higher value if you don’t already have a reputation in the hobby. With that said, sometimes those new high-end combos could be what puts your name and animals in the forefront. From a physical breeding standpoint, there is no difference between a normal Pied and a 4 gene Pied combo. If you have the means to get a head start, why not?

We like clowns too and continue to expand on that project as well.:grin:


If he is serious about doing this HE needs to figure out. I have said it before people without a plan and without a vision are generally the ones that will fail and have a collection sale within 3 to 5 years.

Someone that wants to be serious about it whether they want to have a collection paying for itself, making a little extra cash or making a living need to treat that like they would a business.

They need to study the market, figure out whether they want to vend at shows or online or both (the demand is different), they need to know what is trending what is not, they need to know about market saturation in regards to some morphs, they need to understand and be willing to make a significant investment, they need to have the commitment, passion and taking all this in consideration and work with what THEY like.


I’m happy to see this question asked…and being answered by those with experience! My son bought a BP from a local breeder who was selling his entire “collection”. I’ve always wanted a snake and I have been caring for her since he brought her home. (I basically said you’re just turning 18 and too busy so can I be her mommy for now kind of thing) My son turned 18 Dec 8th. He’s my youngest. So being that I’m a new empty-nester…I am absolutely in love with my “Fiona”. I have spent so many hours researching, reading, and learning about BP morphs, breeding, DIY habitats, etc…and I have spent quite a bit of money on 1 snake because I enjoy crafting projects and I was missing having a “pet” to care for. So I don’t know much but am very curious as well about the possible answers here…i do know how to play the annoying toggling game called heat versus humidity and warm to Cool gradients …and egg crate false bottoms with fiberglass screens and hydroponics …etc etc…and am about to add a small water fountain feature in Fiona’s new home. Long story short…my son was told Fiona is normal “het piebald”. I am dreading the day he wants to take her back…and I plan to get one or ten…of my own. I would love to do some small scale breeding…maybe have 1 male and 2 females and just try to produce a couple clutches for the fun of it and the love I’ve developed for these awesome creatures. That being said…Fiona is only about 1 1/2 ish so not ready for a couple years…I am curious as well about which morphs make what…ive been using the morph calculator and I understand the very basics but want to learn more…like ???what male would any of you choose if you could only get 1 male to breed to a normal het pied female??? I will say that I’m in love with Axanthics. Thank you for the awesome post feed! Good luck to you and your friend!


Thank you for the reply and the insight. Yeah for him it would just be a nice little side hobby. Hes not looking to make money off of it by any means. It’s just something he’d really want to get into for himself

My other half and I are new to breeding. We have planned to start slow. Over time we have gathered some of this and some of that. Our main plan is to watch them grow before selling so we can learn what genes can do over time. We will probably hold back more than we should. Financial goals would be to make a little more than it cost, in order to reinvest into more equipment and snakes (not just ball pythons). We raise our own food supply, that will also help financially. We have plans to produce what we want to see as number one on our list, while keeping an open mind of what other people might like to see or buy. Different end goals will have different starting points. There are plenty of comments above to get you thinking. Good luck to your friend as they find their starting point.


Thanks for the advice! Will definitely show him everyone’s imput. It’s amazing that one of the great breeders such as yourself can help the rest of us!

Well, i’m also just a newbie to this but if there is a snake i would kill for, it would be banana axanthic (super) enchi pied. So far i’ve got this one malemaker banana enchi het pied and now i’m looking for either axanthic enchi or axanthic (het) pied female or something of that sort. Just imagine - tiny strawberry marshmallow danger noodle! A queenbee on the side wouldn’t be bad either. After all, i’m not planing on having more than a handful of snakes, at least at first. Again, so far i only ever had my little boy Helios as a pet but damn, axanthic (or bamboo as a plan B for that matter) are so beautiful! The only problem is that the market in central Europe is quite poor - mostly just hobby breeders like hopefully myself in the future, hardly anyone with more than 2 clutches per year so i guess you can imagine how waiting for the right snake to be born can be a pain in the ass.