Would you/do you keep animals that don't "spark joy"?

So this is just more of a general topic I was thinking of while cleaning out my rack/cages this morning, but do you keep animals you don’t necessarily love? Maybe it’s a morph you’re not a fan of, but you need it as a building block to make a combo, or maybe it’s just profitable to hang onto it for a while. Or it’s an animal you love the look of, but it’s got a less than ideal temperament and you hate handling it. Is it worth the time, costs and space to raise an animal you aren’t thrilled about and did that change depending on whether it was a hobby or a business?

Since there’s quite a range of people on here from hobbyists to large breeders, I’d love to hear whether you keep animals that don’t “spark joy” and why or why not?

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In my personal experience, no. I wouldn’t keep something that didn’t bring a smile to my face everyday. I greet both my snakes every morning and tell them goodnight when I go to bed lol. That’s why all my animals are considered family. I haven’t got into breeding snakes yet, I only have 2. And since my husband isn’t really interested in them, I give them more attention. I honestly think there’s no point in keeping something that doesn’t “spark joy”.

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I want to say, thank you for asking this question.
I’ve been want to ask a similar one for quite a while.

For me, myself, I just entered the hobby very recently, to answer the question: I wouldn’t want to keep an animal I dont like.
Mostly because I know myself too well, plus, I think it’s a little unfair to the animal.
I for the most part just want to keep them as pets.
Will I try to breed them 4-5 years down the line when they get older?
Maybe. But first and foremost I want to hold them and look at thier pretty patterns.
So I wouldn’t want to get an animal as simply a “means to an end”, I also want to enjoy them for what they are.
For example: I really like Mojave GHI, I have a Mojave, but I dont care for GHI.
But, I do like mystic GHI, and banana/coralglow GHI and both could get me babies I’d really like to own, so I’d get one of those two.
So even if I dont breed my snakes, I still like what I have.
I can understand why those who make a profession out would keep animals they dont care for, but if you’re not doing that, I honestly don’t see a point… but to each thier own right? :nerd_face:

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Well the short answer is no, all the animals I keep make me happy at some level but I do definitely like some more than others. Before my animals were taken I wanted to dip my toes in crested gecko breeding so I had a male and a sub adult female I was raising up but when the female was stolen along with the rest of my stuff it sort of made me lose interest in the crested gecko male I currently have but the only reason I am keeping him is for sentimental purposes because I’ve had him for a good bit now and also because he was the only animal left in my collection when everything was taken.

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Reptile wise from the breeding standpoint no I don’t and I have been called crazy before for not holding back certain animals that were breeding powerhouse and settle for animals that were similar but with less genes.

When I open a cage I want to have that wow factor otherwise it takes away from what I do, to me it’s living art and keeping something I do not truly like would be like hanging an ugly painting on the walls and have to look at it everyday.

Now pets it’s another story.

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I keep one of these animals currently. For me, its all about the responsibility I chose to take on.

15 years ago, I visited a local PetSmart. The girl working the section with the reptiles/fish etc. was a friend of a friend. She pointed out a black spiny-tail iguana that had recently come back to the store. A couple had come in and decided that it would make a “good pet” for their young son. They got the iguana home and the child picked it up and promptly snapped off the animal’s tail. So the parents brought it back to PetSmart because it wasn’t a good pet anymore.

I got hit with some extreme sympathy right there and ended up taking home a cardboard box full of anger, aggression, trauma, and wild-caught nastiness. I call him “Shredder” and he has despised me from day one.

Shredder is alive and well to this day and lives (caged) in my snake room. He has never tamed down and sent me to the ER once with a bite wound that required 8 stitches. When I have to clean the cage, I have to use a trap box similar to what venomous keepers use.

Once I put him up for sale or trade but ended up taking down the ad. Figured it might not be the best idea.

I care for him as best as I can because I took on the responsibility. But no, he is definitely not sparking any joy.

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That’s a good question! I’m a pretty new breeder myself, I hatched my first clutch earlier this year. I do personally have a Banana Super Cinnamon ball python that I didn’t really like the look of when I first got him (I got him from a grab bag contest so I didn’t purposely choose him, I was more interested in the other 2 that I could have gotten), but I kept him because I wanted to be able to make more Banana Cinnamon combos in the future. But he honestly started to grow on me recently? His grey color started turning into like a almost purple color in certain lighting and his bad attitude is getting better. I would say not to get or keep a snake that you don’t like the look of, but sometimes it can be worthwhile to keep them to further your projects (if you want to breed them) and who knows, as they grow you might just end up getting attached to them like I ended up attached to mine.


Here’s a picture of him.

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I know it may not be much coming from me but it is very respectable that you held onto him and decided to do the best you could. most people would have just given up on him. Glad to see stories like this even though the owner may not fancy the animal all that much but still tries their best.

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For me it depends on how confident I am that I could find a good home for them.
I had 2 horses and after college realized I would never get back into riding. One of them was very easy going and everyone loved him, I was able to find a wonderful new home for him. The other horse is a troubled old guy, he had abusive training and was never safe to ride and doesn’t have the best temperament. I was pretty sure he would end up at an auction and then slaughter, so I ended up keeping him even though he’s just a money-sink and I get no enjoyment out of owning him.
I haven’t run into that issue with my snakes yet, but I imagine I’d treat the situation the same assuming I could afford to keep an animal I’m not crazy about.

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I think it depends on the situation. For example if I really love clown and pied, but wasn’t in the position to buy a clown pied, I would get a clown and pied, make double hets and then try and breed for the double visual. The normal looking double hets might not be my favorite snakes in the world visually, but what they could potentially make would indeed ‘spark joy’. Species-wise, I don’t think I’d ever keep something that I didn’t really enjoy keeping, but having said that, if I was in a position where I was relying on breeding snakes to make a living, and breeding a profitable, popular species allowed me to also keep and breed something that I preferred, but would not be viable as a species to live off of, that might change things somewhat. I think as a hobby, your enjoyment has to be a priority otherwise you’ll just burn out and give it up.

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I have a normal type female leopard gecko, who hates everything. She bites me all the time and locks on any chance she can. She gets real tail whippy with me when I have my hands near her even when I’m holding her. She goes into her hide and back out to me just to whip her tail at me. She’s deffinetly no Shredder like @projectpython has. But knowing how she is, I couldn’t give her to someone as a pet, For her well being.

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I have a tokay and a red iguana that hate my very existence but I still enjoy interacting with them

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I like all of my critters, some I interact with more then others, but all of them make me happy.

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No, I wouldn’t keep them. I’d think it would be different if you were on the scale that you could hire out cleaning and feeding help. But as a solo breeder…it’s a lot of work. It’s not a lot of payout. I want to be happy with what I’m working with and get the wow spark of joy when I’m committing hours and hours every week. I’ll deal with a bit of psycho; they’re wild animals after all.

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I wouldn’t keep animals that I didn’t enjoy working with. I’ve sold a few because of issues that I didn’t want to deal with, mainly some animals being very prone to biting.
I just couldn’t handle trying to care for an animal that wants to bite everything that moves near them… like the spider enchi ghost male I had that would strike at the door frame when I walked through the door :sweat_smile::joy:
Though I chalked his temperament up to his genetics (spider) and lack of handling when he was a hatchling. I’ve noticed spiders can be a bit more defensive just because of how the stress is worse for them because of their wobble.

This gal tends to be on the defensive side as well, but she’s slowly starting to tame down with more handling. I can confidently handle her, as long as I’m gentle.
She does on occasion strike at my fiancé when he’s moving in front of her while I’m holding her, but for the most part she’s a balling defensive and will just hide her face most of the time.

I tolerate her because she’s an absolute powerhouse, and will be part of my suma project down the line. She’s a mahogany enchi pastel mojave het albino.

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No, I do not.

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In over 9 years of working with Spiders, I don’t find that to be true. And if kept at cooler temps, and correct husbandry all around, they don’t exhibit a wobble. I’ve worked with many Spiders that show no signs of a wobble.

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I’m really enjoying everyone’s opinions on this one, so many of these stories are so heartwarming.

I’ve been on both sides of this one in the past. I acquired my first ball python almost exactly eight years ago, he was a cantankerous and unpleasant yellow belly male. He would strike - hard, and whenever you were least expecting it. In the tank, out of the tank, no matter how careful you were. It was a little disappointing as he was my first ball python, and I wanted to enjoy being able to handle him. After a year and a half or so of ownership, one morning I went to check on him after waking up (as I always did) and while looking through the glass he struck right at my face and bounced off with a resounding thunk. That was the final straw for me, and I ended up finding a nearby breeder who was delighted to add him to his breeding program regardless of temperament, and gave me a friendly, pleasant and easy to handle hatchling in trade.

On the other hand, when I used to breed and raise dairy goats, a friend of a friend was scheduled to move across the country and needed a home for her three goats (mom and two daughters) that she loved with all of her heart. Her biggest worry was that they would be separated from each other. I agreed to take them, keep them together and keep her updated on their lives. They were the most poorly bred, unhealthy animals I’ve ever had, but kept my promise and let them live out the rest of their lives together because that’s what I signed on for.

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Adding on to what others have said above, another reason to keep an animal I don’t love would be out of a sense of responsibility, either because I purchased that animal and it’s unsuitable for most pet homes due to specialized needs, or if I was fortunate enough to be in a position to provide a forever home to abandoned or rescued animals, then I wouldn’t turn them away just because they were a species I didn’t love.

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I wasn’t saying anything against spiders, I own several individuals all with with little to no wobble, except a couple who tend to show their wobble more when being handled or fed.

I’ve worked with some spiders that a local breeder owned, they weren’t well cared for, and several were very snappy and their wobbles were horrible. That’s why I correlated the stress/wobbling with being more snippy. The individual I mentioned was actually purchased from this breeder, so… I’m honestly not surprised he had such a defensive demeanor.

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