Want to breed ball pythons?
Here are some things to consider. Thereís a lot to consider before you decide to put two animals together. This was written by a friend of mine on another forum:
As Ball Pythons (and reptiles in general) explode in popularity, more and more people want to try their hand at breeding. Some do it because they love the animals and some believe it is going to make them rich. I figured I would take some time to point out some things from my experience that people may not think about before diving in to breeding. In the end, these are living, breathing creatures whose lives you are responsible for. Also, there is a tremendous amount of cost associated with keeping and breeding these animals. Some things to consider:
1. Animals - One of the things that I live by when it comes to this hobby/business is, donít spend more than you can afford to lose. These are animals and your success in breeding them and making back what you have put into them is NOT guaranteed. They could die, they might not breed or you may not be able to sell offspring for what you planned to. Take this into account and be smart about your investment.
Just like in any other business, the reptile industry has its share of scumbags. There are plenty of people out there who donít care about anything more than making a buck. They will sell you sick animals or misrepresent the animals that they are selling. Use caution, do your homework and buy your animals from reputable people. It doesnít take more than a few minutes of research to find out who the good guys are in this business. Sometimes it takes a little more time to weed out the bad guys. Youíll need to make the ultimate decision about whether saving a few hundred bucks to buy from someone questionable is worth it to you.
This is not to say that there arenít a ton of great small breeders out there who donít have a recognizable name yet. I have personally met and become friends with many of these folks and they are where the RDRs, NERDs and VPIs were one day. Quality people that have yet to become a household name. People who are committed to producing amazing animals and treating people the way they expect to be treated.
2. Vet costs - Animals get sick, its a fact of life. If you donít have to ability to spend $200-$500 at the vet at any given time, then you shouldnít own or breed snakes.
3. Feeding costs - Be prepared to buy a lot of feeders or breed your own. Make sure that you have a local place to buy an appropriate sized prey item and that you will be able to afford the feed bill each and every week. If you plan to breed your own rodents, make sure that you have the space, time and money that it takes to take care of them. Just because these animals are feeders doesnít mean they deserve any less respect than the animal that they will eventually be fed to.
4. Caging and supplies - Make sure that you can afford to buy appropriate caging or that you have the skills/means necessary to build your own. I donít have the building skills so I have had to spend thousands of dollars in the last year on caging. Donít forget about all the necessary supplies that you will use. Disposable deli cups, cage liners, paper towels, disinfectants. This all adds up so be prepared.
5. Time - This is an intangible but a very important one. Having the necessary time to make sure your animals are kept clean and fed and records are updated is paramount to your success as a reptile keeper and ultimately a breeder. I spend many hours per week cleaning and checking my snakes and feeders. Some weeks I donít want to deal with it but it absolutely has to be done. There is no room to say, Iíll do it next week.