I think you misunderstood what I am saying.
Of course the collection will always cost you money. And yes, you would have to feed the parents to get them to breeding age, regardless. Whether you breed or not on any given year is not the issue, the food and consumable bills will still be there. What was said is ultimately the day the eggs pop out, the hatchlings have not cost you anything but the time, effort and funds to get the parents ready. Obviously once they are living animals then the cost on that animal starts. Most offspring will consume what food is needed to get them off to a good start before they are either sold to wholesalers,petstores or private individuals. So the hatchling cost still remains relatively low.
The fact remains, you still have the parents, you still have your initial equipment, and now you have the babies to sell. This is not crazy talk. It really depends on how you want to look at it. Just like in any business, equipment (or animals in this case) simply becomes tools of the trade and assets to the company. Once they outlive their usefulness then they are disposed of. Naturally there is a cost associated to hard goods like hatchling racks, tupperware, bowls, etc. but if amoratized over the life of its usefulness, represents a small part of the overall investment. All that has to be taken into consideration when doing the math.
The short sighted view is "It's costing me all this money to get things going" The long sighted view is "All this money I am spending will pay returns downstream". If anyone is in it for the quick buck, then they will get their eyes opened pretty fast.
Regarding the "get rich quick" type of business. I won't disagree, that there are many in the hobby who are in it for the money only or under the impression that herp breeding is the" be all end all" to financial success. But realistically how many animals will they have to sell to get rich. Resellers, will pay a premium for the animal in the hopes of moving it at a higher price, there's a risk in its own. Importers may have to put out huge chunks of cash to buy inventory from overseas and of course there are many risks there as well. Retailer have their overhead to deal with. Anyway you want to move animals, is still going to require a certain amount of financial output, dedication and effort. Very few people actually make a decent living doing nothing but selling animals they produce. I am sure you are well aware of the fact that most people in this and other forums, do have day jobs, and that their other "job" (keeping of herps) starts either before the 9:00 am whistle or after the 5:00 pm trek home. I don't see many getting rich here.
Anyone who keeps a collection for breeding, will pay dearly in maintenance, dedication and sacrifice in both time and resources. Large or small, the demands on every breeder are high. But I truly believe that those people that breed, do it for the love of the species and the experience learned. As far as I am concerned it is one of the best hobbies anyone can get into. Always something new to learn, always something to do, always something to experience, always someone new to meet.
If you are able to offset your costs and your time, and maybe make a profit in the process, then that's great! There is nothing wrong with being rewarded for our efforts. But I would never consider this to be a "get rich quick" scheme.
Likewise I would never fault anyone for buying the things they like just because they were successful in what they did or do. We all have a right to the finer things in life. It is up to the individual to make it happen. That goes for anything in life, herping included.
Last edited by jwsporty; 05-30-04 at 01:35 PM..