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Old 09-26-12, 07:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

Well, everything I read says the idea won't be profitable, but the numbers just don't add up.

I want to rent a 1200sqft warehouse with central AC, and breed bulk regular snakes to sell to petshops.

The key factor in keeping this afloat would be I breed my own prey items.

I've been having a lot of success with my current snakes, keeping the room temperature warm and not using a heating pad. Here in FL, I don't think they're necasary unless you keep your house extremely cool.

So essentially 90% of the overhead would be water, electricity (which wouldn't be too high), and rat/mouse/rabbit food.

If for instance, I could sell retics for $50 a piece at a low end average of 50 snakes per clutch, and had 2 retics that I bread every other year. That's $2500 a year for two females and a male.

I plan on breeding little bit of everything, pythons and boas.

The way I see it, if I had a couple hundred snakes, big and small going every other year, I could make some pretty decent cash flow.

The main reason I want to do this is because I'm crazy about snakes. I may be trying to shoehorn a business into an area where there shouldn't be one, but if I gotta go to work 8 hours a day, I want to be hangin around snakes.

This is something I'm planning on starting in 3 years, so I can build up my breeder collection now.

Is there something I'm missing when it comes to the overhead? I don't see this as a high overhead business if you're breeding your own prey items, but some seriously profit can potentially be made selling snakes in bulk.
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Old 09-26-12, 07:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

Unless you produce what is new and high end and you can find buyers it is very difficult to make a decent living breeding snakes......

The "petshop variety," low end wholesale type snake cannot keep a business afloat because you will not find enough buyers.......

One cannot get rich off of something someone else has gotten rich off of....you must produce some first of their kind morph or breed something every one else isn't.....

Just my two cents after 20 years in the business.....and I still have a great paying day job....lol
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Old 09-26-12, 07:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

Pet Shops are not gonna buy retics at $50 a piece
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Old 09-26-12, 07:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

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Pet Shops are not gonna buy retics at $50 a piece
Why not? My local petshop is selling them for $130, and I've seen ads on kingsnake selling normal retics for $70.
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Old 09-26-12, 07:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

Breeding snakes is more of a hobby that when done correctly can pay for its self, but I don't know anyone who has quit their day job breeding snakes, I'm sure a few people on here have done just that but its a big investment right off the bat. Not trying to bash your idea but its very difficult to make a living doing this. I recently got into it and have no plans of getting rich, I simply have a passion for snakes and enjoy working with the different morphs.
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Old 09-26-12, 08:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

If you go into breeding snakes hoping to make money, you either never will, or you barely will. The only people who seem to make any real money on it started breeding for the love of it, rather than for money, as its extremely hard work for not a lot of money and you're responsible for many lives, unlike many other small business endeavors which may fail, you'll be stuck with a lot of baby snakes, especially at first where you dont have an established name/customer base.


If you're really adamant about it, start small. Do one clutch and go to an expo, and see how hard it really is to breed snakes, then multiply that by a thousand for a full sized one.

Also - If you think you're going to make a profit at $50/retic, you need to rethink your finances..
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Old 09-26-12, 08:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

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Why not? My local petshop is selling them for $130, and I've seen ads on kingsnake selling normal retics for $70.

Why not just open your own shop?
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Old 09-26-12, 08:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

Also - if you plan on having that many snakes, it wont be "8 hours per day" it will be far more than that. Keep in mind paperwork as well, businesses are a lot more than "give me some money ok heres a snake"

Look at the people who move "lots of snakes", they have multiple employees, tons of overhead costs, etc etc.
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Old 09-26-12, 08:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

Do you know anyone who has a breeding business? If so talk to them and see what they say. If you do not perhaps you could try to contact an established business owner and tell them about your interest and intentions in their field and see if they might talk to you about the ups and downs. I personally know very little to nothing about breeding but if my plans were to venture into any field I was unfamiliar with that is how I would approach it, almost as if writing a senior thesis on the topic. That way you will get first hand accounts of how the inner-workings of a breeding business works.
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Old 09-27-12, 07:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

Most breeders are lucky (and content) if they stay in the green (i.e. break even). There may be occasions where you'll make some extra coin here and there, but like others have said, do not expect this to become means of substantial income. Those that have crossed that threshold into a fulltime "business" have invested countless man hours and a lot of their own money to get things started. Its not going to happen overnight.

And Wildside is right. This is more than a fulltime job. You will CONSTANTLY be cleaning cages, building cages, feeding animals, inspecting new animals, caring for sick ones, etc. This is not a "get rich quick" endeavor where you put snakes in a rack, feed them and change their tub once a week and expect money to pour in.
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Old 09-27-12, 09:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

I have to agree I know 5 different BP breeders in my area and they are fighting for tables at the expos to try to move these snakes plus they are also advertising and shipping out of state. Good luck to you!
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Old 09-27-12, 10:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

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Originally Posted by rmfsnakes32 View Post
I have to agree I know 5 different BP breeders in my area and they are fighting for tables at the expos to try to move these snakes plus they are also advertising and shipping out of state. Good luck to you!
But ask them what it took for them to get to there.
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Old 09-27-12, 10:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

And breeding rodents isint as simple as a male and female rat. You have to pay attention to them as well, in the case of having as many snakes as you would have you would need quite a few but not too many, just another aspect in the big scheme of things
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Old 09-27-12, 10:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

Start small. Breed a few things than get bigger over time. Most pet stores buy from importers its cheaper then buying from breeders.
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Old 09-27-12, 11:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Thinking of starting a snake breeding business.

You have a LOT to learn before you jump into this venture.
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