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Old 10-27-03, 10:30 PM   #76 (permalink)
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Geko, this is the reason why you will never make money at breeding and selling snakes:
"...and i know everything i need to know about the snakes i own."
With that attitude, assuming you already know everything, you're done for. I learn something new about my snakes every single day.
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Old 10-28-03, 12:12 AM   #77 (permalink)
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Thanks Jeff
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Old 10-28-03, 12:32 AM   #78 (permalink)
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Originally posted by morph
Favelle ive been reading all this crap just waiting for something too come off those fingers of you'res and thats all you give me.

That is what i was waiting for

Specializing in Large Pythons
Home of the "GIANTS"
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Old 10-28-03, 12:44 AM   #79 (permalink)
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Originally posted by geko
Seems like everyone eles is telling me not to breed for whatever reason i dont know but its not going to change my outlook on breeding.

I know i need time, money, education, and most of all pasion. All for of those i have and i will accomplish this project eventualy.
I don't think anyone is saying don't bother at all. Unless your friends are willing to lend you out hundreds of thousands, then you will need to do something else to help fund this. Just don't limit yourself to just that. Back up is very important because it can be very hard to make a living breeding reptiles. You will need to do something else until you can get your business established enough, which as stated, can take years and years. Hehehe... my dream is to break
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Old 10-28-03, 06:31 AM   #80 (permalink)
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Re: ...

Originally posted by Jeff_Favelle
What Ball morphs go for $100? I call those normals, not morphs.
You clipped my quote a little too tight Jeff...that was "relatively common corns, kings and ball python morphs". By this I mean most corns, some kings, and you're right...pretty much just normal ball pythons. Badly written on my part.

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Old 10-28-03, 12:30 PM   #81 (permalink)
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I would just like to point out a couple things real quick.

I have been doing this for years. And am still nowhere near self sufficient. I diversified to include education and jobbing snakes as well as some breeding. I am finally to the point where the animals support themselves, just not me. And that is using 3 different avenues. And getting amazing deals! I have well over 60 snakes (including large boids and pitvipers) and my feeding bill is down to about $100 every 3 months. I had to give away 400 mice and about 50 rats just to make room in the freezer for the next batch. But having a hookup like that is unlikely. But it is one of the main reasons that I break even. Most money from education goes into new housing, light bulbs, timers, etc. That pretty much eats up that money and the remainder goes into aquiring new stock. It aint easy. And I also have a full time job.

Someone mentioned opening a pet store. Talk about a TIGHT profit margin. I have seen enough come and go to know better than even considering opening a shop.

You also mentioned having a partner. Tricky business. You have two options. You split the rent and that is it (in which case it is a roomate, not a partner), or you build it like a business. All the money goes in the same pot, mix well, add expenses, bake at 350 and Voila, you could have disaster and lose a friend. Again, seen it happen. In my opinion, this industry is best kept with one owner. No fighting over finances, no getting permission to act on a good deal, noone else to blame.

Everyone suggests morphs. I would rather breed beautiful Guyanas and Eastern Diamondbacks and never make a living off snakes, than deal with morphs. But I guess that is just me. I prefer to build a reputation on quality, clean bloodlines than being the one with the latest freaky mutation. Choice I have made, others obviously choose different.

Another point is where you live. Canada has a population of less than 32 million. The U.S. has a population of about 300 million. About 10 times the population and most breeders here have full time jobs too. This is with a much larger customer base, more shows all over the country, and many more sites for advertising. Just something else to think about.

Just take it slow and easy. Never get the mentallity that you know everything you need to know about your animals. Start just pairing up what you have and try consistantly getting offspring for a couple years. Remeber that when you sell a baby for $100, that is not your profit. To figure out your profit, keep track of your expenses.

Cage Cost + Cost of parants + Cost of feeding Parents for a year (figure rodent costs first ) + substrate used that year for both parants + Timers + Lights + Water Dishes + Cost for Floor Space of cages (Rent Divided by Total SF of dwelling times SF of cage surface area) + Cost of feeding offspring + Caging Offspring and all the other expenses I mentioned. Divide that number by the total sellable offspring and that is your cost per baby. Subtract that from your selling price and the final number is your profit (it will prolly have a " - " in front )

Of course next year you breed the same snakes, you can deduct reusable items from that equation such as reused cages, etc. and remove the cost of the parents as you have already accounted for it the previous year.

That is how you know if you are at least breaking even. Don't rush it. IF you can pull it off, more power to you. But don't be discouraged if it doesn't work out as well as you plan. After all, any time you deal with livestock, you could lose everything in a day. Uncertainty is our only certainty.
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Old 10-29-03, 05:16 AM   #82 (permalink)
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Hate to be a wet blanket but yeah, I think that you should get your education and do the breeding thing as a sideline. If you are able to make enough money in time then that's great but if not you will have something to fall back on. Either way I'm afraid that you have to learn, learn, learn.
If there was an easy way to make money, odds are I would have found it by now.
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Old 10-29-03, 06:04 AM   #83 (permalink)
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Geko, this topic is pretty damn good I tell you that, and now that everyone has joined in in an effort to help you out and give their opinions its pretty cool that people actually care and do reply.

Here is my .02 >>>>> Breeding snakes is fun, really fun and the most a breeder will get out of it is the pure enjoyment of doing something they love..........NOT THE MONEY.........Big breeders who actually do, do this for a living don't have just snakes...........they have shops maybe in one or more locations in the world and they really only specialize in a few breeds of snakes.

The rest like supplies, feed, other animals come from wholesalers that the owners purchase from. If a breeder only has snakes ( a few species) then they are really having to work a 9 to 5 job.

My point is, a pet shop is probably the easiest way to go if you are planning to go big with reps. and even then you need to have other critters. Although MONEY is involved in this also you have to work your way up.......little by little (just like Pop always says).

This way by having a petshop, you can supply everyone (public and internet) with much more than just snakes and a variety of things to choose from, especially other herps and mammals.

If you decide to take this road, you may be working at your petshop with a 16 or 17 year old kid who loves animals too "I wanna open a petshop one day", and by the time you know it you'll be at home getting calls for orders, not even worring about your shop. But is takes time and money and 100% detemination to get to these points.

After you business is steady you would already be breeding your snakes and making money on them......The truth behing less money is more in Bulk.........and thats what petshop owners do.

I honestly see to it that the only way you could make a living off snakes..............well and many other to open a really nice shop........or become a herpatologist <<<<I am going for>>>> or secret venom from the worlds deadliest in a lab.

Hope this helps a little,

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Old 10-29-03, 07:56 AM   #84 (permalink)
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I'd like to add my two cents too. Canada only has 31 million people, 5 of which live in TO alone. Canada has all the breeders it can handle as it is. Just ask the "big" guys how they did at this years shows. Plus think about this, all the big guys with the exception of maybe two that I know of hold down real jobs on top of their herps. Even Jeff Rohan has a real job. Also the guys that are trying to do this full time aren't working with corns and balls. They are working with stuff that no one else in the country has. Of which most of the offspring they produce is shipped over seas. This mean they have to be registered and legal and pay taxes and all that good stuff so that they can get the export permits they need. Have you thought about that part of it? If you are going to do this full time then you'll need to set up your buisness with a tax number so that you can claim your income and pay your taxes.
If you want to try it I say go for it but make sure you do your homework because in the end if you don't do things right the animals will suffer and we can't have that. We're not talking about trying to grow potatos, we're talking about living things who's welfare must be put first above all other things, including profit. Know what you're getting into because in the end if you shut things down you will need to know well in advance what you are going to do with the animals in your care.
Finally breeding animals is one thing selling them is another. Like others have mentioned you need to have a reputation to sell anything. For most of us it's not just about having animals, it's about having the best animals. I can get ball python hets all over the place but I chose to get them from Don P. I can get Kenyan sand boas all over the place for as low as $60 but I chose to pay Roy S. $125. I could get Jungles or Brazilians from a pet store but I would rather pay double after shipping to get them from Jeff F. There is a very short list of reasons why I buy from these people, they are the best at what they do in my opinion.
Think about those guys and what they work with before you jump into the ring. If you try to sell what they are selling you will have a hard go at it. You may what to try and bring something new to the table.
I hope this was not too negative, that was not my intention. I just wanted to try and offer another perspective on things. Making money at this can be done but like it has been said start small, think big and never ever forget about the animals!

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Old 10-29-03, 08:43 AM   #85 (permalink)
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Well Said Trev.

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Old 10-29-03, 12:27 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Trevor, did you write that BEFORE work? Damn, I'm still wiping the sleep from my eyes and you're writing novels???? LOL!

Well said.
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Old 10-29-03, 12:41 PM   #87 (permalink)
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Originally posted by BWSmith
Everyone suggests morphs. I would rather breed beautiful Guyanas and Eastern Diamondbacks and never make a living off snakes, than deal with morphs. But I guess that is just me. I prefer to build a reputation on quality, clean bloodlines than being the one with the latest freaky mutation.
Couldn't agree more!
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Old 10-29-03, 01:33 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. Jeff....I wrote it at work, you know the "real" job. Don't tell my principal. hee hee.
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Old 10-29-03, 03:27 PM   #89 (permalink)
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A lot of ppl (many that i dont even know) have contacted me regarding why i have suddenly decided to sell off ALL of my blood pythons.
And since my name was mentioned, i guess this is as good of thread as any to let ppl know whats up.

I few years ago, i found a species of snake that i liked very much so i decided to work exclusively with them. i worked hard at acquiring only the best of specimens and found myself with a fairly nice collection.
I did the website thing, built the rep, pondered on the idea of making a living off of it but thought realistically and decided to just have it as an intense hobby with hopes of eventually acquiring some albinos and hopefully breeding them, and continuing to work with this awesome species as well as provide others with my offspring.

I hope i showed over the past couple of years that this was never just for the money (cause money was never made), and i think my work on my website and the knowledge i gave on the forums proved that. Believe me, when i say i really loved the animals.

I sacrificed alot of time and money just to acquire and keep healthy animals in proper caging and with proper husbandry.

All the initiative, smarts , and passion was there, HOWEVER, i was lacking time, space and money to fully satisfy myself.

i got to a point where i had close to 25 snakes in a small apartment that no longer held any individual value other then there worth.

They were being fed to reach a breeding size, rather then being fed to just watch them grow.

They were being checked on, to see if they were breeding or ovulating, not to take out and handle just for the fact of handling your pet.

There temps were being cooled, not because they needed it, but because it was neccessary if they were going to breed and produce babies.

They were being kept in rubbermaids, not because they liked living in little plastic boxes, but because it was more space efficient and meant MORE SNAKES!

Basically, what im trying to get at (incase you havn't already figured out) if you decide to go "big time", there will come a point when you are no longer really interested in each snake and like them for what they really are when you have 100's of snakes, bills to pay and you are RELYING on these animals to produce babies to cover those expenses.

I felt like I got a ton of bricks dropped on my head when it finally hit me , and it was upsetting to say the least. I for one didn't get into this hobby to make it rich. i got into this hobby because i liked the prehistoric look of those rescued iguanas, i liked how those boas were so damn clingy and never wanted to get back in there cage. i liked how that little poison dart frog could be so small yet have such awesome colours.

So my advice to you is, if you love reptiles, is let the other ppl breed and make money off herps (if they make any at all).
Enjoy your animals and finish school and think about getting into a different line of work.
Because when you come home from a hard day from where'll enjoy feeding your snakes.
But when you stay home day after day, cleaning up *****, changing substrate, buying and selling animals, and spending 1/2 your day with rodents, you wont appreciate those little things anymore.

and for me, that is why i keep these reptiles.
I am now very content with the 3 snakes i am keeping now. i gave em big vision cages, heat panels , plastic plants, and even flourescent lighting!!!! (if you can believe it..LOL)

And for the record, there are rumours spreading as to why i am selling my snakes (dont ask me why?) and i hope the above has clarified that for anyone wondering...
So please let me sell my snakes AND keep my dignity at the same time.


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Old 10-29-03, 05:44 PM   #90 (permalink)
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grant, even though thats a great story, and i think geko should really consider things, i doubt he will since others like corey woods and jeff favelle have told him to go for it.
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