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Old 08-09-2017, 03:40 PM
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Default Breeding Possibilities, Help Wanted

Hi there, I'm really interested in breeding but am unsure which breed to go for out of my current little mixed family. I have done research on all 3 but am unsure which would be best for first time breeder, and for the current market.

I currently have a pair of Royals, a female spider and a male coral glow. I am aware of neurological issues with spiders (any babies showing severe signs would always have a loving home with me), and the fact that royals are very popular, but are also bred massively already, thus thinking breeding them may not be a great idea.

I then have a male hognose, so a female would have to be purchased if I go down this route, same with my milksnake, which still needs to be sexed. As hognoses are a small quite popular breed but definitely not seen as frequently as royals, I believe these may be a better option. Except from the fact that even a first time mum could have up to 25 eggs!

And finally I have an unusual coloured milksnake, again needing to buy a partner for this route, milksnakes are quite popular and are not too big, and seem to not be that frequently on the market. Plus they don't have a massive amount of eggs. But then colubrids can be a bit cannabalistic and not being that frequent on the market may make it very difficult to find a nice mate for breeding.

Overall I'm basically just asking which out of the 3 would more experienced breeders and keepers suggest as a good first time snake to breed please.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-09-2017, 08:53 PM
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To be honest, I wouldn't breed anything, unless you are prepared to retain all viable hatchlings. The issue of breeding with the spider gene has debated at length here on the forum (just do a search or browse back a dozen or so pages), and I would urge you to seriously read through that posting before pairing your royals.

Hognoses are now as common as corns these days, so the market is as swamped as most other markets for royals, corns, and to some degree boa's so again, unless you have the buyers to take upwards of 20 young snakes, you have to think seriously about the cost, space and time to care for them if you have to keep them.

Having said that, it's not for me to say whether you should breed your snakes or not. That decision is purely down to you. But you did ask for opinions and I gave you mine
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:27 PM
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I agree with Malc entirely, but here's another way of looking at it;

Why even risk breeding tainted royals when you know that even some of the offspring may be "damaged goods"? Forget what other people do, it's not something a supposed snake lover would do, it's just a "for profit" exercise.
My opinion, no go.

Hognose' seem to be the snake of the moment. You may be lucky, or you may have missed the boat unless you breed something a bit special.
My opinion, 50/50 gamble. Passable risk.

Milk snakes have their fans (including me) but they are certainly not in vogue at the moment. The gene pool is that messed up in the hobby now with many, many milks reduced to just generic stripped snakes, instead of set sub species. Regardless of all the "it doesn't matter, they are only captive animals" arguments, they have definitely dropped in popularity in the last decade, and I think this may be why.
My opinion, high risk.

If you have to breed snakes (and honestly, you really don't HAVE to) do more research and pick something rare and desirable, and be prepared to wait 5 years for your results.

Other opinions are available.
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:13 AM
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as above.
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Old 09-09-2017, 04:38 AM
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my opinion on breeding in 2017 for the tiny amount its worth.

its a buyers market (often if the buyer doesn't like the price and trys to lower it, often considerably so, the seller will often take it for fear another buyer may not come along for a while or in their mind, at all), there are so many offspring for sale from so many home breeders. of those offspring the majority is comprised of a very few species ie royal pythons, boa constrictors, corn snakes, hognose etc etc.

my advice is sort of two fold, one the practical and the other the ideal

the practical
pick a species u love, breed it, but with the knowledge u may face difficulty in selling the entire clutch/litter in a short or medium timespan, breeding is almost a badge of honor many keepers seek often to the detriment of their beloved species (ie beardies).

the ideal (imho)
pick a species with a small clutch/litter size that isn't commonly bred anymore but that is still sought after, for example

pyromelana kings
situla rats
diones rats
rubber boas
rosy boas
mexican milks
etc etc

if ur working with a species a lot of people want but few breed or the clutches are small for the given species ie the number of animals available even from multiple sources is still small, u will often not have enough for demand.

these 4 things make a sale a yay or nay for many
an ethical breeder
quality animals
a good advert/classified - lots of info good pictures
willingness to use a proper courier

so its a combination of picking a species that stands out, producing healthy animals, advertising them properly and being confident enough in ur animals that you would prefer to keep it than sell it cheaply and/or to an obviously bad or unprepared home (iv actually given away some very nice animals for nothing because i liked the keeper, i knew the home was a good one, iv spent more time than i care to remember agonizing over the care animals iv bred and sold have received, were any abused abandoned resold, what became of them, especially the indigos because i consider them remarkable animals that deserve equally remarkable owners)

lastly, over time, and sadly this often only comes from an experience only many years affords you, the grind of breeding and selling in a swamped market makes u think back fondly to the time u just kept pet snakes, they didn't have to "pay" for their care with eggs/litters, the ownership was the payback. they could be the commonest species but u really loved that species, and ul often find keepers in this golden period of their hobby go from tub keeping to display cage keeping to recapture that feeling of those early days.

if i could pass on a piece of advice to a beginner breeder its that the breeding path isn't for everyone, for many it turns a pleasurable hobby into a chore and subsequently into something they give up, often simply from the pressures of no homes for their offspring. when u read in the classifieds "selling due to not having enough time to give them" thats people who are tired of selling in a market where 50 other people are selling the same animals, often poorer quality and cheaper, doubling the resentment and pressure.

seeing a baby indigo take its first breathe is something i will always treasure but what i miss most is my first pets, my first indigo, my first corns, my first kings, my first garters, when i had too much space and few animals, and time to make a connection even if it was only one way.

rgds
ed
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Last edited by loxocemus; 09-09-2017 at 04:44 AM..
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Old 11-09-2017, 12:33 PM
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^ This is the unfortunate situation I find myself in.

Historically, there were very few large scale breeders with the majority of keepers producing 2-3 clutches / litters each year which kept them and the hobby ticking over.

Nowadays the number of keepers producing 100 plus youngsters each and every year seems to be the norm.

Quite how ANYONE can provide optimum care to such a large number of adult animals is beyond me. Add to this the yearly influx of youngsters how can a) they ensure each receives the best of care b) is breeding the absolute best examples and c) finding homes for each of the youngsters really is uncomprehendable to me.

Anyway, to answer the original question, provided you have the means to look after the youngsters short, medium and potentially long term if required breed whichever species you wish. As others have said though, don't feel like you need to breed.
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CAVEAT: any opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences and observations - whether you agree or disagree with them is up to you!!

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Old 11-09-2017, 05:02 PM
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To be honest I am arguing with myself over a breeding program at the moment. 20 years ago I thought about breeding royals. I was already breeding cornsnakes, Gt Plains rat snakes, and Bairds rat snakes, and could sell the entire clutches three times over there was that amount of demand. I had acquired my male in 1990, and so started looking for a female, but then we started a family and things go put on hold as I was downsizing my collection, eventually ending up with just the one male royal. We moved in 2001, and I had a chance of expanding the collection again, but on a small scale, possibly three or four snakes, so I looked around and picked up a yearling female royal (both my male and this female were just normal wild "morphs")... so it would be another two to three years before she was of suitable age and weight to breed from.

By the time she was of breeding age, my male, who was 21 years old at the time, sadly passed away due to an abscess in his throat that failed to respond to anti-bioitics. So now I have a female but no male. This is when I started to become interested in some of the many morphs (prior to this I was very pro- normal types), and spend the most money I've ever spent on a snake and purchased a lesser platinum royal, again as a young six month old. So I had a further three years to wait until he was mature enough to breed from. So, in 2015 I finally was able to undertake my first ever breeding program in 20 years.... only to find out that the market had moved on and lessers were a fraction of the £200+ I had paid three years earlier. However I had buyers lined up if the eggs went full term, including for the bog standard normal royals, so went ahead. Ok the experience didn't bode to well and only one singe lesser was produced, but I gained from the experience.

Two years ago i picked up a lesser pastel yearling female, again with a view to commencing a breeding project this year, with a goal of producing a BEL (which I would retain as I've always loved the pure white BELs that the lesser gene produce)... but again, in this time frame, the value of lessers, pastels and lesser pastels has fallen, so the issue is do I continue with the program, knowing that there is every chance the complete clutch could be lessers or pastels and that given the current market I will no doubt have difficulty in selling them at a reasonable price. Or do I pursue my dream, and hope that luck is with me and I hit the odds and get my dream snake ?

Whilst I am happy to retain the off-spring, it would mean keeping them in a rack system, which goes against my own philosophy as I'm always advocating keeping snakes in vivariums.
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Old 11-09-2017, 05:45 PM
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pursue ur dream of ur white whale ahab/malc, whatever the rest sell for is worth it to complete a long sought after project, as long as they get good homes its worth the stress, as ul have this home made white gem for a long time, and as it grows ul think back that it was all worth it.

ps the first bairds i saw was around £250

rgds
ed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malc View Post
To be honest I am arguing with myself over a breeding program at the moment. 20 years ago I thought about breeding royals. I was already breeding cornsnakes, Gt Plains rat snakes, and Bairds rat snakes, and could sell the entire clutches three times over there was that amount of demand. I had acquired my male in 1990, and so started looking for a female, but then we started a family and things go put on hold as I was downsizing my collection, eventually ending up with just the one male royal. We moved in 2001, and I had a chance of expanding the collection again, but on a small scale, possibly three or four snakes, so I looked around and picked up a yearling female royal (both my male and this female were just normal wild "morphs")... so it would be another two to three years before she was of suitable age and weight to breed from.

By the time she was of breeding age, my male, who was 21 years old at the time, sadly passed away due to an abscess in his throat that failed to respond to anti-bioitics. So now I have a female but no male. This is when I started to become interested in some of the many morphs (prior to this I was very pro- normal types), and spend the most money I've ever spent on a snake and purchased a lesser platinum royal, again as a young six month old. So I had a further three years to wait until he was mature enough to breed from. So, in 2015 I finally was able to undertake my first ever breeding program in 20 years.... only to find out that the market had moved on and lessers were a fraction of the £200+ I had paid three years earlier. However I had buyers lined up if the eggs went full term, including for the bog standard normal royals, so went ahead. Ok the experience didn't bode to well and only one singe lesser was produced, but I gained from the experience.

Two years ago i picked up a lesser pastel yearling female, again with a view to commencing a breeding project this year, with a goal of producing a BEL (which I would retain as I've always loved the pure white BELs that the lesser gene produce)... but again, in this time frame, the value of lessers, pastels and lesser pastels has fallen, so the issue is do I continue with the program, knowing that there is every chance the complete clutch could be lessers or pastels and that given the current market I will no doubt have difficulty in selling them at a reasonable price. Or do I pursue my dream, and hope that luck is with me and I hit the odds and get my dream snake ?

Whilst I am happy to retain the off-spring, it would mean keeping them in a rack system, which goes against my own philosophy as I'm always advocating keeping snakes in vivariums.
__________________
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2017, 05:52 PM
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Don't breed for the market.

Breed a species you love keeping and are really passionate about.

At least with eggs you can destroy some of them early on, to only hatch a certain number - yeah you might lose out on getting that dream morph, if you are breeding for morphs but it's better to hatch a manageable number IMO.

Sadly you can be so picky with snakes that have live young.
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Old 11-09-2017, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loxocemus View Post
pursue ur dream of ur white whale ahab/malc, whatever the rest sell for is worth it to complete a long sought after project, as long as they get good homes its worth the stress, as ul have this home made white gem for a long time, and as it grows ul think back that it was all worth it.

ps the first bairds i saw was around £250

rgds
ed
Thanks for the support.. looks like I'll be dropping the temperatures at night then for the next few weeks and put them together at the end of the month...

I've already questioned her weight, and got the same response, that at 1200g (well 1261g to be exact) and at 2yr 3mth old she would be mature enough to breed in the wild, so I guess it's worth pursuing the dream.

Oh, and yeah Bairds were not cheap, even back in the mid 1990's... I think I paid something in the region of £180 for the pair that were around two years old...( using an inflation calculator that would be just shy of £330 in today's money). If memory serves me, I bred them at 4 years old and had around 11 eggs, they went for around £80 each to trade, and £150 privately. But this was in the days where you could sell a complete clutch of 28 baby corns (mum was a Carolina with dad being a Miami phase) to the trade at £15 a head!

Lovely snakes...., but not sure if the gene pool has been messed with. Mine were like this



But images on most retailers seem to show snakes that look more like grey cornsnakes !
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