Reptile Business Article

Investing in the Reptile Business

(Written by David Chan)

Anyone can get into the breeding of reptiles as a business; it can be a large or small operation.  The key to any business is to have a passion for what you are doing.  If you love reptiles, then this could provide you with a little income each and every year.

 Investment Advice:

 1)      When getting started, it is best to invest in snakes in which you have a passion for, this way you can enjoy the ownership and breeding of the reptiles.  It is better to have 2 pairs of say a Salmon boa than to have only one pair of this and that as the numbers will increase your rate of success.  Focus your efforts on specific breeds as this will enable you to have quality and not become too diversified trying to breed everything under the sun.  You will have more success by focusing on a certain bloodline with multiple pairs.

2)      Don’t over extend yourself with too many animals as you well know it takes time and dedication to provide the proper caging and environment for each animal.  You should be able to spend the time it takes to take care of them, without over extending yourself.  These animals are a life that deserves nothing but the best from you.  I always say, treat your animals like you wish to be treated.

3)      One of the biggest mistakes we made was when we first started investing in the snakes, was we ended up buying inexpensive boas.  The time to take care of them would be the same as if we had bought a more expensive snake and the return would have been much greater.  For example, we started with a purchase of 2 pairs of regular boas, bred them and ended up with inexpensive boas that few wanted to purchase.  Now had we bought say 2 pairs of say albino boas, we would have been further ahead.  The 2 pairs of original boas gave us a total of 30 babies averaging in price of say $125.00 each.  For a $1200.00 investment we were able to turn that into $3750.00 versus, nothing to sneeze at mind you but, had we invested $3200.00 into the albino boas, dealing with the same numbers, we would have had 30 babies and the return on that would have been $24,000.00.  For an extra $2000.00 the return was almost 7 times the investment in inexpensive boas.  For an extra $2000.00 the return on investment was $20,250.00. 

4)      Always buy from reputable breeders as this is your investment.  You want to know that who ever you purchase the snake from has taken the time to make sure the animals are healthy and well taken care of.  Normally, reputable breeders will aid you when you have any problems or need some information and advice.  Build a good working relationship with your breeder and I can guarantee you that it will pay off in spades.  You may end up paying a few hundred dollars more than from someone else, but will you get the service and help when you need it?

5)      It is always better to buy babies than to buy an adult breeder.  Think of it this way, who in their right minds would sell an adult breeder who can breed and produce babies right away?  Many times, we have seen people make investments in these adult animals only to be disappointed that either they do not produce for them or the health of the animal is not at it’s best.  Understand that when breeding reptiles and any animal for that matter, they should be in the best of health and properly taken care of.

6)      When selecting your breeding stock be sure to see that the animal has nice clean crisp patterns.  Check out the breeders facilities if they are around your area, if they are not, check out some of the forums for reptiles and ask about a certain breeder, the odds are, if they are bad breeders, the word is out there. 

7)      Having patience is the key to this game.  Think of it this way, investing in reptiles is no different than any other investment, it takes time to reach your goals, for those who wish to take short cuts, the odds of success is greatly reduced, for those with patience, they will be rewarded with the fruits of their labor.  Hopefully this will be a business that you have great passion for and therefore will be something you enjoy doing.  It takes years to build up a good inventory of great snakes, the longer you have been in the business, the odds are the greater the potential of return on your investment provided you are buying quality.

We hope the advice above has given a bit of an insight into the reptile business.  If there is anything you would like to know or would like some advice on your investment, please feel free to contact us anytime, either e-mail or give us a call.  We got into this business as a pet owner first, then the bug bit us and we now have joined the ever growing business of reptiles.  It is our hope that you will enjoy this great hobby as much as we have and we look forward in sharing our passion with others. 


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