Attn breeders

flyingpanther

New Member
Any breeders care to speak about some of the experiences they have had getting into the hobby and/or business? ie. time involved, money involved, pitfalls, etc. How rewarding has it been for you?
 
Tyler, here are some very trustworothy articles that you should read, all of them have important details that you should know and come to realise if you are thinking of breeding any chameleon, or starting a company.

I'll let the actual breeders tell you their experiences, but I know that you will invest for years before you will even begin to acheive the level that your chameleons can support them selves, and pay for their own costs of keeping-- let alone make some minute amount of profit. If you can push through those years with integrity and without compromise to their health, husbandry and good ethics, than maybe you'll be successful, if not then a little more experienced. ;)

The Costs of Keeping Chameleons by Dave Johnston

The Business of Breeding by Bill Strand

Breeder Ethics By Kristina Francis and Jason Descamps



And last but not least, the kicker:
The Joy of Chameleons By Ed Kammer
 
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studiocham

New Member
Any breeders care to speak about some of the experiences they have had getting into the hobby and/or business? ie. time involved, money involved, pitfalls, etc. How rewarding has it been for you?
Getting into the hobby: I had a really good experience, as I started talking to senior keepers early on, owned mostly CB animals, and vetted everyone immediately. 1 out of the 12 WCs I have owned did not survive acclimation, the sad little Hamburg melleri. This is why I have such a comparatively upbeat outlook on the hobby. I believe other newbies can have good experiences if they do their homework before they buy a CB, and go to their vet at the first sign or sense of a problem.

I have not yet tried to make it a business as such, though I did sell my homebred melleri babies. I didn't make anything close to breaking even, but that wasn't my aim anyways. I do not raise my own bugs, either, so there is a big expense.

Time: spent tons more time than necessary because I didn't have an indoor mist system for the first 6 years! Everything was hand-misted!

Money: spent a lot, and even so, I spent a LOT less on my hobby than others have spent on their many attempts with cheap WCs. CB is a great value for the money!

All I know is, I had some collections of non-living things, and I sold them all, and I don't miss them. The chams are worth every penny.

Pitfalls: not starting out with automated watering and wasting all that time. LOL More good apples than bad in this barrel, but did order from a bug guy that sent garbage, and two cham dealers (one WC, one CB) that sent chams not as advertised. I avoided most of the common pitfalls by buying CBs, vetting everyone, and staying alert to changes.

Rewarding: I can't measure how much enjoyment the hobby has provided. Great people, great resources, beautiful chams and cham pix to see, and a sort of infectious hunger to learn more. I think of my cham room as an art museum, just walk in and look whenever I want to see something beautiful. I also am lucky that I've had pretty sweet-natured chams, so I've had some wonderful pet experiences that rival mammal pets.

Are you thinking about becoming a business breeder or a hobby breeder?
 

flyingpanther

New Member
Thanks for the feedback Kristina. Hearing peoples experiences with these amazing creatures helps a lot! I am curious as a hobby.:D
 
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nalbar

New Member
First post here, but I could not resist.

Making money breeding any animal should be the ‘dream’ that a person aspires to. It is extremely difficult. You should keep animals because you love them, and then the babies become a ‘byproduct’ of good husbandry. Reptiles are the pinnacle of this theory. Unless you breed your own food, you won’t make much money, virtually all reptiles consume several times their value in food during their life time.

Even so, reptiles (and the attempt to breed them) are a pretty cheap hobby compared to other things. And the space requirements are far less.

Do it because you love them. Read Studiocham’s post. Studio’s love flies off the page. I bet her animals are more expensive than a ‘commercial’ breeders, and more difficult to buy (because of an insistence of them going to a ‘good’ home), but worth the money for the assurance of healthy animals. This is the conundrum of breeding any animal. In order to make money, you really have to turn animals into a product and ‘farm’ them. You never look back at an animal sold, and deaths are just lost ‘inventory’. Are you willing to take that step? If the answer is ‘no’, then not much (if any) money will be made.

So to answer your questions;

How much money invested? A lot. Thousands over a few years, with no return in sight.

Time? A lot. All free for a few years, then you will make 50 cents an hour.

Space? At least one rooms worth.

Death? Not as much as the bad old import days, but enough to harden your heart.

And after all that, you have to deal with selling inventory. It's not as easy as you think. Go to any reptile show and watch the vendors, particularly the cham sellers. It's no 'day at the park'. I have been there, and will never go back. If you won't go that route, then it's a web site, shipping, constant emails from 'never buys', sob stories and worries. Think you can sell to local stores? My experiences with them is that they are mostly....hmmmmm....well lets just say they have a business to run and leave it at that.

Do it because you love them! Start slow, that way if you can't put in the work (or hit your 'health of animals' limit) you can back out and not get hurt. I have bred and sold all sorts of animals, and regret not a single experience. But it IS work.

But what hobbie isn't?


nalbar
 

studiocham

New Member
I bet her animals are more expensive than a ‘commercial’ breeders, and more difficult to buy (because of an insistence of them going to a ‘good’ home), but worth the money for the assurance of healthy animals. This is the conundrum of breeding any animal.
Man, you're good. Yes, I screened my buyers. It sounds like no big deal, but when you have 40+ babies to sell, plus all the additional emails from tirekickers, late night phone calls from interested parties who are drunk or high, ya know... it can be time-consuming and trying on one's patience.

Through screening, you meet some brilliant, dedicated people you might never have known if you sold your "stock" to a retailer. The best part is getting progress pix of your "babies" from their owners!:)
 
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