To breed or not to breed?

MWheelock

Veterinarian
I'm fully aware of the ethics of breeding herps, but here is my question:

I am nota novice in the care or treatment of herps but have been reluctant in the past to breed any or all of the species that I have kept. I would love to breed chams in the future (panthers), not really for profit but for the experience. I know how and feel that I would probably be at least somewhat successful in hatching a clutch (with responsible lineages). My question is how to go from there.

Lets say I hatch and keep a clutch for >8-12 weeks. Who do I sell these chams to? Obviously I'm not keen on selling to pet stores whose motivation "may" not be in the chams best interest. I also don't wish to pretend that I have years of experience breeding, which I don't. On the otherhand, I don't have the facilities to keep 10+ chams that may hatch (+my two breeders.)

Do most first time breeders sell over the internet and maticulously (sp?) screen the buyers? Is the market strong enough that I will even be able to sell these young panthers? How do "responsible" first time/second time breeders disperse the young ones?

I guess I'd like honest feedback on how to go about this.
 

insecttrap

New Member
You have several venues including the internet, newspaper, pet shops, other breeders, reptile shows, etc.

When selling you 'babies' you just have to let go...It sucks but you have to just hope. You cannot hold everyone to your standards or else you'll have everything you raise. There are competent people out there, and better yet, help them along with guidance.

Prove me if I'm wrong, but what I notice that quite a few breeders and importers sell the adults after they get the eggs/babies because the babies take less room and food, therefore maximizing profit.

I breed my chams and I have 1 that I feel I cannot sell because his tounge does not work properly. I didn't breed him, but I raised him. It got worse over time, but he eats fine.

There is a lot of competition out there so I would go CB, cross my fingers and find a nitche.

Good luck.

Michael
 
If you're not going to be able to keep offspring for more than a few months, dont' do it. Here's why I feel this way:

As a hobbyist, you have standards. You love the animals, and woudl not want to just dump the babies onto anyone. Unfortunatly, if you cannot care for them, this is what you will end up doing - either they go to little billy for his 7th birthday present, or they starve in an overcrowded cage at your place. Unless you end up selling all of them ASAP, you're going to end up wiht some "hold-backs". It's difficult to sell babies unless you have a reputation, a following, money to invest in advertizing (not always worth it with only one clutch), or are willing to sel them wholesale, for dirt cheap. In which case, you may compromise your standards by selling to less desirable people.

I've always kept my breeding low -no more than 2 clutches at a time - so I can be choosy, and keep animals should I not sell them. I was able to cherry pick my customers, and actually refuse sales because they were inexperienced.

Breeding them is fun, watching the natural behavior of them is th ebest part of keeping them. but it's not so simple as selling babies - you have to feed and house them, and you have to be prepared to do it for as long as it takes to sell them. Not easy all the time.

If you know of a nearby reputable breeder, willing to buy you out, then that would be a good fallback.

Just consider all the little babies you'll be dealign wiht, and consider than pinheads cost as much as adult crickets.
 
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