What Happened to the Reptile Hobby?!

dhm198555

New Member
So I went to hamburg yesterday and I can't tell you how....disappointed I was. This was the first show I went to in probably 6 years so was incredibly excited. I had my 6 month old daughter with me for her first show as well as my hubby-to-be. I was really into the hobby when I was younger but decided to get out of it for a while. I was really young (in high school) and wasn't mature enough anyway, made a lot of mistakes.

Anywho, as soon as I walked in all I saw were ball pythons as far as the eye could see. At least half of the field house was nothing but balls. Irritating enough what really bothered me was I asked all those breeders why they were all only doing ball pythons and you know what they all said. "Gotta pay the bills." Not ONE person said to me they bred them, yes to pay the bills, but also because they LOVE the hobby, LOVE that species, or just LOVE the diversity balls have right now. From what I remember about this hobby, we all were in it because we share a fascination and love for all things scaly, not just to make a buck. I watched many of them just manhandling their animals, treating them like dollar bills instead of living breathing animals, who feel stress, feel, excitement, feel pain, throwing them here and there, stuffing them in boxes too small. I overheard a lot of conversations between venders and not one was about the excitement about an upcoming hatch, general talk about their favorite species. Only money. Money money money. What happened to our wonderful hobby?!

I was disgusted and disheartened that the hobby that I have loved my entire life has lost a large piece of itself. From what I saw yesterday, the soul of what made me love this hobby so much was dead.

The upside to all this was there were still A LOT of people who were there simply because they love reptiles. Nothing more. And I only hope they can get a foot in and replace all the money grubbing breeders out there and still hold onto their values.

By the way (and I don't care whop this pisses off) STOP BREEDING BALL PYTHONS TO DEATH! You can only line breed and selectively breed ANY species of animal before you start damaging it's genetic make-up. Is ruining an entire breed, and again, is driven by greed.

I think this is why I've been gravitating towards the chameleon community because that spark of fascination and love seems to still be here, you all truly love the species you're keeping simply for being the amazing, beautiful animals they are, without any real need for messing with thier genetics. I gotta say that the couple cham breeders that were there that I talked to never mentioned anything about money, only how much they loved their choosen species.

Thanks for reading, lets try and restore our hobby to what it used to be people!!!
 

boosh96

Member
So I went to hamburg yesterday and I can't tell you how....disappointed I was. This was the first show I went to in probably 6 years so was incredibly excited. I had my 6 month old daughter with me for her first show as well as my hubby-to-be. I was really into the hobby when I was younger but decided to get out of it for a while. I was really young (in high school) and wasn't mature enough anyway, made a lot of mistakes.

Anywho, as soon as I walked in all I saw were ball pythons as far as the eye could see. At least half of the field house was nothing but balls. Irritating enough what really bothered me was I asked all those breeders why they were all only doing ball pythons and you know what they all said. "Gotta pay the bills." Not ONE person said to me they bred them, yes to pay the bills, but also because they LOVE the hobby, LOVE that species, or just LOVE the diversity balls have right now. From what I remember about this hobby, we all were in it because we share a fascination and love for all things scaly, not just to make a buck. I watched many of them just manhandling their animals, treating them like dollar bills instead of living breathing animals, who feel stress, feel, excitement, feel pain, throwing them here and there, stuffing them in boxes too small. I overheard a lot of conversations between venders and not one was about the excitement about an upcoming hatch, general talk about their favorite species. Only money. Money money money. What happened to our wonderful hobby?!

I was disgusted and disheartened that the hobby that I have loved my entire life has lost a large piece of itself. From what I saw yesterday, the soul of what made me love this hobby so much was dead.

The upside to all this was there were still A LOT of people who were there simply because they love reptiles. Nothing more. And I only hope they can get a foot in and replace all the money grubbing breeders out there and still hold onto their values.

By the way (and I don't care whop this pisses off) STOP BREEDING BALL PYTHONS TO DEATH! You can only line breed and selectively breed ANY species of animal before you start damaging it's genetic make-up. Is ruining an entire breed, and again, is driven by greed.

I think this is why I've been gravitating towards the chameleon community because that spark of fascination and love seems to still be here, you all truly love the species you're keeping simply for being the amazing, beautiful animals they are, without any real need for messing with thier genetics. I gotta say that the couple cham breeders that were there that I talked to never mentioned anything about money, only how much they loved their choosen species.

Thanks for reading, lets try and restore our hobby to what it used to be people!!!
I wholeheartedly agree with you that BP breeding is pretty much out of control. It's pretty sad how few breeders there seem to be who aren't just in it for the money. However, you'd probably be extremely hard-pressed to find, say, a chameleon breeder who's just out for a quick buck. I just wish the whole reptile community was still truly passionate about the animals.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
I agree whole heartedly!! I am so tired of seeing the latest ball python morph for thousands of dollars for no reason and nothing but ball pythons at shows. I like ball pythons but come on!

I think honestly you are seeing less of the weird reptiles at shows is that people are becoming more educated in general so people are less likely to buy some of the most unusual species (only to have them die off from improper husbandry later). And if there is less of a demand, then fewer will be offered. There used to be wild caught box turtles at all the shows I went to, but I think regulations have tightened up, there are fewer in the wild so they're harder to collect, and more people know that wild caught turtles are not as healthy. International species protection has gotten better, and I think more people are a little better educated and don't jump at the coolest thing at a show as much anymore. This may not be the main reason, but I'd like to think it is.

Which leaves the friggin ball python breeders to take over the joint...they're cheap and easy to breed so people do it for the money, not the passion. I just bred my chameleons for the first time and I was so excited for eggs to watch! I love just watching the little ones climb around and grow. I'll be selling them but I did it more for the fun experience and to pass on my sweet boy's genes since he's the most friendly chameleon I've ever met. I think the overwhelming majority of chameleon keepers and breeders are still fascinated by these crazy critters and that's why you still see so much care in our hobby. And aside from the translucent veileds I'm super happy that no one is trying to do anything to crazy with their genetics!
 

Ninkylou

New Member
I would have to agree. I recently went to a show, have also not been for a long time and was astonished at the tables with deli containers of every different kind of reptile. It's like puppy mill breeding. They don't care what they get as long as it brings top dollar. So in the case of Balls (I have a normal Ball, by the way and am lured to looking at them) they want morphs, I was amazed at the number of morphs there are now and the cost of them. I agree with you questioning what it is doing to the genetic line. All of the traits that we are seeing in morphs are ones that more than likely would not survive in the wild. That can't be a good thing.

I know that I would never buy a reptile at a show. Not just because of these breeding practices, but so many people man-handling the critters and never washing their hands. I saw the vendors just handing snakes over to people left and right and back and forth.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Have you seen the new scaleless ball python? Like the scaleless bearded dragons? So glad people are aiming to create a less healthy animal just because it looks cool...just like bulldog breeders. The best bulldogs often need artifical insemination because they can't breed naturally, c-sections because they can't give birth naturally, nasal passages too small for their bodies so they can barely breathe, terrible skin problems exacerbated by excessive wrinkles, etc etc. Please tell me why this is a good thing and costs thousands of dollars?
 

Ninkylou

New Member
Have you seen the new scaleless ball python? Like the scaleless bearded dragons? So glad people are aiming to create a less healthy animal just because it looks cool...just like bulldog breeders. The best bulldogs often need artifical insemination because they can't breed naturally, c-sections because they can't give birth naturally, nasal passages too small for their bodies so they can barely breathe, terrible skin problems exacerbated by excessive wrinkles, etc etc. Please tell me why this is a good thing and costs thousands of dollars?
Unwanted job security for Vets I'm sure...
 

dhm198555

New Member
Wow! I was just trying to let out some steam and already such a response!

See! This is why I've been gravitating toward the cham community. I posted this same thread on fauna and I would bet 100 bucks the responses aren't going to be so positive.

It's made my day to read the responses so far there's still hope!

I almost picked up a really cute little female ambanja at the show from some very nice breeders, the name escapes me but I think it was Chameleons 4 You, and I'm sorry I didn't but I did get a bunch of supplies, feeders and a boamaster cage for my female beardie.

I didn't hear about the scaleless ball though! I know about the beardies and they always make me so very sad when I see them, why would you WANT to make something that needs to be lotioned up everyday just to be able to survive under the very lamps that were made for that species?! I actually picked a female beardie up a while back to breed to my male but have since decided she's a leather one so im not gonna breed her, to scared of seeing one of the silkies (such a nice sounding name for such a horrible defect, isn't it?) pop out of her eggs. I saw scales rats snakes there though. Looked horrible.
 

dhm198555

New Member
HA! I actually just poped over to fauna to find my post already deleted.....goes to show ya......

EDIT: Nevermind, guess I had already forgotten where I put it, still there. lol. Sometimes I swear my marble are mush:D
 

drcrossfire

Avid Member
Eventually all the designer markets will crash because the only people buying the expensive ones are other breeders.

Expected market crashes: ball pythons, leopard geckos, bearded dragons, and crested geckos.

Lol

Though I'm pretty sure we will see some more designer chameleons coming in the future. I'm working on some red/white lines.

Can't wait to see the first pied panther. :)
 

loon

New Member
Now I know this situation not just happen in Asia, but also other places in the world.....
 

leedragon

Avid Member
way too much irresponsibility from the breeders, which breeders really try to find live out home to their animals? how many do really plan where their offspring is going to go.

the such thing beginner animal, what happens to the animal when you´re not a beginner anymore?

and the unnecessary trying to get morph in the chameleon comunity, why breed a morph? if you want a blue one there is blue ones, if you want a red there is red ones, if you one big ones there is already big ones, if you want it with one, two three, four horns there are already chamelons with like that, why the heck screw up the animals
 

dhm198555

New Member
Horrified....

I was just trolling the ball forum site and came across a thread from someone asking about what kinds of morph defects there are. This is one of the responses...

Yes, they are weird deformations, but I don't think they impact the snakes ability to be a snake. And I don't think the snakes are intelligent enough to care. The impact of these is all in people's perception, although the fear of other, unseen complications is real.

The scaleless can't be that bad. I don't know why people think it's so horrible. They still have skin. Just no armor.

This right here is the sad reality of the very real situation going on inside our wonderful hobby. I know this isn't very cham related, and I do apologize, but chams are part of the greater reptile community as a whole and I hope and pray never becomes affected like the poor ball python. I just feel like you all truly "get it" and can help me sympathize for these species and listen as I vent my frustrations on the subject.

I wish one of the top breeders would put their foot down and start campaigning to stop the overbreeding and greed that's overwhelming the reptile community. There's only so much someone like myself can do to try and cause a ripple in a pool full of cement. Anyway, thanks for understanding everyone and listening while I let off some steam:)
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
Sadly, we are the minority in the herp world. Snakes dominate for some odd reason and have been for some time now.

Breeders, sure they may care for the animals but for 90% of them in the end its to make a buck. This is especially true for the ones doing shows.

How i can tell people/vendor/breeder are genuine. They educate before the sale and hand out care sheets with there animals afterwards.
 

Zen Reptiles

Avid Member
The hard facts are the supply/demand dilemma. That, and.....the economic situation makes for an interesting combination.

More people are becoming entrepreneurs to make an income for themselves because the traditional stock market/salary earning has proven to leave millions of people by the wayside and the reality is there are a lot of people who lost everything over the last decade.

If you have 1,000 people breeding ball pythons, and 100,000 people seeing how easy it is to make even a small profit.......there's going to be a MASSIVE market to sell to....market being hurting citizens trying to make a buck...They care more about putting food on the table than their snakes, and rightly so. This is just the economy evolving in our 'sector'.

Honestly I don't see it as a bad thing. Considering nature is much more cruel than even some of the worst husbandry, there's a need for balance with economy (think: logging, mining, mills). There will always be an impact on the living world, but for the sake of civilization. The worst example in recent history was harvesting whales for their oil/fat to burn in lanterns...until the invention of electricity and the light bulb..

There is always progress, something very interesting about ball pythons is their recently acquired ability of parthenogenesis. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/03/snake-gives-virgin-birth-_n_778242.html Nature always finds a way......

Some heavy stuff but, reality from a different angle.
 

dhm198555

New Member
Wow!

That article was fascinating! Thanks so much for posting it, I really enjoyed reading that! Mother nature truly is an amazing machine.

As far as the economic crisis mentioned, if these animals were being bred like this as a sole result of people driven to the point of poverty, although I would still be against it, I would understand it a little more but the sad truth is for every one person that's perpetuating this mass overbreeding simply to put food on their table there are 1000 doing it out of pure greed. I personally don't believe this countries economic situation has anything to do with the overbreeding of ball pythons.

Its true nature is and can be incredibly cruel in the wild but that's not an intelligent process. Mother nature doesn't "know" it's cruel to allow an entire litter of lion cubs to get slaughtered by a new male who overthrew the pride. These breeders are knowingly producing animals they KNOW have a pretty good chance of being born with cruel and horrific birth defects when it could very easily be averted by just not breeding THAT particular morph. There are plenty that don't cause issues so why not just breed those?
 

DanSB

Avid Member
As long as I can remember albinos have always been expensive of most any type of herp. Some of these ball morphs are stunning in appearance. People want something special or unique to brag about. This can be seen all over society with any imaginable aspect of life.

It just so happens that yet again people are getting excited by playing with selective breeding to "create" something rare and valuable. The Chinese started doing this with goldfish over 800 years ago and since then almost any animal humans breed has been selectively bred for traits we want that aren't beneficial to a wild animal. Rather than writing this off as a fad just accept the herp world is catching up to goldfish, foul, dogs, horses, cats, canaries, and probably many more I'm not thinking of or aware of.

This satisfies so many deep psychological desires in humans it would be difficult to use logic to stop it.

I happen to like normal ball pythons, comet or standard goldfish, and in general healthy animals selected by nature to survive not so much to look pretty or odd.

I certainly hope the only hideous chameleon birth defect some are breeding for never catches on... But if it does I will do what I do for the rest: not buy them and suggest pets are selected for health first.
 

tony19

Member
So I went to hamburg yesterday and I can't tell you how....disappointed I was. This was the first show I went to in probably 6 years so was incredibly excited. I had my 6 month old daughter with me for her first show as well as my hubby-to-be. I was really into the hobby when I was younger but decided to get out of it for a while. I was really young (in high school) and wasn't mature enough anyway, made a lot of mistakes.

Anywho, as soon as I walked in all I saw were ball pythons as far as the eye could see. At least half of the field house was nothing but balls. Irritating enough what really bothered me was I asked all those breeders why they were all only doing ball pythons and you know what they all said. "Gotta pay the bills." Not ONE person said to me they bred them, yes to pay the bills, but also because they LOVE the hobby, LOVE that species, or just LOVE the diversity balls have right now. From what I remember about this hobby, we all were in it because we share a fascination and love for all things scaly, not just to make a buck. I watched many of them just manhandling their animals, treating them like dollar bills instead of living breathing animals, who feel stress, feel, excitement, feel pain, throwing them here and there, stuffing them in boxes too small. I overheard a lot of conversations between venders and not one was about the excitement about an upcoming hatch, general talk about their favorite species. Only money. Money money money. What happened to our wonderful hobby?!

I was disgusted and disheartened that the hobby that I have loved my entire life has lost a large piece of itself. From what I saw yesterday, the soul of what made me love this hobby so much was dead.

The upside to all this was there were still A LOT of people who were there simply because they love reptiles. Nothing more. And I only hope they can get a foot in and replace all the money grubbing breeders out there and still hold onto their values.

By the way (and I don't care whop this pisses off) STOP BREEDING BALL PYTHONS TO DEATH! You can only line breed and selectively breed ANY species of animal before you start damaging it's genetic make-up. Is ruining an entire breed, and again, is driven by greed.

I think this is why I've been gravitating towards the chameleon community because that spark of fascination and love seems to still be here, you all truly love the species you're keeping simply for being the amazing, beautiful animals they are, without any real need for messing with thier genetics. I gotta say that the couple cham breeders that were there that I talked to never mentioned anything about money, only how much they loved their choosen species.

Thanks for reading, lets try and restore our hobby to what it used to be people!!!
Im sorry that you and your daughter had to leave disappointed:(

I my self stay away from these showsa cause I don't agree what most are there for. I was actually just talking to my brother about going to a show next month and mabe pick up something or see whats going on in the reptile world. But after hearing this I have changed my mind and will not be going. i will not support something like this. I don't like the way the python has gone. For the record I do own a normal bp her name is melia and shes an absolute sweet heart. I couldn't ask for a better snake. When I first got her I did want to breed her but I have since changed my mind and don't think I will ever.

I have never heard of pythons without scales or beardies. Its vary sad to hear. The straight up not caring and general disregard of some people is just crazzy. Especially in the bp and bearded dragon world. Some of the snakes and dragons I've seen make me sick. With the defects that has been caused by all the morph breeding because it's cool and makes them popular:eek:
 
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