Monday, October 25, 2010

How did I get into this?

Well, its time to go back to the roots...

I have a lot of people ask me, Heather... How did you get into this? It seems rather off center, and a tad bit wierd for you to be breeding snakes.

Do I agree? Yes, a little bit. I have to say that I never imagined myself as a child growing up and breeding snakes. A Doctor? Sure... Snake Breeder? No.

Why is that? Well, as a child, I grew up with a mother who has a deep rooted fear of snakes. I never got to have one as a child. I had fish, I had birds, but never anything else.

I am allergic to furry creatures, and so is my mother as well. So, with that being said, I didn't get to have many pets. It kinda destroys any chance of having a dog when your mother can't breathe.

So, I grew up with a love for animals that was unfulfilled in a way. I wanted to be a Veterinarian, but couldn't because of my allergies.

I went off to college, deciding then to go into human medicine. I got my Bachelors in Biology, and went on my merry way.

During my college years, I had the freedom to do more of my own thing (as we all are well aware). So I got a dog, I got a hamster, I got guppies, and a few other critters. I ended up rescuing a few red-eared sliders along the way, as people bought them at street fairs and didn't actually take care of them.
At one point, I ended up with six.

I decided to take it upon myself to see what other critters I could help.

That's when I ended up with a Bearded Dragon.

Beardies require much more than just a cage and some lettuce, and for some reason, people just had no idea...

So, I took care of a group of them that kept growing, a group that topped out at seven. Remember that these guys need UVB, deep green leafys, and bugs. They ate better than I did at some point.

But, with the consistency of knowing that these guys needed daily care, I got stretched a bit thin. Lizards were awesome, but not my calling... So I gave them good homes elsewhere and continued on my way.

But in the interim, I had acquired a female Ball Python from a lady who couldn't care for her anymore. I got her, cared for her, realized that Ball Pythons were so easy to care for, and fell in love.

Her name was Unagi. Yes, like the Eel Sushi. I think it is a cute name...

So 'Nagi and I learned from each other, and I got hooked. A few months later, I got another, and another, and at some point I went searching for them. I found a harem of Ball Pythons that people didn't want anymore, and I loved it.

I didn't have a ton of money to dump into Ball Pythons, but a little birdy told me about the possibility of breeding. Back in those days, Pastels were the thing to have... $2000 for a male Pastel on a good day was something I was shocked about.

So little by little, as my harem grew, I realized I needed to bite the bullet and get a breeder male.

So I bought that male Pastel, and the rest in history.

Did I suceed right off the bat? Absolutely not.

I lost my first clutch of eggs to an incubator malfunction. The second year, I did a breeder loan and didn't get any Pastels at all.

So of course, this is all to say that I started out rough. And rough is the way you should, in a way, to appreciate all the hard work and effort that goes into caring and breeding these creatures.

Take nothing for granted, that's for sure.

But here I am, still here. I will still be here 10 years from now, doing the same type of thing. I have found my niche, and I am going to stick to it.

So there you go, my friends.

That is my story. I hope that helps you in your own.

It's hard work, and you need to dedicate yourself to what you want to do. Do not waiver. Do it for the snakes and for yourself.

Have fun with it!

(BTW: Unagi is still kicking and will be with me until she doesn't anymore...)


Jackie M. said...

Hey Heather, how do I get my boys to do their jobs? This is as close to a lock as they seem to get:

Are the girls the problem? Is it just too soon? Is my boy George here just a dumb-dumb who doesn't quite know what he's doing yet? (He tried mating with her head last winter while I was cleaning their tanks.)

Jackie M. said...

And now, of course, I am going to demand Unagi pics. How big is she?