Friday, December 17, 2010

The Industry

I didn't have time to take pictures, and it's actually pretty late (I am doing this at 11PM PST right now), so I wanted to touch on something that has always been on the forefront of my mind, but I don't think I've ever really discussed it with all of you, my fellow ball python enthusiasts and blog readers.

Let me talk to you about the Ball Python Industry.

There are three levels.

The BIG NAMES. I'm sure you can think of at least two or three that deserve the title... Those that have been around forever, have come up with names for too many morphs than they can count, the people who started when Albinos were $10k a piece.

The Middle Ground... Those breeders that have established themselves as breeders, as long time industrialists, the ones that you know have been around for a while, but still are not "famous". They may have come up with a new morph combination over the years, but have not been the ultimate breeder in many peoples eyes.

The Beginners... These breeders have done their first to second season, maybe even third. You have not really known them from anyone else, but the name seems familiar from the forums or maybe an add here or there for something you were intrigued about. You are aware of their existence, but they have not been around for long enough to really garner your trust.

Now, I bring this up because I see a lot of beginners. Every year there are more and more of them, and that is great!! The more breeders there are, the more there is interest in the industry. The middle ground, however, watch the beginners for their prices and their interest in specific morphs. Either they are good, or they are bad. They may have hatched out 20 of Morph A, but then again, Middle Ground Breeder has 30 of those as well, so then, there may be a problem. Maybe, maybe not, but there are enough hobbyists to be interested to sell Morph A to everyone...

The problem seems to be in the price of Morph A, and the availability of it.
QUALITY Morph A will sell, no problem, but when everyone and their mother are producing them, there are plenty more to choose from.
Morph A becomes devalued because of people that are not interested in holding on to the lives that they helped bring into this world...

I get it, I really do. There are plenty of mouths to feed, plenty of things in this life that may take precedence over a group of baby Morph A's.

My problem really is in the beginning breeders that think that in one week they can sell everything. Yeah, you can do that, to a Wholesaler. They would love to take Morph A off of your hands, no problem. They didn't do any of the hard work... They just need to hand over a bit of cash.

But did the beginning breeder think about the possibility of holding on to the animals? Did they prepare themselves to have twice as many animals as they began with because putting one male with one female tends to replicate itself? Maybe, and if you did, I applaud you, beginning breeder!! I admire your preparation and your zeal for bringing life into this world..

If not, however, there will be a price to pay, either with the animals who are not being cared for, or for the people who are looking for the perfect Morph A, just to see a bunch of B grade animals on the market.

And of course, all the while, BIG Breeders are laughing, as they have worked out their lines and are already working on the biggest and greatest..

So think of it this way, my friends... Know that you need to breed for the best. Make it happen, make it work for the best looking animals that YOU think are going to help the gene pool. It doesn't help anyone by making a bunch of Boo-Boo looking animals and putting them to market, because all that does is let Joe-Shmoe start breeding Boo-Boo to Boo-Boo, and making double Boo Squared animals. Who wants that???

This is not to say that you, my beloved blog readers are doing this... Just keep in mind that we are doing this not only for ourselves, but for the animals. They want to be pretty, they want to be valued and loved... Help them help themselves.

And thus spaketh the Heather, who is tired and done with her rant.

I look forward to your comments on this one, as I'm sure this is a hot topic to be sure.

Have a fantastic weekend, my friends.


Krystal said...

It can be a little difficult, sometimes, as each morph has all manner of subtle details that some people like and some don't, so what is the most gorgeous Bumblebee to me may not be to many other people. I don't think this is a huge problem, by any means, but it's something to keep in mind.

I've always been of the opinion that one should breed those morphs/snakes that one loves the most and get the best possible examples of those.

I think the things that bother you, me, and most middle-ground breeders (I'm still a beginner, most definitely!) come from people who only see the dollar signs and not the animals. Yes, to some extent, we all breed for the money; that's nearly impossible to get around. However, the most important consideration should be for the animals, not trying to get rich quick (a common belief that makes me chuckle). When the animals are bumped out of the "most important" bin, then we get people who can't afford to feed the snakes they hatch or they breed "Boo-Boo" morphs or they start taking other shortcuts that drive the rest of us batty.

Kelly said...

Well said, Oh Great One!! As a beginner I am trying to breed quality animals and will most certainly be well prepared for this season. I am certainly not in it for the money unless you mean money going out, not coming in!!! LOL!! As for how I feel about my babies, well, you have already teased me about the way I am with my babies!