Every year, I look over the collection and I try and see what would be safe to move on to a new home versus keeping and breeding for another year.
Today was one of those days.
It's especially hard for me, because every snake I own has a story... Every single one, be it that I produced it, or that I got it from so-and-so back in 2005 and did this to get the animal back to health or something like that.
Of course, this does not bode well for my sanity in terms of the animals I keep. I have plenty of animals, and sometimes do not feel I have enough time to take care of them all. But of course, I do it anyway, sleep deprived or no.
But this time of year, when the babies hatch and the younger animals get bigger, I stop and think, like most other breeders do, what should I do to make this colony more efficient.
Some people say get rid of all of your normal females...
Some people say get rid of your single co-dom males...
Some people say just get triple co-doms and raise them up....
All of these people saying all of these things.
Who to listen to?
Think about what YOU want, what YOU want to achieve. Think about the animals in your care and those you care about the most. Think about the animals and what you think is best for them.
That is my suggestion to those of you out there struggling with the same burden as I carry year after year.
Granted, my suggestions are not easy ones to follow.
I am still not sure what I want to do with what I have.
Should I move out a proven breeder male without the known guarantee of a replacement younger not proven male?
Should I move out my normals, some of which produce 10+ egg clutches, just because they do not produce morphs right off the bat?
What will happen if I do move out proven breeders, and those that are there to replace them do not produce as well as those that were sold?
Yes, I still struggle with this, mostly because I care a lot. A LOT. I don't like knowing that these animals that have been with me for years could be run into the ground, or maybe even mistreated and abused.
It's a hard pill to swallow once an animal is out of my care... But I like to believe that this is a rare case, something that doesn't happen often. I like to believe in my fellow man, and of course, those of you out there that care enough to scour the internet for more information about the awesomeness that is the Ball Python.
So, I ponder, and think about the possibilities and opportunities that abound.
What I do know is that things will be up for sale. Things will be moved... But who? What morphs? I'm still not sure...
What to do, my friends? What to do....