So in Part I we discussed some of things that are critical to the continued growth of the Ball Python Market or hobby. I believe this hobby is just beginning and in the future there will be a lot of breeders who will surpass some of the current big names in the game both in morph production as well as in profitability. One thing that has been consistent throughout my 18 years in the game is people continue to underestimate the Ball Python market. Many of my former co-workers have always thought me to be crazy when they find out that I’m a snake breeder… you know the typical response based primarily in ignorance. The fact is over the past 18 years I have done over 5 Million dollars in sales with my little hobby business. As many of you know this is a low overhead business with high profit margins. My accountant was always surprised each year he went through my books. So yeah I’m cray cray… and you guys are normal, lol. Now of course you would expect the general public to underestimate the earning potential and growing popularity of the hobby, but the ball python market is often underestimated by those in the thick of it.
The Ball Python Market is Crashing!
This is a bubble!
Ball Pythons suck… they will all be $5 soon. Haha!
Morph King is destroying the market! (Do you guys remember Morph King?)
If you’ve been around for a few years, you heard all the negativity from the nay-sayers and haters… Over the years I have heard it all and year after year I just kept doing my thing and turning great profits. Do a google search for “Ball Python market crash” and you’ll get all kinds of forum posts. Go read them… tell me what you think. The fact is Ball Python genetics are amazing and have so much untapped combo potential that it’s really hard for the human mind to grasp. Ball Pythons are also the perfect size and very easy to care for and breed once you figure them out and accept the fact that they will fast. You can house a decent sized collection in relatively small space and produce cool income generating babies with only a few hours of work each week. If you love working with snakes the way I do, these will be the best few hours of the week. I mean, it just doesn’t get old. So I think one thing is certain whether you like it or not, Designer Ball Pythons are here to stay and will continue to amaze for decades to come.
So anyone who has been doing Ball Pythons for more than 10 years has lived through a “crash” or two. I believe these crashes are healthy adjsutments and are always followed by bull markets and strong profits. Here’s my simplified take on the Ball Market cycle…
Phase 1, The Hardcore: The Hardcore Enthusiasts takes the time, energy and patience to produce some amazing new combos irregardless of the market. This type of dedication can only be fueled by passion and a deep love of working with these amazing snakes. These enthusiasts treasure these new snakes and will only sell them at TOP dollar if at all. Lots of money is what it will take for the Hardcore Enthusiast to part with their cool combos. The prices can be extraordinary and upwards of $100,000. Most people think yeah right… ok. But guess what, the excitement is contagious and believe it or not, there are actually people out there who can afford these high price tags. The Hardcore started with some of the pioneers of the game like Bob Clark, Kevin McCurley, Ralph Davis, etc. Over the years this group has grown and continues to evolve. Its not easy to maintain this level of commitment and the Hardcore come and go. These guys and gals always blow us away with their new creations and generate the excitement, the fuel that drives market. Hats off to you guys.
Phase 2, The Flame: Now that the Big Boys have created some serious excitement and are making big bucks for their efforts demonstrating the potential, more Enthusiasts enter the fray. Maybe they can’t afford the Big Price tagged items, but they can afford some of the lower end items priced between $1000-$5000. They now see the genetic potential and would LOVE to produce some cool stuff of their own. At this point the market is heating up and sales are good. Most of the Big Boys from Phase 1 are sold out.
Phase 3, The Blaze: At this point more and more hard-core enthusiasts are entering the market. Some of them are just hobbyists who could care less about profit while others want to produce cool animals and make a profit too. This group of enthusiasts are not likely to mass produce and will keep their prices high simply because they genuinely treasure their animals. At this point the market is solid, steady prices, great profits and low inventory. Everyone is having a blast.
Phase 4, The Gold Rush: Now enters the investors… all of the great sales and high profit margins have caught the attention of the investor. This new influx includes people who may like Ball Pythons, but their main objective is profit. Say what you want about these guys, but this is when the Market goes nuts! This is like a shark infested feeding frenzy! Phase 4 is when profits are through the roof and sales are at their best. At this time you have enthusiasts and investors competing for genetics. Everyone who has babies is loving it… not only are they making good money, but they are also reinvesting further strengthening the demand.
Phase 5, The Buyers Market: I think you guys know what’s coming right? LOL, it’s inevitable. In this cycle of the market everyone has increased their production to meet the insane demand. The investors start to hatch their offspring and although the sales are still steady you start to see consistent inventory. Sales start to die down, but breeders are eventually selling everything and are still doing well. Now there is more than one breeder selling the snake your after and the seller’s market begins to turn into a buyers market. Price pressure starts.
Phase 6, The Crash: As the increased inventory slows down sales, the guys who are used to posting and selling their animals right away begin to panic. I mean if it doesn’t sell right away, something is wrong right? Of course the smart thing to do is drop the price every week until the damn thing sells, right? At this point you start seeing auctions and crazy price ranges. One breeder is listing a snake for $3000 while another is listing the same exact combo for $1500 while yet another just auctioned one at $800! WTF! Now the guys who were shopping for that combo have no clue what the true market value is. This uncertainty in value prevents the shopper from buying anything. The genius who thought that they would simply drop the price to stimulate more sales finds that their price cuts have had the opposite effect. The investor who could really give two shits about the cool new morph they produced also starts to slash prices and run auctions. Sales grind to a screeching halt for most. Only the coolest and most unique combos are still selling… these buyers are usually the Hardcore Enthusiasts from Phase 1. Its’s at this stage you can pick up some really cool genes for CHEAP!
Phase 7, The Purge: At this point some breeders have a ton of babies that have not sold. All their time, energy and resources are dedicated to taking care of last years babies so they may not even breed the following season. Quite a few breeders, especially the investors get out altogether feeling disgusted and discouraged about the market. Inventory begins to get thin with the reduced production, but the hardcore guys are still at it working steadily with all the new and cheap acquisitions that they picked up during the bloodbath that was Phase 6….Then Phase 1 begins all over again.
In closing let me say that the length of time of each phase has varied over the years. I have never been able to accurately predict when the next Phase will kick in. We have been in a strong market for quite some time now and I believe this has been the longest bull market since I started. I believe this is in large part due to the drop in overall pricing (no more $50,000 snakes) and an industry move to more selective breeding. These factors have helped to stabilize the market. I don’t know if things will continue in this manner, but this is what I’ve witnessed over the years. Either way, I’m still excited about the future and I find the market to be a fascinating thing to watch and analyze. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post. I would love to hear what other breeders think… so please chime in.
Your Favorite Hardcore Enthusiast,
Chill with all the competition BS
The Ball Python Market is unlike any other industry or business out there, but like many things in life most people tend to latch on to their preconceived notions of how to win in business. To be a successful business person you have to outcompete and crush the competition… right? Well in the ball python market, industry, hobby or whatever the hell it is… this could not be further from the truth. You see the Ball Python industry is not your typical business.
Fact: Your customer is not your competition… they’re your customer. They can’t be both… if you treat your customers and potential customers as the competition and you are successful at crushing them guess what happens to you? Simple, self-annihilation… without customers we have no business and the hobby will slowly die. With over 7 Billion people in the World this hobby (I’m going with hobby business) has the ability to grow exponentially. The fact of the matter is new people are entering the exotic pet hobby every day all around the World. I believe its the fastest growing segment of the pet industry Globally. We are really just scratching the surface and as people become better educated and exposed to this cool hobby more are going to join the reptile nation Globally.
As far as the High-end Ball Python market goes, when someone has success it drives market growth exponentially. First of all they gain confidence and are encouraged to invest more. Secondly, others who are watching from the sidelines also gain confidence and are more likely to invest and join in the fun. This drives growth and more sales for everyone. So don’t treat your customers or fellow breeders as competition… when you have success or produce something cool… share it because you are likely inspiring the next generation of breeders.
To further illustrate my point, have you guys noticed how one Breeder may post a cool new combo and all of a sudden demand for a particular gene goes through the roof? So Joe Blow succeeds in producing a World’s first and a dozen other breeders make some coin because of increased demand. What boggles my mind is the guys who reap benefits from the other guys success may still be envious… lol. It’s comical sometimes. I have even had guys tell me that they don’t plan to share pics of a cool new combo because… it doesn’t benefit them. They would say things like, well I don’t have anything to sell from the project so why should I post it? Because dumb ass, its GOOD for the hobby AND its free advertisement for you! If I offended anyone, sorry not sorry. Set you hurt feelings aside and look at what I’m saying logically and without emotion. You know I’m telling the truth. Creating excitement in the hobby is not only good… it’s the lifeblood of the hobby. It’s what sustains the hobby, keeps people excited, inspires others and pumps money into the industry. If it wasn’t for guys like Pete Khal, Ralph Davis, Kevin McCurley, The Snake Keeper, and Tracey Barker and others openly sharing… I would have never found the inspiration or knowledge to start Ozzy Boids. The original Orange Dream would probably be sitting in a 20 gallon fish tank in Pennsylvania with a dry shed. These Pioneers shared their cool new projects, tips on breeding and husbandry and helped to make the Ball Python hobby what it is today… A cool ass hobby that continues to grow Globally every year. This is why I post often and frequently… I’m not bragging (maybe a little), I’m trying to create excitement and inspire others who are considering breeding or expanding their collections. This hobby is cool as hell and there’s plenty of room for everyone and so much potential to grow!
Although the main market driver in the hobby is you guys, there are other supporting businesses that are critical to continued growth. In order for the hobby to continue to grow we need external market drivers. Say what you want about money motivating your desire to keep reptiles. The fact is without money to feed the industry the hobby would quickly die out. It takes money to fund organizations like USARK and fight unfair Government intrusion on our rights to keep and enjoy reptiles. It takes money to lead to the creation of businesses that help us grow, care for and sell our animals. Here are some key market drivers that have been critical to our industry…
One of the most important market drivers is delivery services. The easier it is to ship and deliver your animals, the easier it will be to find customers willing to buy from you. Here are a couple of my favorite businesses… think where would we be without them?
Ship Your Reptiles: This business simplifies the shipping process in the US and makes it more affordable and easy to ship your snakes. Before SYR came on the scene, many of us were shipping snakes in unmarked boxes without proper authorization. Businesses like this help to educate newbies on how to properly ship safely, legally and make it more affordable for everyone. And they have the best customer service! Love you guys at SYR!
Dutch Dragon Import: What many people in the US don’t realize is how difficult it is to deliver animals in Europe. Unlike the US, Europeans can not simply box a snake and drop it off at FedEx like we do. You must use licensed couriers to deliver. This is where courier services like DDI come in to help with deliveries. DDI can also help European breeders safely export their animals to other countries. They also help breeders from other countries like the US deliver to their Eurpoean customers. This free flowing, open market that makes it easy for any breeder to reach a Global customer base is simply a game changer. We still have a long way to go to simplify this Global delivery process, but we are on the right track with industry leaders like DDI paving the way to No Stress Global Delivery! Check DDI out…
Once you have the means to easily deliver to your customer or fellow enthusiast, you need to effectively market your animals. The reptile hobby has come a long way since the days of price lists being sent to customers in the mail. Can you imagine? No pictures just a list with prices. You pay and don’t see the animals until they arrive on your doorstep via unauthorized shipping through the post office, lol. Well that was before my time, but its what I’ve been told it was like. So today we have all kinds of cool technology that allows us to market and sell our snakes. In the past few years, Social Media has really taken over and made all of the older online classifieds mostly obsolete. Although FaceBook, You Tube and IG are a great way to reach fellow enthusiasts there is still the need for cutting edge market places that work well with social media platforms. Right now there is one main one that comes to mind for me…
Morph Market: This is hands down the coolest new market place to hit the web. Not only does Morph Market make it easier for any size breeder to post and sell their animals, it’s a great site for searching the exact genes you need. Another valuable aspect of morph market is it’s ability to help you in determining market price for your animals. Just with a few clicks you can pull up similar animals and get a gage of where you should price your inventory. All though I have a solid following and customer base that I built over the years, I do really well listing my animals on MM. Thanks John for bringing us MM!
Political Action Committees or Industry Advocates
One of the least favorite topics in the hobby, but one of the most important is Government oversight. I like most business people in the US feel that Government intrusion or red tape should be limited and thoughtful. Unfortunately its usually the opposite. With special interest groups and lobbyist running rampant in Washington DC it is critical that we support advocacy groups of our own that are fighting to protect our rights to keep the reptiles we love so much. Coupled with supporting such groups it’s critical for all of us to conduct ourselves responsibly and within the rule of law. Lets not give the powers that be any excuse to further limit or deny us our freedoms to keep and enjoy our reptiles. Support your advocacy groups and stay vigilant.
USARK: In the US we have the United States Association of Reptile Keepers. This organization works tirelessly to advocate on our behalf. Without USARK we would be reduced to nothing!
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this rant. I will contribute more on this topic in the future, but I think it’s a critical that we all understand and promote the things that help us ALL grow. The Ball Python Market is not a competition… it’s just different and cool as hell!
Wishing you all much success!
Oz and the Dream Team
Don’t let people guilt you into not getting your money right
I hate whenever I hear people say things like, it’s not about the money I just love the snakes. BULLSHIT… lets be real. Why can’t you do both? Everything is about money and anyone who says things like money isn’t important, is in denial and likely barely scraping by if not flat broke. I want to produce cool animals and get paid doing it… that doesn’t make me a bad person it makes me a realistic one. You don’t have to mistreat your animals or be an unethical dirt bag to make money breeding and selling them. In fact I think if you do mistreat your snakes and take advantage of your customers for a quick buck, you will NOT be profitable and your business will fail. Furthermore, if you have a family and dependents you are OBLIGATED to provide for your family. Would you rather blow all your money on a hobby that never produces income? Is that somehow noble? Great go take up golf, live pay check to pay check, rack up credit card debt and go to a job you hate everyday. Me, I’m all about having my cake and eating it too. If you love working with reptiles the way I do and your okay with earning some coin, then you are in luck. How many people have hobbies they love that can actually put great profits back into their pockets? If you don’t need the extra coin, then donate it to a worthy cause and help improve the World a little. This hobby of ours is an amazing one. It has the power to change your life for the better. Not only will you have a blast while getting paid to do so, you will meet all kinds of cool people and make friends all over the World. There are all kinds of people out there that share your passion… this I find to be one of the most rewarding aspects of the hobby. I now have friends and customers from all over the Globe. It’s crazy and very cool.
Over the years many people have assumed that I bred snakes full-time and that this was my primary source of income. This is not true, up until 18 months ago I worked full-time in the Biotech industry while I built Ozzy Boids as a hobby business. I always recommend that aspiring breeders keep their day jobs while building their business, but I have seen guys like Justin Kobylka go all in right out of college and do great. So it’s really about whats comfortable and right for you. If you’re committed, you can make it happen. While working, this hobby was my escape and it turned out to be a great source of extra income over the years. Although I mostly loved my career in Biotech, it eventually became a drag as I moved up the ladder into Senior Management where there’s no shortage of BS and politics. Having an extra income stream allowed me to walk away from more than one job over the years and finally my last job once it became toxic. This is called “financial freedom.” Most people don’t have this luxury and wake up miserable everyday knowing they have to go to a job thats sucking the life out of them. I know so many people working in soul crushing jobs like this and it’s sad AF. Who really wants to live like this? Not me… and If you get your finances right, you don’t have to. Money may not buy happiness, but a lack thereof sure can be miserable. So if you hate your 9-5 you should be doing everything you can to get the hell out of that situation. Don’t give up… find a way because life is too short to be miserable everyday.
Mass Production = Self-destruction
Wether its ego or greed you may think that producing a ton of babies is a great idea. I mean why produce 60 clutches per year if you could produce a 1000 and crush everyone? I have witnessed several breeders take this mass production approach over the years and they all fail terribly. They end up broke, in debt, burned out and miserable. Here’s why I think BIG collections are not profitable:
- Employees… theft, cost, neglect of animals, lazy, unreliable, crazy etc. I have heard it all over the years and experienced it myself when I opened a store. Sometimes you get lucky and find solid people, but most of the time it sucks. At the end of the day, no one will care for your prized collection the way you will.
- Overhead… you may produce a ton and sell a ton but at the end of the year you will only net a small fraction of your income. The profits will be eaten away by reduced productivity, expenses and you simply not being able to stay on top of current trends and market moves.
- Animals are unforgiving. Animals will thrive when you provide optimum conditions. You HAVE to be consistent in providing a hygienic living space with appropriate temps/humidity and adequate nutrition. Clean water thats replaced at least weekly is a must. I believe stagnant water is the primary cause of respiratory infections. If you have too many animals, trust me you will fall short in staying on top of husbandry… and the result will not be good.
- Market slowdown… when the market slows and it always does and you have thousands of babies sitting in your racks, not selling while you still have to pay employees and buy even more feeders than usual… the panic sets in. The ironic thing about this is the market slowdowns are due to over production and price instability caused in part by these same individuals. These guys are the first to start slashing prices in their desperate attempt to dig themselves out of the mess they created. But slashing prices just creates more uncertainty and sales slow even more… why would anyone invest in the midst of this kind of bloodbath? I’ve watched this happen multiple times over the years. Its UGLY! I rather produce and sell one well cared for snake for $2k rather than 20 at $100 each.
Small, Nimble and Potent!
In direct contrast to the massive collection, small and healthy collections are productive, profitable and FUN to work with. I believe having a small, high-end collection gives the best returns. Huge collections may generate a shitload of babies and sales but all the $$ will be sucked up by expenses and your production percentages will be significantly lower compared to a hobbyist with a small collection. You will also be miserable dealing with employees and all the headaches a huge collection will bring. Over the years I have averaged 45 clutches per year. I kept my overhead very low, kept my collection small and easy to maintain. I have always been profitable and likely more profitable than some of the guys who produced hundreds of clutches. This is the first year I will hatch more than 50 clutches, but that’s because I’m semi retired now after quitting my 9-5 at 47, not 65! My goal is to target 75 clutches per year now. If you guys pay attention to what I produce, you will see that each clutch is unique and likely contains a world first. I’m not flooding the market with crap and shitting on my past customers. Unique animals like this are always in demand and having only one or two of each combo makes them easy to sell even during a market crash. I can also command top dollar because I’m not desperate to sell and often times would not mind keeping some of the gems I do sell. Having to hold inventory for up to a year or more is no problem. So stay small and chase hard to make unique and cool combos. I’ve said it very early on in my breeding career… this industry belongs to the hobbyist. The hobbyist is what drives this market… they are the ones who reap the most from it… personal enjoyment, friends and good coin if done right. The animals from a small, passionate breeder are more likely to be healthy and well cared for. Bottom line is you don’t have to be Big to do Big things in the hobby.
Unfortunately, most educational institutions don’t teach kids about personal finances. Lets face it, most people are downright illiterate when it comes to personal finance. Our society is trained from an early stage to spend, spend, spend. Entire industries are built around exploiting this ignorance. This epidemic of financial ignorance is great for big business and the top 1% who feed off of the general public’s poor understanding of money. When the housing market crashed in 2007 a small group of people made a killing while hurting billions of people all around the Globe. Man the traps are everywhere. Every time I go to a store they try and bait me with credit cards by offering 10-15% off my current bill. I stop them mid sentence, no thanks. Save that crap for the next idiot in line. Debt is only good when it’s low interest and being borrowed to invest in income generating assets. They love selling $150 sneakers that cost $20 to manufacture or giving you credit cards to bury you in high interest debt. Trust me everything around you is designed to eat up all of your hard-earned and keep you underwater drowning in debt. I only use debt to invest in things that will grow my income, not feed on it.
Making a lot of money doesn’t automatically mean you will become wealthy. In fact, most high wage earners in the US are broke living paycheck to paycheck. They may be living the good life, but they’re NOT building wealth. In fact if they get fired or laid off, they will lose it all if they don’t find another job fast. The real value of a dollar is not what it can buy you, the real value of money is it’s ability to grow and multiply IF YOU PUT IT TO WORK. So if you’re not investing a good portion of your earnings in assets that can grow and multiply you’re wasting it. The general public is spoon-fed a bunch of crap that’s intended to keep you in consumer mode. Get a raise and finance a bigger house or faster car. Buy some cool new gadgets, work all your life at a job you hate, invest in safe mutual funds so you can retire and enjoy life when your 65 years old. Lets be real, after working in a soul crushing job for 45 years when you hit 65 you’ll be too beat down and sick to enjoy retirement. These are the lies that are being fed to the middle-class and guess what? Thats why the middle class is quickly disappearing.
Keep Score or you will be Played
How many people you know track their net worth? I think everyone should be forced to track their net worth. If they did, the World would be a better place. If they did, then they would see what I’m talking about. It’s real easy to do… just do a google search and you can find a spreadsheet to use. It’s simply your assets, savings, etc minus all the debt you have (car note, mortgage, credit card debt, etc.). If you have a snake biz, that’s an asset and you can search online for calculators that will help you value the business. Most small breeders will be pleasantly surprised by their net worth and if compared to others who don’t breed you will see a BIG difference in net worth. That’s because your breeders are assets, not liabilities.
If you want to get your money right, you need to educate and motivate yourself. Tracking your net worth is a great way to stay motivated and aware of where all your hard earned is going. Are you consuming more than you’re producing? To become financially free you need extra income streams from multiple sources. Breeding snakes is a great way to generate an extra income stream, but it’s also a great way to create new income streams with the money you make. Hell, any side-hustle and/or hobby business that generates extra cash is the first step to getting your money right, but only if you reinvest the profits. Once you have extra cash coming in from your collection I recommend the following. Reinvest 20-30% of the profits back into your collection to stay cutting edge, 30-40% in other investments such as stocks or my favorite investment real estate and spend the rest on what ever the hell you want. Splurging a little to keep you mentally, emotionally and physically healthy is also an investment. Take a vacation with your lady/man or family, buy a nice ride or anything that will motivate you to keep grinding. As long as you’re not going into debt to do so. This is guilt free consumption… because despite these expenses your net worth will continue to grow. You can use income from your real job to pay the bills and keep your debt low or better yet at zero. So as you see getting your money right doesn’t have to be a drag. Hell you can have fun breeding snakes and enjoy an above average lifestyle all the while building your wealth.
Here’s a couple of my favorite books I recommend you read or listen to on audio book.
The Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kyosoki. This book is the sequel to Rich Dad Poor Dad another great read. This book explains money in easy to understand terms. It explains how the W2 wage earner in the US pays the lion share of taxes and how the wealthy pay the least amount of taxes while earning most of their income by passive means (they don’t have to get out of bed and go to work to make $$). As the saying goes, its not how much you make, it’s how much you keep. Get it and educate yourself!
Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone. Download this as an audio book. It is read by the author and Grant is as genuine as they come. I love this book. It explains how obsessions which are typically viewed as a negative can become a positive thing if you obsess over the right things. Hell, I became obsessed with my snakes and Ozzy Boids… and it changed my life for the better. #BOBA baby!
If you want to learn more about real estate investing, check out BiggerPockets.com It’s an online community of real estate investors. Real estate is hands down the best way to build wealth not only for yourself, but for generations to come. They have free podcasts you can listen to on real estate investing and personal finance. Check it out…
There’s a lot of other resources out there that will help you learn and grow. You just have to make an effort. I hope this article helps some of you get on the path and inspires those of you already on the path to stay on course. Life is what you make it and being normal or average is way overrated… so go get yours!
So as our breedings become more complex and we continue to stack genes to make all of these cool designers, the inevitable challenge of identifying your hatchlings will occur. Often times, newbies and even more experienced breeders will take the easy route and snap some shitty pics and just send it off to one of the “Big” boys since they have magical powers, lots of free time and can ID their snakes easily. Sometimes it is easy or obvious based on experience, but most times it takes a lot of back and forth. Some guys will even get angry if you don’t promptly stop what your doing and help them ID their snakes for them. This is especially frustrating when the person flooding your in box with pics is not even a customer. Now don’t take this the wrong way. I love to help, encourage and inspire others in all things. Anyone who knows me can attest to this, but I simply get too many requests to help ID Orange Dream combos. I am a very goal oriented and driven person. That means everyday I wake up I have a ton of things that require my attention as I chase my dreams… and trust me I dream big and often!
So as the saying goes, give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day… teach a man to fish and he’ll stop harassing you! Haha, all jokes aside. Identifying combos has become one of my least favorite activities in this hobby. I don’t think anyone actually enjoys it and a lot of people can’t accept the reality that many of the IDs or labels we apply are theoretical (an educated guess) and can only be confirmed through breeding trials. So that being said… here is the process I use to ID combos.
Step 1: Let the entire clutch shed out. Trying to ID combos before they shed and especially while they are still in the egg is ridiculous. You’re wasting your time. Let them ALL shed out. This is especially important with Orange Dream combos as the OD tends to light up post shed and even after a meal or two. I refer to this as the light switch being flipped on. I even believe this is how I ended up receiving the original OD hatchling as a fancy banded bonus gift. It appeared to simply be a fancy banded, but once it shed and fed a couple times that switch was flipped and I knew I had something special!
Step 2: Compare the entire clutch to each other. Often times you can use a process of elimination to deduce what you may have. Some combos are obvious so when you compare them to a questionable one you can sometimes rule out or identify other genes that are at play. A word of caution, I believe the Ball Python genome is prone to random mutation pretty often and you could end up with a new morph unexpectedly. If you do pop out something new, it will cause all kinds of confusion and it may take YEARS to sort it out. Some genes are also more prone to random variability as well. So just because two OD Fires don’t look identical doesn’t mean they are not both OD Fires.
Step 3: Perform an internet search. Certain mutations have been produced in abundance or maybe only one or two have been done, but most are posted online. A simple google search can give multiple examples to compare your animals against. If you can find the exact combo, search for similar combos. When I started producing the first OD Combos I often looked for the Enchi version of that combo since it was the closest thing to OD at the time.
Step 4: Post to a facebook group or forum. Believe me when I say there are a lot of very experienced breeders and hobbyist out there and they are happy to assist. Yes, there are a few posers and know it alls too, but I think most groups can be relied upon. Post to these forums and ask for assistance. To help improve the answer, you must provide adequate details and quality photos. Pics taken of animals in good light (AFTER THEY SHED!) with information on the sire and dam will improve the guidance you receive. Another benefit to taking this approach is that you may be helping others who have the same question or will have the same question in the future. Also, the breeder you may have wanted to email, text or PM may actually have some time and will chime in. I think having several breeders provide input is hands down the most reliable way to ID a combo through the power of brainstorming.
Anyway, I hope this helps and despite this post I will still try to assist when I receive a request. I am especially keen to respond to new, first time combos as I feel these are the most difficult (trust me, I know). But if I sense the request is coming from someone being lazy and wants to simply email me so they can get back to their game of fort nite… I won’t waste my time.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post and good luck with your projects!
Well things are really starting to heat up over here! We have hatched some really cool combos are we are setting up new babies every day. If you are looking to add some cool new genes to your collection, give me a shout. The best way to see a current list is to text, email or PM on our Face Book page. To help keep book keeping manageable, we try to restrict communications to these three sources. When trying to create an invoice or pull a shipping address it can get crazy. This is why I don’t use messenger, IG or other means of communication. It simply becomes overwhelming.
Remember that we offer shipping to your doorstep in the US as well as Canada. We also deliver to the Hamm show in Germany where Couriers can pick up and deliver to most European countries. Booking couriers from the Hamm show is the customers responsibility, but if you need assistance just go to www.dutchdragonimport.com and fill out the import/export form. DDI will take care of the rest for you.
We anticipate hatching season to run into July this season. Here’s some eye candy from the first few clutches we have hatched.
Super OD Black Pastel Pin (Pos YB)
ODYB Enchi Banana Pied