Is Snake Breeding A Good Business?
Asking if snake breeding is a good business to get into really isn't a fair question. The emphasis seems to be on the snake, while the emphasis really should be on business. If you love snakes it helps, and can make the difference between success and failure. What many don't realize, is you have to have a passion for doing business as well, or you probably won't succeed. Just because you happen to love snakes and know a great deal about them, don't decide to go into the breeding and retail business one day and quit your regular job the next.
Basic Issues - One reason for going into the snake breeding business is that, when you do the math, and figure the number of baby snakes you can sell, your parent snakes begin to look a little bit like money machines. In a successful business they are of course, but doing the math and sitting back and waiting for the money to come in isn't a very workable approach. You've got to know two things to get into the business, know your snakes and know your business. Snake breeding for fun and profit can be very rewarding if you start small, slowly taking a hobby of raising, caring for, and breeding snakes, into the world of business. Patience and the ability to bounce back from reversals which are bound to happen are two other key elements to success.
Doing The Math - Can a snake breeding business be profitable? A little simple math suggests that it can be, not necessarily that it's guaranteed to be. As an example, if you have a pair of breeding snakes which cost $100 each, you have a $200 investment (which is probably tax deductible). If this pair produces 50 baby snakes over a year's time, and you sell each little snake for $4, you'd cover your investment. You'll do much better than that of course. Asking for $100 per snake or more doesn't make sense though. If you paid $100 for a snake, why should someone else pay more. They can go to the same breeder you did, and get a snake for $100. A better price might be $50, and even if you just asked $25 for each baby, you'd still make $1,250. Multiply that by a dozen or more pairs of breeder snakes and now you're starting to make some money. It can be a little different if you deal only in rare snakes, where you may pay $1,000 for a snake, and be able to sell a baby for almost the same amount or an amount just a bit lower. Multiply that times 50, and now we're talking even more money.
Have A Proper Facility - Still, you're probably better off if you keep your passion for snakes alive, and don't let the $-signs become your only priority. You've got to keep your breeding facilities up to date, and large enough to handle perhaps hundreds of snakes. If you live in a residential area, you may run into a problem with neighbors who are uneasy about knowing there are 500 or 600 snakes just next door, even if they (the snakes, not the neighbors) aren't particularly dangerous. One is bound to get loose on occasion and if it's more than a few feet long, you could run into some problems.
Customers And Mentors - Finally, before you get to the point where baby snakes are hatching left and right, you're going to have to have some customers, which probably won't be your neighbors. Part of a successful snake breeding business is going to be attending trade shows, reptile shows, and even small business clinics, to discover how best to locate and win customers. One good piece of advice might be to find a long time snake breeder who is breeding and selling snakes of a different kind than yours. If that breeder doesn't see you as a potential competitor, you may have found a valuable mentor.