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You get $1k to start out...


New member
I was watching some SnakeBytes, and came across this episode. In it, they discuss how they would start out a ball python business with $1k, $5k and $10k as their start-up fund. You can buy ridiculous amounts of stuff with $5k and $10k, so that pretty much went right over my head. The choices you have to make with only $1k had me quite interested, though, and I started thinking about Corns.

We'll assume you have money beyond the $1k for caging and rodents and shipping and such, so ignore that stuff. Remember, you are starting with 0 snakes, but you have the full $1k to spend and there is no time limit. Assume you can buy all hatchlings and wait a couple years to raise them.

He starts out with 3 co-dominant males (a Mojave, a Spider and a Pinstripe), which takes up most of his money. He then buys 15 normal, super cheap females to breed with them (5 for each male). He then gets lots and lots of morph combos as a result, and is seemingly quite well off.

So what would you do? Buy a few males, lots of females, and try to succeed based on a large selection of morphs in the low to medium price range? Do you buy a single pair of super rare and expensive snakes and try to make it on a single clutch of similarly expensive hatchlings? Would you buy 40 low price morphs and try to succeed with a zillion low price hatchlings?

There's a lot of unique directions you can go with all the morphs out there, regardless of which strategy you choose. I think this is a potentially fascinating subject to discuss, and I'm going to assume that this thread has never been made before. :)
Interesting topic!

It's hard for me to do any serious, deep thought into this as I am not remotely familiar with the corn market and current pricing of morphs, but my first thought would be to delve into a nice morph/line that few people seem to work with (i.e., my current obsession, the Tequila Sunrise line) and focus on that... Plus one or two low to mid priced and more "familiar" (so to speak) projects thrown in for good measure (for me, it would have to be diffused and/or motley/stripe based projects--love 'em).

Or a Silverleaf Kisatchie project, if venturing into non-corn territory. A nice Silverleaf male, and then however many het females can be afforded with the remainder. Now that would be a fun project... And, I would hope, with decent demand, considering how stunning yet rare Silverleaves seem to be.
He starts out with 3 co-dominant males (a Mojave, a Spider and a Pinstripe), which takes up most of his money. He then buys 15 normal, super cheap females to breed with them (5 for each male). He then gets lots and lots of morph combos as a result, and is seemingly quite well off.
But this only works if very few other people are doing it. It's quite a naive proposal.

The reality is that with desirable morphs of anything, people do the same math at the same time and get started at the same time. By the time he's a couple of seasons into the outlined breeding project, the prices of what he initially bought and is now selling, has dropped. So he's not as well off as he might think he'll be.

Corns don't hold their value in the same way that's being seen in BPs, so the business model holds even less water. Let's face it, if anyone could get rich breeding Corns, many more would be doing it than actually are!

In my view, the best strategy with Corns is to buy the morphs you like the best, work on breeding projects which interest you the most, and make sure you can sell the offspring at any price - including the many dozens of most likely low value morph and Normal "byproducts" which won't be your desired outcome. With a breeding project like the one outlined in the proposed model, maintaining your own interest and commitment whilst working a full-time job, will be the main problem.

And it's worth adding that I've spent way more than £1k on Corns over the years. Still not rich off it the last time I looked!
LOL.... I'd call Don....Straight up! :) $1000.00 Might get me a down payment on a palmetto. No time limit? Work all the OT i can physically handle....Pay off the Palmetto ASAP....Post Lots of Killer Pictures...Then go back to working with my blizzards & charcoals. :) It's Never been about the money...
I think part of the problem is that in BPs especially, there are a lot of co-dominant and dominant morphs. Homozygous and Heterozygous individuals looks so much different. With corns, almost everything is a recessive morph and so, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to buy one expensive male and a bunch of females if you're only going to get normals in return.

I have a snow motley and a bloodred that I'm planning on breeding in a couple of years. For them, I'm trying to pick out their mates based on what I want to produce. For example, my Bloodred female is 100% het for lavender, motley, and hypo and 50% het for amel and caramel. So for her, I'm looking into a hypo lavender motley, diffused opal, or an opal to try and prove out her hets.

It's a shame most corn morphs aren't co-dominant. Imagine all the possibilities!