This a question that I have been asked on multiple occasions by customers and potential customers. As a ball python breeder, I think it is very important question that requires some discussion. To answer this question, I always start by explaining how I got into ball pythons. I purchased my first ball python nearly 15 years ago. That python, who I named James- I later found out to be a female, was the one who started my passion for ball pythons. I quickly realized that ball pythons are the perfect pet snake. That is a universal fact. Up until I purchased James, I had only owned native snakes and I really liked the idea of having an exotic one. To a ten year old kid, it was pretty neat to tell all my friends that I had a python. I remember thinking that hatchling python was massive and to me at the time she was. 

Over the next few years I added more ball pythons here and there. Any extra money I made went into buying more ball pythons. It was a cycle. Make money, buy ball pythons, make racks, and then repeat. While at this point they were all normals, I lucked out with nearly everyone turning out to be female when I later got interested in breeding. That luck ended up helping me out big time. Once I got into morphs, my outlook changed. Every ball python I came over, I closely examined hoping I could come across a new morph. I remember going to shows as a teenager and picking through hundreds of baby imported ball pythons looking for subtle morphs. I found my granite, yellowbelly, charcoal, and cinnamon lines during that time. I was pretty proud of my investment when I proved out each of these lines.

Investing in ball pythons for breeding purposes can be a very rewarding experience that can and, if you do it right,  will be profitable. The ball python remade the Reptile Industry. The ball python has made the Reptile Industry bigger and stronger than it has ever been. Look at how many people keep ball pythons as pets and look at how many expos and how many online forums there are. It is absolutely stunning where it is today, compared to 15 years ago when I got James. Basically, the reasons why ball pythons are legitimate investment alternatives are as follows:

  1. Small Size: Even the largest of ball pythons can live out their lives in a 41 qt tub. Their small size allows the average person to have enough animals to have a successful breeding operation. An extra room or small shed can house a nice collection of ball pythons. They are big enough to be impressive to non snake people, but not too big to be an issue.
  2. Color Variation: Correct me if I am wrong, but there is no other reptile with as many color and pattern mutations as the ball python. Just look over at the World of Ball Pythons to see how many morphs there are. It is insane to think about and boggles the mind when one considers all the possible pairings. Anyone with a work ethic can be successful with their animals and can make a new morph.
  3. Ease of Care: The majority of snakes are easy to care for, but ball pythons are definitely one of the easiest. Most adults will eat every week or every 10 days. They will need to be cleaned once a week or so and watered 2 times a week. There is no special prerequisites to care for ball pythons. Breeding them is just as easy. Putting them together is usually all it takes for them to breed and the eggs hatch pretty reliably once you decide on an incubation method.
  4. FreedomFor me, ball pythons have provided an escape from the boring 9 to 5 work day. Believing in what I am doing is what has allowed me to be successful and turn the hobby into a successful venture. Hard work and good marketing has propelled what I am doing tenfold, which has made me believe more in what I am doing. It is great to know that I am working doing something I love.

Hopefully this post will help anyone who is on the fence about investing in ball pythons become more confident about their decision to invest because if you work hard, it is a good investment and you will see a return on your work.  Coming up soon: How to turn your hobby into a business!

Comment below and let me know your thoughts!

-Peter vonLehe Ruegner

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