We would like to respond to an often asked question of what features should be considered for a particular variety in determining its overall investment breeding potential.
We have found that certain characteristics associated with a species or variety are directly related to successful commercial breeding programs. Varieties that possess the majority of these characteristics have led to the highest sustained popularity and maximum longevity for investment breeding returns.
The characteristics listed in random, non-ranked order are:
Species with “natural” domestic qualities that allow for the reasonable ability to meet housing, environmental, husbandry and feeding requirements in order for both breeding stock and offspring to thrive. A significant additional management consideration is the ability for offspring to establish and readily feed within several weeks after birth, and therefore, allow for distribution at an early age.
Species with relatively low annual reproductive capability have consistently led to sustained higher price structuring and non-volatile pricing stability. In contrast, species with extremely high annual reproductive capability have led to eventual lower price structuring.
Isolation from the potential impact of any significant importation or field collecting is a fundamental requirement for the long-term success of any commercial investment breeding program. This characteristic is usually satisfied by working with a variety that is rarely found in the wild, working with or developing a genetically determined trait not readily collectible in the wild, or legal status restricting the access of significant numbers of the wild population.
Varieties from a taxonomic category of established awareness and timeless popularity due to unique outward morphology and associated pattern and color traits. This would include certain boas and pythons, Lampropeltis species, and specific lizard species. Within these taxon, favorable behavioral traits and acceptable size parameters carry significant additional weight in determining maximum keeping popularity.
A high contrast or easily recognizable unique pattern and bold, beautiful colors is a constant theme in the most popular commercially bred species and varieties.
Species that possess a high degree of genetic flexibility resulting in multiple known and presently unknown pattern and color morphs. This provides the ability to extensively develop and refine the known popular traits through domestic selective breeding and also the possibility for additional unique and breedable traits to emerge. With this ability, it forever changes the way we look at the hidden potential of a species or variety, such as the Ball Pythons.
The highest quality offspring relating to color and pattern of any popular variety have consistently been the most sought-after and the most profitable. Considering the equal cost of care and feeding for specimens of low or high quality, it is an important standard to acquire the highest quality stock possible.