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Looking for a Reputable Ball Python Breeder in MD

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by angrykitten, Feb 18, 2009.

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  1. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    As explained in my introduction thread I am new to this forum and I am just learning about snakes.
    We have decided (I think I pretty much convinced my husband too! :)) to take a ball python and I have been going back and forth to Petco or a the pet store at the Mall just to be able to talk about them and have the possibility to hold one.
    There are even several people trying to sell their ball pythons through craiglist, but my savvy husband said that if we get one we should go to a reputable breeder.
    Now, being new to herpiculture, I don't know where to find one.
    I live in Maryland, half an hour from Baltimore and one hour from DC. Does anybody can tell me where should I go to buy my ball python?
    For sure I wouldn't want to get one shipped to my house: I am looking for a place where they will possibly let me see one feeding, let me handle the snake before buying it and where I would be 100% sure to have a CB ball.
    Also, as this will be my very first snake, would you suggest to get a baby/young one? How old?
     
  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I'm going to suggest the Mid Atlantic Reptile Rescue (MARS). Their listing is on Pet adoption: Want a dog or cat? Adopt a pet on Petfinder and there are ALWAYS ball pythons available. I believe they do health screenings and make sure the snake is suitable for adoption.

    If you have your heart set on a new one though, there is a monthly reptile show in havre de grace. Maryland Reptile Farm
     
  3. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Thanks! I already tried Petfinder, but they are no balls available neither in MD or VA right now.
    What about a reputable "reptile shop"?
     
  4. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

  5. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    I think they have a show in March. Do you mean that you go there and come back with your snake the same day? What's happen to these people then...do they just disappear? If you have some problems with the snake? What about breeders that they actually ship their snakes and garantee live delivery? Can they be trusted?
    It is so confusing... Is it a place like Petco really out of the question? I have been there twice: there was a guy that knew a lot about snakes (and had them at home) and gave me very usuful info. I went back next day and there was a girl, not that nice and that gave me totally different information!
    By the way, I was checked the MARS a little better and yes, they do have pythons...so I could always try with them, but I do not know which level of expertise do they want.

    Thanks for your help. I think I have to be patient and the right ball will come!
     
  6. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    They have a show every month, minus the month the yearly show is at the fairgrounds. Most of the animals at the show are very healthy. When you buy your snake, ask for a business card and talk to them about the "what if" factor. Most of the vendors are there every month.

    As you can see, petstores are not very reliable with information. And just because ONE person keeps snakes, doesn't mean he is doing it right. There are many keepers out there and many people do many things, both right and wrong. You have taken the first best step and have started your own research and you can draw your own conclusions.

    The good thing with the rescue, is if it doesn't work out, they will take the snake back. All of their snakes are also already on F/T mice, so no live feeding necessary. I don't think they would care if you are a beginner. They will probably quiz you on the snakes care and ask you what sort of setup you have ready for the snake.
     
  7. MoogleBass

    MoogleBass Kittes are so nice! Premium Member

    Yes if you go to a show get a name and and card if possible. Most will give you one. How far are you from Plaistow, NH? Cause well, thats where NERD is one of the biggest breeders of ball pythons. Also if you buy from most people online they do guarantee live delivery. I can list you alot of breeders that ship live, but I am not sure what you are looking for. Shipping is about 50 bucks.
     
  8. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    This will be my very first snake, so I am just looking for a healthy normal ball python (baby/young), CB. Preferably eating frozen, but I am prepared to go through the challenge to switch from live to frozen (especially if he is just a baby).
    Is it common to get snakes on line?
     
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    It's been my experience that it is easier to switch them when they are babies, fewer habits already established.

    Many breeders extensively guarantee their animals. I was very impressed with my first Ball, got her from a breeder who guaranteed all animals free of parasites and diseases (except of course salmonella) and guaranteed all to eat, and even fed, or would provide you with a mouse. If it didn't eat, or had any problems, exchanges were free of charge. Even after I moved 1200 miles, and had one snake die of congenital birth defects (completely random) they offered to ship me another baby no charge. I didn't take them up, because I do not want to ship animals - I'm quite nearly phobic about it, but they said I was welcome to another if I was ever in town again. It was a very nice experience, I hope you can find a good breeder that is willing to help you out like that.

    and my snakes, when checked by the vets, were free of parasites of any kind, and correctly gendered.
     
  10. Maya

    Maya Elite Member

    I got Tiberius from a Herp show in Raleigh, he was 3-weeks old, had eaten a pinky once. I equipped him with everything from the show, including a couple of pinkies, brought him home in a bag under my shirt to keep him warm. I guess I paid a bit more than any of the local pet stores, but it was love at first site. He is beautiful now almost 7-months old. Took him to the vet once for an annual physical. I wish you luck, it has been a wonderful experience (with a lot of help from this here). community).
     
  11. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Thank you everybody for your answers...I thought the most difficult part was going to be get everything perfectly set up and obviously take care of the new family addition. But more I read about "where to get a baby ball python" and more I get confused!! Many people said not to go to a pet store as often their balls are WC, or have parasites or are so sick (even though you can't see it right then) that would die.
    By the way, what's the difference between CH and CB. Does Captive Hatched means that the eggs were taken from a wild snake and hatched in captivity? There is a breeder on line that offer baby balls but they are all CH.
    Also, is it a better season to look for baby balls? I read that they usually breed during Spring, but I was wondering if that happens also in captivity.

    Perhaps I should wait Summer time and there will be more babies available?

    Looking on the net I know there are some very reputable breeders like rcreptiles.com, but he seems to have just morph or very expensive balls...I definitely don't want to start with a $500 (o more) snake. But I am happy to pay the extra in order to be safe and have a healthy regular ball.

    So, would you suggest the next Maryland show a possible good place where to find a healthy baby, or at least a good breeder?

    Unfortunately it is happening on Saturday which is a working day for me, but I'll see if I can take at least half day off. Not sure...

    If anybody bought on line from a seriuos reputable breeder, please, let me know their contact. I would appreciate!
     
  12. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Yes, CH means they take the eggs out of the wild and hatch them in captivity.

    At the show, I have seen normal BPs (no fancy cross breeds or anything) as low as $50. So there is no reason to spend $500 on your first snake.

    I usually go to the show every month. If you want, I can pick up a business card for you of a good breeder so you can contact them.
     
  13. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Liz,

    Thank you! That's a very nice offer! The show is between 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m. which means I will need to take the whole day off (I work as a massage therapist and sometimes Saturday is the only day I actually have clients!). I need to see...
    But if you are willing to take a couple of business cards for me that would be great!
    Thank you again! I really appreciate the help!
     
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Captive hatched snakes have the eggs harvested and hatched in the wild and imported into this country. They are basically a wild caught snake. That said there are many people, myself included, who have CH snakes with no problems. The trick is dealing with a responsible pet shop.
    Hatching is in springtime. About April or May thousands of CH babies are imported and flood the market. In most places this brings the prices down. For instance when I first got my pair I paid 20 bucks each for them from a pet store in spring. 6 months later the price had gone up to 100 dollars each!
    And buying at a show is no guarantee that what you are buying is not a CH. You have to spend time talking to the vendors to find out.
    One easy give away is if the snakes have ticks on them they are wild.
     
  15. MoogleBass

    MoogleBass Kittes are so nice! Premium Member

    Depending on if you want a baby or not. The lowest I have found a ball at a show was 5 bucks....but well they were feeders for kings, and hot snakes. So they don't really count. At the end of the year you can find adult males for about 20 bucks, atleast I have. Also I know your not wanting to spend 500 on your first snake, normals look great, but there are also pastels that have dropped in price a lot that look great.

    Some breeders I have dealt with.

    Special K Reptiles, no website, I know he used to have bps, may still, i know hes big in boas. He is a great guy to work with.
    Tim Koppenhofer
    216-789-0684
    specialkreptiles@hotmail.com


    Pro Heprs( I personally know them) http://proherps.com/ You may have to call them to see if they have any normals. I have dealt with them at shows mostly.

    Here are some to check out, I have not dealt with, but heard great things.
    Mike Cole - Ballroom Pythons South

    NERD New England Reptile Distributors, designer Ball Pythons, Reticulated Pythons, and much more!
     
  16. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Yes, Merlin, but it is so easy to spot ticks or mites considering that I am not an expert (I have three cats and had a dog, so I know what a tick looks like, but I read they are different type of ticks on snakes)?
     
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Ticks look like ticks. Period.
    What gets me is people that claim that their animals are not wild caught and they have scars and ticks all over them.
    I guess they think people are idiots.
     
  18. Maya

    Maya Elite Member

    Thanks MoogleBass, I really would be happy with my head in the sand, not thinking of balls as feeders. I feel positively sick of thinking of Tiberius as a snack. I don't think I will ever have a cani-ball-istic King snake.
     
  19. MoogleBass

    MoogleBass Kittes are so nice! Premium Member

    Your welcome :). Feeder balls are just that, feeders, they are about a month or so older and will not eat. Easier to sell for food than deal with a problem feeding ball when you have others. Most are used just for hot snakes. Some may use them for kings I dont know.
     
  20. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    What is a hot snake?

    I'm familiar with the ophiophagus habits of kings...
     
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