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Posted by Bill_Strand on April 18, 2003 at 10:07:10:
In Reply to: What to breed? posted by bigschtick25 on April 18, 2003 at 02:32:03:
Now that is enthusiasm! It is really easy to get swept up in chameleons as they are so cool. What could be better than reproducing them and having a bunch of them all around? Well, they ARE cool and breeding them IS very enjoyable. The flip side to that is that it is very labor and resource intensive. When you go into any sort of business venture you really need to first know the market and the product or else you will crash and burn faster than the many people who DO know chameleons and crash and burn business-wise ANYWAYS. It takes a well connnected person to make it in chameleon breeding.
The bottom line is that now is the time for you to pick a chameleon that you like. Don't pick a chameleon for it's money making potential. You can have breeding in the back of your mind, but only attempt to do that after you have a bit of experience as to what it takes to just keep a chameleon. And only get a chameleon after you have read this forum, care sheets, and books.
What you will find is that the whole process is not as easy as it looks and if you are the least bit worried about the price of a panther chameleon then you will not like the price of the setup required to have two chameleons or what it takes to make sure each chameleon has UVB and a healthy diet or ESPECIALLY what it takes to raise up a bunch of baby chameleons correctly. The time and money investment is huge when you consider what it costs to care for your breeding stock (vet visits, electricity, light bulb replacement, food, supplements) for the year or two years it takes to acclimate, breed, and wait for the babies to hatch.
The bottom line is that you will most probably lose money breeding chameleons. Those that do work with chameleons do so because they love them. Making money (or just breaking even!) is a lot easier with other things!
So if breeding truly is your goal here is your roadmap:
1) pick a chameleon species you like through personal taste and through research to make sure they are available, you can care for, and you are willing to put forth the money necessary to care for.
2) Spend the money it takes to get the setup together. Don't judge whether you can be a chameleon owner by just the price of the animal. The setup is an eye-opener.
3) Get your chameleon (Your best bet is a captive born baby from a reputable breeder)
4) Spent the next year learning your real lessons
5) Once you gain the experience necessary to keep a chameleon healthy then you might have a chance at breeding them!
In conclusion, as hard as it is to be patient, don't jump too many steps ahead. You'll just have a disappointing experience and be one of the many lights that burn bright and die fast. We would love to have more good breeders, but there is no shortcut to get to be one. In fact it is pretty tough!