*You may be able to make a living at breeding or caring for exotics if you are..
- willing to eat macaroni and cheese for the rest of your life
- willing to live in the same size enclosure as your animals
- willing to push your car to get it started, or go without reverse
- accept that your livestock trailer will be the most expensive material possession you own.
- if you or your best friend is a vet
- if you can accept that you will never have the amount of babies planned and that those babies that are born are all going to be males.
- that there will always be that one "child" who just doesn't want to be anyone's friend and you end up keeping all those "unruly children"(referring to your exotic children)
- that you are going to watch $1,000 hop, run or jump away from you and all you can do is sigh when you look at the hole in the ground or the broken fence or gate that someone left open. (then it walks up to your neighbor and they now have the animal as their pet.)
-when you are willing to trust others out there but accept that someone is going to rip you off, mess you up, or hurt you. (despite sour deals and bad run ins- which I have had my share and yes they broke my heart. I still choose to believe in others. If you live as if everyone is out to get you-life becomes like a bowl of cherries-it's the pits)
-if the only thing you have to put in your will are you animals
-remember that your loved "human" ones should still come first. Broken marriages over animals is not worth it! If you do not have a loving relationship with your wife or husband what good is a million animals!
-accept that your animal bills will be WAY Higher than estimated each month and that your monthly grocery allotment is going to go to feed your animals and you! (yummy more monkey biscuits- hey pass the kangaroo chow will ya!)
- When your husband or wife can accept that the meal you prepare for your iguanas is going to be much more pleasing than his/her meal - if he/she is lucky enough to get one.
- if you can smile pleasantly and say yes sir when they come to inspect you. (those inspectors love coffee too)
-when you can allow animal loses to break your heart but not harden your heart and you can get back up with a beloved memory and continue on. (when all you see is dollar signs when your animal gets sick or dies you need to get out!)
I think you forgot to include:
You can easily get by on around four hours sleep
You think it's great to have volunteers/staff in your space all day every day, and most evenings.
You never plan to leave for a weekend unless you can afford replacement staff
You have endless patience with sick or simply stubborn animals (...and people...)
You are good at dealing with phone calls opening with "How much do ya'll sell tigers for?"
You don't mind repeating yourself when the follow up question is, "Can I get leopard lessons?"
Ow! The part about leopard lessons caught me in the middle of sipping a drink. Ice tea in the sinuses! One thing I'd like to add to the list:
You know you're an exotic animal addict when:
You window shop in pet stores and toy stores for new enrichment items for your animals.
You find yourself in the produce section of the grocery store, looking for new and interesting fruits for your sugar gliders, monkeys or other fruit eaters.
You pick plants at the nursery based on their potential for being used as browse for the critters, even if the plants are ones that don't grow well in your part of the country. (with me its hibiscus for the gliders)
You drive the local feed store owners crazy asking when that special order shipment of Mazuri feeds is coming in.
The Up side is the joy of the animals. Mike
If you have boxes of pictures with dates of birth/hatch but only a couple
pics of family;
If vacations are something you vaguely remember & wistfully listen to other people talk about - but you'd rather hear all the barks, chirps, pipping & beak grinding than the waves on the shores of Wakiki anyway;
You spend more on DMV bills than MD by a ratio you don't wanna even think about;
You never have to worry about extra blankets, just if there will be any room in your king sized bed for you - they REALLY need to make bigger beds;
You have 3 alarms for night time/ round the clock feedings;
You have your Vets home phone number memorized but can't rember you brothers;
It takes you 2 hours to leave the house for a 10 min errand as you have to make sure everyone is where they belong & everyone is locked securely in;
All your HEPA air filters, smoke/CO2 detectors & humidifiers are in the animal rooms;
And when you're short for the month the critter food & fresh fruits & veggies get bought then you figure out which bills you can make half payments or no payments on [again] & if you can make groceries for yourself;
AND you turn down down the offer from an unsuitable buyer without giving it a thought.
or you actually will, in an acting job worthy of an Oscar, hold a grub or super zoo to your lips [almost] & say"mmmm, nummy! Almost too good to share!"
Jason, I carry a crib sheet for the checkout person ;^
You don't mind the glare from shoppers in the checkout line behind you caused by the new checker having to look up the codes for almost allof your vegetables and fruits.
You don't mind the glare from the checker when you say "It's kale. PLU# 4725!"
Or, you know you're a herp owner when you've actually bought kale. :)
...when you are so used to cleaning up poop that when no one's looking you pick up some of those little pellets with your hands cause you are nowhere near a paper towel! (come on admit it!)
..when poop is the most common stain left on you.
..when visitors come over and you pretend to be upset that your animals are on the couch, table, counter, kitchen (in my case when my mom comes to visit- My animals are like yea mom left)
Be willing to accept the fact that should something go terribly wrong (theft, killer virus, flood, fire, etc.), that virtually no insurance company will touch you with a ten-foot pole (especially if you breed reptiles) and you will lose your investment with little hope of ever restarting.
G.A. Christian Bilou, M.A.,BSc.,FRHS
Hope, You forgot a few.
You might be an animal breeder if:
-You are willing to never have a day off.
-You will never get to go to Hawaii
-You buy bedding for the animals more than clothes for yourself.
-When you go to parent teacher conferences and the teacher wants to know what new animals you have.
-You find yourself spending more time with the animals than you do your family.
-Your New Year's resolution is to quit smoking where you can afford new cages.