About Hissy Fit Reptiles
Thank you for visiting Hissy Fit Reptiles! My name is Doug Nacker and I've been raising and breeding ball pythons since 2009. I've also had experience with other reptiles as either pets or for breeding, such as a red tail boa, a bearded dragon, crested geckos, and leopard geckos. I have a wife and 5 kids that mean the world to me. Now, reptiles haven't always been an interest to me, in fact I used to be deathly afraid of snakes... keep reading to find out how that all changed.
Fear of Snakes
When I was younger, I was always afraid of snakes and that fear carried with me into adulthood. I'm not really sure why, probably all the negative things I had heard of them or maybe my dad scaring me with them when I was a kid. When I would mow the lawn and see a grass, garter or pine snake, I would freak out. Anyways, it wasn't until I was 27 years old in 2009 that I finally broke that fear and held a snake for the first time ever.
Getting Over My Fear
This all started when my oldest son brought a red-bellied snake home from the school forest and wanted to keep it as a pet. I was very much against the idea and even said...and I quote "We will NEVER have a snake in this house!" My wife had no problem with it and tried to convince me to at least consider it. I looked at the tiny snake in the jar that he was temporarily being kept in and my son asked if I would at least hold it. I initially said "NO" but after looking at it more, I decided to give it a try, especially considering that it was no bigger than a nightcrawler. So he put it in my hands and it somewhat moved around and at that point I thought it was kind of neat. After talking to my wife that evening, we decided to go to PetCo the next day to get a tank for the snake.
When we got to Petco and told the lady in the reptile department what we had and that we wanted to buy a tank, she suggested against keeping a red-bellied snake based on their food source and short lifespan. At that point she stated that they do carry ball pythons, boas and corn snakes. She walked us over to where she pulled a boa out of its terrarium. Standing about 5-6 feet from her, she asked if I would like to hold the 20" boa. I was really scared...I mean, this was way bigger than that red-bellied snake I held a day earlier. I was nervous and my knees were shaking, but at this point I didn't want to let our son down since he was excited about having a snake as a pet. So I reluctantly said "Sure" and she put the snake in my hands and it immediately started slithering through my fingers and around my arms, and all I thought was how amazing this snake was. I had never held anything like that before, but at that point my whole perspective on snakes changed. So we impulse bought that boa and bought all the caging and everything that day. This is important for anyone reading this, as I don't recomment impulse buying any pet, however, I started putting in an immense amount of research on snakes (boas inparticular) and wanted to give that snake the best possible living environment possible and also learn the do's and dont's along the way. Now, I was still a little nervous for the first month or so, but became more and more comfortable handling her.
In October 2009 I began getting into ball pythons, mostly from seeing them in videos and articles online and admiring their interesting pattern and color morphs. It was around that time that I was introduced to Garrick DeMeyer from Royal Constrictor Designs, who I found out only lived about 5 miles from my place. It just so happened that he had an Open House at his facility in October and it was when I picked out my very first ball python - a BUMBLEBEE! I was amazed by how bright and clean she looked...I was HOOKED! As many of you know, you can't get just get one. I eventually got some more females and then males about a year later and got my first clutches of eggs in 2012 - including a clutch of 4 eggs from my bumblebee girl and I ended up producing 2 Killer Blasts (Super Pastel Spider Pinstripe) from her.
Almost Out of the Hobby
As some of you may know, and more will realize, I don't have any of my original stock of ball pythons and only have the killer blast female from my holdbacks from 2012 and 2013. The reason being that I lost my job and had to have a way to take care of my family, which many ball pythons ended up contributing to. I was to the point where I was selling holdbacks and proven breeders just to get the bills paid for that month. 2014 was a really hard year, but we made it through and I had 4 ball pythons left that didn't have to be sold.
Rebuilding Hissy Fit Reptiles!
With the remaining stock of 4 ball pythons (3 of which were produced here at Hissy Fit Reptiles) I had decided it was time to start rebuilding the collection that I had worked so hard to maintain for the previous 4-5 years. This time I decided to one up almost everything I had previously done. So instead of getting a mojave and a mystic, I got a pastel mystic potion female. Instead of getting a hidden gene woma and a lesser, I got a soul sucker. You get the point, I basically was getting morphs that I was hoping to have produced by this point in time. I am excited to have 3 girls breeding in the 2015/2016 season after not having anything breed in the 2014/2015 season at all. I can't wait to keep moving forward and seeing some of the amazing babies that will hatch out.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Maybe it will inspire anyone out there who is afraid of snakes, to not necessarily go out and buy a bunch of snakes on a whim, but maybe it will help people realize that if they give it a chance, they will see that snakes are not the scary, evil animals some people and media sources make them out to be. I am proof that people can change, hopefully I can inspire hesitant people to do the same.