Q & A With GAVIN ADKINS!!!
This week I had the privilege of speaking with creator and owner of Balls2U Gavin Adkins. Gavin is well known not only for his eye catching and stunning collection of ball pythons but for his extremely informative YouTube channel.
Gavin's insight and knowledge in the reptile community has led to him becoming one of the most well known breeders in the UK.
Here are a few things we spoke about.
Q. How did you first get in to the hobby and what was your first reptile?
A. My first reptile was a corn snake and like most people had I had a fascination for cold-blooded animals. I was around 10 years old when I started keeping reptiles.
Q. Do you think there is anything missing from the hobby or can be improved on?
A. The one thing I think we are missing in this hobby is transparency. By educating people who are looking to buy a reptile, this will help make this improvement. Helping people ask the right questions when purchasing a reptile from a breeder.
Q. Are you making any changes when breeding this year with regards to temperature, bedding, incubation ect…
A. This year, with my first clutch I raised the incubator temperature higher as a few breeders have noticed that they run higher temperatures and have hit higher ratio of females. I did not notice any significant change due to the ratio in the sex of the clutch, so I drop my temperature back down to my standard settings.
Q. If someone was looking to get there first breeding pair, what would you recommend they work with?
A. I always recommend make what you like so if it's a bumblebee then get a pastel and spider, but always go for what you like.
Q. Are you planning to add any new genes to your collection any time soon?
A. I think it's important to always add new additions to your collection to help grow your projects and also introduce fresh blood lines. This year I have my eyes Set on a few new genes, but at the minute I'm just keeping a lid on them.
Q. What has been your longest project?
A. The axanthic clown Project...... I have had all the ingredients for years and I still haven't started it yet haha.
Q. Can you see yourself opening a pet shop in the future?
A. Not so much a pet shop but more of a reptile zoo for educational purposes.
Q. Do you plan to work with any other species?
A. I do keep other species however my passion is in ball pythons.
Q. How are things going with your new online shop? Can we expect to see more products in the future?
A. The online shop has really taken off and I'm overwhelmed with how many people all over the world have brought t-shirts or hoodies from the shop. I have always wanted to launch my own rack system so who knows what the future will hold.
Q. Do you think that morph market has made a difference now that it includes the UK?
A. The morphmarket was one of the best things that has ever landed in the UK regarding helping people establish themselves and sell there animals and for the buyer to have reassurance from the people that they're buying from.
Q. How are you finding reptile scan? Would you recommend this to other keepers?
A. I'm a old-school pen and paper sort of guy however I was very sceptical with reptile scan but I took the plunge and started to use it and now it is an absolute god send. I would recommend anyone with five animals or more to start integrating reptile scan into their collection.
The only downside I have to the program, is I think the developer has stopped moving forward with the program but I'm not 100% sure.
Q. Does breeding your own ASF’S take up a lot of your time?
A. Breeding rodents is almost another full-time job at the minute. I breed for 50% of my collection and a close friend of mine breeds for the other 50%.
I would advise anyone who is thinking about becoming a breeder to consider setting up their own rodent colony.
Remember this, quality in quality out.
Q. Finally, do you have any top tips for all the breeders out there?
A. Quality over quantity..... always push for the best of the best.
If you are new to breeding, keeping, or are just interested in ball pythons, I recommend you check out Gavin’s YouTube page. Here you can find all sorts of helpful tips, tricks and stunning animals.
Here are a few links to the Balls2u YouTube and Instagram account.