Sometimes at Threadbird we work on a print for a customer and think it’s cool and then find out more about what the company does and it becomes that much cooler. BHB Reptiles definitely surprised us.
Since 1989, Brian Barcyk of BHB Reptiles has kept a wide assortment of reptiles from corn snakes to boas to bearded dragons. Whether someone is looking for a pet snake or is an experienced breeder, BHB’s online store has everything a snake or reptile fan could want.
Barczyk and the rest of the BHB team can also be seen on snakebytes.tv as they share their experience, tips and tricks for keeping a snake or reptile.
We recently chatted with Barczyk about BHB and how he found his way into such a unique career.
When did your interest in reptiles first begin?
My first memory as a child at the age of two years old was of a Ball Python at the local zoo. Not my siblings, not my parents, but a snake! I have been obsessed ever since! I always tell people you can be born with an animal gene and obviously that’s what I have.
How did BHB come to be?
I wanted to work in a zoo and went to college for zoology. I bred some snakes to make a little money to help pay my way through college. But by the time I was 20 years old I was making far more money from breeding snakes than I could at any animal profession. So I thought, let’s give it a try. Here we are 26 years later and life has been amazing!
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Everything! I wake up in the morning and get to play with animals all day. I also get to travel the world filming wildlife in some of the coolest places on the planet for my web series named AnimalBytesTV and SnakeBytesTV.
Are the majority of your customers novice hobbyists or more serious investors?
We sell to three types of clients. The beginner or pet trade that are looking to have an awesome reptile as a pet. We wholesale to the pet trade in quantity to supply stores and other dealers and finally investors that will pay $50,000 plus for the rarest of animals.
What’s the largest reptile you guys have dealt with?
I just got back from filming in California with some 22 foot close to 400 pound Reticulated Pythons!
On average, how many reptiles do you guys have at one time?
We have about 30,000 snakes and about 5,000 lizards most of the time.
What’s the most difficult part of keeping such a large inventory of reptiles?
Employees… haha. The animals are always awesome, but having to deal with the keepers can be a challenge. After all we have to make sure that all the animals are cared for to the best we can and its important that everyone does their job! If one person fall short it can throw the entire operation off. Not to mention to 18 hours days! But I love every minute of it!
What’s your favorite reptile?
I can’t choose… It’s like asking a mom of 5 who their favorite child is.
Any crazy stories from the business?
So many…. My life is full of adventure! From travel to meeting amazing people. Not to mention getting the occasional attack from a huge snake to lizard. I have more scars than I would like to admit. Trust me there is never a dull moment when doing what I do for a living.
Thank you for your time, Brian! We loved learning more about BHB.
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