Brian Barcyzk - My opinion

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by LittleButterfly, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. LittleButterfly

    LittleButterfly Not so new Member

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    Hello Aussie Pythons community,

    So recently I have taken a lot of interest in the way Brian Barczyk actually handles and houses his animals. I know this is a topic that has been talked about a lot already but I just wanted to put in my opinion.

    First things first, his handling.
    Brian normally handles his small to medium sized snakes with one hand, with his other hand occupied with his camera. Now for small pythons this may be somewhat okay, I hold my 14 month old stimmie with one hand when I'm cleaning my enclosure, in Brian's case when he is handling baby ball pythons. The bigger problem is when he is handling large ball pythons or any size of colubrid. With the larger ball pythons, sometimes he doesn't support their bodies well enough, because he sometimes wants to show you the length of the animals. I don't like this because ball pythons have a large body and it is more comfortable for them when they are supported.
    Secondly, when he handles his colubrids, he often holds them quite tightly, especially the babies because they are faster moving snakes majority of the time. This stresses the snake out and isn't a good way to handle animals. He also handles animals that do not like handling, like his tree boa, which results in him getting bitten most of the time, which translates to the viewer that snakes like to bite.
    Also, just a quick note, Brian sometimes handles venomous snakes irresponsibly

    Second, his husbandry.
    I touched on this (as well as some of the people who replied to my article) in my Reptiles by Mack Post.
    I don't mind the rack method as long as it's done correctly and doesn't affect the animal in a negative way. Brian provides his snakes little to no substrate (ie his ball pythons, only paper towel) and a water dish. No hides and no other sources of enrichment. This is a problem because this means the snake has no mental stimulation and no place to feel secure. Brian had said that he doesn't use hides because the enclosure is sort of like a hide because it is dark and covered majority of the time. But then how does the snake have a day/night cycle? Also, that means that the snake probably only gets a small amount of time outside it's enclosure. This may mean that by the time the snake is shipped to it's owner, it has had very little human interaction.

    Thirdly, the way he runs his business.
    Brian has a lot of snakes and other reptiles. And a smaller crew by the looks of it. Now Brian has never actually said how many animals he has, possibly from fear of getting hate. A small crew mixed with lots of animals isn't a great combination. Also, according to articles I have read, Brian does not quarantine his animals and has had quite a few deaths within his collection. He also doesn't respond well to hate and has had a track record of calling out viewers.

    Now this whole thing is my opinion, feel free to correct me on anything or add your own opinion.
    Thanks for reading,
    LittleButterfly
     
  2. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Sounds like the post of someone who recently got their first snake, probably has very little experience, and has an axe to grind for some reason.

    I'm not going to endorse his handling, but I think we're just getting a little bitchy if we attack a foreigner because we don't like his handling technique. There are better things in this world than how someone else handles. Some are better, some are worse, some are just different, whatever. I am certainly more gentle than the average keeper, he is probably a bit more rough, but his animals thrive, we can't argue with the results. They can't be too stressed. Don't lose sleep over it. The medical system over there is not socialised like in Australia, so if he's bitten it's his problem. Much more than in Australia, his body, his choice. And yes, some snakes are more prone to biting than others. If him getting bitten by tree boas gives people the message that tree boas are not a good snake if you want something to handle without being bitten, I'm struggling to see a problem.

    Snakes don't need human interaction. They don't benefit from it. Don't lose sleep over this. After keeping snakes for most of my life (I'm 40 next month, ouch!), dealing with a wide range of species from elapids, pythons, boas, colubrids, vipers (no, none of the exotics have been in Australia) I've been surprised at what works best for most species. My first enclosure had rocks and wood and fancy substrate and three heat sources etc etc, and it worked really badly. Of all the different methods I've tried, the one which snakes get feeding best in, which presumably means the snakes are happiest in, is even more simple than what Brian uses! I don't even generally describe it to people, partly because they'll think I'm lying and partly because it does take a little more skill to get right, but the next best thing is a small tub (smaller than recommended so they feel secure), a water bowl, paper substrate and yep, no hide. For newbies who don't fully understand the situation and for whom I don't have an hour or two explaining things to, a larger tub with a hide usually works okay. And also, this is what everyone else recommends so if I don't say anything unconventional I can't be blamed when things go wrong. But if my goal is to make a snake as happy as possible to get it to feed as well as I can, I will use a setup similar to Brian's but slightly more simple.

    I'm not sure about his quarantine situation. I personally think it's important to quarantine, but in all the years I've been interacting with reptile people, I've met maybe half a dozen who actually do practice quarantine. Many many claim to, but most of them only pay lip service, most of the rest try but don't actually achieve anything (very few people understand what genuine quarantine involves), and just a very few actually practice it. I personally put a huge amount of effort into quarantine, but if Brian doesn't it just means he's like virtually everyone else.

    Obviously someone with thousands of animals will have had animals die. You won't find anyone in the world who has kept thousands of animals and had none die. I've had thousands of snakes and I've had snakes die. I've never had a disease outbreak.

    He doesn't respond well to haters? Wow, unlike everyone else who sends them chocolates and flowers and gift hampers? C'mon, what do you expect? He's actually a really lovely guy. He's not perfect, neither am I, neither are you, no one is.

    As Brian would say, make today awesome and please do something kind for someone today :)
     
  3. LittleButterfly

    LittleButterfly Not so new Member

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    I see your point. I do not that much experience, that's true but everyone has opinions. Depends on what you classify as recent, does 5 months classify as recent. This is just the opinion of a teenager who has a bit of information on reptiles. Also, this the opinion of a owner vs a breeder, so my opinions may seem a bit extra.
     
  4. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    True, it's just a shame that people without valid ones still insist on having them.

    Is 4" small?

    You said it :)
     
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  5. Southernserpent

    Southernserpent Not so new Member

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    I really enjoy Brian's videos and think a lot more people could benifite from being more positive including myself. I believe he does a lot of good for the reptile community and I take a lot of inspiration from him and his attitide. He is a big breeder and it's often hard for people to come to terms with the sheer size of his facility. But going by his videos alone he seems to care a lot about his animals and has a lot more experience than me.
     
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  6. LittleButterfly

    LittleButterfly Not so new Member

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    He is positive and before I got my snake I enjoyed watching his videos. I just don't agree with some of the things he does
     
  7. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    I don't agree with a lot of things he does, but you can't deny his passion and his love of reptiles. He clearly loves reptiles and wouldn't deliberately do anything to harm them. His methods might not appeal to all of us but he is a breeder and tubs are arguably the best way of doing this. Permanent enclosures should be better.
     
  8. LittleButterfly

    LittleButterfly Not so new Member

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    He is passionate about his animals but he can be impulsive when purchasing animals and doesn't have space for them sometimes
     
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  9. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    You can hold any snake by the end of their tail, and still, be "supporting it" - no, it's not the best extended periods of time, he only does it for a couple of minutes at most for the camera. No harm, No foul.

    Reptiles date back to the time dinosaurs roamed. I don't think they care about a new smell or whatever. As long as they are alive, they are doing the best they could ever hope for. their form of a day-night cycle is heating.

    SOMEONE has to handle the animals during enclosure cleans/tub changes. ball pythons are as boring as a rock IMO, they roll up and do nothing even bite you, they just look cool with all their morphs. Sure, if you have 5000 5ft tanks, be my guest :p


    Pretty sure he has said he has a couple of thousand animals (snakes, geckos, etc). Try and keep that many animals without some Dying, from what I've seen they have been babies, malformed (2 heads etc)

    as far as I'm concerned, he is doing the best quarantine he can by not having any of the animals interact, have yet to see a vid saying "MY SNAKE COLLECTION ALL GOT SUNSHINE VIRUS!"



    I feel like you have been seeing all the hate vids against Brian recently, regarding the Spider gene and his reticulated python with the weird mouth rot/overbite/whatever u want to call it and gone with it
    Supporting Brian

    Using classic media skills to show all the negatives (dirty tub must = doesn't clean tanks: eyeroll:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  10. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    he is a breeder and when he comes across a new morph (which seems to be important in the US) he grabs it.And if you look at his vids, he has plenty of room.Stop looking for reasons to complain.We don't all like his systems but we don't whine and complain
     
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  11. LittleButterfly

    LittleButterfly Not so new Member

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    Sorry if I came across as that because thats not what I meant.
     
  12. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Good comments for the most part.

    I think one of the most consistent aspects of the people in our hobby is that they like to bitch and complain, but it's nice to see here that most people are being pretty level headed.

    Especially when you just recently got your first and still only snake, you really don't stand in a position to be abusing others, especially those with far, far more experience than you will ever have.
     
  13. LittleButterfly

    LittleButterfly Not so new Member

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    That is a fair point, I am not trying to abuse others but again it’s my opinion. Just because I have little experience doesn’t mean I can’t see some things that others can’t
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Apr 9, 2019, Original Post Date: Apr 9, 2019 ---
    You guys are mainly looking at the economical and 'practical' side. I am looking at the ethical and humane side. It is not that hard when you have lots of money, to just add some substrate and some enrichment to those enclosures. Snakes don't just eat, hunt and poop. They need enrichment to thrive.
     
  14. Wokka

    Wokka Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    How do you tell if a reptile is thriving?
     
  15. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    If it's my opinion that you're wrong, or someone else's opinion is that you're stupid, or someone else's opinion is that you should shut up or be killed or whatever, does "It's their opinion" hold any validity? No, it does not. "It's my opinion" is this meaningless statement made almost exclusively to baselessly defend bad ideas.

    What can you see that others can't?

    As Wokka says, how do you know if a snake is thriving? What is the measure of 'thrive'? Absolutely, captive snakes would be much worse at evading predators. Should we put kookaburras or cats with them to give them a few scars and teach them how to fear and avoid predators, or should we accept that if they are never going to be faced with a challenge that they don't need to learn how to deal with it?

    You've literally only ever kept one snake and only for a short time. I think that while you claim you can see things others can't, perhaps you can see that there are people who have been keeping many many thousands of snakes of a wide range of species and kept them 'thriving' for many generations over several decades, who perhaps can see things you can't.
     
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  16. nick_75

    nick_75 Active Member

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    Harsh treatment guys. I've read many posts from most of you in the past where you have been helpful and gentle in the giving of advice to new and inexperienced people. What has happened to that tone this time?

    I don't like Brian myself for many reasons, but I would not condemn the overall well being of the animals in his facility. Their basic needs are met in order to survive.

    But I also agree with LittleButterfly on the subject of environmental stimulation for our captive reptiles. I am not saying that positive stimulation is essential to keeping a healthy reptile and if you don't provide it, you are a bad keeper. As pointed out above, many animals are kept in tub systems with no hides, branches etc without any adverse effect on the animal. I understand why large collections are kept like this. It is a stream lined system that saves space and cleaning time. I, personally won't do it.

    I will never have a large collection because I personally like to provide enclosures with lots of environmental stimulation and that takes up space and a lot of time cleaning.
     
  17. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    What happened? Basic concept: If you're a newbie who opens an attack on a veteran, and your justification is 'I have no experience,I don't know what I'm talking about, but it's my opinion and I want to attack anyway', you kinda can't complain if you cop a little criticism yourself in the responses.

    If you're a newbie (or veteran or anywhere in between) and politely ask a question rather than launching an attack, you'll probably get a more friendly response.
     
  18. nick_75

    nick_75 Active Member

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    I don't think the original post was an attack, just a statement of personal opinion. With a view to starting an open discussion about the housing and care of animals in large commercial collections.
     
  19. Wokka

    Wokka Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    My observation is that snakes seek food and temperature, and sex at the right time of year. Given these the snake is usually healthy , grows and breeds which is my measure of thriving. The enrichment appears to benefit the keepers rather than the animals.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Apr 9, 2019, Original Post Date: Apr 9, 2019 ---
    I think in these sort of discussions it is fairer to talk about "large scale reptile keepers" rather than naming individuals.
     
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  20. LittleButterfly

    LittleButterfly Not so new Member

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    @Sdaji Brian puts himself out there and that's why people say stuff about him. It wasn't an attack on him and I used him as an example because he is the only large scale breeder I am very familiar with

    And the way you started your original reply was straight away on the attack
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019

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