Alligator farming is a long term investment that requires huge funds, systematic planning. Systems to deploy are open-cycle or ranging system or closed cycle system.
A farmer using the closed system should stock adult for egg production. They need to keep breeding herds outdoors with adequate space and fencing. Some gather the fertilized eggs and incubate for maximum result.
Crocodilia are large semiaquatic predatory reptiles. Documented to have existed over 250 million years ago. They are regarded as an ancient prehistoric reptiles. Members of the group are gharials, alligators, caimans, true crocodiles.
- True crocodiles
Over 1.5 million hides are traded worldwide with Florida a top producer. An average farm can produce 8000 hides a year with annual increase of 15%. A 6 foot alligator used to bring at least $300. However due to increase production from new entrants the price has dropped to $150. International demand for the hides are japan, Europe, North America
Crocodilia affords the farmer produce high priced quality products. They are farmed for their pristine hide, meat. Some leverage on tourists, sell eggs, juveniles to other farmers. Others are purely for conservation of wild population.
- sell eggs
The carnivorous animal is lizard-like in shape, sturdy build, long or short snouts. Other features are thick skin overlapping scale, nose/eyes are on top of head.
They have webbed digits, elongated or flat snouts laterally compressed tail. Perfectly built for stalking prey above water with whole body immersed in water.
- Lizard-like shape
- sturdy build
- long or short snouts
- thick skin
- overlapping scale
- nose and eyes on top of head
- webbed digits
- elongated or flat snouts
- laterally compressed tail
Things to Know about Alligator Farming
An entrepreneur should understand the reproductive, growth rate of the animal. Understand disease prevention, increase production of egg, hatchlings, and hide market. Other considerations are land, water requirements and type of food they eat.
Register the business, get operational permit and tax identification number. More are building requirements, harvesting, handling methods, sourcing the food. Purchase quality equipment, study operational expenses, state and federal regulations.
- understand reproductive cycle
- understand growth rate
- understand disease prevention
- learn how to increase production of egg
- how to increase hatchlings
- understand the hide market
- consider land size
- water requirements
- food they eat
- register the business
- learn state and federal regulations
- building requirements
- handling methods
- sourcing the food
- purchase quality equipment
- study operational expenses
The industry is capital intensive and challenging. Source funds from private savings, friends and family. Approach a commercial bank for long term loans or corporative. Look for angel investors, partners, venture capitalists or crowd funding.
- private savings
- friends and family
- commercial bank loans
- angel investors
- venture capitalists
- crowd funding
The state of operation should provide an operational license. Visit the states game and fresh water fish commission for permit. Register a LLC, open a company account, consider branding and pay tax.
There highly developed olfactory system has the ability to detect odorants in the water. With enhanced visibility, vibration detection and sudden fast movement make them deadly hunters.
All crocodilian species like the alligator or crocodile have same body morphology with slight variations. Variations are found in teeth shape, snout, teeth including the tail.
To grow an alligator to 6 feet they will consume at least 400 pounds of protein.. They feed on seafood, mammals live or dead prey. Common food are animal carcasses, birds, large/small animals or fish. Other food sources are mollusks, crustaceans, eggs.
What they eat in Captivity
They eat meat products unsuitable for human consumption. Feed unused fish, freezer bunted meat, offal’s. Use pelleted feed, poultry suck as ducks, turkey or chicken.
What Crocodilia eat
- animal carcasses
- large or small animals
- pelleted feed
- poultry offal
Types of Crocodilia Farms
Three types of Crocodilia farming are captive breed, wild harvesting and ranching. Captive Breeding: Captive breeding involves rearing captive born animals for open market. Considered as a close cycle they are kept for tourism, meat, or skin production.
Ranching and Wild Harvesting: Ranchers keep them in grow out housing from eggs through juvenile to adulthood. Wild harvesting are more concerned about conservation of wild stock. They get juvenile from the wild and grow to adulthood. Some are sold while others are returned to the wild.
1. Captive Breeding
2. Wild Harvesting
The animals can grow to an impressive size so adequate land is essential. However in captivity moderate landed space and water will be sufficient.
How to stock
Stock hatchlings sourced from wetland in the farm. Buy them from private wetland owners and avoid conservation areas. Stock several females with a few males for best results.
Crocodilian housing is very challenging, labor intensive and time consuming. There are no guarantees of success, profit on investment. A farmer needs to invest in appropriate land, steady supply of running water, electricity. Other considerations are licensing, sturdy housing material, and alligator food.
The geographical location, species of alligator determine breeding season. Temperature determines the sex of the hatchlings. Fertilized eggs incubated above 93 degrees Fahrenheit produce male, below 86 degrees Fahrenheit female.
At temperatures of 88 degrees Fahrenheit both male and female. However American alligators lay eggs June hatch august or September. A female average 30 eggs per nest with 30% hatching rate.
|Male||93 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Female||Below 86 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Both||88 degrees Fahrenheit|
There is a huge local and international market for Crocodilia hide and skin. The hides are used in the leather belting industry, shoes, and boot market. Sell the eggs or hatchlings to other alligator farmers to increase income.