Crocodile Farming: How to Establish a Crocodile Farm

crocodile farm
Per Meistrup [CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Crocodiles are very adaptable that is why they have lived from the time of the dinosaurs.  These large aquatic reptiles are considered in many cultures the epitome of power.To entrepreneurs the cold blooded reptiles are cash money in the bank. Although crocodiles and alligators share identical characteristics they belong to separate biological families. 
Crocodiles have narrow long heads, protruding teeth and a mean temperament. Crocodiles are carnivorous feeding on anything that wanders into their domain. They are tropical dwellers found in Australia, Asia, America and Africa. 
Different Species of Crocodile 
It is important to note the different species of crocodile. There a 14 species alive today based on genetic study. Here are a list of crocodiles found in the wild

1. Fresh water crocodile

2. Slender-snout crocodile

3. Orinoco crocodile

4. American crocodile

5. New Guinea crocodile

6. Nile crocodile

7. Morelet’s crocodile

8. Cuban crocodile

9. Saltwater crocodile

10. Mugger crocodile

11. Dwarf crocodile

12. West African crocodile

13. Siamese crocodile

14. Philippines crocodile

How to Start a Crocodile Farm
Although crocodile farming is very lucrative it is also capital intensive. Crocodiles are meat eaters and require nourishment to thrive and grow.
The business is very tough and challenging especially on the onset of the enterprise. There are very strict legislation's guiding the practice in many countries.
Some countries don’t even have crocodile farms so establishing one would be difficult. You will need to get government and local government permits and certification.
Other difficulties include sourcing adequate funds, securing the animal in a safe environment and labor costs. The woes just get better because you need to build an artificial pool and purchase expansive land.
Once you have obtained the necessary documentation the next step is capital. It is important to find a viable source to stock your farm.
You need professional handlers and consultants for best practices. All these precautions are because crocodile are deadly man eating creatures. They are very fast, agile, perfect ambush predators with a multitude of sharp teeth.
Understand the Business
You need lots of practical experience to understand crocodile handling. Visit existing farms in your area to study their methodology.
Try hiring a profession or become a volunteer apprentice. You can update your knowledge through books and online resources however there is no substitute for practical experience.
Locating the Crocodile Farm
You need to purchase property within a large area that has a mash or lake. Crocodiles require a substantial amount of space to thrive.
Maintain a safe enclosure by cordoning the crocodile farm to avoid escape. Fewer crocodiles can be kept in smaller enclosure protected by reinforces cages.
 It is important to create an aesthetically pleasing environment to look natural as possible while providing full safety. Make sure there is a good road network to your crocodile farm.
How to Source Crocodile
Crocodiles are regarded as endangered species so the practice is regulated. Farms can source crocodiles from the wild through harvesting.
Other methods include ranching and the more popular method captive breeding. Captive breeding includes incubation and hatching young crocodiles.
The farm owner needs to have some breeding crocodiles on his farm. If the entrepreneur is close to their natural habitat he could source the eggs from the wild. This is a very dangerous technique and should be done only by experienced wranglers.
Raising Crocodile in Captivity
There are two basic methods farmers use to raise crocodile in captivity. Farmers that rear and add to wild population use the ‘open method’.
Most farmers are in the business to make money so they prefer the closed cycle method. The close cycle method involves collecting fertile crocodile eggs on the farm and incubating.
The young juveniles are then grown into adulthood. You need storage space, incubators and grow out cages for the juveniles.
The structure of the cage depends on the building material available. Did you know certain conditions predetermine the sex of a crocodile?
Crocodile Reproduction
Crocodiles are egg layers like other reptiles. The eggs are laid in nests and covered with sand and vegetation.
 Mating occur in the water and egg-laying at night. The species determines the number of eggs laid in the whole.
Crocodile are known to lay up about 15 to 60 eggs in one batch. The temperature determines the sex of the crocodile 30C for female and 33C male. The young crocodile juvenile breaks through the hard egg shell aided by the mother.
Crocodile Products
The most valuable part of the crocodile is the hide. Crocodile leather attracts premium price and is used to make various items.
You find crocodile leather bags, shoes, belts and hats. There are crocodile briefcases, duffle bags, purses and sandals.
Some restaurants around the world serve crocodile meat. A farmer could generate additional income through guided tours on the farm.
Crocodiles live surprisingly long lives sometimes reaching 65 years. Captive crocodiles live even longer because of better feeding and less stress.
Crocodiles are ambush predators that prefer live meat. The animals feed on crustaceans, mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and mollusks.
 In the wild their favorite prey are deer, hog, buffalo's and gazelles. The crocodile farmer needs to supply different verity of meat.
Many farmers feed their stock chicken, turkey or rodents. Big crocodiles can manage being fed twice a week. While younger juvenile crocodiles should be fed three times a week.
Before starting the venture write a comprehensive crocodile farming business plan. Then carry out a feasibility study and secure funding.
 Apply for bank loans that have long tenure with fixed interest rates. You need appropriate insurance and government permit before starting the venture.
Other considerations are land, building structure and sourcing the crocodiles. You will spend an insane amount of money feeding them. Finally it takes about 4 to 6 years for crocodiles to reach fully mature.Alpaca Farming Business


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