How to Start an Alligator Farm. The alligator farming business is part of a complex industry. While the number of alligator farms has decreased over the last 10 years in the United States, the volume of alligator product has risen, indicating that farmers are finding that larger farms are more viable and profitable. If you are thinking about starting an alligator farm, follow these steps to make sure you make the most of your investment.
Determine your reasons for starting the farm. Most likely, your number one reason for starting an alligator farm is financial. That said, you need to take a closer look at your expectations and business model. Alligator farming is a large-scale and expensive operation. Although there are considerable payoffs, you need to know that you can handle an operation of this scope and complexity before you jump into it.
Pick a site for the farm. Marsh lands in areas like Louisiana and Georgia where alligators exist naturally are ideal. Look for land on the basis of the quality for alligator breeding and keeping and on the basis of the amount of land and irrigation that will be available to you, given your budget. Keep in mind that transport of eggs from the marsh will be a cost down the line.
Check regulations and secure all necessary licenses and permits. This can be a lengthy and expensive process in itself. It begins with identifying the correct state agency to deal with. In Louisiana, for example, you can begin talking to the Fur and Alligator Advisory Council; in Florida you must speak with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Find the relevant agency in your area to begin the regulation clearance process.
Set up the farm and start your first grow cycle. The farm begins with taking a lawful (and previously approved) number of eggs from the marsh. These are the eggs that will seed the farm. Get the eggs into heated houses until they hatch and grow to a reasonable size. Most alligators become marketable at around 15 months, so be prepared to have a non-profitable first year to get things going on the farm.