Setting up a Crocodile Farm

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Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby uncutdiamonds » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:50 am

What are the requirements for setting up a commercial crocodile farm?

Any ideas :smt016 ?
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby Warren Klein » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:08 pm

A lot of money for starters ;)
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby Lillypod » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:23 pm

There might be quite a few permits involved, especially depending on where you are.
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby nbdreyer » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:56 pm

I had a chat with one of the guys from the croc farm off Malibongwe. Apparently it takes a few years before you start making any money (7 years if I remember correctly). And as herphabitat said, a lot of money. The baby crocs were cheap but the catch was that you had to buy 1000 at a time. Thats a 1000 mouthes that wants a piece of meat frequiently for 7 years. Not cheap. Will you be able to kill them once the time come? I dont know if I could....

Best to go have a chat with people in the business. Im sure they will gladly assist.
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby uncutdiamonds » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:56 pm

Thanks, If I recall it rightly the first sale is after three to four years. Not sure, if that pays off the input cost immediately, would have to do the calculation. Permits are an issue and I'd like to know, which are required let's say in the Transvaal area. As for facilities I see:
- Heat house
- Dams
- access to water and pumps
- sufficient electricity
- food processing room + cold rooms
Depending on what is exactly done more may be applicable.

If we assume 3 to 4 years and yearly rotation of batches that would mean one needs one heat house and three (two?) dams for one thousand each year/ batch.
Is there other info required for costing?
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby Lilli » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:02 am

@ uncutdiamonds
Please also remember the environmental laws (NEMA and EIA regulations)
The regulations specifically mention the construction of crocodile farms, construction of dams etc, and no construction can commence before the environmental authorisations has been granted by the provincial or national departments.
Just keep that in mind, otherwise they might feel obliged to fine you.

No R 544 18 June 2010 [EIA listing notice 1]
Items 4, 6, 23 and 24

No R 545 18 June 2010 [EIA listing notice 2]
Items 12, 15 and 19
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby uncutdiamonds » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:01 pm

You mean the Environmental Impact Assessment? Yes I heard about that. Crocodile farming is basically aquaculture. And they are interested especially in the dams for the juvenile to grown up crocodiles. I also heard you basically need a permit for rearing crocodiles, transporting crocodiles and a separate one for breeding with crocodiles (having animals to lay eggs).

A relevant document may also be this one:
https://www.environment.gov.za/sites/de ... elines.pdf

Here is what may happen, when one doesn't comply:
http://www.witness.co.za/index.php?show ... d%5D=94228

Something interesting I found on Alligator Aquaculture in the USA.
Image
https://archive.org/details/gov.usda.srac.sp328
Although that isn't 100% the same, it still gives one an idea what would be required for Nile Crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).
The initial cost (subsequently financing) and waiting period for returns on investment may still be the biggest obstacle. That I still need to work out.
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby uncutdiamonds » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:14 pm

Found some husbandry info on fresh water crocodiles and thought I share it here:
http://nswfmpa.org/Husbandry%20Manuals/ ... codile.pdf
Nile crocodiles should be similar as they are from the same genus. I wonder, if it is possible to farm alligators in South Africa, too.
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby nvlooi » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:55 pm

Get in contact with Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm in Simondium Western Cape.


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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby uncutdiamonds » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:30 pm

Lilli wrote:@ uncutdiamonds
Please also remember the environmental laws (NEMA and EIA regulations)
The regulations specifically mention the construction of crocodile farms, construction of dams etc, and no construction can commence before the environmental authorisations has been granted by the provincial or national departments.
Just keep that in mind, otherwise they might feel obliged to fine you.
...

Hi Lili,
Could you tell us about the practical do's and don'ts regarding the requirements from an regulations point of view.
I could think of:
- size of the farm
- size of the dams
- proximity to residential or conservation areas.
- Problems with waste water proposals
etc.

Maybe we should establish a list with questions an emerging crocodile farmer should be able to ask.

Also, which is the relevant government department for inquiries?
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby Lilli » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:37 pm

@uncutdiamonds
It is difficult to list the do's and don'ts of the top of my head, as there are different thresholds for listed activities in relevant legislation...

It is not only the EIA regulations [National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (as amended)] that have a bearing on the proposed facility, the following legislation have to be considered as well:
National Water Act, 1998 [Act 36 of 1998]
National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 [Act 59 of 2008]
National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 [Act 10 of 2004]
National Heritage Resources Act (NHR), 1999 [Act No. 25 of 1999]
Local Bylaws for the specific area where you want to construct the facility

If you can provide me with a conceptual plan [basic planning - not detailed] of want you want to do [basically your "wish list" ], I can do some digging regarding the legislation on your behalf, as this would be an extremely interesting project...

The relevant department would also relate to the area where you want to construct your facility... each province has their own competent authority...
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby uncutdiamonds » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:09 am

OK, let me give it descriptive try - I think others reading here will be benefiting from that themselves.
- Plot in area north of Pretoria. +4ha
- Boorhole, potentially rights to take from river or channel.
- Operational area for crocodiles less then one ha for heat house, processing facility, cold rooms and three dams (1000 to 5000 crocodiles of several seasons in the end)
- Usage in the area is agricultural, private nature reserve may be close by.
- Secondary usage of waste water from dams may be irrigation of vegetables or fruit trees. Other animals maybe present on farm (aquaculture, poultry, mammal livestock) each dam has a wall around it. Not certain, if I ought use earth or cement dams, Operational area will have an additional fence around it.
- Feedstock to be mainly 'off' meat from abattoirs, butcheries dead animals from other farmers.
- Staff may be housed on the plot as well.

Potential problems I foresee in terms of regulations:
- Conflict with bylaws, if any
- Question of wastewater escaping into soil or river
- Animal escapes (but c. niloticus is local)
The acts and bylaws you mentioned may relate to that.
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby Lilli » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:29 am

Good stuff :D
Give me a day or two and I will revert back to you with the legal requirements as per the conceptual plan...
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby cascade » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:01 am

First port of call would be to head off to your local municipality, to the town planner department, the will be able to advise with regards to what you can and can't do on the property, they will also give you zoning information for the area you choose to start the farm, they might also require a SDP (Site Development Plan) and you will need to submit building plans to the council.
Then it would be a good idea to contact NATCON and get some advice from them with regards to permits and what they would need from you.

Some other aspects you might need to consider.
1. Will you be breeding and harvesting eggs?
2. To have more than 3 dams, to house sick, problematic/aggressive crocodiles from hurting the rest.
3. To have quarantine area for new arrivals and sick crocs.
4. To have an extra dam for housing left over stock that has not been sold or killed off.
5. Then what direction of supply would you like to go into, selling of meat or skins. Depending on the answer you would need to do research into this aspect. there are certain rules and regulation that need to be followed, standards that would be set for exports and sells of meat and skins.
I know feeding of chickens that have died on chicken farms means you may not sell the meat for human consumption, as the meat would be considered to be contaminated you may only sell the skins then.
6. You will also have to have procedure to get rid of leftover meat that has not been eaten, you may not bury it or throw it away.

If you build the dams in a loop you can re-use the water by pumping the water into a catchment dam and then letting the water run through a system of rocks, reeds and some water plants, this will allow you to refine the water.
You can also instal a biochemical system that recycles the water which then can be used again. with that being said it does not seem to be a set guideline to the quality of water.
SOUTH AFRICAN WATER QUALITY GUIDELINES Volume 6: Agricultural Water Use: Aquaculture

Quoted from above link, From Chapter 3.
Characterisation of Aquaculture Water Use
The principal groups of freshwater organisms produced in South Africa are several food fish
species, eyed trout ova, trout and black bass fingerlings for stocking of angling waters,
ornamental fish and plants, crocodiles and food plants (waterblommetjies). Crocodile and
waterblommetjie farming has been excluded from this edition. The reason for this is that too
little is known of the water quality requirements for crocodiles to develop a practical set of
guidelines.


I have attached some documents that was suggested in the post above.
Lots of reading to do. :D
I have also attached some standards from SA and Australia with regards to keeping of crocs in captivity.

NATIONAL WATER ACT, 1998

NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: WASTE ACT. 2008

NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: BIODIVERSITY ACT, 2004

No. 25 of 1999: National Heritage Resources Act, 1999.


SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL STANDARD Crocodiles in captivity

This link is not related to South Africa but the information inside would go along way in setting up a crocodile farm with good standards.
Code of Practice Page 1 of 12 • Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Queensland

REGISTRATION OF CROCODILE FARMS FOR EXPORT STATUS
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Re: Setting up a Crocodile Farm

Postby k2mol » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:56 am

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the forum and not sure if this is the best place to post my question. I would like to keep a few crocodiles on a small holding in Midrand, Johannesburg. I'm not intending to breed or farm them for profit. Right now the 'farm' is just 1.2 hecters of open land so I'm starting from scratch. I have no idea who to speak to regarding permits and how build a happy, sustainable environment for the crocodiles. I have read some of the very useful information included in this thread but I need specific information for my area, where to get young crocs... Do any of you know who I should approach to help me get this going? Thanks in advance! :?:
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